This story (turned saga) begins with a grumpy husband (Scott) and a stubborn wife (Kim). Husband wants to sleep, because he gets up for work at 4:30 am and sits in traffic to reach his office. Wife gets up at 6:30, hits the snooze for at least 45 minutes, then very slowly begins her work days at home. In the evenings, said husband goes to bed very, very early, and said wife enjoys the comfort of a good book in bed. Using a floor lamp as bright as the sun.
Yes, I could read my highly intelligent chick lit on the couch, but I want to be by my man. He goes to bed early, so I do too. He covers his head with pillows, and I – with guilty pangs, of course – read by the light of a 40 watt bulb on a whole-room illuminating floor lamp. He would grumble; we’d bicker (and don’t they say, never go to bed angry? Oops). So, you see, something had to change. And then I read about Daniel’s Ikea Frack Hack over in his Manhattan Nest.
Using a $5 Ikea mirror, he adds electrical magic with wire, a socket, adapters and voila! – super sweet bedside lights. I thought, hey, we can do this, too! I show Scott, he approves, and he even picks up the two Fracks. I order the wire that Daniel recommends from Sundial (also seen on our most recent lighting dilemma), and we plan a trip to the store for the sockets and adapters that weekend.
And this is when it becomes a saga.
We hit the hardware store for the socket and adapter-nut-doos, only to find that they don’t sell the proper ones. For this to work, we need a socket with 1) a switch and 2) a hole that comes out the side for the wire to pass through. Oddly enough, that combination wasn’t available. No big, we thought. We continued our search to a different shop, and then another one, and then another one after that. And no one had the damn sockets. (In fact, a lighting specialty store told us that what we’re looking for doesn’t even exist.)
So we hit the fancy pantsy web and searched there. Nothing. I went back to Daniel’s original post and scoured the comments for more information, Yelp!-ed the shop where he scooped his supplies, and I called them like any normal, totally sane DIY enthusiast. After several attempts for voice contact (with no answer), I finally lost it. I told Scott, it’s hopeless! We’re doomed to a life of bright lights and floor lamps!
And then I emailed Daniel. I told him that – aside from praising his glorious invention – even in this big, bad, windy city, there were no hole-out-the-side sockets to be found. Not to mention, there surely weren’t any andapter-doos! (Which, by the way, are known as IP reducers.) I must have sounded awfully desperate (I was), because he bought them for us. Then he mailed them to us. Then I payed him back with virtual hugs and kisses (oh, and PayPal money, too) while praising the blogging gods for being so awesome and sending us our hero.
Scott spent all of ten minutes putting them together and installing them in our room. We shuffled our cutie cubes (formally stacked together on the window side) so they flanked the bed and centered each light above it.
Of course, I took this as an opportunity to get a new alarm clock. Since now, you know, it would be seen and all out in the open.
I promise you that my books don’t always match the decor. (No, really, I didn’t even stage that.) The pillows, bison print, and gold wire though? No accident.
All socket-nut problems aside, this project was so simple to execute. But our city-wide search left a bad taste in my mouth, so would I say it was easy overall? Hell no. It still astounds us that the most vital parts of Daniel’s hack were non-existent in Chicago (the closest we got was a helpful dude from this store, but even he was puzzled), but our interweb hero saved the day. And our marriage. Well, that, and a 25 watt bulb. (Just so we’re clear, the original floor lamp took a special weirdo bulb that we couldn’t find in a lower wattage; this was most likely due to the fact that the lamp itself came from Ikea, therefore making all replacement parts hard to find in all of America.)
We still don’t know what to do with the mirrors.
(Unfortunately, the Ikea Frack mirror is no longer on the site. But apparently, you can get it on Amazon. Also, gah, it seems it’s jumped in price to $12.99.)