Six ways to brighten up your home for spring

New year, new you. But what about your house? Brightening up your home during these dull winter days is easy with a few choice pieces. And before you know it, it will be spring.

Artichoke light.jpg

A Danish ‘Artichoke’ lampshade by designer Pole Henningsen estimated at £2000-3000.

Here are six ideas for objects to buy at auction to brighten up your home without resorting to redecorating.

1. Statement light

Artechoke 2.jpg

A Danish ‘Artichoke’ lampshade by designer Pole Henningsen estimated at £2000-3000 at Sworders' January 28 sale.

Nothing says brighten a room more than a stand out lamp and the Danish ‘Artichoke’ lampshade by designer Pole Henningsen really makes a statement.

When in 1958 Danish designer Henningsen was invited to design the lighting for a new restaurant on Copenhagen’s Langelinie waterfront, he revisited an idea he had considered, then scrapped, more than 30 years earlier. He chose a ceiling light that resembled the upside-down flowerhead of a budding artichoke.

The first five Artichoke lamps were made by lighting manufacturer Louis Poulsen for the Langelinie Pavilion. Each was made from 72 copper leaves that together concealed the light source. Painted a pale pink to the underside, the diffused light gave diners below a rosy glow.

Henningsen’s design proved both influential and popular and is still made today. Vintage examples of the Artichoke lamp are hard to come by but this one at Sworders is offered on January 28, as part of 20th Century Design auction, with a £2000-3000 estimate.

View and bid for this Artichoke pendant lamp on

2. Occasional table

Occasional table.jpg

An Art Deco occasional table estimated at £100-200 on January 25 at Roseberys.

A functional and stylish occasional table is an easy way to improve a bland room. This Art Deco walnut two tier table is being offered at Roseberys new Modern Home auction on January 25 with an estimate of £100-200. The c.1930 veneered top on curved bentwood legs is less than 2ft wide so can fit into most spaces.

View and bid for this Art deco table on

3. Convex mirror

This Regency giltwood convex wall mirror, c.1815 will certainly make guests look twice. It has a label for maker Thomas Fentham and has provenance to Hambrook House, Gloucestershire. It is being offered at Dreweatts’ January 29 sale with a £500-700 estimate. Convex mirrors first became popular as early as the fifteenth century. Famously one features in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini portrait. They have a multitude of names including porthole mirror (it looks like a porthole on a ship), butler’s/banker’s mirror (you can view the room behind you without being obvious) or oeil de sorcière (witches’ or sorcerer eye) mirror.

Whatever you call it, this one will make an impact.

View and bid for this convex mirror on

4. Feature chair


A Glenister Windsor wheel-back elbow chair estimated at £50-70 on January 25 at Semley Auctioneers.

Pull up a chair, interior design can be exhausting. One way of creating a focal point is a chair that can be functional and look good. A Windsor style wheelback chair is a reasonably cheap option. Semley Auctioneers is offering this Thames Valley wheel-back elbow chair by Glenister of High Wycombe on January 25 with an estimate of £50-70.

View and bid for this wheelback chair on

5. Advertising sign

Crow Bar ad sign.jpg

A vintage advertising sign for Crow Bar tobacco to be offered on January 29 at Victor Mee in Ireland with an estimate of €500-800.

Vintage advertising signs are in demand with collectors and decorators. There are plenty of cheap options available but some of the more unusual or sought-after styles (typically those with pictorial subjects) cost a few hundred or even a few thousand pounds. On January 29 Victor Mee in Ireland is holding a pub memorabilia and advertising auction.

Among the lots is this Crow Bar tobacco advert featuring a gentleman who “Knows what is best and insists upon it”. It is estimated at €500-800.

View and bid for this vintage advertising sign on

6. Candlesticks

To some candlesticks may seem old fashioned but for design lovers a pair of Victorian or older candlesticks can look great contrasted against a more modern interior. This 11in (27cm) high pair of Victorian ormolu table candlesticks in the French neoclassical style will brighten up the darkest of evenings.

They are offered with an estimate of £50-80 at McTear’s January 31 auction. View and bid for these Victorian ormolu table candlesticks on

New to auctions? Read about how to buy at auction here and find out how auction charges work.

For more on furniture ideas visit our furniture guide.

Send feedback on this article