November 09, 2016

Light Fixture Love Affair

Back when I was in art school I spent a summer living in Copenhagen, Denmark. While there I ate a lot of hot dogs, drank a lot of beer, rode bikes down bumpy cobblestone streets, hung out in the twilight lit nights, made amazing friends, explored Scandinavia and generally had the time of my life. Oh, I also happened to study furniture design.

The program was based out of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the halls in the building where classes were held were lit with the iconic Poulsen Artichoke lamp. The design was already on my radar, I was studying Scandinavian design after all, but it’s hard to understand the impact this gigantic lamp has on a person until you are walking beneath an entire hallway lined with them for weeks on end. I was instantly in love and I have pined for one ever since.

The problem with this amazing light fixture is that it is gigantic and prohibitively expensive. We are talking close to 10 thousand dollars (what now???) for the small size. That is completely out of reach for most and even if I did have a spare 10k lying around I could never feel ok spending it on a light fixture.

So when a photo of a pretty dead on reproduction of the artichoke, in orange no less, popped up in my Instagram feed my heart jumped out of my chest. I realized that I could live very comfortably with a knockoff. Very comfortably indeed.

The lovely Amy Hughes, proprietor of the ever awesome store Salvage Style in downtown Maplewood, had scored what she is pretty sure it is a Stilnovo fixture. While a much more reasonable price than a Poulsen, a new fixture would still be a big ticket item for me. With this chance at a vintage piece I pounced fast, even before I knew where I was going to put it, and claimed it sight unseen.

As I lugged the giant beauty to the car my 5 year old took one look at it and said “is that going in the TV room?” Problem solved… and I may have a tiny assistant on the payroll pretty soon.