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  • Mitchell Antesky


Today I want to talk to you about our custom design service, something you may not have know we offer. While it might sound scary, it actually is very easy and fun.

Let me tell you a story...

Picture it, Toledo... well, actually nearly anywhere in the United States, 2021. You're a smart and stylish gal...or guy, you know what you are so for the sake of my story, just change it in your head to make it appropriate, ok? Anyway, you're sitting at your dining room table with the rest of your family, oh, unless your single of course, remember what I just said, you make this story about you no matter what pronoun I use. You're sitting there having your breakfast, reading the back of the cereal people still read boxes? I may have just dated myself. I imagine you only do that if your phone isn't charged. ok, ok, let's say you just want to see what you're eating. You look up and think "I need a better light above this table". You have a few options...

You can go to the big box store and buy a new light, they have many to pick from, some down right nice ones so go right ahead and pick yourself up a foreign made, production line lamp like one that hundreds if not thousands of other people have hanging in their houses all around the country.

Or, you say to yourself, no, you know what, I want my home to be as unique and individual as I am. I am going to have myself a lamp custom made, just for me and my home! Yep, that's it, I have always hated that light fixture that hangs there, it was there when we moved in, I have always wanted a new one, it was just one of those things that we never got around to fixing. Now is the time!

But where do you begin? Well at Toledo Lamp Company of course! As the designer, my job is to sit in my little work room and build lamp after lamp and fill the showroom with as many options as I have room for and when you would come in and look around, there still might not be exactly what you are looking for. You know what you like, you have looked around in the lighting section at the big box store before, all their lights are pretty, but you just haven't found one that turns you on, one that speaks to you. Yes, I know you're thinking, oh, c'mon, I am not that picky of a person, I am not impressed by designer labels, I am not a slave to fashion trends, I'm just a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal...or guy, remember, we are still making this story all about you...but you know what? You do have your own personal taste and preferences! I guarantee that, if I put out 2 pairs of jeans and 2 t-shirts for you to select one outfit from, you would still make a decision as to which you preferred, one over the other. Because you do know what you like, and whether its your clothes or something for you home, you want what you want. Isn't that what a great part of life is all about? Getting the things you like that make you happy. Sure it is, so let's get started, it's as easy as first, calling for an appointment. We can set up a time during our business hours or choose a time that best fits your schedule, we are very flexible. That really is the best way to discuss your design because in order to get all the details perfect, it may take a little longer than just popping in and saying "make me a lamp" and I make a dumb joke and say "abracadabra, poof, you're a lamp"!

I might suggest that you take a few picture of the room where said light will be, especially if it's a chandelier style or something that has specific requirements regarding size or placement. When you come in we will talk about several aspects of the design and functionality of the fixture.

1. Of course function first. What is the purpose of this light?

a. Will it be used primarily for task lighting? Light that you require to be able to see to do any type of work, cooking, crafting, reading, paperwork etc.

b. Is it mostly ambient or general lighting? Light that creates enough light for you to see, to move around a room and also sets the mood for a space.

c. Is it accent lighting? Lighting that is purposely focused on being decorative and adding highlights to a room, art or architectural detail.

2. Design, the fun part. This is where our motto of "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough" comes into play. Let your imagination run wild, don't hold back, no idea or suggestion is too odd. If you get stumped, don't worry, we have more ideas than Carter's got pills. We also like to say, Think outside the bulb!

3. The technical mumble jumble. We will talk about the size of your design, your choice of bulbs, incandescent or LED, how many, what shape, what watts (that's always so fun to say), will it be hard wired into existing electrical service, will it need an extra long cord, will it need a switch, where does the switch need to be, how will it be mounted, what type of wall or ceiling is it being mounted too...ugh, deep breath, don't change your mind now and head back to the big box, we are almost done with the brain drain part.

4. Now this is where I get to be an artist, I will attempt to make a sketch, I have never been good at quick sketch, so be prepared for a very rough stick man interpretation of what we have decided on. I will then likely mock up a prototype and send you some photos, measurements and a price quote. After you make any suggestions or changes, we will adjust those elements and the final price, if agreed on, we email you an invoice for 50% down and once that payment has been received, we build your custom creation and it is generally ready in a bout a week to be picked up.

And there you have it, it's just about that simple. We recently had some clients who did pretty much just what I've described. They had a vision and weren't able to find exactly what they wanted anywhere. We were able to translate their ideas into a reality and now their brand new custom dining room chandelier is hanging in their home. They sent along some pictures after they installed it that I will post here too, along with my prototype pic.

On a side note about their piece, I love the simple clean lines of it, it keeps it very elegant, yet the industrial fittings gives it a trendy flair and the addition of the elongated Edison tube bulbs really helps make a design statement.

Can you imagine the possibilities?

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