Let’s Talk About Balls

10 Oct

Back when I told you the sad story about my lack of a linen closet, I let you in on the secret that makes my little house work: my walk-up attic. And when I showed you this picture, I knew there would be a question or two about those big copper balls that live in the attic right now. And I was right.

The thing is – they only live in the attic because I don’t know what to do with them. Yet. Here’s how they came to be ours.

It was quite awhile ago that I started spotting these amazing copper pendants throughout the blogosphere. I remember seeing this image and it was a truly gasp inducing sight.

A little research taught me that the designer of the pendants was Tom Dixon but at this price, they were never going to be mine. At least certainly not in repetition like they should be displayed. Case in point:

So, when Pablo and I used a summer Friday last year to spend the day shopping for the house sans-kids (which is the ONLY way to shop P.S.), we were thrilled to stumble upon these weird slightly-burnt plastic copper-looking balls at the Design Within Reach Outlet in Secaucus. I immediately loved them for their Tom Dixon-ness. Pablo, who doesn’t know his Tom Dixon from his Thomas O’Brien, just thought they looked cool.  (He’s cute when he gets excited about design stuff, isn’t he?) Oh, and did I mention that we paid $10 a piece for them?

A little research showed us that our Design Within Reach balls were actually the originals, designed when Tom Dixon was just 9 years old. According to the DWR site, the Globo di Luce Pendant was designed by Roberto Menghi in 1968 and it’s made of hand-blown glass. So, in fact, lots of the “Tom Dixon” copper pendant pics I had been dying over could have actually been Menghi’s Globo di Luce. They’re so similar, it’s nearly impossible to tell from a picture.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Tom Dixon. He’s an amazing designer and artist and I would give my left arm to have a bunch of his Beat Lights hanging above my dining table. Aren’t the shiny gold interiors divine? (Photo via Y Lighting)

tom dixon beat

I just think the design world shouldn’t get their panties in a bunch about Tom Dixon’s copper pendants when they are clearly a tad derivative. Anyway, let’s get back to my balls. (Insert laugh like a pre-teen boy here.) If you’re the kind of person that solves the mystery in the first act (I’m talking to you, Mom!), then you might have figured out where this is going. Did you pick up the clues? You see, I mentioned that the $10 things we bought were plastic-y and kind of burnt looking, yet the DWR site clearly states that the Globo di Luce is made of handblown glass. So, we assume that ours were some kind of store display item (I can’t imagine how fragile the actual blown glass globe is!) that was never supposed to have a lamp in it. That would explain why they were kind of charred and why they were $10 instead of $1355 like they were originally tagged for. (Did someone put a bulb in them when they weren’t supposed to?) But we figured we could hang them somewhere and just use them as an objet. (Yes, I just used the French word for object. I kinda love  it and I’m not at all embarassed using it. OK. Maybe a little embarassed.) And we tried a bunch of different places around the house but they weren’t quite right anyway. So a year later, my balls live in the attic.

Tomorrow let’s talk about a few of the ideas we’ve had for hanging them around the house.  I think you’ll agree that several ideas don’t work  because they either look like cajones or “boops”. FYI: that’s Lily’s word for boobs. How cute is that?

More balls tomorrow!

(UPDATE: Click here for the link to the second part of the story. And click here to see where we ended up using them.)

XO

Sue at Home

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3 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Balls”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Organizing the Linen “Closet” « sue at home - February 16, 2013

    […] you ask? Oh, that’s another post for another day! (Update: Read all about the copper balls here and […]

  2. House Tour: Living Room | sue at home - March 10, 2013

    […] balls: Design Within Reach Annex (read their interesting history here and […]

  3. Let’s Talk About Balls – Part II | Sue At Home - January 21, 2014

    […] you’ll recall from Part 1 of this story, we bought two big copper balls for $10 a piece at the Design Within Reach Annex in Secaucus. They […]

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