• Lata Hamilton

Never take no for an answer, because there is ALWAYS a way

It all started with the towels. We’d gone through 2 different batches of turquoise-coloured towels - one from a fancy retailer and the other from a budget retailer, and the same thing happened with both. Our apartment got filled with turquoise fibres and our skin got covered with turquoise lint. No matter how many washes, the towels kept generously giving the gift of green fluff - which was ridiculously hard to get off the walls, floors, skirting boards, roof and, most probably, the insides of our lungs. Finally concluding that particular colour of dye must damage the cotton fibres, we got rid of the towels and I trekked off to Adairs - the source of all towels in my family home through my teenage years. I opted for a navy blue set this time, and as I was leaving I noticed it: a gorgeous lamp with watercolour-painted green and lemon flowers. The glass lamp base was a little hideous, but the lampshade itself was so pretty - large and very, very unique. It would make the perfect addition to our new apartment… when we moved in 4 months’ time!!

How much is too much?

I checked the price tag. It was 50% off but still $99.95. For a lamp? Homewares inspiration had struck when I watched every season of The Great Interior Design Challenge in a matter of weeks, but I don’t remember anyone spending $100 on one mere lamp. I weighed it up, I ummed and ahhed, I texted it to my boyfriend in the hope of getting an endorsement on the purchase… he said he thought we had agreed we wouldn’t buy anything new until we moved in and actually saw the space and what we needed. He spoke sense, but this was a WANT, not a NEED.

What did it was the base… the strange green, clear, glass base that I’d have to replace. So the lamp would cost MORE than $100. I figured if fate meant for me to have it, it would be there when I got back from my 2 month trip to Europe (and ideally cost less!). I snapped a pic, then sadly paid for my navy towels and farewelled the lamp I had been lusting over for 20 minutes.

White and blue and gold Louis XIV interior design
French Powder Blue Room

Take 2

Fast forward 3 months and I got back from Europe, we selected an apartment, and I chose the colour scheme for my new home office. The colour palettes of France still lingered, and I had a newfound appreciation for dove greys, dusty greens and powder blues, with glints of brass, copper and gold, on white or cream backgrounds. So I decided on a grey and teal theme… and realised THAT LAMP WOULD BE PERFECT!! 

En route to IKEA, I dragged my boyfriend into Adairs in hunt for the lamp. No. Where. To . Be . Found. Panicked, I asked the sales assistant, and showed her the photo I had taken. She told me it was called the “Draping Leaves Lamp” in Sage colour. And that it was sold out. Everywhere. They had a framed print of the same dripping floral design. For $100. Like the cost of the lamp. But far less practical. 

The panic sets in

My only hope was an idea the sales assistant gave me. She said that the Homebush factory outlet store takes old stock to sell, and I could call and ask. An hour later, I called that store but they said if it was out of stock they wouldn’t have it. And they didn’t have it. 

The next week was spent pining over the photo I had taken, and searching “Draping Leaves Lamp Sage” on Google. The research also started. 

  • Adairs has a team of designers, who handpainted that lamp. It really was unique - and if I couldn’t get it from Adairs, I couldn’t get it anywhere. 

  • Lamps are ridiculously expensive! I am new to interior design and homewares, but $100 for a lamp is actually a bargain. If I had known that, I would have bought it back before my trip.

  • The green glass base grew on me, because of the big dark green balloon-shaped glass jars in my French apartment and at the flea markets. It had a different meaning now.

The decision to never go back

I decided come hell or high water, if there was one of these lamps still in existence I WOULD FIND IT AND BUY IT.

I searched eBay.

I searched the Adairs website.

I searched Google Images multiple times.

Finally, I hit upon an idea. I emailed the Adairs customer service team telling them about my lamp love and begging for one if there was any left, even if the base was broken I would take the lampshade. 

Within 24 hours they emailed back - Could I send a photo? 

I emailed the photo. 

They emailed back - Which state did I live in? 

I emailed my state. 

They emailed back - The actual name of this product is “Eden Table Light”, these stores near you have this lamp but in limited stock. Best to call them and see if they actually have them.

I called the closest store with the highest quantity. And… I got my lamp. They’ve put it on hold for me and I pick it up on Saturday. I am literally so happy right now. 

I'm sure there was a point...

So this article was originally going to be themed around “Don’t miss your chance!”. But after 4 months, 3 stores and a Head Office helping me, and trying as many ways I could think of to find this beloved product, this article is instead about “Never giving up on your dreams”... even if those dreams are just a lamp. Marie Kondo talks about items that “spark joy”... and it’s more than items. It’s experiences, it’s music, it’s people, it’s food, it’s places, it’s skills, it’s any passion. Anything that sparks joy and drives desire in you is worth chasing, worth fighting for, worth going after no matter what it takes. Sometimes it’s not the right time, or you don’t get what you want straight away, or people tell you no, it can’t be done. There is ALWAYS a way to get what you want.

Oh, and by the way, that lamp? Discounted to $59.95 now. Fate clearly meant for me to have it.

Lata Hamilton is the Founder and Head Coach of Passion Pioneers. To get help finding your feet and finding your future through your next career change, contact us via our website for your complimentary Career Clarity Coaching Session: www.passionpioneers.com.au