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July 7, 2014

Installing Our “New” MIB Vintage Lights Over the Fireplace in the Living Room

By RetroRuth

We recently found and put in one of the last pieces of our living room. Lighting!


This story starts very similarly to many of our stories (other lights, shadowbox) with an email from Sara In AZ, the undisputed queen of eBay.

Somehow, miraculously and after over three years of looking, she had found a set of four vintage brass light fixtures that were mint and still in the boxes.


These lights weren’t exactly what we wanted. We would have preferred something a bit more bullet-shaped, but such is the world of restoration. When someone says, “I found these four vintage lights mint in the boxes. Will they work?” You say, “Where do I pay?” and you don’t look back.


Unfortunately, the auction was scheduled to end on my brother’s wedding day. Strangely enough, during the very hour that he was saying his vows. Since Tom and I were both in the wedding party, we weren’t going to be able to bid at the last second without causing some major family drama. I don’t think my mom would have accepted the argument that we had been looking for these lights for a long time. And my brother’s wife would’ve probably killed us. And we knew there are apps and things that can bid for you at the last minute, but Tom is paranoid and likes to do stuff the old-fashioned way.

So we went all in with our highest bid a few hours before the wedding. And while we were waiting to get our picture taken with the bride for the billionth time after the ceremony, Tom checked his phone and found out we won the lights! No one had even bid against us. I squealed and we hugged, and generally were excited enough over vintage lights to make our siblings think we were even bigger losers than previously imagined.

But it didn’t matter, because we finally had our lights!

Below, you can see the “before” picture of our fireplace. You can see the previous set of vintage lights we put in over the planter areas, and how the 80’s almond plastic lights stick out like a sore thumb.


And the much better “after”!


Goodbye 80’s plastic and hello brass! I love the new look, and they go so well with the rest of the lights!

Thanks again, Sara!

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4 Responses to Installing Our “New” MIB Vintage Lights Over the Fireplace in the Living Room

  1. Janice Reply

    July 7, 2014 at 11:54 am

    1000% improvement! Loved your story of how you and your husband got so excited at the wedding about vintage lights. I’ve received the same reaction from my family when I score something wonderfully vintage. I have to wonder if other people with more modern day styles get as excited as us mid century nuts when they buy something? Somehow I doubt it. 🙂

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    July 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Oh wow…how cool! They look amazeballs! I am SO glad that y’all got them, who knows how much longer you would have had to wait if you held out for the traditional bullet style lights?!

    And awwwwwww – the undisputed Queen of eBay, I feel like I’ve been dethroned since I haven’t had any time any all to look on there lately……I will be back one day I promise you! 🙂

  3. Andrea Reply

    July 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Fantastic! Those lights look awesome! And just for the record, Hammersnipe works really well in that kind of situation, tee hee 😉

  4. Tammy Jo Reply

    July 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Those are perfect in that room – I LOVE your fireplace! And I love, love your shadow box! (I have one just like it that I bought off the curb at some guy’s house and brought it back to life.) I’d love to see more pics of your place…

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