Is it a room divider? Is it a pole lamp? Is it a display shelf? Yes!

mid century modern pole lamp room dividerThree consistently desirable accessories for many owners of mid century homes are pole lamps … room dividers … and display shelves. Well, clever reader Carin recently spotted — and nabbed — this interesting thingamabob that combines all three. It’s a room divider that installs like an adjustable, floor-to-ceiling pole lamp … It features working lights in one of the poles …. And has shelves to display tall vases, too. What a great piece. Carin writes:

We found this AMAZING room tension divider hidden in the corner of a crowded store.

mid century modern pole lamp room divider

The lighting globes are pristine and they work! Have not seen another one like it…a $45 STEAL.

I agree — a steal, Carin. There is nothing like scavenging the far, dusty reaches of thrift shops, vintage stores, estate sales and salvage places. Take your wet naps, a flashlight and lots of patience with you, people, and the Retro Decorating Gods will restore you in due course.

Thank you for sharing, Carin. I was particularly interested in seeing the complete unit — including how the pole installed at the ceiling, so I really appreciate your working with me to get these photos. With so many folks working very hard to conserve their money these days, I was thinking this design would be pretty straightforward to recreate, if you are handy. Once things settle down around my house, I might give this a try myself. This unit is particularly versatile because of its size, the integrated lighting and even those shelves.

Hey, I’d suggest something sticky, though — Poster Putty? — on the bottom of the vases. One tipsy bump and bye bye, Blenko! Also, be sure to have a professional check the wiring on anything vintage.


  1. BungalowBILL says:

    Great look and love the pots. There is a product called ‘Quakehold’, which is a museum putty made to secure objects. It is removable, reusable, and doesn’t harm furniture.

  2. Jon Hunt says:

    That is so nifty!!!

    I am thinking of building my own room divider in the bathroom between the toilet and the sink — has anybody ever had any experience BUILDING these things? Do they still make patterned plastic sheets of any kind?

    1. Joe says:

      If you have a Home Depot or Lowe’s near you, give them a visit. You should be able to find the plastic you’re looking for (in different colors and patterns) over in the department where they sell the supplies for suspended ceilings/lights.

  3. Joe says:

    I ALMOST bought one just like that at an auction I was at a couple weeks ago but they were doing simultaneous bidding in 2 diff places so I was on the other side of the building. Super cool piece in the top picture!

  4. JKaye says:

    Cool! The rest of Carin’s room looks good too.

    Whenever I see pole lamps, I think to my days as a kid in the early 60s. We had cousins — three boys — who treated their living room as a big gym, and the pole lamp was a major part of their gymnastics routine. It got destroyed, of course. Those boys sure would have had fun with this room divider.

  5. Chutti says:

    Looks great! I love pole lamps…at one point my family had three identical ones. My mom had ordered one from a catalog. They sent another. She called to return it, and they sent a third! She figured she’d better stop before it got out of hand!
    These were the general issue black cones with the “brass” turny knob on the ends.
    How fun would it be to have them all today?

    We have one magnificent specimen that wont’ fit 8 ft ceilings-minimum 10 ft. Odd, I think for MCM houses. Also a model on a base that is great next to a bed for reading.

    LOove this divider idea. Sweet. And a big vote from CA for Quake hold. Good stuff.

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