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Tiki Tacky Terrific

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Entering The Lamp Shop in Burlington’s Art’s District on the banks of Vermont’s Lake Champlain is like falling down Alice’s Rabbit Hole. Or time traveling to late-80’s Atlanta when the B-52’s Roamed Around the World, Rockin’ Lobsters (I have some experience with that…just ask my brother and cousin). Needless-to-say, this ATL 80’s-educated gal felt right at home inside The Lamp Shop’s terrifically colorful shade-oasis. (Take me back to those Love Shack days.)


One of author’s fave GA bands. I pogo’d with the best of them in the Atlanta 80’s scene.

(Photo courtesy discogs.)

And vintage-antiques…let’s just say, catnip for my Georgia roots.

The Lamp Shop Owner Liz Segal loves lamps – and shades, and pillows, and funky furniture, and cocktail neon signs, and vintage 60’s chandeliers, and tassels, and ANYTHING tiki, leopard, pink, aqua, green, flamboyant, eye-catching, quizzical and show-stopping. Liz’s criteria is simple: anything that makes her smile. She doesn’t turn her back on tchotchkes.

“Super kitsch, the tackier the better. So bad it’s good.” – Liz Segal, Owner, The Lamp Shop

Everything in The Lamp Shop is completely re-wired and useable with pieces that range from Victorian to Art Nouveau to Deco to Brady Bunch. Liz is super proud that 90% of the shades are made in the states. Who knew? (Since discovering The Lamp Shop, I’ve purchased at least four shades and yes, one was bright green.)

The Lamp Shop opened officially in 1999 in a former tie-dye shop; survived a catastrophic pipe burst in 2015 when they lost over 700 fabric shades and priceless ephemera, but has bounced back since, selling refurbished vintage lighting to local clients who pop in the store and clients like me who roam from other parts of the county.

When pressed to choose her favorite piece du jour, Liz pauses. “Besides the cocktail sign in the entrance, I’d have to go with this tiki-thing behind me…but it depends on my mood.”

So “roam if you want to – roam around the world,” and should you find yourself in Burlington, drop in The Lamp Shop. A trippy trip but so worth it.  

Colorful lamps-n-things. The Lamp Shop, 424 Pine Street, Burlington, Vermont. Open Tuesday-Friday and Saturdays. 802.864.6782

Author with lamp shade purchase discussing all-things-shade with The Lamp Shop owner Liz Segal.

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Welcome to On 5th Street East, a weekly column on trends, tips and profiles in travel, design, lifestyle, hospitality, homes and development.

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