Saturday, April 11, 2009

dos and don'ts of installing a tord boontje garland light


DO: Admire and lust over it from afar.
DON’T: Put it up yourself.
Kidding. Just. According to the times of my frustrated twitter updates, it took me TWO hours to do. Two annoying, swear-filled hours. The instructions describe wrapping the 1.6 metre metal garland around a lightbulb as like “arranging flowers”. It’s so not. Detangling thorns, maybe, but not flower arranging. I was ready to give up after about five minutes and thought it looked quite nice as is (below). Just not very practical. So it was back to it.

But it’s done now and despite my mutters of “a piece of tinsel would have had the same effect”, it’s grown on me and I’m starting to love it. This was not love at first sight though…


Problem #1: The rubber ring they give you to stick on the end of the fitting (no clue on technical terms here – the plug thing that the lightbulb clicks into) so the metal can’t go inside is too thick so the lightbulb won’t click into place. So I had to cut the ring, and wedge it in as best I could, leaving a little gap.
Problem #2: The garland comes with a little hooky bit at the end that you attach to the pendant above the lightbulb – this is easy enough. But then you’re meant to “wrap” the garland around the bulb, hooking pieces of the garland onto each other. However, the garland just spins on its little axle and is REALLY HARD TO DO. Even harder? Getting it to look good. My first attempt looked like this (below).


Problem #3: Energy-efficient lightbulbs are not your friend here. I tried it, but did not succeed. They’re just not balloony enough so when the garland rests on it a little bit, it’s just like a skinny column instead of a delicate ball of leaves and flowers. So I swapped it for a big white bulb I magically had in my laundry and tried again. Still took three more tries, but we made it.

Problem #4: It’s not easy to redo. Because of all the intricate detail, it all sticks together, so trying to untangle it to have another go is quite the test of patience.

Problem #5: You get so annoyed at it, once it’s done, you don’t like it. Well, I didn’t anyway. I thought it looked weird and stupid. But I figured I’d leave it for at least a night (mostly because I didn’t fancy untangling it again) and check it out all lit up before I decided. Then it just grew on me and I love it a little more every time I look at it. I do wonder what visitors will think – there would be maybe one person in my life outside of work who would know what it was. Everyone else will have the same reaction: “um, what is stuck on your light?” and my very honest sister is very likely to say “it looks like you forgot to take the christmas decorations down”.


Anyway, it’s up. After two years! I like its sparkle factor in the daytime (above left) and its shadow play in the nighttime (above right). So what do you think?

PS: Just realised how many images I posted of this darn light! And how incredibly bad they are. Am on the search for new camera – any 

