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A Lotte Better: Vintage Blue Lotte Lamps Add Character to a Living Room

My Instagram photos got a lot more touristy last week because my friend Erica was visiting from Massachusetts.  We went to the Amethyst Mine, Fort William Historical Park, the Grand Marais art fair (plus this sweet flea market), in addition to hitting up the local boutiques and antique stores.  We even found a surprise roadside estate sale where I scooped up a new-to-me Pyrex pattern and Erica found beautiful brass flatware.  Erica works for two interior designers so near the end of her visit I decided to mine her eye for design and get her opinion on a small living room tweak.

Even though some readers didn’t love it, I really liked the chrome lamp in the living room but after the turquoise kitchen makeover was completed, I started to feel like that part of the living room looked bland in comparison.  With such a bold kitchen, I don’t want the adjacent living and dining areas to compete but they also need to hold their own.  I decided I wanted a lamp with some colour but given that the plans for the living room are up in the air, I didn’t want to spend any money (the original lamp had been free too).  My Mom had de-commisioned two vintage blue Lotte lamps and I decided to try one.  I’d been reluctant to haul it over because I was convinced the blue was wrong, but Erica and I agreed: much better!!

As a reminder, this was the lamp there before:

The Marimekko sofa pillows don’t have the same blue in them, but the paintings in both the living room and dining room have that exact shade – as do the antique Lake Superior post cards on either side of the fireplace, so when you look at the entire space the blue lamp makes sense.

Even though I’m a turquoise-enthusiast, I’m crave a variety of watery hues.  Inch by inch, I’m getting closer to what I envisioned for the space.  Maybe if I go ahead and re-upholster that mid-century sectional I’ll
add some more Marimekko throw pillows with some blue and aqua mixed
together to tie in the blue even more definitively.  Or maybe at that point I’ll be obliged to return the lamp… I know it sounds like I’ve begged, borrowed and stolen a lot from my Mom this week but if the trading seems lopsided, ask yourself, “where are the two small yellow Lotte lamps Tanya had in her living room, and where is that gorgeous big one she had in the guest room?”

On a side note, we scooped up a petite little brown Lotte lamp thrifting the other day.  I bought it for the shop, but my Mom has hidden it.  Why do we love Lotte lamps so much?  They evoke such a classic, mid-century feel.  Even more special than that, Lotte lamps were originally produced in Canada!  The company was sold in 1997 and current production is based in Ohio – which is still pretty cool because I’m all about keeping jobs in North America (woo-hoo, jobs!).  Find out more about the history here and click here for sources.



  1. stephanie, sandpaper & glue
    July 25, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    I think the new lamp goes with the room much better as well– the whole space is looking really artsy and great 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 25, 2014 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks! I like "artsy," that's hugely flattering to me.

  2. brikhouse2
    July 25, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    I was one of those that wasn't a fan of the lamp…..thought it was too modern or science fictiony (is that a word? Oh well, it is now) for the room. I love this new lamp, fits the space much better. It brings color to that corner. "I like it, I like it a lot"

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 25, 2014 / 5:39 pm

      Science fictiony is totally a word!! Happy you heart this lamp in the space – it's definitely much better suited to my other vintage pieces.

  3. Staci
    July 25, 2014 / 3:30 pm

    I love the new lamp in your room. Now what's happening to the chrome one? Sell to a fellow blogger? 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 25, 2014 / 5:40 pm

      Haha, the shipping would be a nightmare – it's SO damn heavy and when it was delivered, UPS trashed the box. It's amazing the lamp arrived in one piece. But if you're ever through this way, we can definitely work something out. I accept turquoise Pyrex as currency, lol.

  4. lugalia
    July 25, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    Very humble humble opinion. Perhaps the pillows belongs somewhere else in the house. They are lovely, perhaps its the shade of green or the pattern on them, but they distract from the shdes of blue cohesion that you seem to be aiming for. The right patterned/shade pillows could add to the space in a way that meets your desires!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 25, 2014 / 5:47 pm

      Opinions are ALWAYS welcome – they help me see the space in a new light, through someone else's eyes. For now I love the pillows because they had a graphic pop and they tie in the green in the dining room painting and from other rooms so the whole house feels more cohesive. The bedroom, for example, has a heavy dose of greens and very little aqua. I like to look at my house as a whole, instead of room by room, because I'm obsessed with flow. The pillows were chosen for a "bridge" pieces. I also like that they make the black chair (and black accents from other rooms), as well as the fireplace (which is MUCH darker in real like) tie in also. But these are just my own hang ups. I should note, they photograph much more starkly – the pattern is softer is real life and the turquoise more dominant. The velvet chair is also much richer. Photographing things true to life is so difficult for me, but I'm working on it…When I switch out the sofa and move the black chair elsewhere, new pillows might just be on the agenda! Maybe something with a more watery pattern or perhaps a mix of prints. If you ever see a fabric you think I'd love, feel free to tag me on Instagram or tweet me. I love suggestions!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 27, 2014 / 5:34 pm

      You know me so well 🙂 LOVED the turquoise cabinet in the photo. Thanks so much for thinking of me and sending some eye candy my way!

  5. Dora C
    July 29, 2014 / 10:43 pm

    Your living room looks so amazing! I love what you've done with the lake house, Tanya 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 30, 2014 / 6:17 pm

      Thanks Dora!! I'm getting there but there are still so many things I want to do with the space. It's fun to share the process from the beginning. The townhouse looked so different from our first day there to our last, but I only started blogging halfway through.

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