4 Tips to help make choosing lights for your space less of a stress. Especially helpful for open floor plans with multiple style of fixtures in the same sight lines!
Choosing lights is one of my favourite parts of transforming a space but it’s not something that I’ve always felt confident in… especially when there’s multiple styles of lights in an area. Today I want to chat allll about what I look for and consider when I’m choosing lights for a space so that they coordinate… but maybe aren’t all identical. I’m excited to be partnering with Mitzi and my Modern Handmade Home girls (you can see all their posts linked at the bottom of this) to share this post.
Did you catch my Entryway makeover last week? I’m SO in love with this space, you guys. But I totally chose the wrong light for it at first. You can jump back and see my original design board for this space. It included a smaller light and we bought it and installed it and stared at it for a couple weeks before I told Shane we had to change it again. I was surprised that he totally agreed with me.
This light we got from Mitzi though? It’s perfect here. What’s the difference? Here’s 4 things I should have considered better before ordering the first time around.
HOW MUCH LIGHT DO YOU NEED
First off… what is the purpose of the light you’re putting in? Is it to light a space? Of course, but really is it the ONLY light for a space that needs to be bright? In our kitchen, we have pot lights and then the other lights are really for mood lighting or decorative lighting. In the entryway… this light needs to light the space. Some sconces let off very little light as they’re more directional. Is this you’re only light in a stairway? If you’re looking for light- clear glass, more than one bulb… these are things that can help a light be effective.
Okay, this was our biggest problem. The entryway is small. But it has stairs in that same space and everything is white and open and one small tiny light looked way too small in all the bright white and we realized that it needed to balance the whole space- not just the doorway side of the entry. Getting a bigger light, like this Margot semi-flush mount from Mitzi made such a big difference in how balanced the space looks.
I once read that you can almost always go bigger than you think when it comes to lights in a room. I’ve only ever heard of one person buying a light and installing it only to decide it was too big. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen… but I’ve definitely known people to say that they’re disappointed their light looks so small.
WHAT ELSE IS IN SIGHT?
One of the reasons that the old light looked so freaking small is that the dining room light is so big and in the same sight lines. But beyond the size… the dining room light (and most all the lights we’ve chosen in our main living space) has a dark black or rubbed oil bronze finish and clear glass. I wanted to have similar elements in whatever light I chose for the entry. Your lights don’t need to MATCH. But I think it’s important for them to coordinate/not compete if they’re in the same sight line. I like to mirror at least one of the elements (whether that’s the finish or the style of glass or the shape) when lights are in the same space.
I chose to go with the matching light in our stairway (also open to the entry right here) for ease. I love how Mitzi has whole suites of lights within a style– it makes coordinating in a space without being identical so easy.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
When you’re choosing lights, it’s so important to know what’s possible. Is a flush mount necessary? I know so many homes that go with clip lights because they’re easy and because that’s what they’ve had before… that’s what everyone has everywhere. But is it necessary? Have you looked at other flush mount options? What about semi-flush mount lights (like this one)?
Or if you’re putting it on a wall (sconce) like the one on my stairs, how high can it be? Does it need to be up facing or down facing? Just a few things to consider!
Alright, I hope that those tips are helpful if you are having a hard time choosing lights! And I hope that you’re not like me and end up with no entry light for months because you gave your one you didn’t like to a friend before deciding what new one to get- ha! If you’re looking for more beautiful lighting options and inspiration, make sure to hop around and check out the other three posts in our Modern Handmade Home series this month!
Left to Right / Top to Bottom:
- Finding the Right Kitchen Pendants by The Learner Observer
- Choosing Lights for Your Space by Lemon Thistle
- Five Wall Sconces for the Kitchen by Harlow and Thistle
- How to Choose a Chandelier by Love Create Celebrate
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