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We recently caught up with the folks from Flambeau Lighting. Based in New Orleans, Flambeau draws on the vibrant art and attitude of the "Big Easy".
Founder Joe McKearn and original designer Paul Gruer spoke about the unique style and artistry of their brand. Here's what they had to say:
Q: Flambeau captures the spirit of New Orleans, what is it you love about this unique city?
A: Paul Gruer -- What I most love about New Orleans is exactly that -- its uniqueness! New Orleans is known as "The city that care forgot". The unique is celebrated, and we love to celebrate! Few cities enjoy such a rich history, a blend of cultures, and love for the arts like New Orleans.
Where else can you find world class restaurants, jazz clubs, antique shops and a strip club in the same block?!
Q: How did Flambeau Lighting come to be?
A: Joe McKearn -- The story begins in 2001. As a former maritime attorney and President of Dauphine Mirror Company, I was visiting designer Karyl Pierce-Paxton at her studio in New Orleans. While there, I noticed an incredibly cool table lamp sitting on an antique console and asked her where she had found it. She told me her best friend, New Orleans designer Paul Gruer, had designed and sculpted the piece for her.
Karyl arranged for me to meet the artist, and shortly thereafter, I commissioned Paul to design a line of lamps for a brand new company created specifically to showcase his designs. I called it Flambeau Lighting.
Q: Is there a traditional style of lighting, maybe even back to gas lighting, that informs Flambeau design?
A: Paul Gruer -- There is no one style that influences my designs for Flambeau Lighting. It is a conscious and unconscious result of having lived in New Orleans and absorbed so many different influences that have melded together to become a style that's uniquely mine.
The architecture, French, Spanish, Creole; the textures of the city, sophisticated Uptown, bohemian French Quarter; the constant energy -- they all inspire me to express myself exactly as I feel.
Q: We love how Flambeau table lamps juxtapose unusual shapes and colors, and many are antiqued with subtle distressing. Where do these inspirations come from?
A: Paul Gruer -- The finishes and colors of my work come from all around me. The shadows made as the noon sun shines through lace work balconies, sun bleached walls covered with jasmine, the bright neon of Bourbon street, the elegant courtyards with their centuries old secrets -- these are all part of what makes the Flambeau Collection.
Q: What trends in interior lighting and design do you see emerging in the near future?
A: Paul Gruer -- New trends for interior lighting are combining form and function in truly witty and unique ways. A table lamp is no longer just a lamp. It is a fun way to express individual style. It's that prefect piece of jewelry that completes a room. A bad lamp is like bad shoes, it can ruin a perfectly good outfit!!
Q: How will the continued renaissance of New Orleans (punctuated by the Saints Super Bowl victory!) influence Flambeau's future designs?
A: Paul Gruer -- One thing New Orleans does even better than throw a party is bounce back from a challenge. Nothing can keep our spirits down for long. The city becomes more vibrant everyday. For every loss there is a rebirth. The Saints showed the world that New Orleans is here to stay.
Q: What's next for Flambeau Lighting?
A: Paul Gruer -- Flambeau Lighting will still be the same fun, unique collection it has always been. Every room needs a bit of fun and that is Flambeau.
Thank you so much Paul and Joe! Be sure to browse our whole collection of Flambeau Lighting.
Post Update June 6, 2011: Flambeau Lighting has posted a YouTube video highlighting their Spring 2011 line. Click below to view. (Sorry, but this video is no longer available on YouTube.)
We blogged recently about the color CFL bulbs that we have; see The CFL Bulb Gets Color.
We also now carry color CFL floodlights for outdoor patio or porch use.
Customer "bc" wrote to us about them: "I have been looking for these colored outdoor CFL floodlights for quite some time. Home depot and lowes do not carry these . I am glad I was able to find them. I will be ordering more for Christmas 2010. Good price with free shipping."
We've got 'em in the following colors: red eco bulb, yellow CFL flood bulb, blue CFL outdoor flood light, and a green CFL outdoor light bulb.
Collect 'em all and go Green!
If you live near our Laguna Hills store in Orange County, CA, we invite you to attend our Decorating with Accessories "Ask the Expert" workshop at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, February 25th.
Interior design expert Cindy Albert will reveal the secrets to adding sparkle and glamour to your home decor without breaking the bank.
Plus, you can bring your design questions for our expert to answer immediately following the workshop!
