Twitter thrift madness.

Photos from Moooi

It’s safe to say that I’m kind of obsessed with Bertjan Pot’s Random Light. A few years ago, I included it on a list of coveted pendant lamps. Shortly thereafter, I posted about a budget-minded DIY version that was in ReadyMade (by the way, the two people I know who attempted that project were met with much disappointment by the result).

I think about this lamp all the time. I lie on the living room sofa and try to imagine how beautiful it would look floating in the middle of the room. Every time I come across a photo of one in situ, I force Evan to look at it and acknowledge how fantastically beautiful it is. Basically, I mentally bow down at the feet of Bertjan Pot regularly to both thank him for creating this amazing thing…and to beg him to give me one in exchange for knowing how happy he’s made me.

L: Photo by Patric Johansson; R: Interior design by Philippe Harden

Shamone, look at that thing!! It’s so beautiful that I noticed it before the poodle sleeping under the desk, and considering how finely-tuned my tiny dog radar is, that’s saying something.

The only problem, of course, is the price. The 33″ medium size (which is what I’d want for the living room) is roughly $1125, putting it way, way, way out of our range. Sure, I guess we could set aside $50/month for the next two years, but honestly? I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to lay down that kind of cash for a lamp. That’s not to say that I don’t think it’s “worth” that much (after all, we’re not just paying for the product itself, but for the fact that someone came up with the idea in the first place), just that I can think of a million more important things that I could use that kind of money for. Like my student loan for example. But I digress.

So anyway, yesterday I was blathering on about light fixtures on Twitter, and I tweeted this:

twitter 1

I mean, I have to keep wishing, right? It’s not like the universe is just going to plop one down on my doorstep. I have to ask for it. I have to really want it.

About an hour later, I was busy crawling around on my office floor trimming a window shade, when I heard a text message arrive on my phone. I’m one of those annoying people who forgets that cell phones are portable, so I didn’t bother dropping everything to go and check it. 20 seconds later, though, my phone rang…and it was Dan from Manhattan Nest, calling from a thrift store. He told me to go look on Twitter. I did.

Friends, a great miracle had occurred:

twitter 2

AAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Can you even?! Really now. What are the chances of this happening? Zero? One in eight hundred gazillion? Who knows. All I care about is that there is a white, 33″ Random Light wrapped in cellophane in Dan’s apartment right now, waiting to come home to live with me and Evan. And it cost about 1/6 of the full price! Yeah. I’m already getting in shape and growing my hair out into an Afro so I can pose with it nude like in the photo at the top of this post.

Now I can move on to asking the Twitter-universe to allow Dan to miraculously find Prouvé sideboards, Damien Hirst diamond skulls, and suitcases full of cash at thrift stores for mere pennies.

  1. That is an amazing, amazing story. I love it.


  2. SiobhanJan 31, 20117:11 pm

    Just when you don’t think you can love the internet any more than you already do….


    Siobhan /


    Siobhan /

    Oh my lord. I am so in awe of your find my grammar has gone out the window. You know what I mean…..

  3. AnnikaJan 31, 20117:13 pm

    Congratulations! You are one lucky girl and that lamp is just gorgeous!

    Can’t wait for the nude pics now! :)


  4. marthaJan 31, 20117:13 pm

    you guys made this up right? In a crazy ass attempt to get some studio exec to give you you own show.
    I hate you. (well, no not really. well, maybe a little)


    Anna @ D16 /

    I know, I kind of hate myself, too!! :D

  5. ChedvaJan 31, 20117:16 pm

    Twitter is magic (or maybe good friends are?)
    Enjoy your handsome new lamp!


  6. the ravenna girlsJan 31, 20117:18 pm

    Wow. I have had the thrift gods look down on me in much smaller ways, but they loooved you today! You must have built up your design karma somewhere along yge way. Congrats – can’t wait to see where you hang it!


  7. ErinJan 31, 20117:19 pm

    Holy WOW!! How much did it end up costing you?


    Anna @ D16 /

    I got it for about 82% off. ;)

  8. SarahJan 31, 20117:20 pm

    1. That light is fantastic.
    2. You and Daniel have two of my favorite blogs. I love to see you both in one super-powered thrifting blog post! What a duo!


  9. LexiJan 31, 20117:22 pm

    You cracked me up with your part about growing an afro and getting in shape to pose nude with it. Great find, lucky you!


  10. ChristineJan 31, 20117:26 pm

    That. is. incredible.

    On a side note, if you are interested in obtaining another one and don’t feel too conflicted about knock-offs… There is a decor store here in Montreal that sells a knock-off version. I’ve seen it in the window in passing and it looks pretty good, a bit denser I think, though I can’t vouch for the details in person. But at that price…


    Anna @ D16 /

    Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of knock-offs…especially when we’re talking about a relatively new work by a living designer. If I can’t afford the real thing, I’d rather just have something else. (Also, that link says their version is made out of rattan (!), which makes me think it doesn’t come close to the Moooi lamp—which is made from fiberglass resin and epoxy—in the way of delicacy.)

    It’s a touchy area, the knock-off thing, but it’s something I try to avoid.

    kim /

    thanks for the heads up on this store. So many things I could order.

  11. MariaJan 31, 20117:27 pm

    congrats! the random light gods were smiling on you!


  12. wowza, that’s all kinds of awesome.

    this is one of those stories that makes me want to lean back into the arms of providence — I need to ask for more of what I want (not just what I need, although that’s still a lesson in progress, too).


  13. cuppyJan 31, 20117:31 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else but I know I’m pretty amped about the image of you with an afro posing nude with your fancy new Moooi light :) :)

    xoxoxox love you long time!


  14. AdamJan 31, 20117:32 pm

    Flabbergasted. How awesome! This lamp was simply meant to live with you.


  15. elsieJan 31, 20117:32 pm

    i loove this story!!!! not that it needed any help, but the story makes your lamp that much more special!!!


