#designupnorth, Design, DIY, Interior Design, lighting
comments 20

My trip to Dowsing & Reynolds #designupnorth

I took a little trip yesterday to pick up some fabric lighting cable for a project i’m doing. It involves this:

Lightbox Exit

An emergency exit light box. I picked it up for £2.50 from a charity shop last month. Had no idea if it worked, or if I could even “remodel” it, but I love a challenge. Aka. Giving my OH something else to re-wire.

Light boxes are springing up everywhere at the moment, typography is HUGE right now and interchangeable letters in said light boxes are even HUGER. (Is that a word?). Especially when they nail that nostalgic vibe of old light up cinema signs.

Lightbox UK

Lightbox UK

Not like this one obviously. I don’t even drink beer. It makes me pull a really awful face. More like this one from Goodwin & Goodwin.


This pulls a lot of my loves together in one big light up box:

  • Lighting
  • Typography
  • Vintage
  • Industrial
  • Iconic phrases, sayings, mantras

I want some of this. I’m gona make my own. First things first, I need a flex to wire into the box. Which gave me a great excuse to bob down to Dowsing & Reynolds.

Dowsing & Reynolds

Originally selling vintage light bulbs, Leeds based business Dowsing & Reynolds has grown rapidly since 2013,  now selling fabric lighting cable, ceiling lights and designer lighting accessories. Also offering some of their own designs and even branching out into unique home decor.


“Dowsing & Reynolds is all about home décor with an edge. Beautiful and bespoke lighting products, feature wallpaper, on-trend clocks and phones.”

Dowsing & Reynolds

How cool is that?

ally-dowsing-reynoldsJames and Ally, the husband and wife team behind Dowsing & Reynolds have poured their heart and soul into this business and it’s clear from their paired back office and warehouse surroundings that they love all things industrial, vintage, salvage and design. And lighting of course.


“Each aged steel domed cage light shade is aged for 28 days – rather like a good steak.”

They have also perfected the perfect recipe for making rust, which took a few attempts by all accounts and is now top secret. Not really. Just being dramatic. The 28 day aged steel domed cage lamp, is hand made making each one unique.

Dowsing & Reynolds

Scaffold shelving. And rows and rows of goodies.

Dowsing & Reynolds

You can never have too much swag, bulbs or cage lights.

Dowsing & Reynolds

“Art is another passion of James’ and he commissioned Scoph to put a street art mural on the wall of the Mill where we’re based.”

Y’all know I adore art. I’ve written so many posts about art already. Always good to see local artists being commissioned by businesses, Scoph, being based a few miles away from Leeds, in Sheffield. You can’t deny the link between creativity and productivity. The Dowsing & Reynolds’ office base was brimming with both.

Dowsing & Reynolds

“Power Grenade” by Shepard Fairey.

Loving the “Power” right next to the light switch. Cheeky.

copper cage light

Dowsing & Reynolds’ new copper pendant light looking stunning next to that desk lamp and battered wall. Oh and little bespoke copper pipe shelving unit positioned above.

“These particular cage light shades are hand-crafted especially for Dowsing and Reynolds and electroplated here in Yorkshire.”

Go Yorkshire!

Dowsing & Reynolds Fabric Cable

So after nattering with the team for 15 minutes, taking some snaps, and discussing the “top secret” rusting process, I got my hands on the cable. And I went for the black and white fabric option as you just can’t go wrong with monochrome. I’ve just ordered two pieces of cut to size perspex. That cost me £4. Not bad. I might just make a lamp of out this emergency exit sign yet!

Update: You can now see my completed lightbox here.


  1. Oh I love Dowsing and Reynolds, they are SUCH cool (and super nice) people – so cool you got a snoop around their shop – I must take a visit at some point! Thanks for the little tour 🙂 xx

    • You’re welcome. Yeah I saw you got some fab lighting from them. And, yes they’re lovely. Really nice to meet everyone down there! 🙂 x

    • Thanks Rachel 🙂 I was pretty torn, but with me not quite knowing exactly where it’s going and the box probably going black, I thought a monochrome cable was best!

  2. pennyalexander says

    I am really enjoying all your finds at the moment, I don’t know how you find time or the know how to pull out these fascinating bits and bobs – I am loving watching them all unfold though 🙂

    • Haha. Thanks Penny! My brain is constantly churning out ideas and I spend far too much time in charity shops and junk shops. I’m also a sucker for a bargain, I need a workshop desperately!!

  3. I need to get up to Dowsing and Reynolds. Absolutely love your post, you can’t beat a good bit of rusting. Nice to come across a fellow thrifty, charity shop hunter.

    • Thanks Karen, and nice to meet you too! D&S don’t actually have a shop, they’re online only but I managed to sneak in for a nosey 🙂

  4. Looks like a really interesting place. I love that copper pipe shelf and the pendant light. Your light box project sounds really exciting. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Good Luck with it!

  5. Really looking forward to seeing that light box all spruced up and with its fab new fabric cable, I really love the idea of creating your own lighting options & the Dowsing & Reynolds site is like a sweetie shop for interiors addicts like us! xx

  6. Jen Stanbrook says

    Can’t wait to see how your project turns out, love Dowsing and Reynolds. I need that copper light!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.