Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BREAKING NEWS (or: How I Found the Perfect Light Fixture in 2,000 Words or Less)

We interrupt this camping trip to bring you the following Special Report:

From the Decorating Division at Bizzyville HQ...Flash!...Almost exactly a year ago, long-time readers will recall my bedroom redecorating project and my well-documented obsession with painting pretty much everything charcoal. At that time, I repainted my bedroom, hung new drapes, and switched out the comforter set for a richer, more tone-on-tone effect (get me and the design terms). I stopped short of switching out the ceiling light fixture, however. The dreaded "boob light" has been an eyesore ever since offending my delicate (har!) design sensibilities with it's boobish, K-Martina-esque, cut-glass, brass studded elements (gag!). I posted back then of a plan to switch out that fixture in favor of something else from IKEA (Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh! [You have to sing it in your head to the tune of "The Siiiiiimp Soooooons!" Like me.] or something at least similar to the fixture at IKEA that I thought would be appropriate.

And then, like most of my projects, after days of hyperactive, frantic progress...nothing. La-la-la! Oh, I was offended now and then by the boob light. Okay...all the time, truth be told. And even though I would go so far as the occasional stroll through the light fixtures at Lowe's, or other local and regional (mostly) chain stores, I never saw anything that would work. Certainly nothing that thrilled me. And that's what I wanted: to be thrilled by my (reasonably priced) bedroom light fixture.

Is it SO much to ask?

If you're one of those lucky people reading this nestled in the comfy bosom (it's all about the boobs!) of a large urban area with a plethora of shops and stores to choose from, you probably cannot comprehend just how limited and sad the light fixture choices are in the backwater territory that is Paducah, Kentucky. Or for that matter, just how limited ANY design choices are in these parts. Especially if you're on a budget (like, say, myself). Down here, your choices are: Lowes, Wal-Mart, Home Despot. For serious excitement, we drive 45 miles to Target.

But that's about it.

And, yes, I can shop online. But that often gets expensive and then you get into shipping, and then what if one doesn't LIKE it, having never SEEN it...blah blah. This went on. And on.

And then.

And then!

I went to Atlanta. And we all know what's in Atlanta, right? That's right...


[Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh!]

Ya'll! Seriously! I could have PARKED MY SUBARU on that "K"! The place was H U G E beyond my wildest expectations. We could have fit super Wal-Mart in one corner and it would have no doubt cried like a little bitch in the face of the wonder. (To review, I don't get out much--certainly not much to the Big City. And hardly ever with my car in tow. And, obviously, NEVER EVER to IKEA [Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh!]).

Once in the door, and strolling through the endless, modern affordableness of it all, I was kind of crestfallen. We had only allotted a few hours to the joys of IKEA [Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh!]. We had already been to lunch and an art gallery and shops. By now, we were already verging on the tired (and had a full evening in the offing to boot). What we SHOULD have been doing was making lists! Getting there when the doors open! Planning ahead! Munching on trail mix and staying hydrated! We should have been hunting that place like the cheap, affordable design starved wolverines that we could be! Instead of tired, shell shocked slightly punch drunk middle aged women. Which is what we are.

Nevertheless! We resolved to make the best of it.

And we happened upon it pretty quickly. The bedroom light fixture of my dreams! It's big. It's unusual. It's white (the perfect contrast to the dark walls). It's a little crazy. Wait a minute...big, white, unusual crazy...


(Clucky Chicken!)

Trouble was, the "big" part. It was actually a big, funky white globe-like thing. The fixture was, in all honesty, HUGE measuring something like a yard across. Sure, I could hang it in my bedroom. Above my bed. And then it would rest approximately on my chest while I slept. Good times!

In the end, I had to concede: right fixture. Wrong size.


We pressed on.

We wandered through dining rooms and living rooms and kitchens and sat on magically non-puffy furniture that matched startlingly simple accessories. We marveled at stuff that could work this way and that: upended and upside down. So simple! Crap that was plasticky and inexpensive, but still not revoltingly Early American. WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR ALL THE CHEAP CHAIN STORES IN MY STUPID TOWN?

Finally, at a tiny tableau where the Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh design wizards had managed to perfectly stuff a completely equipped kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom into a mere 325 square feet, I realized I was home. Everything was tiny and within arm's reach. From my couch, I could spit on my bed and my dishwasher. I stretched out my legs and they were immediately met with a tiny foot stool a mere six inches away. On the TV (surprisingly large, but a flat screen mounted flush to the wall and thus not requiring any precious square inches), was only one channel: CNN of course, this being Atlanta. Perfect! News 24/7. I had Internet service and my iPhone. The walls were already painted a thoughtful charcoal. Yes, yes! Oh, yes. I was home.

(photo: Nikki May)

My friend Nikki, sensing quickly there was no use dissuading me, joined me in my new living room and offered me coffee from a thoughtfully placed mug. I accepted. In my new life, I was suddenly a coffee drinker. We sipped our coffee and greeted our fellow Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh shoppers. To their credit, they didn't seem surprised to see us and were even seemingly appreciative of our pointing out the finer points of our new living space,

"See that cabinet?" I said to a young Birkenstock shod woman with a baby in a stroller. The woman stopped, ran her hand over the top.

"You'd never know it, but that actually holds SHOES," I told her.

"REALLY?", she exclaimed, opening the false front cabinet and marveling at the shoes within.

"Huh-huh. We enjoy it," I added, nodding sagely and taking another sip of my coffee.

Two immaculately dressed young men wandered in and smiled at us sprawled out in my new living room,

"Coffee?" I offered holding my cup aloft.

"Uh, well..." the shorter blonde man began, laughing...

"...we'd love to, but we're kind of in a time crunch," the taller dark headed one finished for him.

I shrugged. "Next time, then!"

But, alas. The rest of the (exhausting) day bore down on us.

I bid my new home a sad and affectionate farewell. We pressed on. Through a bewilderingly large collection of rugs, faux plants. Miniature children's furniture. Mirrors! The kitchen accessories. THE KITCHEN ACESSORIES, OMG! Miles and miles and miles of them. I managed to somehow extract a set of glasses from the tumult. We wandered through the bowels of the place, no longer tiny room tableau's, but the stocking section. Where all the merchandise is kept. We eventually passed the lighting section. Wait! THE LIGHTING SECTION!

And there it was: my light fixture.

White, thrilling, unusual (weird, even), but this time, only HALF the size of the original fixture we'd admired upstairs!

Could I posssibly love Eye Keeeeey Uuuuh more? NOT REALLY!

And she lived happily ever after in her almost completely redecorated bedroom with her awesome and thrilling and affordable IKEA light fixture that came in approximately 500 unassembled pieces. But that's okay! I still love it!...


Brenda said...


Aynex Mercado said...

Ikea is sooo big. I have one an hour away an I never go because it is an all day affair. But they have the best looking furniture at the best prices. Wish I had been at your new IKEA apartment!

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