You'll learn the basics of how to choose accessories, where to place them, and how to create trend-setting rooms that reflect personal style.
Register online here to reserve a seat. We hope to see you there!
It's kind of thrilling to see how our products look when they're actually in use. We were excited to see this photo of a kitchen task light installation by a family member of one of our very own.
Barry Ward, the LAMPS PLUS Buyer for table lamps and rugs, volunteered this photo his sister took of her new ProTrack 5-Light Monorail Pendant Kit after putting it up.
This stylish kitchen in Asheville, NC belongs to Margaret, who was also kind enough to entertain a few of our questions:
Q:What was the lighting in the kitchen like before? A:Our kitchen's only light source was a large fluorescent ceiling light that was in the center of the room. Anytime I worked at the sink the light was behind me and it was difficult to see anything that I was doing.
Q:What inspired you to choose that product? A:We chose this product because it met all of our requirements. We were looking for a bendable track that had multiple pendants hanging from it, plus it was on sale, which was a bonus!
Q:What difference has the product made in the kitchen space? A:I can't tell you what a difference this addition has made to our kitchen/bar area. It is beautiful, it adds a focal point to the room, plus we can now see! :-)
Looking back a year ago (or so), I found these oldie-but-goodie posts on the Lamps Plus blog that are worth revisiting. Enjoy!
Fanimation Ceiling Fans in Action - View video footage of the stylish Fanimation Fans in motion.
How To Clean A Crystal Chandelier - Read tips for keeping that crystal chandelier shining bright.
Questions With: Haeger Potteries - We spoke with Gene McGahan of Haeger Potteries about his company's beautiful ceramic designs.
CBS Early Show - Cool Ways to Display Your Pix - Our giclee art shade lighting was featured on a CBS Early Show segment that talked about how you can display your photo on a custom-made art shade.
The Besa Lighting company is known for its creative, contemporary designs using beautiful art glass.
Besa wall sconces, pendant lights and accent lighting offer bright and colorful room accents for the modern home.
We came across this video with company rep Jake Neal that lets you view Besa lighting in action.
Post Update 3-13-12: This video is no longer available on YouTube.
Blog lifehacker points to this Slate article about recycling: Wait, Does This Go in the Recycling Bin?
It may seem counter intuitive, but, according to the article, when in doubt you should throw it out. Why? Stuff that isn't recyclable "...either damages equipment or ruins a batch of otherwise valuable material."
That goes against what I normally do, but I can see their point.
Lamps Plus cardboard packing boxes are totally recyclable - they also make neat forts if they are large enough.
Whenever possible, we also use eco-friendly, 100-percent biodegradable starch pellet packing materials that are made to degrade quickly. You can read more about that here: What kind of packing materials does LAMPS PLUS use?
The bulb in my trusty architect's desk lamp finally gave up the ghost.
When I went to change it, the glass broke loose from the metal screw element.
What to do?
Enter the Broken Bulb Remover!
It's quite the handy tool for unscrewing broken light bulbs. Grab one for yourself here: Broken Bulb Remover. And don't forget new light bulbs!
We're very excited to announce that our new custom lighting "Design It" page has just launched. This is a great tool for decorators, designers, or anyone interested in home decorating.
Here's how it works: Pick a lamp or ceiling light base, then browse through dozens of shade patterns.
On many of the shades you can change the colors in the pattern by selecting from a color chart or using a color slider.
Start out with earth tones and end with day-glo greens and purples! You can also add a custom trim color at the end of the process to complete your creation.
It's really fun to play with the colors, change them and be creative.
Get crazy, be expressive, be yourself and see what you come up with! Give it a try and let us know what you think: custom lighting at Lamps Plus.
POST UPDATE: Lamps Plus now also has even more giclee custom lighting options!
Looking for a neat accent light or a fun gift? Try these battery-powered LED Cordless Desk Lights.
They are great for hobby work or using next to a computer. And their compact size means you can pack them away for traveling or take them with you on a road trip.
From now until February 28th you can get three for $15 with free shipping.
Check 'em out: Set of 3 LED Adjustable Neck Cordless Desk Lights.
POST UPDATE 7-1-10: We are no longer selling this desk lamp as a set of 3, but you can but them one at a time. Here's the new product page: LED Adjustable Neck Desk Lamp. Or click this link to view more LED desk lamps.
POST UPDATE 12-3-12: Sorry, but this design is officially sold out! Use the link above to browse our current LED desk lamp collection.