  16. MikeJan 31, 20117:32 pm

    C’mon $1125 is not exactly like buying a new car, house or something. And you are 2 people, with 2 income and can’t save more than $50 a month? Do you really have to save money 2 years??? Maybe you should consider a budget or look what you’re spending your money on?

    I live in way too expensive apartment (alone), my income is ok, but far from wealthy. But I manage to save $350 for my fonds every month, and $130 for myself or stuff I want to buy, like interior stuff.

    Designer items are quite pricey and I’d say that Random Light is worth the money.


    Anna @ D16 /

    You’re right! I’ll throw away this discounted one and buy a new one for full price instead. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    You win for most hilariously ridiculous comment ever, by the way.

    (You do realize we’ve been renovating a house for the past five years, right? Just checking.)

    kim /

    wow, you really don’t think over $1125 is to much to pay for that light fixture. I wish I was you. You obvisously have money to burn. There would be so many more things I would rather do with $1125. Besides why pay that much when you can get it for less. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind paying for Art but there is a limit and that much for that light would be mine, that’s why I made my own.

    Anna @ D16 /

    I think everyone has their own person guidelines about how much they will (or can) pay for non-essentials in life like fancy light fixtures—for some it might be $8000, for another it could be $50, and there are plenty of people who wouldn’t (or can’t) pay anything.

    I don’t think we can really figure out what the “right” amount is for anyone to pay for luxury goods. There are too many variables, too many differing sets of priorities and values, too many individual circumstances to consider.

    What I take issue with is Mike’s insinuation that the only reason I couldn’t (or wouldn’t, really) buy this fixture for full price is because I have problems “budgeting” or because I’ve been spending my money unwisely. He has NO idea how much I earn or what my expenses are (nor is it his business to know!), and he just looks like a fool pretending that he does.

    Anonymous /

    I’m guessing Mike might be the one with the budgeting issues. My husband and I make what would be considered a lot of money (outside of New York City) and a lot of savings, and I can’t bring myself to pay over $1000 for a light. I just can’t. A painting, yes, if I really loved it. A sofa, yes. A light, no. Everyone has different breaking points for different things.

    But then again, I also agonize about whether I’ll love a skirt forever when I buy it, It’s just the way I’m built.

    Rebecca Mellor /

    I agree with you Anna – I think what people are prepared to pay for items is different for different people, and I don’t think it is necessarily linked to income. Just to illustrate this, I was talking with my parents earlier about some of their friends who are quite well off, and that particular couple by economy orange juice from the supermarket because they don’t want to pay any more for it, not because they can’t afford it. Whether you decide to pay $1125 for a light fitting is entirely your business (although I do agree with you there – I do think it is a lot!). I’m always looking at and dreaming about things that are well out of my own, personal price range, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Only you know how much you are prepared to pay for something, why you are prepared to pay a certain price for something, and why you want a certain object in the first place. I don’t think anyone (apart from people with whom you share a financial responsibility) has any right to tell you what you can or can’t buy for your own home.

    What I do want to say Anna, is a big thank you. I’ve been reading your blog for nearly a year now, and I really think you have changed the way I think about items for my home. I don’t ever have a big budget, and it is really tempting to go to a bugdet shop and buy something that isn’t necessarily quite what I wanted, just because I can afford it. I really try not to do that anymore. I now think carefully about what I need for my home, and what I really want. I’d much rather now save up for, or go without a particular item, rather than waste my money on not quite so good products. Reading your blog (I’ve just finished the archives by the way), has really inspired me to think carefully about design, provenance and quality, rather than a cheap fix. Thank you.

  17. victoriaJan 31, 20117:36 pm

    i was following your tweets and am so excited for you!! i love that you put it out there in the universe and there it was!!

    now, can he find me my vintage black leather sofa?!


    Anna @ D16 /

    Oh man, you want a Borge Mogensen sofa, don’t you?

  18. RebekahJan 31, 20117:44 pm

    So what kind of awesome ‘Thank You’ do you have planned for Dan?



    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m thinking of giving him a slightly-used stray cat.

    Rebekah /

    That could be some good karma, saying ‘thank you’ and giving a kitty a good (stylish) home!

    Adam /

    Sylvester? How is he???

    Anna @ D16 /

    He’s fine! :) I took this the other day:

  19. Countess of Nassau CountyJan 31, 20117:53 pm

    That is so great. Don’t you just love it when people do nice things just because?

    Honey if you were a light fixture you’d be that one.



  20. TrishJan 31, 20117:56 pm

    Now you have this fun story to think of every time you see it hanging in your living room. That’s one of the best things about a good thrift find. Can’t wait to see pictures of it hanging up!


  21. NicoleJan 31, 20118:15 pm

    I made a DIY version and it turned out nice, other than the annoying glue that I had to pick away at. Anyway, that is awesome! You and that light were meant to be. I love when things work out :)


    Anna @ D16 /

    Interesting! Did you take photos of the process? I’d love to see them if so!

  22. EFT for AnxietyJan 31, 20118:27 pm

    What an awesome lampshades! Totally cool and lovely!


  23. BethJan 31, 20118:39 pm

    Amazing story! Can’t wait to see where you hang it. :)


  24. Shawn CJan 31, 20118:41 pm

    Congrats on the wonderful achievement! I love the Random Light. You’re so blessed to know amazing people like that. I can’t wait to see it in your beautiful home.


  25. RoseJan 31, 20118:54 pm

    WOW! That thing is gorgeous! Congrats! Can’t wait for pictures! And sorry for all the exclamation points! Haha.


  26. MisaJan 31, 20118:59 pm

    dan kinda looks like daniel day lewis in his twitter pic. intense.

    i’ve been secretly hoping that modkat will somehow find my blog and give me a free modkat litter box. is that not the most pathetic thing you’ve ever heard? do you think dan could find me one at a thrift store? ;)


    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m not sure I’d want to thrift a litter box. Hmmm…

    Dan looks like a different person in every photo, and none of them actually look like he does in person. It’s so weird!!

    Dan @ Manhattan Nest /

    That twitter pic has to go ASAP. I thought it was kind of hilarious, but I don’t think that really comes through.

    It’s true. Cameras do weird things to my face, I’m convinced.

  27. Lori E.Jan 31, 20119:02 pm

    That is the BEST thrift story EVER! I love, love, love, LOVE a good find. And personal shoppers that know what to look for! And I can’t wait to see the ‘fro. ;) And maybe you and Evan can work on that whole budget thing so you can put away 50 bucks a month for a full price lamp… Loved your sarcastic response. :) And to me, $1125 IS like buying a car. That is a chunk of change.


  28. taraJan 31, 20119:04 pm

    Hilarious. You. Afro. You seem to already be in pretty good shape, but whatever floats yer boat. You may have to work on your tan though. I’m glad you found what you wanted. Dontcha just love it when stuff like this happens? You an Evan seem pretty wise with your pennies. It has taken you a long time to get things the way you want them with your house, you should have what you want in it. I admire you for saving and waiting for exactly what you want. You generally get what you pay for. Although in this case – you scored! Kudos and congrats!


  29. Amanda @ willful/joyfulJan 31, 20119:12 pm

    I am green. Neon green.

    If it ends up not working out I have an entryway begging to take it off your hands.


  30. RenaeJan 31, 20119:15 pm

    Your story may [almost] make me start to tweet! Great find…been on my hit list too.


  31. cajetaJan 31, 20119:28 pm

    Congrats! You have to at least post a side by side pic, same pose, holding your prize (wearing leggings perhaps?)!


  32. SueJan 31, 20119:42 pm

    Anna, you are so lucky!
    Dan, you are so sweet, my turn to say O to the MG. Hey, I’m really wanting an Arne Jacobsen floor lamp, think you can help me out?


    Anna @ D16 /

    SUE!! Check out this post from a couple of years ago. I still think that’s my best find ever!!

    Sue /

    I remember that post. I kinda know your blog like the back of my hand. No DWR annex in St. Louis. I’m still trying to get over the Dots you just got….

  33. InhaJan 31, 20119:58 pm
    Daniel is adorable and SO funny. Love reading his blog and yours of course.
    Very happy for you-enjoy!


  34. callie graysonJan 31, 201110:11 pm

    how flipping awesome is that!!!
    Can’t wait to see photos of it in your living room!! completely awesome. Yeah Daniel!
    great find.


  35. ErinJan 31, 201110:22 pm

    Ah-mazing. You should buy a lottery ticket with all your luck!


  36. donnaJan 31, 201110:28 pm

    I wonder if this works for Chanel bags too.


  37. KathleenJan 31, 201110:35 pm

    I’m a little embarrassed to say that this post brought tears to my eyes. I’m genuinely that jealous (in a good way) and excited for you.


  38. kay*Jan 31, 201110:35 pm

    that is the most insane, crazy, ridiculous, awesome, thrifting story i have EVER heard.

    & i’m SUPER jealous. i adore this light and stare at it every time i see it in a design magazine.

    that daniel i tell ya….


  39. TessJan 31, 201111:32 pm

    On a side note- I tried the ReadyMade or some other internet DIY version a while back. I thought it was pretty successful- messy and delicate, but totally worthwhile. It held up well… until we moved it around a couple of times to my sister’s place. Certainly not as good as the real thing nor an heirloom, but all in all, it wasn’t a failure for us!


    Anna @ D16 /

    Wow, that’s good to know! You’re the second person to comment on this post that the ReadyMade version worked for you. I may have to try it myself, then. I wonder what the other folks I talked to did wrong!

  40. cottageofstoneJan 31, 201111:59 pm

    Umm… yes. Pay 82x more for the same thing. Finishing the rest of your house projects is completely optional.


  41. ErinFeb 1, 201112:01 am

    Wow, I need to tweet more often. AMAZING. Congrats.


  42. rosenattiFeb 1, 201112:31 am

    One in a million score. Seriously, one in a million. Damn, girl.


  43. brunsFeb 1, 201112:58 am

    just coming out of the lurking woodwork to tell you how much i ADORE this story. love D16 and manhattan nest, and if an exec DID give you two a show, i would totally watch!


  44. kattiaFeb 1, 20111:05 am

    you lucky ducky!!! it’s going to look amazing in your place…takes pics we’d love to see!


  45. VanessaFeb 1, 20111:51 am

    What?!?! I would never have believed that could ever happen… ever. You’ll surely enjoy it. I own a small Random light and I love it (although I’m still ashamed of the price I paid, but whatev!). Congrats!!


  46. NiinaFeb 1, 20112:10 am

    Great find! Lucky you! :)

    I know a store in my country that sells a similar lamp for way cheaper than the original (which I didn’t know even existed) and I’ve been drooling over it thinking it’s expensive. Now that I have some perspective on things, maybe I should finally buy the darn lamp. :D


  47. FionaFeb 1, 20112:36 am

    Followed it all on twitter. Dan is the man. Wowsers. Looking forward to seeing it in situ in your house. The thing that gets me is, who on earth would send a perfect moooi light off to a thrift shop? Bizarre.


  48. FionaFeb 1, 20112:54 am

    You are one VERY LUCKY Ladieeeeeee !!!!!!!!!! We can’t wait to see it take it’s place in your lovely home !


  49. Sarah BFeb 1, 20113:08 am

    Wow, that surely is an amazing case of kismet :)
    Re the Hirsts, well I can’t help you, unfortunately, but I saw 2 today in our new super cool art gallery. I live in a very small town so to have 2 Hirsts in the collection is pretty spesh. I posted a bit about it today :)
    Again, well done on your find!


  50. Fat CatFeb 1, 20113:32 am

    Bly me ! Now this is a reason to start twittering if ever there was one !


  51. MildlyCraftyFeb 1, 20114:23 am

    That’s fabulous! It’s not in the same league but last year I mentally wished I could find a Sunbeam Mixmaster at the op-shop (that’s aussie for thrift store) and one appeared in the store I was volunteering at the very same afternoon! I hadn’t seen one before or since so I’m well pleased with myself :)

    This is my first comment here, I like your blog :)


  52. EliseFeb 1, 20114:32 am

    Oh, I wish I had a Dan!!


  53. MonicaFeb 1, 20114:50 am

    That is capital A-mazing! I was just thinking about that light the other day and I always associate it with you because the DIY you posted was from when I first discovered your blog. Now you need to find something else for Dan and then start twittering about that Prouvé Potence Lamp.


  54. griffo68Feb 1, 20117:06 am

    What a bargain! Did it include the metal light fixture that comes with it and fits inside?

    I obsessed over one for my stairwell for ages and I managed to get my filthy interiors paws on an 80cm black one for less than half price last year. A friend of mine Helen managed to get the same black one for £50!

    Here is mine…


    Anna @ D16 /

    Woah, it looks AWESOME hanging in the stairwell like that!!

    The electrical fitting is missing actually, but it will be so easy to replicate. I often need to replace parts on lamps anyway, since we have some non-standard electrical boxes and plaster medallions that don’t always accommodate the included canopies. I usually wind up gutting something from IKEA for parts. ;)

  55. LizFeb 1, 20118:16 am


    (I saw this yesterday – just in case you ever want to recreate the pineapple theme in your dining room! And yes, I am joking…


    Liz /

    Oh, that didn’t work…

    This link should take you to a picture of a pineapple shade for sale at retrouvius but yet again I’m an internet inept.

    Not really worth too comments… sorry for the clutter.

    Liz /

    Ok, I’m going to stop. Too was two. But you know that. Now you know I do too. Yikes, I really do need to stop.

    Anna @ D16 /

    Hahahah, don’t worry, I understand the frustration of un-editable comment-typos!! :D

    I kind of like that pineapple lamp, actually. It’s so nice and old-fashioned! Is that crazy?

    Liz /

    Anna – you’ve tempted me back. How could I ever say you’re crazy when you are a hero? (And hell, I kind of liked it too. It was only on a second look that I saw it was a pineapple and thought of you.)

    Slightly off this thread, could I say I always admire how you respond to comments of all types and I know others feel the same.

    (And I think this will be under my last comment rather than yours but I’m sure you’ll work it out if it is…)

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thanks, Liz. I really do care about keeping a civil tone here, and part of that is keeping dialogue open. I’m so glad that I instituted threaded comments a few months ago — it’s made it so much easier to reply to people!

    Thank you for thinking of me when you see pineapple-themed housewares. ;)

  56. ReidunnFeb 1, 20118:35 am

    Wow! Amazing story. I wish I had a friend with magical thrifting skills too.


  57. GracieFeb 1, 20119:10 am

    What a great story, you deserve to have this lamp in your life!


  58. Beth @ the Modern HomeFeb 1, 20119:17 am

    Jealous doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now. Enjoy it!


  59. JessicaFeb 1, 20119:26 am

    Holy cow, holy cow, holy cow…er, you’re vegan…holy kale, holy kale, holy kale!!! yay for you and your thrifting God. I just asked him for a saarinen medium size round coffee table with a white arabescato marble top. fingers crossed!


  60. jodiFeb 1, 20119:31 am

    that is some serious internet magic right there.


  61. Tessa MenotteFeb 1, 20119:48 am

    That is amazing and I am so excited for you! Can’t wait to see the pictures of it hanging.


  62. DusaFeb 1, 201110:11 am

    I bow to the Thrift God that is Dan! First that great (but creepy-looking) store in Portland and now this! Congratulations Anna and Evan! Can’t wait to see it in the living room!


  63. HypatiaFeb 1, 201110:25 am

    Good news! Hope Dan gets a full supper out of it, including cake.


  64. AprilFeb 1, 201110:29 am

    That’s crazy and amazing! It’s going to look fab in your home!


  65. FionaFeb 1, 201110:42 am

    WOW. Just WOW. I love this light, too. Good for you for having a friend who will swoop in and snag it for you. I have been a Twitter doubter, but now I’m a convert because it works miracles!


  66. CherylFeb 1, 201110:52 am

    That is almost as unbelievable as those Bill Murray “No one will ever believe you…” stories.


  67. JanaFeb 1, 201112:01 pm

    Light….Frackin Awesome….other than that there are no words!!


  68. KateFeb 1, 201112:15 pm

    I think what this *really* means is that you should buy a lottery ticket! Now! Do it! And I kinda hate the lottery! But the stars are aligned for you right now, so.


  69. Michael BassFeb 1, 201112:20 pm

    A – mazing! Congrats on the score.
    You prompted me to “dig” on ebay for a comparable find … and, the Karma god is definitely looking out for you. (Promise me that you’ll buy a lottery ticket today and remember me when you collect your winnings. Deal?)
    I found Muuto Dots, Mogens Lassen’s Kubus Candle Holders AND another Medium Random Light. All at GREATLY reduced prices! (Not 82% off, but 50-60% savings.)
    Anna … and Door Sixteen lovers … check out the seller […] on eBay! (Seriously.)
    Happy New Year everyone!
    BTW, I love your blog and follow your posts daily.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Michael, I removed the name of the store because I don’t want to give the impression that I’m advertising/promoting/endorsing a specific seller, but yes, Craigslist and eBay are often good resources for discounts! ;)

    Michael Bass /

    Totally understandable. In no way was I trying to promote this seller. (In fact, I only wanted to let you — and your loyal followers — know about my recent discovery.)
    How can you resist NOT buying a set of yellow Muuto Dots (1 large, l medium & 3 small) for $89?
    Glad that you know the name of the seller’s store though …
    Take care. Best of luck in the Homies — you deserve it.

    Anna @ D16 /

    Oh, I know! I just want to be careful. I know you weren’t trying to promote or anything. :) It’s easy enough for folks to search for individual product names, anyway. I wouldn’t personally buy from that seller (looks to me like they’re just selling off DWR floor samples and discontinued items, and for that I can just go directly to the Annex and pay less!), but like I said, it’s definitely worthwhile to look for stuff online as well as in stores.

  70. EMILYFeb 1, 201112:24 pm

    Anna — I’ve read your blog for two years and never once commented, but there’s a first time for everything. What an amazing find! What a great friend! I am thrilled for you! My equivalent would be for my best friend to text me a pic of a white Saarinen side table for $50. Here’s hoping!


  71. laurenjanelleFeb 1, 201112:41 pm

    I love these. I’ve come across a couple craft blogs that show you how to make similar things from gluing string around a big rubber ball and then popping the ball. Obviously not as beautiful as this but will give you the same sort of look for about 3 dollars. Congrats and getting this!


  72. PamFeb 1, 20111:11 pm

    Congratulations on this amazing score! I’m a first-time poster here, but wanted to share a bit about my experience with the Random Light. My husband and I bought the smaller one for our dining room — a major spurge for us, but we just love it. We’ve had bad luck with it, though, as the socket has burned out twice now. The first time, the manufacturer replaced that part for free (which was very cool of them), and the second time we bought a new one through their U.S. rep. We live in a prewar apt. with old wiring and there seems to be something about that that the light doesn’t like, even though we used the proper wattage light bulbs. Anyway, I only share this to say that 1) the company will sell a replacement socket (I think it was about $90), and 2) if you have old wiring you might want to consider another option. We’re going to try something different this time. Hope that helps…..


    Anna @ D16 /

    Hi Pam, have you considered just changing out the lamp’s wiring completely? It should be very easy to do (and MUCH less than $90!). I’m inclined to think the problem is with the circuit in your apartment leading to that ceiling box, though. If you’re not overloading the circuit, it shouldn’t be burning out…but it’s odd that it’s not tripping your breaker. Have you talked to an electrician?

    (None of the wiring in our house is pre-war, by the way. The plumbing and electric have been almost entirely overhauled to accommodate our needs.)

    Pam /

    Thanks, Anna, yes, I think we need to have an electrician look at the situation. Our wiring is really scary. I thought the light socket was defective the first time (when the bulb popped and a drop of molten metal fell from it!), but there’s something odd going on. As pretty as the original socket is, I do think it could be replaced with a simple, less expensive one. We’re definitely committed to getting something to work — the “shade” is the centerpiece of the room! Good luck with yours — I’m sure you’re going to love it!

  73. MigFeb 1, 20111:47 pm


    This post made me so happy I can only imagine how you may be feeling! You must be walking on the clouds.

    I’m impressed with your power of summoning! (I hope that’s a word… lol)


  74. Amanda- Hip House GirlFeb 1, 20112:33 pm

    Hooray for social media and instant communication! Awesome find!


  75. EricaFeb 1, 20113:25 pm

    Congratulations!!! I love when that happens — you’re right, you absolutely have to put it out there to the universe. A friend calls it “manifesting.” I’ve been letting the universe (and bystanding humans) know that I’m looking for all-free components for a new bathroom and kitchenette and so far have gotten a toilet and sink (free!). Hooray for met desires in the realm of domesticity!


  76. PistachioFeb 1, 20114:23 pm

    Ahhhh!!!!! That is so amazing!!! Love it and makes me happy for you. What a wonderful story!!


  77. KyliFeb 1, 20114:26 pm

    Loved following this happening on Twitter. Dan is the thrifting (or, as we say in Australia, op-shopping) GOD…Also love the two of you teaming up. Gold.


    Anna @ D16 /

    I love the term op-shopping! I think I’m going to start saying that from now on.

    Kyli /

    Ha! Well, if the name fits…you certainly seem to be a great ‘op-shopper’.

    Kelly /

    Op-shop, or commonly ‘oppie’ is short for Opportunity Shop in Australian slang. As in: “Where’d ya get that awesome lampshade?” “Aw yeah, down at the oppie.”
    It is so commonly used here, I wonder if many of the new gen of op-shopping kids even know where the term originally came from.

  78. CariStereoFeb 1, 20116:29 pm

    Even in the photo Dan took in the thrift store, with the lamp sitting next to those ugly couches, it is mesmerizing. It looks like an ancient celestial map. Gorgeous. I’m so happy you had that kind of luck! Congrats!!


  79. MichelleFeb 1, 20118:35 pm

    wtf! seriously?! this is absolutely an amazing story. So happy for you !


  80. Daniel Kanter really IS made of magic. Is there anything he can’t find on the street or in a thrift store? Congratulations, Anna. You deserve it!


  81. LimeFeb 2, 201112:41 am

    Okay, I’m not particularly jealous since the Random isn’t really my style. But….I am completely stoked for you and your find!! It’s the dream to find exactly what you want whilst thrifting, and it actually happened for you! Congrats!

    Also, it is going to look amazing in your home. It looks absolutely perfect with the aesthetic you’re going for. Get that sucker wired up so we can all see it!


  82. AnnaBetsyFeb 2, 20119:34 am

    I love your house; it’s stunning. But, I will no longer read your blog. You recent rants on Twitter regarding some of my favorite sites like AT (that aim to celebrate the amazing creativity out there, spread the word, and inspire people) were upsetting. If you choose to blog and share your home and creativity, it’s public and you should not be upset by others getting inspired by it. If your house is private, then why not make your blog private. I don’t get it. It’s also interesting that you bash some sites, and then choose to do a piece foe Elle Decor (lots o’ ads on this very commercial site). In general, I think it’s completely disrespectful when people use Twitter to bash others. Sad to me that you are one of those people. There is no hate or drama intended by this comment; sadly, you’ve taken care of that on Twitter.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Hi AnnaBetsy, I appreciate your feedback, and I’m sorry if you were disillusioned by my upset over the past misuse of some of my photographs (I assume that’s the “bashing” you were referring to, though the site I was speaking about yesterday was not Apartment Therapy). Just so it’s clear, I’m not opposed to sharing my house or to allowing commercial websites to use my photos. My issue is with those websites not asking permission first. I know it might seem like the internet is a free-for-all when it comes to taking photos and reposting them elsewhere, but legally speaking, that’s not the case. I make it very clear what my policy is regarding the use of my photographs on my FAQ page, and I have absolutely NO problem with people posting my photos on their sites (in fact, I can’t recall a time that I’ve ever said no!)—I only ask that it be done within the rather liberal terms I’ve defined. Ad-free/personal bloggers don’t even need to ask me first!

    I’ve contributed countless numbers of photos to Apartment Therapy (and plenty of other websites) over the years, including doing a complete home tour. You’re mistaken if you think that I have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is when photographs are taken without consent, and then used in ways outside of my intent. Yes, this did happen with Apartment Therapy about a year ago, but they dealt with the problem immediately and were very considerate about it. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. (As for Elle Decor, they didn’t simply lift a quote from my website—they contacted me and asked for a quote, which I provided. They did not ask for a photograph, so I didn’t provide one. Again, I have NO problem with being asked first.)

    I honestly am not sure what you’re referring to as “bashing” of others on Twitter—certainly not Apartment Therapy (in fact, the comment I made about AT was that they’ve been GOOD about asking first!), and I never made ANY reference to my “privacy”. If you’re referring to my comments about the need for another commercial website to obtain permission before using 11 of my photographs in one post as “bashing”, well, I’m not sure what to tell you. I’m going to continue to speak about this problem in very real terms. I’m sorry that it is upsetting for you.

    My primary purpose in maintaining this site is to inspire others, but not at the expense of my personal integrity. When it comes to the commercial use of photographs of my property, I do require that permission be obtained first. That’s not up for debate.

    (You may be interested to read this post on Design*Sponge about online etiquette and ethics when it comes to the use and sharing of photographs on the internet. I think everyone who has a blog needs to be more aware of these issues, and those who are readers might want to gain a greater understanding of why bloggers might be protective of their content.)

    If anyone reading this comment is curious about the tweets I assume AnnaBetsy is referring to, here they are:

    (Clicking on individual tweets will bring to you replies and continued discussion as well.)

    This is the comment I made about Apartment Therapy:

    yyz /

    First and foremost, what a AMAZING find! I can only imagine the adrenaline and excitement when all the action was unfolding. It’s sorta crazy to think how the internet and mobile technology has transformed and enabled communication these days :).

    On that note, as I have followed your blog now for years, one of the things I really appreciated about the content was that it never waivered from your intent of the site, which was to share and document a part of your life. You have always presented these glimpses into D16 genuinely without cluttering it with any extraneous elements. It’s easy to navigate and purposeful.

    As we are all entitled to our opinions, I find that AnnaBetsy’s post, unfortunately, is probably quite common in the sea of internet users. Sad but true, many are not properly educated around the etiquette and ethics of content, but even more people are not aware of the legal rights that every individual technically has over their intellectual property. Your response to her once again demonstrated that you are a woman who is clear on her intent with this site and I applaud you for that.

    I apologize for the length of this post as this topic is incredibly intriguing to me.

    The evolution of blogging throughout the years since the days of xanga and livejournal to full-blown dedicated personal sites really has also provided some people a full-time job to be a blogger. And in those situations, these individuals make a good chunk of change off of their blog. But of course, the key here is that is the intent of their site, which is not yours.

    I am also a designer, and due to our experience in the industry we may have a heightened awareness to copyright laws and crediting people properly but it just boils down to some pretty basic concepts of human conduct.

    If it’s not yours, just ask.

    I run a pretty simple blog for fun myself but it runs on showing photographs taken by other people and I go out of my way to contact them to make sure I credit them properly and gather permission. And through the process one of the things I have noticed is that probably 99% of the time the first line in the response I receive from the photographer is “Thank you for asking”. And these are just Flickr photos, and I am not using them for any commercial purpose. So especially if a stranger uses your content, without your consent, with ads and other things that could lead to profit, you have every right to NOT be ok with that. Especially because you are not even trying to make a profit yourself!

    As much as I am guilty of loving the internet probably more than I should. I wish that people were generally more informed. Yes you are choosing to share pieces of your life publicly, but it is your choice, and still your property. And also who doesn’t have a day where something annoys them and they rant about it? It just happens the internet allows us to do it in a way that resonates much more than the old-fashioned way of just talking to a friend in person or on the phone :).

    Anyhoo, enough with the rant. I can’t wait to see this beauty installed in your home! It totally reminds me of a spherical cousin of the wonderful Julia Rothman wallpaper you installed in your hallway.

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. As I was reading what you wrote, I got stuck on one particular point:

    “I am also a designer, and due to our experience in the industry we may have a heightened awareness to copyright laws and crediting people properly…”

    This is so, so true, and I really needed to be reminded of that. Such a huge part of my job involves clearing rights, negotiating fees, defining terms of use, and so on. Yes, I’m designing for print, but the same ethics apply. I sometimes forget that not everyone has that background, and that the concepts of “sharing” and “borrowing” have become rather vague where the internet is concerned.

    I started blogging in the days before any of this was really an issue (I had a text-only journal online in 1998, and by 2000 I had moved to LiveJournal. I started my first blog on my own domain using Movable Type in 2001, and I’ve been blogging ever since—save a 2-year break in the middle), and it’s been really shocking and at times quite disheartening to see how much this whole thing has changed over the years. It’s still a little mind-boggling to me that people are doing this for money! I know I sound like a crabby old lady, but it’s all just so weird for me. I remember when Jason Kottke first put ads on his blog, and what a huge deal it was. I guess I never really got over that transition to monetized blogging.

    I should probably write a post about this subject, I know, but it kind of makes me crazy to think/talk about too much. The more I dissect the ins and outs of blogging, the more it starts to feel like a farce on some level, and I don’t want to torture myself like that. I do this because I LOVE it. Obviously.

    Anyway, thank you again for giving me some extra food for thought.

    p.s. I just looked at your blog. Holy adorableness.

    Anna @ D16 /

    p.s. AnnaBetsy, I tried to reply to you via email, but it seems that you have, unfortunately, used a fake email address. I guess that means you’re not interested in having a continued dialog about this subject, but if you change your mind, feel free to contact me directly at

  83. CeciFeb 2, 20119:34 am

    AWESOME!!! Now get that bad boy installed so we can bask in it’s glow!

    I fell in love with the Maskros pendant lamp @ Ikea only to walk through MACY’S to see them hanging all over the place. Now I have to find something else. LOVE the random light! Maybe some of your incandescent luck will rub off on some of us!


    Anna @ D16 /

    Don’t let Macy’s keep you from loving the Maskros! That’s the one that looks like a huge dandelion, right?

    There’s always going to be a store or a house or a magazine whatever using the stuff you like, but that’s just because you have good taste. :)

  84. Lori E.Feb 2, 201110:54 am

    Hmm… The AnnaBetsy comment… Dunno what that is all about. Aren’t all the social media outlets for sharing opinions? Do I agree with everything Anna says? Nah. But so what? The beauty of even online “relationships” are being able to disagree agreeably, even if you only disagree in your mind and don’t type it out. AnnaBetsy, do you think it was a bit disrespectful of you to confront Anna on her blog instead of doing it privately?

    Hope I don’t come off preachy or confrontational… Some things just kinda get under my skin…


    Anna @ D16 /

    Lori, it’s okay. I don’t mind AnnaBetsy confronting me about these things here. I don’t think she was trying to be disrespectful—but I do think she’s mistaken about what I actually said yesterday.

    I have no problem talking about this stuff…really. I’d rather have it out in the open than think that people are making assumptions privately that may not be accurate.

  85. Lori E.Feb 2, 201111:02 am

    Anna, you beat me with your reply and, as usual, said it more eloquently… :)


  86. michelleFeb 2, 201112:34 pm

    Yah! Wonderful! So happy for you, I love when the universe looks out for you like that.


  87. cottageofstoneFeb 2, 20111:10 pm

    I think you have every right to protect your photos and simply be asked first if they could be used. Since the Brick House has been tweeting about Craigslisters stealing her pictures to sell their stuff, it makes me wonder how widespread the problem really is! I think Young House Love even found a timeshare place using pictures of their house once.

    And AT does try to stir the pot…. pointing that out is not bashing. It’s an observation.



    Anna @ D16 /

    You know, it didn’t even occur to me that she could have been talking about the off-handed comments Morgan, Matt, Dan and I were making about the taxidermy post/stirring the pot. That’s something I’ve joked about with AT-ers before, it’s not a big secret! They know they do it, and there’s a reason they do. I don’t really care one way or another! (I thought it was pretty obvious that we were just joking around? I mean, ALL four of us have contributed to AT and its offshoots!! Sigh…)

    Anyway, yes, the problem is RAMPANT. I’ve found my photos on Etsy with wall stickers Photoshopped onto them! I’ve had the Craigslist thing happen, too. YHL’s timeshare story really takes the cake, though. WOW.

  88. RoseFeb 2, 20111:41 pm

    I think that your friendship with Daniel was meant-to-be and/or magical. It’s the only explanation for this kind of craziness. I’m so happy for you.

    Also, I feel so bad that so many people feel the need to start the drama-rama in the comments here. If I didn’t like something you wrote or posted about I probably would NOT comment on it. Starting drama is never worth the time and I’m sorry you have so many nutballs reading your blog (okay, I’m a nutball, too, but not an angry one!).


    Anna @ D16 /

    It’s okay…I’m a nutball too, Rose. :)

  89. PamFeb 2, 20114:06 pm

    I love Dan. Seriously. It’s love. What an amazing, wonderful friend!!


    Anna @ D16 /

    He is the best. :)

  90. LizFeb 2, 20116:10 pm


    I am in love with the Arcos lamp. Each time I see it in a blog post I point it out to my husband and fondly refer to it as “my lamp.” I should give him a break since it pops up on AT practically every other day :)


  91. RisamayFeb 2, 20117:29 pm

    That is insane. Love it. I have *got* to open a Twitter account (already).


  92. FemkeFeb 2, 20118:05 pm

    Congrats! You won’t be dissapointed. I have the Random Light in my appartment for almost five years and I still LOVE it. I have to say that it costs less here in the Netherlands, ca.400 euro for the 50 cm and 600 euro for the 80 cm.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Oh, I’m sure! We definitely pay a premium here for design that travels overseas.

  93. Aleksandra SFeb 2, 20118:14 pm

    OMG that is seriously amazing. :) Where will you be putting this bad boy? I can’t wait to see the post. ;)


    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m 99% sure it’s going in the living room!

  94. chrisFeb 2, 201111:13 pm

    Anna this happened for you because you are a NICE WOMAN! I love when shizz like this happens, thanks for sharing:)


  95. Kim B.Feb 3, 201110:27 am

    Dear Anna,

    Congrats on the Random! I’m sure you’ll love it just as much in real life as you do in pics. I know because I own one and haven’t regretted splurging my money on it a single moment. It causes the most wicked shadows in the living room! Can’t wait to see the photos here on D16.


  96. heatherFeb 3, 201112:32 pm

    Oh… so this is why people use twitter? ;)
    I love this lamp too – you are lucky to score it at such a good price. Even if I could throw 1125 at a lamp, at this moment in my life, I would still delight in getting it at a huge discount – I love discounts! Happy for you. :)


  97. WendyFeb 3, 20111:09 pm

    Anna. Here’s a black one for $400.00! You could have a pair!


    Anna @ D16 /

    That’s DOUBLE what I paid, Wendy! :D

  98. JessicaFeb 3, 20114:35 pm

    I am in love with this entire blog post, including the light fixture, the magical storyline and the nutball comments.

    I just wanted to say that I have a genius house-renovating friend couple (who are your Illinois doppelgangers, house, man and woman all, except they have a baby instead of dogs) and in said baby’s room they have a beautiful version of the ReadyMade DIY “Random” light. I loved it so much they tried to get me to do it (I’m so not DIY) and the explanation for their success was they used a plastic beach ball instead of a balloon because they couldn’t get the right roundness. Then they cut out the ball in pieces with a knife. I didn’t see it done so I can’t give further tips, but I wanted to share that for anyone here who wants to try the DIY and doesn’t have a magical Dan in their life.

    Where are you going to put this light?! It would look stunning in the hall hanging from the ceiling medallion, though I can imagine it would be great showcased in the living room. Can’t wait to see.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Maybe I’ll make faux-Random lights for my basement. :D

    I think we’re going to put it in the living room. I like the idea of putting it in the upstairs hallway, but the space is just too tiny—the distance between the top railing and the wall is less than the diameter of the light!

  99. Grumble GirlFeb 3, 20117:42 pm

    Oh lady, it is GLORIOUS!! I wanted one too… my man is a bit more traditional to my “modern” side, so I found something similar (though smaller in diameter) and more, um, “dense” I guess… you can’t see the bulb as clearly through the twine, which was what he didn’t like. Anyway, I’m thrilled that one of us has it, AND that it was such a fraction of a price. Wowza! Your karma-bank is FULL, I guess!! Nice for you.

    Also, that tall nekkid babe? That looks JUST like me, only more stretched out, and less saggy (Heh.) Actually, she looks like my sister. Le sigh.

    Please pass the lettuce.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Your hair is just a wee bit smaller, too. ;)

  100. The pendant is awesome (!) but my boyfriend just really quick looked at the computer and now thinks blogging is about naked ladies. Now he calls it “blogging.”


    Anna @ D16 /

    It IS about naked ladies! :D

  101. donkeeFeb 4, 20118:14 am

    WOWZA! That’s all I have to say…that’s all I CAN say! Thrift score of the decade coupled with a bit of serendipity!


  102. LaurieFeb 4, 201111:34 am

    Wow, that is so awesome! It is like the time I found a Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair in the Salvation Army, with a tag marked, “Weird Chair, $18.99,” about about a thousand times better. (I squeed, and then carried it all around the store for the next twenty minutes, so that no one else could get their mitts on it.)

    Congrats on the fantastic score!


  103. l'atelier13Feb 4, 201111:58 am

    i don’t believe this i don’t believe this i don’t believe this !!!!!!
    can i buy it from you ??


  104. FarahFeb 5, 20114:53 pm

    Lucky you! I want one.

    For anyone on a serious budget who also doesn’t want to attempt the DIY version, there is a seller on Etsy who makes something in a similar style but denser, smaller, less spherical, and also in lots of different colors. Search “ceiling shade” and you’ll find them. I don’t have one so can’t attest to the quality, but thought I’d share anyway.


  105. LPFeb 5, 20117:15 pm

    So glad you were able to find it! I saw these all over the lighting stores in Saigon, Viet Nam when was I was there last month. I also thought they were beautiful but could not figure out how I would be able to take them back on my flight back to the states. I suppose I could have had them shipped home but I really just couldn’t justify the price of shipping for something that probably won’t look as nice in my space (lower ceilings).


  106. DanielleFeb 6, 201110:11 am

    Just thought I would add that “Madebygirl” did a similar DIY project. I am not sure if she used the method discussed above, but she seemed happy with the outcome.


  107. jjaFeb 6, 201112:04 pm

    Great lamp! My friend made something very (amazingly but true!) similar to the original version but it took her many working hours and talent I don’t have.


  108. julia -rockthathorseFeb 6, 20111:51 pm

    Hello Anna, what a wonderful story! I just wanted to send you this photolink:

    This is a street around the corner of our home in Amsterdam, where MOOOi has its headquater. For the second time Marcel Wanders has sponsored the Xmas decoration of the whole street with 44 random lights… such a statement. The red hats and bows are a pitty though.

    Happy to read that you’ve got one!


  109. KristinFeb 7, 20116:46 am
  110. ErikFeb 12, 201110:28 am

    Good on you! In this case I wouldn’t mind buying a copy of it though, having read that a lamp looking exactly like the rangarian-swede I think.ndom was designed sometime in the 70’s, by a hu


    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, Erik. Who designed the lamp you’re referring to?

  111. Josh GruetzmacherFeb 24, 201110:14 am

    Great story. I love your conversational writing style. You should try hitting twitter every time you’re looking for something.


  112. ConnorFeb 28, 20117:20 pm

    There’s a store downtown (in Santa Barbara) that sells these and every time I walk by I end up staring at them longingly. I’ve never gone in to ask how much they were, because I figured that if I didn’t ask I could imagine that they were in my price range…
    This post dashed my hopes and almost immediately rekindled them! :D


  113. StefMar 13, 20121:13 pm

    I just came here and searched “random” specifically to re-find this post all because I was day dreaming about dining room lighting and remembered how *awesome* this story is. I know that’s not really relevant to anything, but really, what an epic tale. It’s still great a year+ later.


  114. Edgars @ Modern HouseMar 18, 201210:51 am

    What a great story, you deserve to have this lamp in your life!


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