Lighting can be tricky and frankly one of the most time consuming (err annoying) and detailed things to pick out. You have to consider scale, size, light output, location, and all of those get twice as hard and time consuming when you have multiple kinds of lighting in the same room. I know this first hand, as I spent HOURS trying to pull together the perfect lighting plan for my house and just when I thought I got it right we had to make a few last minute changes once we saw everything in person. In theory it seems easy enough to pick out a sconce that will go with a chandelier but once you really dive into it, it can be very overwhelming. Which is why today we are going to make your lighting decisions (and your Monday morning) a little bit easier with another post in our “Power Couples” series and a few tips.
When pairing lighting there are a few important things to consider.
1). Type of light: Consider more than one type of lighting. In the picture of my kitchen above we used those two shaded scones on the wall which meant that for the pendant over the island we wanted to find something that had a diffused light rather than shaded or directional light. In case you missed our lighting post where we walk you through the different types of lighting click through HERE.
2). Finish: Try to keep your finishes the same. Above Brady used two very different styles and types of lighting in his living room and adjacent dining nook, but the matte gold finish and color on both helps to allow them to work together and create a look that feels cohesive and intentional.
3. Similar Elements or Features: Try to echo elements from one feature in another if they are different styles. Above the chandelier which has a little bit of a French Gustavian vibe is very different in style to the more traditional double sconces. However the curves in the arms echo and speak to each other and the cream in the shade mirrors the cream in the candlesticks on the chandelier to keep things consistent.
4. Pairs from the same collection: Typically using a chandelier and sconce that are from the same collection works in theory but it can start to look very builder grade and generic. Try to mix up your shapes, styles and features to keep the room looking unique and personal.
5. Scale: Consider the scale of each fixture next to its pair. Just as you most likely wouldn’t wear a massive statement necklace that covered your entire chest and little dainty hoops to go with it, so it is with lighting. If your chandelier is grand and large then find something that echoes that scale in the sconce. Visually heavy chandeliers need sconces that are equally as heavy on the eyes, so that they help to balance each other out.
So, now that we have some of the rules down we are ready to get into some of our favorite combos that can really work in most any room. Let us know if you have any questions or if there are any of these that you have tried before. We haven’t seen them all in person but these all work together stylistically and would be a great couple to add to any space.
1. Sphere + Stem Chandelier & Roar + Rabbit Faceted Glass Sconce | 2. Lidia Pendant & Clemente Wall Light | 3. 6 Light Shaded Chandelier & Mira | 4. Sonoma Chandelier & Aideen 1 Light Wall Sconce | 5. Ganador 5 Light Shaded Chandelier & Sabine 1 Light Wall Sconce | 6. Gavin 6 Light Candle-Style Chandelier & Perforated Wall Sconce | 7. Large Wood Bead Chandelier & Claridge Single Sconce with Linen Shade | 8. Bubble Glass Orb Chandelier & Bowdoinham 1 Light Wall Sconce | 9. Constructivist Panel 30” Chandelier & Cannele Single Sconce | 10. Clive Bronze Chandelier & Mantis BS5 Wall Sconce | 11. Uptown Chandelier 8-Light & Modern Wall Sconce | 12. Ibsen 5 Light Shaded Chandelier & Mantis Nickel Wall Sconce | 13. Gossard 6 Light Shaded Chandelier & Metal Hood Sconce | 14. Justina Blakeney Fela Tassel Chandelier & Kichler Lighting Alden Collection 1-Light Natural Brass Wall Sconce | 15. Helmut Multi Pendant in Copper & Stilnovo Gaffelgrand Black & White Two-Light Wall Sconce | 16. Tribeca Harrison 5 Light Sputnik Chandelier & Original 1227 Brass Wall Light in Dusty Blue | 17. Orbit 8 Chandelier & Beldar Torchiere Sconce | 18. Workstead Industrial Chandelier & Plate Brass Wall Sconce | 19. Miro Brass Chandelier & Pelle Sconce Short Gooseneck | 20. Windsor Brass Pendant & Gelman 2 Light Right Wall Sconce | 21. Tiered Drum Pendant – Large & St Helens 1 Light Sconce | 22. Crafted Glassware Chandelier – Large & Astor Brass Sconce | 23. Capiz Scalloped Chandelier & O&G Contrapesso LED Single Sconce | 24. Suzie Pendant, Gold & Double Cone Bowtie Sconce
Hope you all had a great weekend, and let us know below which “power couple” you would like to see us tackle next, in the meantime which ones are your favorites?
