Lotus Moments

Lotus Moment: From Lotus To Light Bulbs

Small Light Fixture in the Octagon House by Candace Nicholson

Why this is awesome: Last fall, I gifted myself a mini-road trip to the Hudson River Valley on Halloween. I did a few cliched things like visit the home of Washington Irving and enjoyed a meal in the town of Sleepy Hollow (which had outdoor costume contests, storefront trick-or-treating, and games for kids under age 16). But my favorite part of my trip was a visit to the Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, New York.

This beautiful work of Victorian architecture-meets-esoteric spiritualism is an example of a minor trend where wealthy Americans flirted with their own updated versions of classical forms. A wonder to behold from the outside, the inner decor of this amazing structure is even more stunning.

Some of the home is exactly what you'd expect from a space with this type of legacy. And some of it is a truly pleasant surprise, as seen in the image above. At a time when electricity was still only a rich man's game, Joseph Stiner installed these ornate lamps in the smaller rooms that are just the perfect size and the perfect motif for a home that would go on to be used for seances and gatherings held by occult enthusiasts.

The detail on each hand holding the light fixtures is brilliant (pun intended), as well as the flower-like cocoon wrapping the base of the extension into the ceiling. Note how around each wrist of the hands there's a bracelet with a single dangling charm. The symbol on the charm is just as intricate as the etchings on the glass bowls covering the light bulbs, and the carvings on the base itself.

This triangular room near the front of the house is meant to be a small library or study. Easily viewed as a throwaway room to fill an odd pocket of a house with 8 sides, yet it was this "minor" retreat and its decor that stayed with me many months after my visit.

Something tells me that the turn-of-the-century occultist community would have appreciated that.

Another Angle on the Small Light Fixture at Octagon House by Candace Nicholson

Top Image: Small Light Fixture in the Octagon House by Candace Nicholson | Bottom Image: Another Angle on the Small Light Fixture at Octagon House by Candace Nicholson

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