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Lamps make themselves at home

The winter months always get me thinking about the lamps in our house. When that happens, I start moving things around.

"What happened to the oh, nevermind," is the reaction I usually get from my family, once they realize things are a-changing. Again.

Of course, table and floor lamps are just part of a home's overall lighting, but what a story some of them tell.

Our lamps came from all sorts of places. The lamp with a white-washed square base painted with a botanical came from a flower shop in Ithaca. I spotted it years ago in the window and fell in love.

I don't even think it was for sale. I believe it was part of a display, but the florist sold it to me anyway.

Who falls in love with a lamp? I do, on occasion.

Especially one with a frog as its base. Yes, this one's a doozy.

The frog is sitting up playing a flute. It's heavy, like stone, and it's done up in blackish tones with a linen white shade. It sits on a chest of drawers in our foyer -- for now, anyway.

The frog is in good company with the white lamp in the family room shaped, I kid you not, like a dachshund. With its short legs and long body, it reminds me of our own dog, an SPCA special who may be part dachshund -- but so much more!

The lamp came from "room," a home furnishings store on Hertel Avenue, and it's actually made from molded plastic.

Was I looking for a lamp shaped like a dog that glows from within? Of course not. But, oh, you should have seen the look on my husband's face when I brought it home and plugged it in.

I don't just buy a lamp. I adopt it.

A little whimsy goes a long way, however, so we have other more serious lamps we can actually turn on to, say, read a book.

One of our best moves was replacing the table lamps next to the bed with wall lights on swivel arms.

This happened after our cat, Gump, somehow managed to knock over one of the lamps, which did it no good. ("If they don't let me outside to chase mice, I'll tackle the lamp!")

So the winter months have me thinking about the lighting in our home -- but especially about the lamps, their placement and even some of their stories.

Through the years I have learned that an old lamp can be repaired, rewired and put to good use. That a new shade can give new life to even the most basic lamp. That a chip here or there in the base can be covered up with a Sharpie pen (it really worked!).

And that you never know when you might run into a lamp that, design-wise, really speaks to you.

Woof.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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