Search This Blog

January 09, 2015

Lighting Decisions & Dilemmas

When we started out on this journey, I remember saying to Mike - I don't know why people have such a hard time picking things out for their home, I already know every single thing I would pick.  Now I get it.  It is not just picking out one or two things, it is that you have to pick out so many things at once... and every decision effects the other.  While I do for the most part know what I'm going for, there are areas that cause me to second guess myself.  One of those areas is lighting.  I'll walk you through each area of the house and let you know my dilemma.  As always, I love hearing your thoughts and insights - as most of you seem to have already been through this or just have great taste ; )

Kitchen & Dining Lanterns :

I have always envisioned keeping this large "Concord" brass lantern from Cape Cod Lighting over our table (pictured here, which will move, but set up will be similar... table a bit larger).  Then, I'd have two smaller versions of the same lantern above the island.  Now I'm wondering if our 8ft ceilings can handle two big lanterns over the island without seeming too chunky?  The large (pictured above) measures 24"H x 12"W and the smaller version is 19"H x 9"W.    We would hang it 6" from the ceiling, so it would not hang lower than 6 ft.  

Now I'm wondering if I should change up the style for the above the island from the Concord to the Southport (pictured below in the layout).   It is a little less chunky and a little more curvy.  I think less bulk would be nice, but I do love the simple and straight lines of the Concord.  I think I'm over thinking this...

Here is the entire layout for your reference.  We'll start (besides where we already started) with the exterior, where I know (pretty much) exactly what I want to do.  

Above the garage we'll order two of the Vermont Barn Style lights from Cape Cod Lighting Co.  On the back porch we'll have more barn lights on each side of the french doors and over the mudroom french doors.  If I have money left (not likely!), I'll also do a small hanging Concord lantern in the center of porch.

To the left of the front door, we'll have the Concord Wall Lantern - which I'm completely in love with.

The foyer light is not set in stone, yet.  I do love the square, utilitarian look of this one, but think there might be something a little more interesting out there... any ideas?

Now let's head upstairs.  In the stairwell, I might hang another big lantern since the foyer light isn't very exciting... but this will be a budget thing, too.  Since I am having trouble finding flush hung lights (like the foyer) I will probably avoid a light in the landing area and just do can lights... unless you all find something great for me : )   

Laundry Room  :

The laundry room will rather small (but not in the basement so it will be such a treat for me!) I would like something charming, but it will also need to be flush or semi-flush.  We will have a paneled door  with glass lites, so it will be visible from the landing all of the time.  Maybe a little lantern?

Master :

For the Master, we have a little tiny foyer hall right when you enter with french doors so I'd like a little something here.  Flush fixture?  Tiny lantern?  In the vaulted ceiling area in the middle of the room, I'd like to have another small Concord Lantern or Southport lantern.

In the bathroom we found these perfect shaded Sconces from Circa.  I am 100% on these.  They will be on each side of the mirror.

Bedrooms :

We'll need flush or semi-flush fixtures in all of the bedrooms.  I could also do can lights and then have lamps in each room (that I'm already planning on).  I'm not a huge fan of can lights, but they do serve a purpose.  I'd love your recommendations.  The problem is that the handmade brass fixtures I'm choosing for the big impact areas are a little pricey and I don't know if I want to spend that in all of the extra bedrooms.  So, I'd like to find a great looking brass option that doesn't cost $350-500.  Is that possible?

Emma's Room :

I'd love to have something a little special in her room - maybe a lantern, maybe a chandelier?  Again, it has to be semi-flush because we have 8ft ceilings.  This little one from Cape Cod Lighting is cute, but pretty simple.  I'd like something a little more country... I think.

The other big debate is the two other bathrooms upstairs.  All of the plumbing fixtures are polished nickel.  So, should the light fixtures also be polished nickel?  Or brass to keep the look continuous.  I do like this fixture for above the mirror, but it is a little pricey...  Another option is a school house style light that comes in Polished Nickel that is much cheaper.

Thanks for taking some time to consider these choices.  I'd love to know about any resources that you have and spots that I haven't checked.  Really, I'm on the hunt for some great flush and semi-flush fixtures in an authentic brass finish.

This is such a fun process, and I'm so glad to have some time to hunt for new treasures - thanks for joining me on this journey of building our new home  : )


  1. Jenn - wow, I LOVE the choices you have made! I actually like can lights in bedrooms...I like the option of ambient light from lamps, but I like the light the can ones bring for all over lighting. That is just me. I like the idea of the same lights over your island that will be over your dining table. I think, humbly, that they are too similar - perhaps you can go with a look like your Vermont barn style lights to be different enough but still coordinate with the other fixtures. I help friends/ clients with this stuff...but this is really just a gal giving her opinion! You have exquisite taste, lady - I LOVE your site! And...I am stealing your mb fixtures for my home. Well, not stealing YOURS, ahem, just borrowing the idea... :) Blessings! Go with your gut, whatever you do, and when you choose, just leave it be and love it!

  2. Caroline1:18 PM

    I LOVE all of the fixtures you have chosen so far. Those lanterns are dreamy! But I definitely think you need to throw a little curveball into the mix! I think when you're deciding on everything at once, it's only natural to want everything to match, but maybe one or two fixtures here and there should be little unexpected, wow moments. Obviously they should still coordinate, but being a little different will make a great impact. Above the kitchen island would be the perfect place for that wow moment!! Maybe something like this above the island instead of a pair of lanterns:

    In that bathroom, I actually love the look of a black finish with polished nickel and chrome. They go together really well without matching at all. This is a great sconce that is such a classic:

    And I swear I'll stop soon. These are some great flush mount brass fixture from Circa that would work nicely with the pendants you've already chosen:

  3. I would choose different, but coordinating, options for above the island. I like the idea of mixing metals in the master bath, but might lean towards doing more than 1 mix so it looks intentional. Some oil-rubbed bronze (pulls and handles) or copper (lighting) - I just think it looks richer when paired with the polished nickel. Just my two cents! Good to see you today!

