Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ikea bit me

I went to Ikea today because I randomly happened upon an announcement that Ikea was rolling out a new lamp design, while I was searching the web for something else.  It's the Ranarp:

It costs $39.99.  Definitely ticks some boxes where my design preferences are concerned - I like black or white enameled metal fixtures (as opposed to the endless array of fake metallics.  Steel painted to look like "brushed nickel."  Aluminum painted to look like "oil-rubbed bronze."  Zinc painted to look like "antique copper."  Good grief).  And I like that the accents are brass-toned (although, of course, that is a fake metallic, isn't it?).  And I like the vaguely industrial shape.  It also comes in a clamp version, for $19.99:

That's even more interesting, because of course it's a great price, and because it might solve a design/functionality problem.  When I originally put together the side of the kitchen with the window and the radiator, I wanted to put a sconce on the side of the tea cabinet, mirroring the sconce on the side of the over-stove cabinet.  But I couldn't get the @$%# wires to run through the wall.  (It's an exterior wall and I have no idea what's in there.  But getting a hole in it was crazy hard, and I finally gave up.)  So I let the matter be, but really, I would like to have a light over there.  Ideally, it would be on the wall between the work table (in front of the window) and the tiny ledge of counter under the tea cabinet, so that I could swing it around and shine it on either.  But the strip of wall between is not just narrow - it also has a radiator pipe running up the middle of it.  This pipe:

Which is about the only thing in that picture that still looks like that (I count six major changes I made since then in that area alone), but yeah, that's where the pipe is.  So then I got the bright idea that someone, somewhere, must make a light that slides along a pipe, and plugs into an outlet.  For...people who work near a lot of pipes...and need good illumination?  Yeah, those people.  And one of those (no doubt numerous) options would of course have a look that would appeal to me and match the kitchen.  Enter Ikea, I guess.

For the record, the Ranarp clip lamp is an ordinary clip lamp - in that the back end of it has two black rubber-coated pieces that will clamp onto a bed frame or a shelf (or a pipe?  They held onto my hand pretty well) by spring action.  For whatever reason, Ikea is marketing the clip lamp with that feature and also a piece of hardware that the clamp can attach to, which hardware is screwed into the wall.  While there's a plus here in versatility (it's a clip lamp!  It's a sconce!), I'm guessing that each buyer is going to need only one or the other.  And interlocking the two sets of (different-colored) hardware is an aesthetic mess.  For an item with such obvious attention to detail (the visible cord has a pretty woven cover, for example), this seems like a serious oversight to me.  They should just have made it a sconce, I think.

Anyway, it doesn't sell online and it had just been rolled out, so I went to my local Ikea to see it.  The internet said there was one still in stock when I headed out, but I hadn't been to Ikea in months and months and I figured there were other things to see.  A few hours later, I remembered why I hadn't been in so long.

I only bought $20 worth of things (thank God), but I still feel slightly disoriented, many hours later.  (And I note that I never walk through the showroom.  That's a recipe for waking up in the mental ward days later, asking, "Who am I?  What year is it?")  The two things I bought were not things I would even have conceived of looking for when I started out.  (Well, one is actually a sconce.  But it's for my bedroom.  I didn't realize I needed a sconce for my bedroom.  Though concededly I have been thinking about finishing that room for a while, and the sconce could help.)  I didn't buy any of the things I was considering buying, and narrowly avoided buying a $1.99 corkscrew that probably would immediately have broken (and we already have a corkscrew and we don't drink).  Also, the Ranarp clip version was sold out when I got there, but I did get to examine the floor model (I immediately started taking it apart to see whether I was right about its clamp/sconce functionality.  Fortunately, no one caught me at it.  I was right, by the way.  Score another one for craigslist shopping: excellent squinting-at-online-pictures detective skills).

Anyway, I didn't find a clip light for my kitchen.  But no matter, I thought: I just hadn't been looking for the right thing.  I would just hop on Amazon.  But Amazon bit me, too:

100% functional (it's even depicted attached to a bit of marble countertop).  100% wrong for my kitchen.

Maybe craigslist will help?

It's copper, and it costs 1/3 of $25.  That's good. But it needs a socket.  And maybe I could also build it a housing to clip onto the pipe?  Maybe they sell some copper fittings in the plumbing department that would work.  And something to cover the wires, too.

Maybe I should sleep on it.

Frankly, I rarely buy anything on craigslist that weighs less than I do.  I'm out of my depth.  Help me out - what kind of light should I get?

1 comment:

  1. Can you somehow hold out for the Ikea one? Will they ship one to the store nearest you? I love the Ikea clip one.