Friday, December 16, 2011

A Hidden Gem in Old World New Orleans

This afternoon, while running some errands around town, I stopped by my favorite lighting shop in New Orleans where I take all my chandeliers, girandoles, and lamps to be wired, re-wired and/or repaired. It is one of those old time cozy New Orleans' shops that ring with the clicking of crystals as the warm, humid breeze blows in through the 10 ft. french doors as they open with clients coming in and out. It is one of those quintessential small specialty shops that hopefully will never be replaced by the larger conglomerates like Lowes' or Home Depot.

Life long partners, David and Barry, are wonderful at what they do, which is to painstakingly restore or convert otherwise antique and vintage pieces into modern, usable works of art. They are as much part of what Shades of Light is as the fixtures they repair and display in their shop.

But unless you are looking for Shades of Light (1123 Josephine Stree, New Orleans, LA 70130), you wouldn't know about it. Somewhat a hidden gem in the Garden District of New Orleans, their shop is almost a local well kept secret. And Barry and David like it that way! You will not find them on the internet or doing business online. And although Barry is computer savvy and you will find him infront of his computer behind the desk on a typical day, David is back in the workshop surrounded by chandeliers of all sizes, shapes and styles. I love losing myself under the lights.

And so as I was saying when I started this post, I stopped by this afternoon to take this beautiful original girandole to be rewired before it shipped off to its new home in Ontario, Canada.

While I was waiting for David to check the wiring, I did my usual walk around the shop with my head looking up at the beautiful creations/restorations. These are but a few of them.

This one was stunning but I was up against the wall, in a corner, on a stool, and could only snap a part of it.

I adore this one.  Still needs to be electrified.  Check out the original candle holders!

Of course, you can't truly appreciate the impressiveness of this 4 ft. long chandelier with its enormous prisms when you only have a cell phone with which to take photos!

I loved this gilded 1930s palm leaf chandelier!  Both lit and unlit, it was so unique.  So art deco!  Absolutely perfect for a powder room.

The crystals almost look like raindrops dripping off the leaves.

A more traditional chandelier.

Let there be light!

And I've always had my eyes on these gigantic 1930's Empire sconces.  Again, these photos leave much to be desired.  Each of these sconces measure 54" in length and 36" in width.  There are 2 lights on each of the arms and then 8 smaller lights inside the sconce.  Formerly, these sisters flanked the entrance of an established New Orleans' hotel.

Behind these crystals and against the backplate of the sconces (which act as a reflecting mirror to the light), there are the french fleur de lis.

Here is the view inside the crystals.

Although many lights were burnt out at the time, you can imagine the glory of this pair of sconces when they are lit.

And that was my brief afternoon delight before picking up Liam and Roma from school (their last day before the christmas break).  It was a nice, quiet moment among the crystals and the old world charm that I so love about my New Orleans.

For these and other treasures, visit my online store on 1stdibs.


  1. Karina what a beautiful post evocative of the charms of New Orleans.. I'll go next visit!

    Have a wonderful, lovely Christmas with your family!

    lots of love


  2. Sheer beauty in light! Lovely images as well!! The piece that sold was always one of my favorites!!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Karina.


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