Talk to most decorators and they’ll tell you that lighting is key to a successful room. In my opinion, flattering lighting is right up there with wall colour and furniture placement as a basic building block for making a space beautiful.
Take a look at this Jeffrey Bilhuber-designed room. There’s a lot going on, but Bilhuber made sure that the people who live here had their lighting needs met. If there’s a chair for reading, he’s added a floor lamp. Since most people read in bed, there’s lighting for that too. Notice how he used sconces mounted to the bookshelves. This way the nightstands have surface area freed up for that glass of water, vase of flowers or bag of Cheetos.
Another great example is this Bilhuber dining room with its pretty wallpaper and grand furnishings. With such heavy elements, this room needed some lifting — and lighting does just that. The chandelier is light and sparkly and has enough heft to balance off the table. Plus, there is a pair of shaded sconces to illuminate the sideboard. I can just imagine a dinner party here with the lights dimmed for a perfect romantic glow.
But let’s face it folks — good lighting can be expensive. Heck, BAD lighting can be expensive! This week my Mom was looking for an affordable chandelier to hang for an upcoming holiday party. To help her out (and prevent a less-than-stellar purchase) I did a little online shopping for her over at The Home Depot, or The Depot as we call it around H&H. Guess what? I found tons! Hold on to your hats!
The first is this perfect bell jar hurricane. It’s $149! I used to work in a shop that sold these for triple this price! I’ve used this guy for two homeowners already!
Everyone loves the retro vibe of these schoolhouse-style pendants. Loving the weathered bronze finish here and it costs a mere $50.
You know you’ve seen this one before! Designers love to use these star pendants in small entryways, lined up down a hallway or in a dressing room or powder room. And I know of a certain fancy boutique in town that sells them for a small fortune. This baby’s $139!
This swing arm wall light would be comfortably at home in one of Jeffrey Bilhuber’s designs, don’t you think? Love it and its dressy pleated shade for $48.
Here’s the mini version for you to mount on your own bookcase wall! $50!
I love this sconce for a modern bathroom. How great would this look mounted right onto a wall of mirror? So sleek and clean! Did I mention it’s under $30? I can’t even buy dinner for that these days!!
Decorators have gone crazy for these nautical/industrial outdoor lanterns used inside. We’ve got a house coming up in the January 2010 issue with lights a lot like these. High-end lighting manufacturers carry these for big bucks, but The Home Depot’s version is under $100. Not bad!
And it may be my love of Julia Child’s copper pot-laden kitchen in the recent movie or those timeless examples over at Martha Stewart’s, but this copper wall lantern has my name all over it! $127! Picture these mounted as sconces on either side of a handsome fireplace mantel.
For the bathroom, here’s a two-light sconce for over the mirror in a nice dark and moody finish. Delish and $50.
These modern desk lamps have graced our pages a lot lately, but this one is a SHOCKING $30!
For an even more shocking $18, there’s this perfect retro stunner with period-perfect pinholes. I mean seriously — where have you been all my life?!
Finally, for some chandeliers, I offer this drum shade/chandelier combo. Feels like classic Restoration Hardware, but costs a fraction of the price at $139. I’ve used this one twice, too! Looooove it!
For something more old world and dramatic, try this black chandelier with just enough curly flourish (but not too much!) for $130. Would love this over a round wooden table with rustic dishes and tumblers. Centerpiece? Wildflowers.
Finally this elegant number. It would also look fantastic spray-painted in glossy white or a fun fashion colour. Scoop this baby up for $169! I kid you not!
Now if someone can just find me this dazzling ship-light at a hardware store…Anyone?
For Morgan Michener’s lighting picks, read her Timeless Lighting Options blog post.