Design Monday: All Strung Up

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The Lift Lamp with red twisted cloth cord
  • Schoolhouse Electric Co.
  • Schoolhouse's Lift Lamp features red twisted cloth cord.

In the '90s, cordless phones and battery-operated small appliances ruled the day. And while most of us would never want to return to the inconvenience of being bound to the kitchen to talk on the phone, electrical cords have made a recent resurgence.

Exposed Cords. Styling by Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Usually thought of as unsightly and messy, cords for lamps and stereos have traditionally been hidden behind sofas or within walls. But thanks to the reproduction of old-school, cloth-covered wire lengths, designers have begun to embrace wire as a functional and esthetically pleasing design element.

Perhaps the company the best reflects this esthetic is Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Co. The Portland, Ore. company specializes in reproducing old-fashioned lighting. Attached to each of their lamps is a vintage-style cloth cord, whether brightly colored or twisted in elegant spirals, it epitomizes the concept that in good design, every last detail is considered.

Imagine the life that could be added to a simple lamp by re-wiring it with a length of this stuff. Inspiration also abounds at Sundial Wire, where they offer many varieties of cloth cords, including Red & Putty Small Hound’s-Tooth, the slightly shiny Gold Rayon Twisted Wire or the green and beige Overbraid Cotton Bungalow Cord.

Gold Cloth Covered Wire from Sundial Wire
  • Sundial Wire
  • Sundial Wire offers gold cloth-covered wire.

Locally, cloth wire can be found in limited supply at Alloway Electric Co. However, they should be able to order any varieties not regularly carried in the store.

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