*** Photography by Tessa Neustadt and Zeke Ruelas
I’ve got a cultural question… I’ve notices in many of your images (and other ones from the other side of the pond) that living rooms nearly always have sconces. Is that really the case or is it just coincidence?
In my experience, in the UK we rarely have sconces and if we do they are more likely to be in the bedroom above the bedside locker or a “hang on the wall and plug in where convenient” type of sconce.
The reason I ask is that when I had my kitchen remodelled I really had to hunt hard for attractive sconces above the kitchen counter and in the end went with IKEA clamp lamp to clip to the floating shelf.
Someone else may have a better answer, but in the US (At least on the west coast) a lot of older homes do not have any overhead lighting. I think it was just a matter of expense in the era many homes were built in.
My little 1930’s bungalow only has overhead lighting in the bedrooms, dining, and kitchen. The living room wired-lighting consists of just one little wall sconce. Additional lighting is all based on plug-in lamps. I hope to eventually add can lighting or something similar for sure, but I do think it is largely just due to what was cheapest and considered livable at the time of build.
Newer homes are way less likely to have wired wall sconces, and far more likely to have ceiling fixtures.
Thanks for that! Interesting (in an interior design kind-a-way).
I think in the UK it’s been the other way round. Older houses all had a ceiling light in the centre of the room where the ceiling rose for the gas / candle lit chandelier was and no wall sconces.
Example of what I mean here:http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/interiors/real-homes/50-real-homes-we-love/victorian-terrace-living-room
Typically you will find wall sconces in older homes here in the US as Beth mentioned in her response. But a lot of new builds are starting to bring them back into the construction. Having light at eye level in your home always helps to light the room in such a nice way, which is why most bathrooms have wall sconces at eye level. All of the ones that we included are hard wired but there are a lot of great plug in sconces available too. xx
I’ll throw in some theories too, Bea. Most construction in Southern California is relatively new or very new, especially compared to UK where structures can easily be a 100+ years old. So during building, the wiring can be done to accommodate sconce-style lighting. If one would like to install new wiring post-construction, most walls are made of dry-wall. It’s kind of a chalky board that’s easy to cut into. The plaster found in older homes is much harder to cut into and repair. (But oh so much prettier than dry wall)
Oops I didn’t see Emily’s reply! 😛
Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I agree, I think the plaster situation may have something to do with it.
One of the reasons I was hesitant to have new wiring in my wall above my kitchen counter was because of all the plaster falling away and having to be repaired. A huge chunk had come off already when they pulled the old cabinets down and had to be replaced at great expense. I couldn’t really justify the cost vs. the benefit.
I’m in the US but have never lived in a house with wall sconces. Well, except for my grandmother’s house that had gas wall sconces (scary!) that were capped off. My present house is a midcentury modern with post and beam construction so running wiring is an expensive proposition that I won’t be trying.
What an amazing post…..I ordered light fixtures for my remodel months ago, and they’ll be installed in the next few weeks. We created open-concept between the family room, kitchen, and dining room. The kitchen and dining are definitely “connected”, but the family room is farther away. We chose these: Dining room chandelier: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/explosion-chandelier/?pkey=cchandeliers&cm_src=Quickbuy&sku=468822&qty=1 (I’m starting to wonder if this will be too big for the space! If it is, we’ll put it in the front living room which has a vaulted ceiling, and I would consider this for the dining, in brass: http://www.westelm.com/products/mobile-chandelier-large-w1885/?pkey=cchandeliers&isx=0.0.266) Island pendants (10×5, marble with waterfall edges), with milk globe (which I’m pretty darn sure I saw on a past EH post?!?): https://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/collections/pendant-fixtures/products/luna-pendant-natural-brass-with-12-shade Kitchen task lights in brass, two above each 6′ wide (dark alum frame) window: https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod9180251&categoryId=cat3900077 Family room chandelier: https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2990820&categoryId=cat5700043 Our front living room is going to be chandelier-less for now, but we chose this for a wall in the corner (brass): https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod6430337&categoryId=cat3900062 You should account for bulb costs (the dining room chandelier bulbs ran me $100), and INSTALL labor from the electrician (to install the 60″ RH chandelier is running us $650). I am doing a lot of brass, which could lose its popularity… Read more »
Looks like you are off to a great start! It is going to look great with everything you have picked out. xx
Hi Emily. What about lighting in an open concept house? I stress out about how similar the lighting needs to be across the various rooms!
