The more I travel, the busier my life gets, the more I downsize, the more I like a neutral interior in my home. I keep fabrics light and natural and I feel the same way about most accessories.
For years I've collected alabaster lamps. I love the natural look and feel of the stone and I especially love the way they fit in my house, providing light and interest without competing with the art on the walls.
In a recent Treasure Hunt column in Spokane Cd'A Woman magazine I wrote about a weekend trip to Bellevue, WA. I spent an afternoon browsing at Haystack Antiques and came home with a “new” old lamp.
Here's a reprint of the column:
SCWoman: July/August 2012
Treasure Hunting is all about vintage finds and I do have one to share. But it came at the end of a day of shopping.
My husband and daughter and I drove over to Bellevue, Washington for a getaway. After checking into the Bellevue Hotel ( a club hotel which offers reciprocal rates with the Spokane Club, by the way) we split up after breakfast the next morning. They went their way and I went shopping. I’m usually rushed, dashing in and out of stores in between errands or appointments, but this time I had the day to myself.
One benefit of staying at the Bellevue Hotel is the complimentary town car service. I was dropped off at The Bravern (with instructions to call when I was ready to return to the hotel.) I strolled through high-end luxury stores like Neiman Marcus and Chanel for inspiration and shopped Anthropologie for gifts for my daughters. I picked up cupcakes at Trophy Cakes and stopped for dim sum at Wild Ginger (Can we start a petition to have them open a restaurant in Spokane? Please?)
After walking through the current exhibits at the Bellevue Arts Museum, I looked for stocking-stuffers and birthday gifts at the museum store and then walked across the street to the Bellevue Collection (formerly Bellevue Square.) Armed with a gift certificate, I headed straight to Tiffany for perfume. It’s the only fragrance I’ve worn since I was in my 20s and was first introduced to it at the New York store. A bottle will last a long time and when I need more I usually hint and hint and hint some more for my birthday. This time I gifted myself.
By early afternoon I had a collection of shopping bags, plus a box of cupcakes, and I’d spent more time in upscale shops than I have in years. But I had one more stop within walking distance: Haystack Antiques. If I’m going to spend an entire day hunting and gathering, I want to do what I like best: stroll through a place filled with antiques. Haystack carries everything from fine antiques to shabby chic re-dos. I walked through the shop, still enjoying the luxury of taking my time and I hadn’t been there long when I spotted my find: a petite Alabaster lamp.
I’ve collected marble and alabaster lamps for years. No matter where I live or what colors I’m using in my house, the clean white lamps always look good. I have them on occasional tables in the living room, beside my bed, in the guest room. I have one on my writing desk.
The price was right so I bought it. The thing is, alabaster lamps are not lightweight things and by that time I was tired. That’s when I remembered the offer of the town car ride back to the hotel. I made the call and felt like a celebrity when the car rolled up and I hopped inside.
Later we all met up at Koral, a new restaurant located in the downtown Hyatt and my son and nephew joined us. A fine day was made even better by good food, good wine and good company.
The quick trip to Bellevue was a real treat. I don’t know when I’ll get the luxury of spending that much time on myself again. And whenever I look at the lamp on the vintage wrought-iron table in my living room, a table that used to sit in my grandmother’s garden, I’ll remember the fun.