Light Boxing

I must start making some decisions.  I’ve had the same pile of tear sheets and memos sitting on my desk for months.  One pressing issue is two lamps for the back wall of the living room.  Joni at Cote de Texas pointed out these really lovely Ballard Design Small Gourd Lamps by Suzanne Kasler.  Lovely.  Also, $139 each, which, let’s face it, is dreamy.

But there are a few others rattling around like this gal with her hands on hips from Vaughn (technically, Ceramic Vase with Curly Handles) that I like better.  At four times the price.  And I keep wondering if later, say fifteen minutes after I plug them in, I won’t really see the difference anymore.  That the perfectly lovely gourd lamps will leave a little room for the purchase of something that might be really terrific.  Thoughts?

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36 thoughts on “Light Boxing

  1. I just four of the larger size lamps from ballard designs in a home in palm springs and for the price the quality and look is fantastic. highly recommended! good luck -BP

  2. No contest, the girl with the curves! It will make you happy just glacing her way at her aptly described hands on hips. She has just enough swag in her skirt, not too much, just enough!

  3. I vote with Joni. Save the money. Christopher Spitzmiller lamps is where I'd spend the big bucks. Ballard's are great.

  4. There's nothing wrong with the Ballard lamp, it's a nice shape. There are a lot of gourd or bottle lamps out there though. If you can swing it the Vaughn lamp is different and feels more special.

  5. There's nothing wrong with the Ballard lamp, it's a nice shape. There are a lot of gourd or bottle lamps out there though. If you can swing it the Vaughn lamp is different and feels more special.

  6. I learned long ago not to settle on something just because of the price because you'll never really be happy. So go with your love!

  7. My strategy is to say "how many dresses is that?" Somehow seems to make it all better when I compare it with something I buy without a thought! "How many shoes?" Hmmmmm…..

    This is not a dress rehearsal! No pun intended. . .

  8. Go for the gourds–I love the clean lines of the shape and shade. At that price you can't go wrong. However, that's not what drives me to vote for the gourds. In time, you might tire of those curly handles. I like the idea of leaving room for something terrific that might give you greater joy and impact. If I could just make a recommendation–have dimmer switches installed on the lamps. Being able to control the amount of light is such a nice option to have!

  9. I keep thinking… boys, dogs, get the Ballard lamps. I personally think the handles compete with the shade in an awkward way on the expensive ones too, but a different shade would fix that. If its a safe place, and you really love the expensive ones then get it for yourself and try and write an article to pay for it, otherwise …

  10. When I buy for price alone, set whatever it is up, check it off the list, move on, I find I've tricked myself into buying nothing but an indifferent, short-term placeholder. Buy with your heart.

    "Buy the best and you only cry once."


  11. I like both lamps, as you say- why not save some for something else…but I am thinking if you got a beautiful grey silk shade for the gourd lamp you might have dressed it up just enough to make it worth the effort? How's that for a Solomon-like compromise? Don't for get to show us the beautiful result and Thanks for the frame post- it was inspiration for me on a current job!

  12. Hands on hips. I don't think you can ignore her even after she's been hanging around for a while by the back wall sulking for attention. She won't let you. Whenever you look her way — you'll smile.

    I've been thrilled with 4 posts from you this week. It's like my morning cup of java. A nice way to start the day.

  13. Hi Patricia, I have to go with No.2, also. Lighting is one of the most important design elements and you would use her everyday…….this young lady will always make you happy. Go for her!! Mary

  14. A Spitzmiller is my dream. However, furnishing the living room is more important my husband says. So anyhoo, I just bought two of the large Suzanne Kasler lamps from Ballard and I must say, they're pretty good! The shades could be replaced and I'll be adding a gilt base to them (a la Spitzmiller) but for a fraction of the cost thry're keepers!

  15. Adore the Vaughn Lamp! Don't comparison shop because after one is picked the other will disappear. Good picking.

  16. The second lamp is by far the most special and you will not only notice her, but will get that little thrill each time you look her way. I'm sure of it!

  17. I think it might just be the opposite – 15 minutes after you plug in that lovely lady with her hands on her hips, you will forget about the difference in price and enjoy your lovely lamps for years to come. I don't know…just my thoughts.

  18. The slightest bump and those curves on gal no. 2 may break. You can always change the simpler style with a colorful or patterned shade if you get really bored. I do find that I notice the light more than the lamp after a short time.

  19. Gourd lamps are everywhere and while the second lamp has been around the block as well, the overall shape is more pleasing. Raise the harp a bit and the lamp will look a bit more elegant.

  20. I agree with Anonymous! If you buy the ones from Ballard, every time you look at them, you will think of the girls with the curves, and wonder what might have been!

  21. Gal with hands akimbo's hat is a better fit. But then you wouldn't remember it or her if you had Suzanne Kasler's lamp. Unless you have a great memory.

  22. I vote for the gourd lamps…the lines are more pleasing to me…and the negative space is nice and clean. BUT – caveat here – it is difficult to say for sure since I do not know what the space looks like that these lamps would occupy. It depends on the other players in the room.

  23. Oh definitely the Vaughan lamp. It is for the living room after all and not tucked away where you won't see it on a daily basis. Although the shade needs to be higher/changed.

  24. I like the gourd lamps, personally, and think the simple elegant shape will work well as a pair. But you should have what you want.

  25. I like the larger lamp. I really think if you look for the shape of the lamp base in pottery over the next few months…you will find something similar much cheaper. Paint the base….put on some lampshades

  26. Mama always said things either wear out or ugly out. And you job is not to live with ugly.
    For me that means I would pick the second lamp. In ten years will you still love the gourd lamp? It is ordinary and a bit classic. The gal with her hands on her hips is so very lovely. I too would change out the harp to work with the shade pictured. My vote is with the second lamp.

  27. Also, if you love the look of a Christopher Spitzmiller gourd lamp but want a less expensive alternative, I've use a Robert Abbey line that comes very close and with great colors from which to choose. Google to find the best prices on line. Good luck making your decision! M.

  28. My vote is for the Vaughan one. Though I am biased because I worked there for 4 years and LOVE their lamps (they are truly superior), it is a different less ubiquitous shape than the other one. Would love to know what you decide!

    Alicia B.

  29. Get the most expensive ones. Lamps are the jewelry of a room. These are absolutely beautiful. I don't think you would ever regret your decision. They could be used in many other rooms in the future. You can forgo an extra chair, or use a refurbished garage sale chair for a while. These lamps are unique. Ann

  30. The Ballard lamps are lovely, especially considering the cost.

    But, I'm guessing you will never tire of the Vaughn lamps and you and them will happily grow old together.

    Hard to regret those few extra dollars after those years pass. 🙂

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