Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reader Decorating Dilemma: Lighting

What does one do when trying to update a space from an old ceiling fan to a new light fixture, especially when ceilings are not very high? This was a question posed to me by a very kind reader, Becky.

Becky is settling into her home and was asking me if I could help her with her lighting dilemma. We have been corresponding and she was kind enough to send me some pictures of the Living Room and Bedroom in question. I assured her that we would all chip in and give her some creative solutions. So I hope you all give your opinions and help here!

Here is the ceiling fan to be replaced....centered in a coffer in the ceiling. I think we might have a little more height to play around with here than in the bedroom below. The ceilings at the crown molding are 8 feet high. It looks to me like the coffer might go up another 12-18 inches higher.

Becky has gotten a good start with an English Country style in a camel, emerald and cranberry color scheme. She is craving a lantern style fixture, which I think is a great idea. We just need to make sure the height is appropriate. So here are some thoughts for the Living Room:

This lantern is one that Becky had found, and I think it is beautiful and would work very well if it were just a bit smaller.

Niermann Weeks is a company that offers fixtures in more than one size. I love that. This Chinoiserie Tole Lantern picks up on the red colors Becky has in her palette and adds quite a bit of style I think! It comes in a 15x15x25, which would make a nice statement, or a smaller size: 13x13x24.

Another idea besides a lantern style is this Armillary Chandelier, also from Niermann Weeks. It also comes in two sizes: 24d x 16.5h and 38d x 25.5h. Another eye catcher!

This Lantern is from 1st Dibs through Lumiere. Again, I like the idea of the red tole. This fixture measures 19" diam x 30"h. Perhaps a little on the large side. Becky might need to measure for this one!

I love the idea of this fixture perhaps with a red paint . Also from 1st Dibs through Brunelli Designs. 1950's made in Italy, the size is 13" diam x 15"h. It may be a bit too small for the space.

Another 1st Dibs find from Kenny Ball Antiques, this brass lantern is 16" diam x 29" high. Looks about the right size. And the style is really nice.
There are so many great options on 1st Dibs, I think a peek at the lighting section is a must!

This is Becky's Guest Room. The ceiling here are 8 feet high, so options are more limited.

I think a semi-flush mount fixture is what is called for here. But to get the lantern look, I found a couple of options from Circa Lighting:

These work well for the height of the room and bring a little of that English Style to the room as well.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful! And please chime in everyone. I know there are many of you that will have more sources and great ideas.


An Aesthete's Lament said...

Does she need an overhead light in the bedroom? Why not just have the table-lamp outlets operated by the room's light switch? My bedrooms all have 8-foot ceilings (more or less), and I've removed the overhead lights and just plastered over the holes in favor of multiple table lamps—they cast a friendlier light. As for the sitting room's sort-of-tray ceiling (I love those because they remind me of old Bermuda houses), I would do the same thing, but paint the recessed portion a lighter contrasting color ... she needs swing-arm lamps to illuminate the sofa and a couple of attractive floor lamps ... I also would suggest that she shift the bookcases out farther, way from the sofa, and place two smallish tables in front of them ... something Asian, perhaps? The sofa needs companions ...

katiedid said...

Hello AL!
Thank you for writing! You have alot of really great ideas here. Becky even mentioned in an email that she was going to do swing arm lamps. I like the idea of bringing in a little of the Asian influence.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Every room needs a little Asian something, don't you think? I'm a big one for Chinese tables, whether the chop-suey Chinese tables of the 1940s or lovely 19th-century carved tables with inset marble tops.

Ann said...

Those are some really gorgeous lamps...It's just that some of those are a bit long for the rooms. For the bedroom, I think that it is also good to install wall lamps that are bright enough to light up the room and add some cased pin lights to use for dimmer ambiance.

bmaas said...

Thank you so much for your fantastic comments. AL-Unfortunately the wall ends on the side of the bookcase (the small open area on the left side is a weird nook that i think used to be a wetbar). I wish i could push them out more. I have also thought about painting the bookcases black on the outside and leaving the inside red. My entryway opposite this room is red so i tried to tie it together. I definately plan to add some swing arms so if you see something cute, please let me know. Thanks again,

pve design said...

Hi! The room has a very British Khaki feel to it and would love to see a light that would emulate that - not that the selection you have is not gorgeous!
I also love in the tropics how they always introduce an element of fun. It could be bamboo, a monkey or something with caning...!
Love swing arm or floor lamps for reading.
Also - really play up the "collections" and her love for Blue and White!
Part of me wants a bold checked rug and a ceiling that has a hint of pink or blue!

Cote de Texas said...

I'm late to this discussion - but I think the vertical lanterns are not the right shape for the room at all - you need a horizontal lined fixture, wider than taller - with arms to force the eye outward. The verical shapes are too skinny, tall, and small. that's my 2 cents!

katiedid said...

Hi all!
Thanks for all of the great input. The more I think about it, I agree with Joni. I really would hesitate to put in a vertical piece. There are some bowl type fixtures that would cast light up and reflect it off the ceiling and would not hang down into the space.

Anonymous said...

being on the lighting hunt, i can relate...
some interesting options exist at many are customizable including color, height, and shades.

also, fwiw, uplighting into the cove would be really interesting...

Anonymous said...

I know I am months late to the discussion, but I love the first lantern Becky already found which you thought may be too big! I was wondering who the maker of that lanter was and where she got it. My mother is currently doing a renovation and she is looking for something similar. I would love any feedback if the discussion is still open!