What's in Store

Where to Find It: Made in the Shade

Dawn Bassett wants to cover your light bulbs with something non-toxic, traditionally built, and fabulous

By Laura Cassidy March 16, 2010


Not to rain on your daylight savings time parade, but I’d like to point out that we do lean quite heavily on artificial light around here. Consider lamps, then, the shoes of your home’s outfit.

Lamps and shades.

At Lit Shades on Capitol Hill, Dawn Bassett fashions lamp coverings out of rich papers and designer fabrics using old-world methods and non-toxic adhesives. If you think a light bulb’s dressing gown can’t create much of a style statement, take a pass through the slideshow here, and start noticing the lamps and shades in your world … Saggy, browned, and boring? You’d be surprised how little it costs to give your light sources a makeover.

(And if the lamps and couture shades look familiar, it may be that you’re a Revival Home shopper. Bassett’s work is offered and on display at the eat-your-heart-out-Kelley-Wearstler Cap Hill home store.)

The shop functions as a boutique, (Grace Gow earrings, gorgeous letterpress stationery from Bremelo Press) a showroom and meeting space for her clients, and a studio/workroom, and if you aren’t charmed by the chic proprietress rewiring vintage lamp bases and reworking antique wire frames in her Madmen-esque heels-n-skirts while her pet papillon pup scampers around, you probably can’t be charmed.

Bassett reports that a new shipment of old bases is arriving this week; though she does specialize and concentrate on shades, she scores vintage and estate lamps from time to time and is then able to sell you the whole kit-and-kaboodle. If you’ve got a dark corner or a dreary room, you owe yourself a trip to her sweet, stylish, and inspiring space.


Want more illumination? Read What a Turn On and find out where else you can shop for period and designer lighting options.

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