The Fashion Magpie Table Lamp 4

Shed a Little Light on the Situation.

On my birthday, Mr. Magpie presented me with a series of thoughtful gifts, and the last one was a large square box.  I tore into the wrapping paper and it was —– a $20 Target desk lamp.


“Oh,” I said, scrambling to find something praiseworthy about it.  I looked up at him, and he burst into laughter.

“It’s a placeholder.  I want you to pick one out from ABC Home downtown, a special New York lamp,” he explained.  He paused.  “I thought it was time for my writer to have a little more light.”


It was an incredibly generous and thoughtful gift, but what slew me the most was imagining him observing me in my little dim nook, pecking away at the keyboard in the shadowy light that filters through from the back window of our living area, which is, incidentally, where I am perched now, my visibility at about 50% if I am honest.  And his engineer-like mind thought: “She needs some light.” (It is, after all, one of my resolutions for my thirty-fourth year of life to write a draft of a book I have been kicking around in my mind for the last decade, so I have been spending a lot of time at this little desk.)  And then he carried that idea with him around for — a week?  a few months? — before searching for a specialty home decor shop in the heart of this new city of ours from which I could pick something special.  I would later find out he’d already been to the ABC Home store in search of something, but had decided it would be better to bring me along.

The love story continues.

My Top Picks for a Table Lamp.

I’m heavy on the hunt, but I turned first for inspiration to the insanely talented interior decorator Amy Berry, whose work is shown in the photo at top and below.  I dream of having her decorate my forever home.  Until then, we’ll focus on an Amy Berry-inspired desk lamp.  She has such a good eye for proportions and textures and shapes.  (In the photo at top, she’s using a Robert Abbey Double Gourd lamp — I have these in gray on our nightstands.  Such a chic pick.)

The Fashion Magpie Table Lamp 2

The Fashion Magpie Table Lamp 3

+As it turns out ABC Home, did not have a ton of ideal lighting options — a lot of them have exposed bulbs that would be cloying, I fear, if I am sitting and writing and staring them in the face.   This one looks really cool when illuminated, though.

+This “artichoke” lamp is MAJOR — a work of art! — and would add such a statement to my desk without shocking the world with color.  It’s probably too big for my desktop, but I’m smitten.

+I like the airiness of this glass lamp — it won’t clutter the space.

+This alabaster lamp is probably the ideal proportion for my desk — tall and narrow, with a small footprint, so it will lend my desk space a ton of light and add some height to the overall setup without taking up too much real estate.

+Similar to the style above — this narrow column lamp is understated and classy.

+I love Jonathan Adler, and this head lamp is bananas.  I wish the shade were a different color, though — that taupe isn’t what I’m going for.  But maybe…and this style is super fun, and I kind of love it in that bold lavender; it would match the purple ikat pillow in my writing chair.

+I’ve always loved the architectural quality of Kelly Wearstler’s lamps — they’re like pieces of art!  This or this would be stunning.

Finally, a couple of other household items I’m drooling over right now:

+A tufted ottoman in a fun pattern as an upgrade for the upholstered x-bench we’re currently using as a placeholder for a coffee table.  We were on the hunt awhile ago and then it peetered out after we finally bought our media console, new dining table, and bookshelves — we lost energy.

+These nesting baskets as an upgrade for mini’s toy and laundry storage in her petite bedroom — I love that these stack, keeping a smattering of baskets to a minimum.

+A non-offensive room spray.  I hate cloying scents and this is supposed to be magic.

+Just ordered a set of these to organize the clutter in my bedside table drawer.

+These scalloped pique shams are to die.  They do the best monograms there!!

+A linen pinboard for all of my blogging ideas!!

+Underbed baskets!  Actually thinking of these for under mini’s crib.  Extra storage!

P.S.  The best products for home.

P.P.S.  If only I had a lawn to decorate.

P.P.P.S.  My sister is a badass.


    1. Gorgeous!!! I love! Thank you! I’ll need to figure out the max dimensions that will work for my desk STAT. xo

  1. What a sweet and thoughtful gift! I was going to suggest looking at Design Within Reach — my two favorite lamps are from there — but I feel as though their selection might be too modern/sleek for your taste. But I really love their lighting, and it’s high quality and authentic in terms of designs. I particularly love the Michael Anastassiades designs for FLOS and the Anglepoise task lamps … and I own the Pixo lamp, which is elegant and functional.

    1. Ooh, those are super cool — Mr. Magpie would love all of those. I’m a little more traditional, but he’s always pushing to be a bit more eclectic. Thank you for these!

  2. I can fully relate! I was gifted a backlit magnifying mirror for my dressing table after he observed me craning my neck to get as close to the mirror as possible to apply mascara. It’s the little things that are most moving.

    1. OMG – so sweet. You are right: it’s the little things, the personal and private inspirations for gifts, that move me the most. xo

  3. Hey! Interior designer here w/ a few more lamp suggestions for you to look into. If you’d really like a piece with a NYC connection, I’d look into Christopher Spitzmiller’s line with Visual Comfort (available to the public via their sister line Circa Lighting and sometimes on OKL). Christopher Spitzmiller is a crazy talented ceramicist whose lamps are considered the ultimate in the design world. Obama had a pair in the Oval Office. His line with VC is a much more affordable way to get your hands on one of his iconic pieces. Next, Bunny Williams Home has some stunners – Bunny is one of the grand dames of NYC decorating. Lastly, for feminine pieces that take up less real estate on your desk – check out Aerin Lauder’s line for Visual Comfort. The Bristol, Olson and Dover come to mind for you – or for something adjustable, the Charlton. Happy hunting! xx

    1. WOW – these are amazing picks! I hadn’t heard of Spitzmiller before but now I’m highly intrigued…thank you so much for taking the time to write in! xo

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