Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cool Stuff: Vintage Lighting Love

When it comes to lighting, I love me some vintage. (In fact, almost every hardwired fixture in our home dates from the 1930s, each of them painstaking collected by me on eBay over several years.)

Unlike a lot of vintage lighting collectors, though, I don’t turn up my nose at reproductions as long as they’re well-made and clearly created out of a genuine love for the originals. And when it comes to repro period lighting, you can’t beat Rejuvenation.

The Portland, Oregon company was founded in 1977 as a one-man architectural salvage shop. Today, it’s the largest repro lighting manufacturer in the country -- but it’s obvious that the folks at Rejuvenation are still motivated more by a passion for vintage lighting than anything else.

I love it when a new Rejuvenation catalog clinks into the mailbox, its pages filled with gorgeous photos and peppered with friendly profiles of Rejuvenation’s craftspeople and stories of how homeowners have used the company’s products to help bring neglected old homes back to life. Plus, the catalogs come out infrequently enough (just once a year) that a new one feels like an event, rather than yet another pulverized tree that’ll quickly be chucked into the recycling bin. (If you’re interested, you can request a catalog here.)

The Rejuvenation website is a treat as well. It seems to be set up as much to educate visitors about vintage homes and period style as it is to move product. If you live in a pre-1960 dwelling and aren’t sure exactly what style it is, then visit the “Old House Style Guide” for pointers on identifying the hallmark features of Arts and Crafts bungalows, Greek Revival farmhouses, and midcentury modern abodes, among others. And the Lighting Wizard will help you zero in on the perfect fixture for the era of your home and the room and function it’s intended for.

In keeping with its old-house aesthetic, Rejuvenation also sells everything from clawfoot bathtubs to heat registers to vintage-style (and really hard-to-find) filament bulbs, which add the perfect finishing touch to the company’s period fixtures.

And, staying true to its salvage roots, Rejuvenation still sells a collection of gorgeous and fully restored vintage lighting and hardware. (Browsing through the current offerings, I was thrilled to spot the exact speakeasy set, left, that we have on the front door of our 1930s home.)

But back to lighting. Rejuvenation has more lights than I could possibly cover in one post, so I’ll concentrate on Modern America, the newest addition to Rejuvenation’s period collections. (Though I’m also a sucker for the Old English fixtures.)

Focusing on 1925 to 1960, Modern America spans Art Deco to Atomic Age lighting, including examples of Streamline Moderne, Machine Age, and International Style fixtures. The lights from the first half of this period are lushly decorative in a way that evokes the glamour of old Hollywood -- while those from the later half have a streamlined simplicity and aerodynamic angularity that defined early modernism.

Some of my favorites:

Selma With Shade, $83

Adrian With Shade, $85

Mathison With Shade, $93

Echo With Shade, $103

Dora, $171

Hewitt With Shades, $440

Manning, $179

Skyport, $356

Enterprise, $165

Otis With Shade, $144

Aloha, $205

Cove, $127

To see all of Rejuvenation’s offerings, click here.


Cardboard said...

LOVE (in a way I've never loved a sconce before) the Otis!

katiedid said...

I am ordering fom Rejuvination for my own 1911 house! Great resource!

LH said...

Hi Leah,

My name is Laurie and I work at Rejuvenation. I spend a lot of time on catalogue production, so its nice to see that folks enjoy it as well as find it useful.

Thanks for the nice comments.

Nice blog, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Kevin Bunker from the Antique Lighting Dept at Rejuvenation - thanks much for the great plugs on our products and services!

You and your fellow bloggers into light bulbs might enjoy another Portland business, Sunlan Lighting run by "Kay Newell, the Light Bulb Lady." www.sunlanlighting.com

Kay makes it her business to know all things light bulb related, and she's big on full-spectrum bulbs, things some of us here in the Pacific Northwest come to much appreciate in the long wintery months.


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