  4. Jenny,
    I love your selections. I agree with Sarah in her notion that you might want to mix things up a bit, but overall, I've loved your homes from MA to where you currently live, so I know I'll be wowed with your new renovation.

  5. First - I wish I would have been as detailed as you are with your plans when we did our lighting! I had a horrible time second guessing myself during our reno too - go with your gut! It's overwhelming & you've worked so hard to see all your plans come together for your dream home you would hate to miss a single detail. It will turn out great. What about the Jefferson classic flush mount in old brass from Rejuvenation for a less expensive cohesive look for secondary areas? Just a thought, but Rejuvenation is a great source!

  6. I love each and every one of your choices. Thought I throw in a little word of caution. I recently had to change the light fixture in my kitchen, and I love it (flush mount, brushed nickel rim, white frosted glass). BUT the light bulbs being manufactured today cast a really harsh bluish light, and I hate it. It's as though they think you're going to be performing surgery in your kitchen. It called for two 75 watt. I'm down to 25 watt, and still not happy with the light cast.

  7. I have something similar to this in my foyer and love it:

    I would do recessed lighting where you can, especially bedrooms. Even one or two can lights with LEDs will make a difference. Like this mini chandelier for Emma's room:

    For bathrooms with silver polished fixtures, I'd either do a silver or oil-rubbed bronze light.

    For kitchen island, these pendants would work well with what you have going on.

    Another good alternative is a glass/brass pendant:

    A final choice, which is my least favorite and yet, the most expensive:

  8. I also wanted to chime in and add my thoughts to this discussion; I have been following you and your blessed family for many months now and just wanted to say Thank You for your hospitality and so to say the opportunity to “peek into your life”. Anyways, I feel we are very similar in the fact that my husband and I are in the early stage of our own house project. In late spring when it’s a little warmer outside (we live in the Adirondacks) we will be breaking ground on our new home. The opportunity to follow your adventure has been very exciting and helpful for me. I feel we have very similar styles and am taking many many many notes. You have mentioned that your on the lookout for semi flush lights I’m somewhat partial to these.

    Also I was just wonder what is the program you used to show the layout of your house and just now for your lighting layout? Thanks

  9. I think this fixture coordinates really well with your Concord brass lantern. I suggest placing two of these pendants over the island and the Concord over your dining table as you had originally planned.

    I can’t wait to see what you ultimately choose. I think you have great taste!

  10. I absolutely love all your choices (the Cape Cod fixtures are to die for), but would have to agree with some of the other commenters that having all brass everywhere looks very matchy matchy. I think the idea of the dark oil rubbed bronze or some kind of dark iron finish could really look great mixed with the brass. And I also have to second having recessed lighting if you weren't already planning for it. And dimmers! I never thought i would love dimmers so much, but we have them in our living room and I am wanting to add them to the dining room as well They help dinner parties and get togethers much more cozy. :)

  11. Cristina3:01 PM

    I would like to second Gloria, how wonderful it has been to follow your family and your house project! I also wanted to share my suggestions on lighting. Although I think it would be interesting to change up the lighting over the island, I think you should stick with your original idea of the two smaller sized lanterns in the same style as the larger one. They are elegant and warm, and would tie the large room together. I am a chronic over thinker myself! I think we know what we want, we just shop around alternatives to confirm we’re making the best choice. Here are options galore if you decide to mix it up.

    This would match your Cape Cod style and could be used as a hanging lanterns above the island, or as a ceiling light in the foyer or laundry room. You could also put a small matching sconce in the downstairs powder room to tie them together. In small nooks, you can get away with fun choices!

    Here is a flush mount / sconce alternative, that would great in the foyer, powder room, laundry room or powder room.

    Another flush mount alternative that’s very simple, but elegant. I particularly like this for the master foyer. I also like a smaller version of your foyer choice for that area.

    Your choice in the library is great as long as it is a different size/color as the ones outside, it won’t look too matchy. Whatever you choose could also look nice in the powder room. Here is an option for the powder room that would go well with your lanterns.

    In Emma’s bedroom your choice of chandelier is lovely and this sconce in the bathroom would bring it out by highlighting the style. The matching lighting would look adorable, but you would have to do something similar in the fourth bedroom, since they share a bath. In the fourth, you could just stick with the recessed/can lights. Unless you know the style of the d├ęcor, it might limit your options for the room to do something more specific.

    Adding shades to both the chandelier & sconce might be cute too.

    There are plenty of cute options on sale at restoration hardware with matching sconces for the bathroom, but I’m not sure if they are your style.

    In the guest bedroom/bath I would go with the lighting you like and justify it by saving with a ceiling light like these. They coordinate well and are affordable. I also like the Franklin light someone previously suggested. I also agree with another comment, that black goes well with polished nickel, and I also like the black shaded sconce suggested by someone else.
    The one at the very bottom:

    Your taste is impeccable, so I'm sure whatever you choose, it will be wonderful!


Copyright @ Jenny Steffens Hobick. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign