Shedding light on the subject

My sister’s house is a vintage Chicago bungalow. It’s so vintage there aren’t any kitchen cupboards (but the pantry has lots of shelves). Chicago bungalows tend to be long and narrow, and hers is no exception. The central hall was always dark, since the only light fixture was by the foyer. A few years ago she found a really fun way to light up the hall while retaining its vintage charm.


This isn’t even the entire hall. (Excuse the ladder and stack of drawers in the hall – we were painting her bathroom!)

She had an electrician install track lighting – since the tracks themselves are modern she worried they might look out of place, but you barely notice them – and a dimmer. Instead of hanging new lights, she put up simple fixtures with vintage glass shades. On the dimmest setting, they make a great nightlight, too.

I love vintage lighting, and helped her find a few of these shades at flea markets and antique malls. You can’t really tell in this photo, but the shades are different shapes and have different designs (hoping to get a close up or two of the lights to add to the post). I love the result so much that I would have copied it if a scuttle hole weren’t blocking the middle of my hallway ceiling.

Don’t you love the way old painted glass shades like these glow?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in bungalows, Chicago Bungalow, Creativity, older homes, Uncategorized, vintage lighting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Lovely! There is a romantic and vintage aura that whispers “peace”. More pictures, please. Well, done.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Very well put, Charlyne. There’s a warmth to the old shades, too, that newer replicas can’t match.

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