Now this is just purely dumb luck that I happened to find this guy at my local Goodwill. I wasn't even looking for a lamp. But let this be a testament to thrifted finds. Never underestimate the power of your local thrift store.
This was my living room before. We had a sad floor lamp in the corner. It's served us well, and it's a somewhat nicer version of the cheapy floor lamps that can be found at any Target or Wal-Mart (I think this particular one came from Wal-Mart). I have no beef with it, but I didn't love it. However it did what a lamp is supposed to do it, so it stayed.
And then I found this guy.
Not the best picture, but the lamp is dark and it was getting dark, and when you're in lamp transition in your living room, lighting isn't the best. I knew I loved him in all of his oil-rubbed bronze glory. He has an industrial appeal to him that melts my heart AND he has a dimmer switch. The best part, he was 25% off which meant that I paid less then $12 for this handsome beast.
He didn't come with a lamp shade, but I had other plans. I liked the look of him without a shade (why cover up that gorgeous metal?!), but wanted to tart him up a bit beyond just a standard, ordinary lightbulb. So I snagged a vintage style Edison bulb.
The lightbulb detail (did I really just say that...) complements the industrial appeal of the lamp, and makes the exposed bulb look intentional. We left the harp on because it mirrored the shape of the bulb, which reinforced the intention of the exposed bulb. It's bright, it's warm, and it has way more character than our old floor lamp.
The lesson in all of this - when trying out new lighting in a room, create a unique look by exploring exposed lighbulbs. And when you find a lamp from Restoration Hardware at the Goodwill, buy it whether you need it or not.
Total cost for this guy (including the fancy-pants bulb) was under $20, which is less than what we paid for our Wal-Mart lamp!