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Now that it’s spring and the ground has thawed, I feel like I have “permission” to buy all the house things. Of course, I want to go straight to furniture and decorations, but those are the very last things on our priority list (if budget allows).
But lighting is the next best thing. It’s something you can see (unlike insulation in the walls) that makes a big impact on the overall design of the house.
Lighting fixtures are something that we provide and they aren’t included in our builder’s bid (recessed lighting is), but that’s fine by me because I know I wanted to get this myself and have time to visually see how it all looks together.
Though I will say I didn’t know that picking out lighting would be SO hard! I spent hours, and I mean hours, finding different light fixtures and doing collages to make sure things would flow.
Finding coordinating lighting for an open floor plan is even harder when you plan on doing something other than black or oil-rubbed bronze because then you have to make sure all the finishes match.
And if the finishes match, you still want to make sure they coordinate without being too matchy-matchy. And then they have to be in stock! So it felt like there were a lot of hurdles to jump through, but I think I did pretty good. I’m sure I’ll have regrets, but lighting is not so important or permanent that you can’t switch them out later if you must.
My Light Fixture Goals:
- European Inspired
- Brass (without being overwhelming)
- Natural Materials
I’m not an interior designer (and didn’t want to hire this out either because I knew I’d want to be in control), but by scouring other designer’s websites and blogs I was able to put together a good plan.
I love some aspects of Jenna Sue’s style (I was even influenced to buy the same couch she has), Kathy Kuo (for shopping inspo), Devol, French Country Cottage, and Patina Farms to name a few.
Here’s what I bought!
1. Kitchen Island: Finley Vintage Sage Four-Light Pendant
Patina Farm’s kitchen has two gorgeous lanterns as kitchen island pendants and I was inspired to do the same as it’s such a great Old World look. I liked these ones in particular because they incorporate both the brass and sage colors I’ll be using.
Titus thinks the “froo froo” part of the lantern is a little outdated, so I’m second-guessing them a little now. But hey, the order is in and I’m not going to allow myself to keep changing my mind already!
Edit: They arrived and they are HUGE! I did measure beforehand but I’m surprised by how big they are. Though I think this is a plus because design rules state that 2 big lights are better than 3 smaller ones if you want to make an impact.
2. Over Kitchen Windows: Aged Brass Seven-Inch One-Light Wall Mount
We have it designed that in our L-shaped kitchen, one wall will just be windows looking out to the wooded backyard. Swoon! I chose 3 brass swing arm lights to go over each pane of this large window.
3. Mudroom/Laundry: Nicollet Natural Brass 13-Inch One-Light Semi Flush Mount
Though our combined mudroom and laundry room has a door and will not be seen from the main area, I still went with brass to make sure all the lighting was cohesive. This particular light is pretty simple and inexpensive-perfect for a room like this!
Also, the schoolhouse style is vintage and timeless in my opinion.
4. Entryway Ceiling: Thayer 4 – Light 14.38″ W Semi Flush Mount
There is not enough clearance for a jaw-dropping chandelier for the entryway/foyer, but that’s okay with me. I chose a simple lantern because lanterns are classic European.
Though technically “antique gild” and not brass, it won’t be right next to another brass light so it shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, the distressing of a light gives it some leeway as far as the exact finish I think. And antique gild is classic Parisian!
5. Entryway Walls: Westchester County Farm House White One-Light Wall Sconce
One thing that I’ve never had in previous houses before is sconces. Sconces can make your home look more expensive because you’re layering lights!
I like these particular sconces because they incorporate brass and the candle style adds to the old-world, European look.
6. Living Room: Alfret 20 – Light Candle Style Wagon Wheel Chandelier
I went back and forth on if I should do a traditionally sparkly fancy chandelier or not, but this light stopped me in my tracks a little. I took that as a sign because a living room needs a statement light!
It incorporates wood-like materials to break up the brass, yet it still has little touches to be cohesive enough. This light style is a little more on the rustic and Old World side, but I think it will break up the fanciness of my other finishes well, and not only that, but it will look great hanging from our wooden beams.
7. Living Room Built-ins: Permo Single Sconce with Funnel Flared Glass Clear 1-Light Wall Sconce (Antique)
I went nice and simple for the lights over our built-ins next to the fireplace. This funnel triangled shape mimics the sconces that go over the kitchen window!
8. Sunroom: Linden Natural Brass Six-Light Chandelier
I was drawn to this light because it looks like something you’d find in a study, den, or reading room. Though most people make their sunroom a bright and airy room, I’m aiming for something that’s a bit more cozy, like a moody reading room!
The wagon-style mimics what will be in the living room as well.
9. Main Bath Ceiling: Selby Natural Brass Two-Light Semi Flush Mount with White Fabric Shade
A fabric shade light is nice, simple, timeless, and versatile!
10. Main Bath Next to Mirror: Permo Single Sconce with Funnel Flared Glass Clear 1-Light Wall Sconce (Antique)
Never having sconces before, I’m excited to be able to add them to this home! You’ll probably notice that these are the same ones that will be in the living room too.
11. Dining Room: Lyndale Natural Brass Four-Light Chandelier
The flared light, brass, and linen shade match the other lights in the house, tying it all together nicely I think!
I splurged (at least it was a splurge for me) on some of the main area lights. You don’t see the bedrooms on this list because they are going to be pretty budget-friendly lights to offset the cost of the other purchases haha.
I have some dream splurges I want to make in the kitchen and I’m finding that building is a budgeting dance of compromises! But it’s all part of the journey, I suppose.
To catch up on your build journey, you may want to check out these posts: