How to Source and Style Vintage Lighting + Weekly Auction Picks

alabaster lamp vintage lighting

You probably pass (or scroll) by them all the time -- vintage lighting that draws your eye, but the shade is torn or dated and the overall look just seems out of place for your aesthetic. If you’re like some, you might buy a lamp in need of love with the intention of updating it and giving it a new lease on life, only for it to collect dust in a closet and seen only when hunting for the screwdriver.

Sound like you? Keep reading as Christie Marie shares her tips for sourcing, updating and styling vintage lighting and getting a look you love with minimal hassle -- and a fraction of the cost of buying new.

And of course, keep scrolling for her AuctionNinja picks.


What types of lighting do you look for on AuctionNinja?

There are so many treasures to be found! While looking through new auctions, I keep an open mind and try to ignore lamp shades because those can so easily be switched out. I most often look for alabaster lamps, printed ginger-jar lamps, crystal-cut lamps, Murano glass sconces, lamps and/or chandeliers, and lantern pendants.

The below are the keywords that I use to narrow down the many items on AuctionNinja at any given time. I'll then look through the refined selection searching for unique lighting in my geographic area.


How do you update vintage lighting so it feels fresh and modern?

First of all, always take vintage lighting to your local lighting store to make sure that the wiring is safe. If needed, they can easily rewire and while the lamp is in for work, you can also replace any missing or damaged crystals, if applicable (chandeliers, sconces, etc.). My go-to, tried and true is The Accessory Store in Stamford, CT.

I then more often than not switch out the lamp shade on vintage table or floor lamps. I'm currently loving the pleated shades from Le Krazy Horse - the pleats really make a simple vintage brass or alabaster base pop! Or alternatively, I'll go for a simple linen coolie shade.

The finial (little knob at the top of the shade) is also very easy to switch out and I recommend doing so after you find the perfect shade so it tops off your newly completed look!


Auction Ninja

Photo courtesy of Christie Marie Home


How do you style vintage lighting so it feels cohesive with your overall look?

I love mixing new and old pieces together and find that it gives the room character without making it look dated. Some pieces I prefer to buy new, like a couch for example, or I'll reupholster a vintage armchair to make it feel fresh. Accessories and lighting, on the other hand, I prefer to buy vintage because they're really the accents that bring the space together and I prefer my home to be filled with unique finds that I've collected over time. They let the space tell a story, reflect your personality, and feel one of a kind - SO important!

Often new lighting styles are made to look old so you're much better off finding an authentic vintage treasure and mixing it in with newer pieces to balance your space. 


Christie Marie's AuctionNinja Picks


Auction Ninja


  1. Lovely Ginger Jars Lot of 3 Charming Blue and White Hamptons (Sisters in Charge Estate Sales)

  2. Boho Chic Vintage Pair of Bamboo Rattan Lounge Chairs (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  3. (20th C) Chinese Blue & White Garden Seat (McInnis Auctioneers & Estate Sales)

  4. Slim Aarons ‘Poolside in Sotogrande’ 1975, C Type Photograph (Black Rock Galleries)

  5. Three Botanicals by Richard Van Genderen & Lauren Lachance (Modern Day Auctions)

  6. Double Cane Back Settee (Fairfield County Consignments)

  7. Wood Secretary Desk from Southampton Furniture, Quality Inlaid Detail (Full of Surprizes Estate and Tag Sales Auctions)


Other Picks Not to Miss:


Enjoy the hunt! 

Follow along on Instagram for more vintage hunting and home decorating tips as Christie Marie decorates her first home outside of NYC and makes it her own!


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