19 Responses to “dos and don’ts of installing a tord boontje garland light”

  1. Jacqui says:
    LOL!! Like arranging flowers eh? That would have been cue enough for me to leave it to admire from afar (my mum can do that thing with flowers but whenever I have a go, they look terrible).
    It looks great – your self restraint is amazing! How you could stop yourself constantly tugging at the drapey bits is beyond me. I’d have broken it, for sure.
  2. Lisa says:
    Wow how fiddly does that job look, I’d be taking heaps of photos after that effort too!!
    What kind of camera do you have now? If you’re after a small point & shoot the canon ixus range is great
  3. Chantelle says:
    I’ve just found your blog, and I love it.
    First of all, I had to chuckle when you said it was just like arranging flowers… umm sure, so is assembling Ikea furniture!
    Secondly, it looks wonderful. It really does.
    I hope it was worth the effort.
    Thirdly, I love, love, love my Canon EOS 450D.
  4. Oh so jealous, I love tord boontje!
    So recomend a Canon 450D. Its what we use here in the studio with a collection of lens for macro and every day shots. Couldn’t imagine life without it!!
  5. thepaperdoll says:
    OH MY GOD! I had the exact same experience with my garland light. The pictures of it are so amazing then you get it and in person not so much. My friends and I called it my pub light (I bought the bronze one so it does sort of resemble a wad of pubic hair-sorry to be so graphic). Eventually I took it down and put up a chandelier that I wrapped it around with much more success.
  6. alison says:
    you did a great job – i can only imagine how frustrating it was putting it up!! you ought to be proud of the beautiful piece!!
  7. I love it! Your post is very funny and enlightening… I’ve been thinking about buying this light (I’m a huge Tord fan) for some time, but just don’t know where I’d put it! You did a good job with it – it’s supposed to look organic!
    I have 2 cameras that I love – my DSLR is a Nikon D60, and my point and click (which also takes great shots) is a Canon IXUS 860 IS. I’d highly recommend both of them, depending on what you’re after.
  8. Amanda says:
    You’ve done a fabulous job Bel, I’m a huge fan of this piece! I too doubt any of my visitors would “get” it, but why not celebrate Christmas year round ;)
    I don’t have any camera advice sorry, I’m also in the market for a new one.
    x Amanda
    PS. I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog that ends on Thursday. You must signup, Miss L would be ever so grateful!
  9. Sheila says:
    Very entertaining. I love Tord Boontje and have been considering the garland for some time. Some one told me that two garlands together give a great effect – but I think I’m too scared now – could take me a whole weekend
  10. lisa m says:
    I have wnated one of these lights for so long!! I was thinking of one for my daughter’s room. Great job, and thanks for recordiong the frustrations so when I go to put mine up I will know what to do.
  11. Belinda says:
    i’m sure tord is my biggest fan now after such a glowing review – but it does look pretty! and, um, good thing you didn’t buy the black one thepaperdoll – that’s hilarious. sheila – i’ve heard about putting two together too, but honestly? I have no idea how you would do that – it would be even more difficult wrapping it around as it’d be heavier and it’s really only attaching to itself… i’d prob end up in straight jacket attempting that one!
  12. Vanessa says:
    This looks great…i love it. Good job! Also, i just stumbled upon your blog and love it. I’m moving in to a new place and am looking for redecorating ideas..thanks for the inspiration!
  13. Anna @ D16 says:
    Ha ha ha! I haven’t had my Garland light up for a few years (I spent a solid hour untangling it last night after pulling it out of a storage box — oy), and I had forgotten what a PITA it is to put up. I actually just Tweeted about it, then Googled the crisis to see if I’m the only one who feels this way. Thanks for letting me know I’m not! :D
    Personally, I liken the experience to arranging wild ferrets.
    I’ll take photos once mine is up and looking great, which I expect to be sometime next week at this rate.
  14. Siobhan says:
    I linked to your post via Apartment 16; I still have two sets of garlands (gold-tone) in their boxes, bought at the MoMA store a good two years ago! When I finally get around to installing them (I’m afraid…), I will definitely return to your advice. Thanks!
  15. Siobhan says:
    Oh, correction: I meant Door 16. I have an apartment mentality as long-term Brooklynite…
  16. Catherine says:
    Oh man… I bought one of these a week ago and started trying to put it up tonight. I wish there was an internet tutorial on this or a you tube clip!
  17. Aline says:
    Hi my dear friends! I’m writing from Brazil and I just bought a garland light! I tried to find a video of someone (anyone!!) putting it up, but I didn’t find it! Not a single video in youtube! So I found you guys! I’ll try tomorrow, so I’ll start early… Good luck!
  18. MsUnreliable says:
    Uh oh…I was just about to buy one of these little guys, but you’ve given me second thoughts! I’m not sure I’m patient or skilled enough to get that ‘artfully messy’ look quite right. Add to that the fact that I’d be attempting to install this on a ceiling fixture (no pendant lighting for me)…hmmm. Time to reflect :)
    Thanks for sharing the process though, it never even occurred to me how tricky it could be!
    xx Kit
  19. Abby says:
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I think you probably saved me hours of pain. I’m so pleased I found your post before I installed mine They do look fantastic though, don’t they? I love them.

No comments:

Post a Comment