+1. Our entryway (high ceilings), living room, dining room, and kitchen can all be seen from the front door of our house so all lighting needs to coordinate.
Agree! In a smaller home when you can see the entry way and the dining room, what do you do?
Entry way has low vaulted ceiling and it can be seen (is almost a part of the dining/living room) which is also vaulted. Dining seems easy with a chandelier but what to do with the entry?? Not enough room for much of a chandelier but how to match up a flush (or almost flush) with the dining room??
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Everyone’s got lighting on the brain – – YHL did a similar post this week! I couldn’t be happier about it; I need all the options I can get. My challenge though: finding lighting that speaks to our 1860’s farmhouse in a modern way, but doesn’t scream “modern farmhouse” bc it is definitely not. #s 5 or 22 could work, although they still feel a bit fancy for a 150-yr old house that hasn’t been impeccably restored like your gorgeous place. The hunt continues! Thanks for these suggestions!
Cost is a consideration in my world
I’m curious to hear what you think about going “matchy-matchy” with scones and chandelier, i.e., the vendome chandelier (http://www.visualcomfortlightinglights.com/product/visual-comfort-thomas-obrien-vendome-chandeliers-tob5007hab-np.html) with the vendome sconces (http://www.visualcomfortlightinglights.com/product/visual-comfort-thomas-obrien-vendome-sconces-tob2008pn-np.html?page=1).
The kitchen looks great with all the lights installed! More than a little jealous of that huge sink of yours.
This is such a great post. I LOVE these combos. Unfortunately, I don’t think I actually have any room in my house that has both overhead lights and sconces, but this is still a great reference.
I’d love and appreciate a power couples post about desks and office chairs! I’m currently struggling to figure out my home office and could use the help.
Underwhelmed with these selections as they all seem very similar…brass, black, exposed bulbs. I automatically nix exposed bulb fixtures as I don’t feel like I’m put together enough to source the correct replacement bulbs when they die plus it’s just not my favorite look. A little too trendy and try hard IMO.
The only ones I really care for here are the expensive ones hahaha oh dear of course
Although I understand that many of these come in different finishes like chrome instead of the brass
#s 1, 21, and 22 speak to me! We are house hunting and looking mostly at places built in the 1920s…wanting to keep everything classic but not feel like we’re living in a time capsule. All three of those combos fit the bill and are good inspiration for us!
It’s so nice to see some good diffused light options. For a while it seemed like the only thing you could find were fixtures meant for bare edison-type bulbs or metal shades. I get that the bare bulbs can look cool, but diffused light is so much nicer! Plus you can just use regular cheap LED or cfl bulbs. Maybe you could do a post on good lampshades? I love a good fabric lampshade or opaque glass shade. I have more than once spent more time and money on a good matching lampshade than I have on lamp, especially vintage lamps.
I’d love to know how you would pair a chandalier over a dining table, with pendants over an island with a foyer light. Open concepts are rough! This is what I’m trying to figure out now! Such a PAIN!
I think it’s useful to also consider stair balusters and cabinet hardware when choosing lighting. For example, my stairway has traditional black birdcage wrought-iron balusters. But I wanted more modern fixtures. I compromised with neo-traditional lighting in brass and black, and referenced the long spindley length rather then the twist and cage elements.
It’s easy to keep lifting related… it’s a lot harder to keep it related to architectural details you aren’t planning to change!!
Oh my goodness, this post is so helpful! I think I just found my chandelier, which I have been looking and looking for! And the tips for coordinating lighting are so helpful, too! In my new-to-me house that I’m slowly updating, selecting lighting that works together but isn’t too matchy-matchy has been much harder to do than I thought!
