All I wanted for Mother’s Day was to replace the sconces in our stairways and add some to the upstairs hallway :) The old ones were outdated, “Beauty-and-the-Beast-looking” lights with two artificial tapers and nine dangling crystals on each. I never even turned them on because I didn’t want to draw attention to them. Ha! But for the last 11 months we have lived here, there was always something more pressing to worry about.
Replacing them this last weekend was truly the best gift I could have asked for. After Chris removed them all, I touched up the wall paint, knowing that the new sconces had a base with a slightly different circumference. (Quick little reminder to your future self here: Keep a bonus can of your wall color in the garage for touch-ups like these. Ours is Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.)
We installed these Visual Comfort fixtures (currently 20% off + free shipping!), but they actually aren’t the first ones we bought for the space and after rounding up a bunch of dupes below for this post…turns out you can get the look for a lot cheaper!
I originally bought the Berkshire Double Sconce in oil-rubbed bronze with linen shades from Rejuvenation. I got an email saying that it wouldn’t ship until July, and I was feeling impatient, so I called and canceled the order. I took this pause from the universe as an opportunity to look around our house: We’ve been designing each space (slowly) to include black, warm whites, and wood with brass accents. The wall sconces in the dining room and entry are both brass with black accents. And I got to thinking–the black accent was already in the stairway with the balusters, so was it time for more brass? — The call was coming from inside the house! Brass sconces — not black! It was meant to be.
The lesson here for me was: Listen to your house. If you already made the decision elsewhere, maybe it’ll work again. In this pivot, we went with the Vendome Double Sconce in aged brass from McGee & Co. Quick note: they are Visual Comfort brand and sold a lot of places under different names. This happens a lot with all kinds of brands and retailers.
These were on sale and in stock. The shade provides a nice modern traditional look, that isn’t stark white, but more of an ivory–a really great soft tonal look against our white walls. The curved arms are so modern and clean-looking, and I think the shade keeps it from going too contemporary. And honestly, it just looks so home-y!
Many of you asked why we didn’t use these sconces everywhere else (like the dining room, entry or music room) and I think you totally could! You could absolutely have an official sconce of our house and use the same one everywhere. These six sconces (two in the back staircase, two in the front staircase and two in the upper hallway) have really defined the flow of those areas. And if we added another sconce to the hallway upstairs (we’re thinking about it!) I would definitely use this one.
But in the lighting for our house, shades and globes are a reoccurring theme. There are globe sconces in the dining room and the entry. A globe pendant above the breakfast nook and shaded pendants over the kitchen island and the dining room table. As we continue to work on our house, I know we’ll keep with this lighting theme, choosing globes and shaded lighting where they each make sense. Keeping to two or three lighting styles is making things feel more cohesive around here, but not too “expected.”
If you’re installing sconces where there weren’t any before (like we did in the upstairs hall), the general rule is that they should be 60 to 65 inches off the ground. Adding a hard-wired light where there wasn’t one before is something you’ll probably want to hire an electrician for and depending on how many sconces you’re installing, the job could cost a couple hundred dollars. If you’re just swapping out a light fixture and are familiar with how electrical works, you can consider doing it yourself. Chris is very proficient in switching out a light fixture, and with some basic know-how and safety practices it’s a very easy DIY. (We’ve got a whole blog post about it right here.)
Lastly, let’s talk about the bulbs. For accent lighting like this, I like a slightly warmer Kelvin (I went with 2850K) and about 600 Lumens. As a refresher, Kelvins = color, and Lumens = brightness. (Watts are not really a thing anymore.) This is my favorite bulb lately.
Want to get a similar look? After we installed ours we scoured the Internet and found so many great fixtures with similar profiles! I honestly can’t believe some of these. They look nearly identical! Number 13, I’m looking at you!
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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