I’m back with midcentury home furnishings: Oceanic Arts lamps, Joybird, and my grandmother’s Heywood Wakefield

2017 was the year I finally replaced my old Ikea sofa with some midcentury fabulous Joybird reproduction furniture (I loved that Ikea sofa – it just wasn’t me anymore) and realized my dream of some SWEET OCEANIC ARTS LAMPS! In bittersweet news, our beloved family realtor and friend Florence Trelford passed away, leaving me the Heywood Wakefield bookcase and  round coffee table that had previously belonged to my grandmother.

Yiayia’s Heywood Wakefield bookcase and table. Thank you to Mrs. Trelford and Linda for bringing me back together with these beauties!

I hate losing family, and that’s exactly what Mrs. T was to us. But as long as we have to lose people, it is comforting to have things to remember them by. And these items bring double the memories because I’d grown up with them in my Yiayia’s house. The round table was the spot where we’d put her Christmas tree every year, and my mom’s beloved pet as a teen – her crazy cat George (who was a girl, incidentally) – used to sit within the table’s round pedestal base. We gifted the furniture to Mrs. T when we sold my grandmother’s house back in the 1990s, and the table and bookcase became fun conversation pieces – Mrs. T liked to collect the same things I did! Whenever I look at the bookcase and table, now on display in my living room, I think of them both.

And they look GREAT with my new Joybird Hughes sofa and chair!

Hughes sofa by Joybird.
Joybird Hughes chair with Bonus Leota.
My refinished Heywood Wakefield coffee table from my Joybird Hughes sofa.

I went with Joybird’s full-sized Hughes sofa and chair in a navy velvet upholstery with medium-stain legs, and it hasn’t disappointed. I can vacuum the cat hair right off and these are super-comfortable to lounge on. Just ask Madame Leota!

While you have to wait a bit to get your stuff from Joybird (I ordered in February and FREE delivery happened as-promised in early April), they have great 20% off sales a few times a year AND everything is custom-created based on your preferences. You can even pay a little extra to change the furniture dimensions if you need to, but I didn’t.

Joybird also has a revolving selection of upholstery to fit every need. The stuff I chose may or may not be in stock when you order, but there will very likely be something else that will work for you. Joybird literally has a style, texture, and color for everyone, and the prices are reasonable. And, you can build your collection as time goes on with matching furniture from the same family or other Joybird styles that complement your original choices. In addition to a sofa and chair, the Hughes collection also offers a variety of sectionals, matching ottomans and who knows what else.

Oceanic Arts lamps!
Oceanic Arts lamps!
Oceanic Arts lamp at the showroom!

At around the same time I ordered my new furniture, my friend Gretchen and I went back to Oceanic Arts in Whittier to order me some TIKI LAMPS. I bought a cobalt blue float lamp, complete with net pocket and fixture kit, and a beautiful hexagonal glass, bamboo, and tapa cloth swag lamp (listed on the OA site as a “Tapa Squash Shade”).

Both arrived nearly ready to hang. We had to splice the tapa lamp to a swagable cord and add a chain and some ceiling hooks from which to hang it. The float lamp needed a long extension cord and a swag chain and ceiling hooks from which to hang it. And of course, we had to add lightbulbs. 🙂

The folks at Oceanic Arts are super-accommodating and offer reasonably-priced shipping, something I needed as I was heading home via Amtrak and couldn’t carry anything with me (plus, they had to actually assemble the tapa lamp, which took only a few days). Really, you can’t go wrong with Oceanic Arts. Their stuff is top-rate, the prices are reasonable, and the service is amazing. They’re so famous they COULD gouge the crap out of people, but they don’t and I treasure that.

Christmas with Ocean Arts lamps.
Oceanic Arts tapa squash lamps at Disneyland – right next to Tiki Room!

The tapa lamp is gorgeous – if you go to a lot of tiki bars and/or Disney resorts, you’ve likely seen a LOT of Oceanic Arts lampery, including this one. Off the top of my head, I know I’ve seen this model on the outside terrace at Disneyland’s Trader Sam’s, on the Adventureland walkway right next to Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and in the special event room in the Hollywood Brown Derby at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park. And it’s not just lamps they’ve done for Disney – from the signage and decor for Disney’s Polynesian Village resort to carvings on Epcot’s Norwegian stave church, Oceanic Arts has done everything. And Disney is just one of their many famous clients over the decades. They’ve been in business since the 1950s.

So what’s next? For $25 at a folk dance camp auction last August, I got a large piece of tapa cloth that I plan to put on the wall behind the lamps. I’ll swap out the Haunted Mansion gate plaque and mirror for my currently-upstairs tikis (don’t worry, the Mansion stuff will still be on display somewhere in the house), and add a little console-style bar for all of our tiki mugs. FUN.

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