How to Decorate With Antique Lamps

There is nothing that adds more elegance and automatic ambience to a room’s décor than an antique lamp. They are fantastic objects to have in a dining room or living room because they not only make a personal statement about you but because they are great conversation pieces. There is nothing like a 1930s big chandelier with large drops of ice hanging from it to help break the ice with your dinner companions.

One of the most interesting antique lamp fads that is around lately is the passion for chandeliers made out of deer antlers. These date back as far as the 1890s and straight through to today. They were standard lamp fixtures in medieval times in Europe (as they do have a bit of a pagan flair to them) but they are also considered to be part of American and Canadian furniture kitsch.

However keep in mind that when you buy one of these deer chandeliers that it is not always that politically correct. Some unscrupulous dealers are selling this type of thing on eBay as being made out of found antlers when what they have done is take the antlers off of live deer. This is a big ecological no-no. You are safest to look in antique shops and for chandeliers that look like they have been found on the ground. These antlers will not have sawed off ends. If they do have sawed off ends you might start the wrong type of conversation at your dinner party especially if you have invited any conservationists.

Yet another very popular type of kitsch antique lamp that is being manufactured right now is the “Sexy Leg Lamp.” This is the lamp that was featured in the movie “The Christmas Story.” It consists of a plastic molded ladies leg wearing a black high heel and it is topped with a shade that looks like a burlesque dancer’s skirt. If you have one of these in your home, your guests are sure to point out that “you have the same lamp that Ralphie’s Dad does.”

A kind of lamp that is getting harder and harder to find but used to be a common sight on top of television sets all over the world is the classic ceramic black panther that is topped with a shade made from paper pressed with glitter.

Perhaps the most popular of the antique lamps are the lava lamps. It is getting harder and harder nowadays to find a real lava lamp from the fifties or sixties. The knock offs that can be had for twenty dollars and be bought in a hardware store are simply not as nice as the ones you find on eBay or in antique shops. This is because the newer replicas tend to be a lot smaller then the original lava lamps that were sometimes tall enough to reach your knee. They also often contain glitter instead of the “lava” and their design is not as nice. If you manage to find a real lava lamp from the fifties then the design from the Atomic Age is certain to become a conversation starter.

How to Decorate With Christmas Poinsettas

When it comes to home holiday decorations, the poinsettia is a familiar mainstay on mantelpieces and dinner tables. However the tradition of using this plant as part of home holiday decorations originated in Mexico, not in North America.

In Mexico, the poinsettia is are called by many names: “flor de fuego” (fire flower), “flor de Navidad” (Christmas Flower), and “flor de la Nochebuena” (Flower of the Holy Night). North American culture has since adopted this flower, which comes with red, white or pink leaves, as part of traditional home holiday decorations. In Europe the tradition of using poinsettias as part of Christmas décor is a Spanish influence; a hangover from when Spanish conquistadors brought the gorgeous plant over from Mexico for royalty to admire. Exactly how it became associated with Christmas is not exactly known but the flower is a familiar site in every way around Christmas time. In fact, a gift of a Poinsetta is a sought after gift.

Most people just use the plant itself as a decorating accent and place it on the mantel, a dining room table or on a plant stand of its own that gives it some majesty and prominence in the room. No matter where you put them nothing says Christmas quite as vividly as a poinsettia. You can also take poinsettia flowers and make them into a beautiful wreath for your front door. However it is better to make this out of silk or plastic poinsettia foliage as one made from real leaves might be expensive.

The poinsettia makes a great decorating accent, particularly if you are planning a color scheme that is all white or all red as part of your xmas décor. However if you have pets or children in the house you may want to avoid using poinsettias as part of your home holiday decorations because it is a very poisonous plant. In this case you can easily buy life-like plastic versions of this special Christmas flower at craft and retail chain stores. Another benefit to using the plastic or silk versions of poinsettias is that you can keep them dust free and clean. Poinsettias can also be fussy flowers. You need to take care of it if you want it to live long.

If you don’t like the idea of keeping the actual plant around there are is no shortage of linens, ribbons and other décor that have a screen-print of a poinsettia on them. You can also get ceramic and glass decorations in the shape of a poinsettia.