I love lights, lights are my thing. It's nothing new, as a child I had those glow in the dark planets on my ceiling, at University parties, whilst my house-mates were busy making the punch I was going from room to room setting the 'lighting concept.' As I got older the planets progressed to lanterns, the ammateur lighting concepts became a professional consideration in my career in events. I truly believe it has the power to set and change a mood. A restaurant can have the finest food in the land but if the their overall hue is a shade too bright, I am interested not. Light a candle, hang a sting of fairy lights, pop a lamp in the corner and for heaven's sakes 'turn the big light off.
It's no surprise that when it came to project squat, the lighting was going to be a big deal. I have scrimped and saved on pretty much every element along the way, but when it came to the lights, I am afraid I just couldn't compromise. I have a fantastic Industrial Czech factory light over the kitchen table, Tom Dixon's in the living room, hector pendants in the hallway and a vintage metal chandelier in the bedroom.
So, it was, when innocently browsing through Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/) I was immediately struck by a truly stunning, bespoke range of lights, vintage inspired, not like anything I had come across and exactly what I had imagined as a feature light for above the stair case. Brilliant!! Ah, one small problem the designer lives in Texas. Hmmmm, well maybe she sells somewhere in the UK..?? Nope. I should have given up there, but oh no, I loved those lights, I wanted those lights, I was going to get me those lights.
So started the most long winded and nerve wracking lighting purchase of my life. We agree the style of light I, I choose my cable colour, bulb tight, metal for the fixtures. We agree a price, a shipment date, I opt for express delivery to be with me before the builders leave in 2 weeks. My fears are raised when the only payment option is over Skype, to the designers teenage daughter! As I hang up the phone I realise, i have just spen hundreds of pounds and there is literally no record of the transaction. Gullable, moi?
The 2 weeks come and go, no lights. I follow up with the seller... she apologises and says she will look into it..a week later still no light, I contact again... no response, a day passes, 2 days, a week. By now the builders have been and gone and I am left with the brutal realisation that I am a fool.
After a month, when all hope is gone, she suddenly returns, with sincere apologies, an explanation of problems in customs and the promise to dispatch a new light immediately. Oh happy day, my faith in human nature returns and my light is on its way. 2 weeks later, nothing. So when all hope is gone, I give up and depart from foreign shores. Of course, the week we arrive in Sri Lanka, the light arrives in England, Heathrow airport to be exact. Stuck in customs and the only way to set it free, a hefty charge! Hell I've paid this much, waited this long, of course I am going to pay up.
A couple of months later, would you adam and eve it, the light is in it's rightful home.. .A satisyingly warm glow which I see first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Was it worth the effort? You know what, I think it was.