When my family and I visited London a few months ago, we rented a flat in Notting Hill, a half-block from the legendary Portobello Road Market and right around the corner from a wonderful shop called Graham & Green.
Every day, either on our way out to explore the city or as we made our weary way home, I'd peer in the window and admire the absolute loveliness of these lights. Crafted from hundreds of fragile, iridescent capiz shells, the lights take the form of delicate lotus flowers and are truly breathtaking when lit. (They're even more dramatic in lustrous black.)
I wanted so badly to cart one back to California with me, but the trip alone basically cleared out our bank account. Plus, the whole two-dollars-to-the-pound thing pretty much put the kibosh on any major shopping sprees.
And these beauties do not come cheap: The lamps run 111 to 375 pounds sterling (about $222 to $750), and the chandeliers are 275 to 395 pounds (about $550 to $790), depending on size.
Still, I dream about these lights. If anyone knows of a more affordable stateside source, please let me know!
(Update: I just received an email from Graham & Greene noting that the capiz shell lights are deeply discounted -- but only until Sunday, June 3. The lamps start at 92.50 pounds -- $185 -- and the chandeliers are on sale for 192.50 to 276.50 pounds -- or $385 to $553.)