DINING ROOM: The Search for Light (at Vintage Hardware Manila)

I actually need to catch up on some  living and dining room posts before I start yakking about the boys’ shared bedroom.  (In real time though, I’m off and away, tackling Alo and Bo’s room).  For instance, last week we finally got to visit Vintage Hardware Manila.

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My favorite set of lights from VH Manila – I only discovered I liked them when I saw them in the store.  Those bulbs are too awesome.

I have been mooning around VH Manila’s website for the past month.  I check their barn doors, their pendant lights, their tiles, their cabinet handles, their drawer pulls – aaah!  It came to a point where I’d be visiting their site Every. Single. Day. And not because they have new items all the time – it’s because I couldn’t make up my mind!

The H had a meeting in Rockwell today, so we were trekking to the Makati area and VH Manila’s itty bitty showroom isn’t too far away – off towards old (and more dingy) Makati. Poblacion to be exact.  They have a map in their website because otherwise, I can’t even begin to describe how to get there!  There’s no parking too, except for maybe one slot, and their store front is tiny.

I have to be honest though.  The specific pendant lights I spotted in their website – and why I was in a big old rush to visit – were not quite what I expected in person.  For instance, this vintage-looking green bay lamp was my numero uno.  I was 80% sure I wanted it for the dining room; the whole trip there I was excited because I was certain then I’d be bringing home new lighting for the dining area.   But when I saw that bay lamp …  the cage wasn’t gun metal (they seemed that way in the photo). It was black – too black!  Paired with shiny green… well instead of glossy with a vintage twist, it looked gaudy and, well, cheaply made.  I’m sorry.

BUT!  While the pendant lights I liked online were disappointing in person, I was however pleasantly surprised to find other lighting fixtures that I ended up loving.  Like these colored cords from their Loop collection:

I’ve been pinning colorful cords forever.  It’s actually how I found VH Manila, while researching for a store that sells them here in Pinas.  I asked Ferdie the store guy about mixing and matching the cords with the bulb holders and what not (as they advertised in their website), but he said those colors were all that they had.  I love the one in hot pink.

See that little round white pendant light, 2nd from the left, behind the orange cord?  I had my heart set on that one, too, for the living room or the kids’ room.  It looked so cute and pert online.  But in person?  I hated that black ring around it, by the cage part.  It wasn’t as apparent in the photo online.  The black and white together was, like the bay lamp, too shiny for me, and I don’t know, made the light look flimsy again.  It’s made of porcelain but I thought it’d be more solidly built or something.

For every BOO there is a YAY.  Take heart.

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This is the Helmut.  It was one of the three pendant lights that I narrowed down for  the dining area.  I just needed to see how big they were, so I’d know how many to get.  As it turns out, the Helmut and green bay lamp, both 40x40cm, are massive. In a good way.  You’d need only 1 for your dining table, 2 might be pushing it, especially if you have a 6-seater like we do.  The Helmut is hefty, and unlike the first 2 I described, looks and feels solid. (In Tagalog “mukhang masmaganda ang pagkagawa!!” Hah!).   The catch?  The white cage and the black shade over it seriously reminded me of Darth Vader.  If you love Star Wars, go get it.

And now for the YAY:

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Those factory lamps looked much better in person.  The matt black is lovely.  Cheaper than the Helmut and bay lamp, and even the white porcelain ball.  They are pretty in their simplicity, and they go with the price tag.  Did I get one? Nooo.  I’ve been seeing them in hippie dippie restaurants.  This is also the first time I’m buying a light fixture for over my dining table, and I’m still holding out for a little something extra.  But when I start replacing my other lamps at home, definitely I’d get myself a black or white loft lamp.

Oh, and the industrial fixtures that VH Manila designed themselves are far and away the best lights there.  Most of the lamps above I’ve seen in Match Contract too, actually.  But VH Manila’s own designs are great, especially if you’re going for the industrial look. (Plus, their tiles are beautiful.  You need subway tiles?  Everyone’s still going gaga about them.  VH Manila has quite a selection!  Ooh and black hardware for your cabinets, drawers and doors. It’s hard to find options – but VH Manila has some, hurrah).

And how did I fare?  Went home empty-handed. The search is still on!

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