I have especially enjoyed picking out light fixtures for our house, and when it comes to planning your own lighting, it’s best to choose more lights than you think you need.
Sconces on our bedroom bookcases
In our kitchen, I waffled on whether or not to have can lights because old houses did not historically have can lights. But boy, am I glad we decided to install just a few on either side of our island—the room is dramatically brighter. Our electrician did us a solid by choosing four-inch cans instead of six, and they blend in because they are smaller but still provide tons of light.
In my kitchen alone, I have 13 lights. I tried to follow the conventional wisdom of three types of lighting for each room: ceiling fixtures, sconces, and task lighting. That’s such an easy formula for a novice like me, but it really works. I can actually SEE in the kitchen at night. Doesn’t it make you crazy when you’re in a poorly lit space? It drives me bonkers, so 13 lights it is.
Some of our lights are pretty basic, and some are a little more eccentric. Enter the porcupine light in the dining room:
This guy is a showstopper, but I kid you not, that thing will give you a puncture wound in the head that you won’t soon forget. We need to get our table set up underneath pronto to avoid more injuries!
I spent almost a year’s salary on light fixtures for the whole house (joking/not joking), and I wanted to show you a few of my favorites here:
The great news is that if you find a fixture that’s really spendy, you can likely find a similar one for much less on sites like Wayfair or Hayneedle. So spend some time shopping (I spent an inordinate amount of time searching the web, and now I hate the internet), and there’s a very good chance you’ll find what you want at a better price.
Even if you aren’t planning the lighting for an entire house, updating a couple fixtures is a fun way to give your place a quick facelift. Tell me, what lights do you like best nowadays? My very favorites are the explosion chandelier in our dining room and the sconces in our powder room.
P.S. A friend of mine who actually buys lighting for a local store said choosing an entire “family” of lights is a style killer. So mix and match instead of buying sconces, chandeliers, and flush mounts that all look the same. If you’re worried about things looking cohesive, stick with the same finish (like nickel or brass) throughout the house. •