Our Story

Now, antique dealers are notorious for selling merchandise, shall I say, “as found” including lamps with or without lampshades.  So, many of our customers asked us where they can go to get their lamps rewired or to buy a lampshade for a lamp they purchased from AAC.  I had heard from a decorator friend who used a lampshade store in Fairfield County Connecticut to rewire their antique lamps, so with every customer who then asked, I referred them to this store.  And we sold A LOT of “as is” lamps.  There was a business yet to be developed… 

Now fast forward a year, we had purchased a new to us (old 1920) home and a pair of the most stunning Venetian Murano lamps-ever!.  We were buying Jim Thompson and Old World Weaver"s silk drapes and Clarence House upholstery fabrics so I went in to this lamp store I had recommended countless times and introduced myself to the owner.  I said “Hi I’m Ronald Scinto and I own The Antique and Artisan Center in Stamford CT.  I send you a lot of business!”  Well he nearly bit my head off, he said to me in the loudest voice “Stop sending me all these woman with broken lamps!  I’m not a repair shop!  I sell replacement lampshades!”  I was taken back, literally.., I did not know what to say.  After I gained my composure and because he was the only lampshade seller around I told him of my wish for shades for my lamps.  He told me to go home and get my god damn lamp.  I did stubbornly.  The next time I was in, about a week later,  he offered me two choices, a mushroom pleat ‘coolie’ in Hunter Green and a white vellum paper shade… I thought to myself “Ummm Howard Johnson Motor Lodge???”  Such a queen... 

I told him about the room I was creating and asked for other choices, he said “you can special order in these colors and showed me red, navy, black, white, egg and hunter green”  I said “well what happens if I don’t like it,” he said “All specials are final sale!” and again I said, do you have other frames I can try on in some of the colors you offer so I can see what they look like (being a very visual person)???   He told me I “needed a decorator’s help.”  I thought, I don’t need a decorator, I’m gay!”  What I needed was to find a store that had selection, variety and of course good taste.  We talked for a bit more and I threw out the idea of opening a location in Stamford so he can capitalize on the decorator traffic AAC had created.  He told me, “Nope, I’m happy here”.  He didn’t know then that I now knew what had to be done.  I myself had to create a lampshade and lamp repair gallery that had style, selection, variety and offers customers especially designers and decorators what I could not find myself AND with a willing smile.  Enter the concept of Illume.  My own Shangri-La emporium of beautiful locally made custom and American “ready” made shades with home accents for the town and country.  “Come in~ ...out of the Darkness” is not mine, I did not come up with it... It belongs to Miss Stevie Nicks who has made it known that when you come out of the darkness you see all that is available, spiritually, personal happiness and satisfaction.  I use it because before me and still to this day, there is not quite another store like illume.

It’s always been my belief that most people crave instant gratification and need to see a selection, a menu per se to make a decision.  I  took my grandmother’s lamp shop concept and took it to another level.  I invested thousands of dollars in stock that is all custom, my designs, my fabric, my frames in styles that reflect the current trends. When you’re in illume, you’ll see lampshades that are truly unique.  I promise you won’t find the selection of ready made “special” shades elsewhere.  Illume’s stock not only reflects today’s trends but lampshades beyond egg, white or beige.  Expect the unexpected.  “And god damn it, bring your lamp!”


Come in~

  ...out of the darkness