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Cutting Edge Lighting, Affordable Prices

I’ve been wanting to blog about Toronto’s Lampcage Studio for years. Literally. A few years ago there was an outside contributor who pitched me on writing about Dean Lee’s awesome, upcycling studio but the writer never followed through and I never got back to Parliament Street to do it myself. Until last weekend.

Dean has been scavenging and buying lighting parts for nearly 20 years now, cobbling together sexy, Frankenstein creations that fit into just about every stylistic category from cutting edge to transitional to outright traditional. A few pieces, like the wagon wheel-style suspension light below ($1,100) have a foot in two camps, this one feels sort of medieval modern. The star shaped piece above is priced at $545 and the spidery one at the top of the page is $795.

Lee’s contemporary creations are very much of the moment; he’s tapping straight into the design Zeitgeist with pieces like the suspension light below, priced at $995. And if you don’t think that’s a great price for a handsome, handmade fixture like this then you haven’t been shopping for lighting in awhile.

And while I recognize that Lee is surfing the trends with many of these pieces, they’re not my favorite things in his store . . .

I was especially captivated by the pole-mounted ceiling light, above ($295), with its rough, tarnished exterior and its burnished, warm interior glow. The pin-prick holes are like a thousand stars in a night sky. I was also taken with the desk lamp, below ($285), cobbled together from an old glass shade and some metal plates, poles and elbow joints. The lamp is a little bit Art Deco, a little bit Steampunk.

I also love the pearlescent glass of the drop pendant below, so 1940s meets 2013.

And then there are the shades. I’ve been looking for a shade supplier since Aristocrat got pushed out by a condo and yes, Lee makes custom shades, in addition to having a good supply of ready-mades on hand. Not nearly as cheap as Aristocrat mind you ($60 – $80) but well made and at least you don’t have to schlepp to Castlefield.

And finally, Lee has some amazing tables for sale, items he brings in from other artisans and dealers. My absolute favorite is the centre hall table below ($1,000) that could function as an ultra cool dining perch in a small condo. From across the room the piece looks like tarnished pewter but up close you realize it’s made from recycled auto tires. I love, love, love this table and wish I had a place for it.

I was nearly as smitten by the dining table/desk below ($1,500) which is mango wood wrapped in aluminum (the metal sheaths the entire top, even the underside). OMG, such cool, original pieces!

And finally, there was the recycled, metal drum table below that would make a fantastically chic coffee table ($495).

These days there are so many retailers competing to furnish our homes but when I see pieces like these that are fiercely unique and affordable I have to jump up on my soapbox and put the word out. Visit the Lampcage (557 Parliament Street, 416-686-5350), tell Dean stylenorth sent you.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 846 posts on styleNorth.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. Carol Says:

    Ho-Ly Sh!t. How did you know I was shopping for a dining room fixture? I have been in AGONY! I have had several close calls but I have been holding out for “affordable perfection.” I was even going to make my own random light (still might). I am definitely going there. I might even go there today. THANK YOU.

  2. Eya Donald Greenland Kotulsky Says:

    A few years ago I saw some table lamps in a design spread, the base of which was an old industrial clothes iron and the neck was that bendable goose-neck metal. I’ve never forgotten them, tried to buy one at the time, and wish I could find someone who makes them. Maybe I should look here….

  3. Carol Says:

    Okay, I just went and I didn’t see anything like that Eya, but maybe he can make one to order? I have it narrowed down to two – husband wasn’t with me but I’m sending him to look on Tuesday. So excited!

  4. Mary Says:

    I also love the silhouette of that tire table, the proportions are perfection!

  5. gayle Says:

    Dean is the hallmark of inspiration, good afternoon. In another lifetime
    I bought one of his fabulous Victorian shades such quality and attention to detail. Really makes sure one is satisfied. Great article, love the
    lighting and thanks for pointing out price points. Good lighting lasts
    a lifetime and you pay for that…Gayle of nice to see you posting Chris
    you have been missed

  6. shezcomeundone Says:

    The prices are only a fraction of what was being offered on a Remodelista thread last week so yeah, Dean’s pretty darned fair. Tried, trendy and truly Canadian. Props!

    Some of the pendants would be at home installed over the St. Andrews cross and spanking bench up for sale on Craigslist this week ;) I mean, I would never . . .

  7. Kelly Says:

    I have a Lampcage chandelier handing in my dining room and it’s simply perfect. Lampcage is wonderfully unique in this day of ubiquitous products from catalogues/malls that are all the same from coast to coast and country to country

  8. Mary Says:

    I am now the proud owner of the little black lamp with the gold glittery stuff on the base! I now have four of Dean’s creations.

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