Speaking of . . . I just want to offer my real-life experience to anyone eyeballing the chandelier in #5. I ordered it a while ago and it wasn’t quite right in my home. In person, its satin bronze finish is not quite the same as aged brass. It is slightly less gold in color and slightly more copper. The price was awesome and it really did look nice when it was hanging. But the finish was just a little off from what I’d wanted. Hope that’s helpful to someone!
Thanks for these tips, I feel the pain of trying to find the perfect combination for a space. I struggle the most with finding lighting in dining rooms. This is because there is usually minimal home decor, so the light fixtures make a drastic difference and the measurements and color for lighting that goes over a table.
You are right. Lighting is hard. This is great post. Thanks !
OMG, OMG…….#22 is talking very loud to me. ❤️????
Then I LOVE the sconces in 5, 14, 21
Love the overhead in 2, 8, 14, 22
My house is over 100 years old but in a bad locale, therefore, I need to watch cost. I live in the I.E and the master is on the 2nd floor. It’s HOTT????. I installed a fan light, $250, and it was broken with a few months. What does one do? I will have to hire the electrician again to uninstall and return? After the 30 day return policy? WTH to do? Then I installed 2 sconces in the old locations. They are hard wired, but they require on/off switches. I can’t find any scones with that, especially that are classically chic. I bought cheap sconces that are too small in scale and well, ugly. I hate them and then I have to unscrew the bulb to turn on and off. ?I also purchased Edison bulbs that are too long and stick outside of the down light sconces ??
I need flipping help……cry
Lighting is hard! I’m doing this exact thing in our remodel right now…only I picked two large rattan pendants for over the island and I’m trying to figure out what sconces I can put over the window in the same kitchen and will work together ?
Great advice! I always struggle with not making my lighting too matchy matchy. Also, I just realized, looking at the picture of your kitchen, that I’m now team wood stools. The white stools seem to wash things out a bit.
This is great. My landlord just said she’d pay for a chandelier as long as it’s about $150 (I know…limiting) and will work for future tenants. So while my heart is looking longingly at a bubble chandelier or a Park Studio or a multi-tier drum shade, I’m glad to see I can still find something decent like #5!
Great post! Lighting can be so tricky. I’m struggling with finding a light fixture for my breakfast table to compliment the 2 antique bronze & gold Hicks pendants (http://www.circalighting.com/hicks-large-pendant-tob5063/) over the kitchen island. They will be right next to each other so I worry about getting a light that would compete with vs. compliment the pendants, which I adore and want to be the main focal point. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!
This kitchen is beautiful! I never thought about adding this shade of green to the house, but the first photo really inspires me to start thinking about that.
And the chandelier on the 3rd photo stole my heart! x
22 and 23! ohhhhhh 🙂
This was so GOOD. I love how you mixed different price points. Good lighting isn’t as expensive as I thought. I also liked how you broke down what works together and why. I really love the Ikea sinnerlig pendant lamp for our beach condo. But what sconce would you pair with it? You guys know so much…
Can you also post the links where i can buy them online ? or do you sell them as well ? quite a collection.
Can the same theories be applied to chandeliers/pendant lights in rooms that are open to each other? For example, I have a dining room and sitting area that are essentially one long rectangle. Each has an overhead light.
This post tackles is perfect for me as I try to update our dining room. One type of chandelier that I didn’t see that is really popular is an Orb chandelier. I’m drawn to the curves and simplicity of the orb chandeliers, but have no idea what type of sconce to pair it with. Ideas?
I love your kitchen chandelier! Where is it from?
Question for you – long time reader, first time poster. I love this site. Quick question: I am moving into a new house and I want to get the Jonathan Adler Meurice rectangle chandelier. What sconces would go best? I’m thinking the nickel color. Is the meurice small sconce too matchy matchy? What else would you (or anyone else) here recommend? Thanks! Liz
I did change my taste on chandeliers! I am looking for simple ones! Minimalist design!
Hi! I have a question about your kitchen, its beautiful! I am in the process of renovating mine and I would love to have quartzite incorporated into the kitchen, but stone slabs are costly. Is it too many trends or different shades of white if I have the below elements:
– Countertops: Prefabricated White
– Upper cabinets : White
– Lower cabinets: light gray
– long subway tile with gray grout
-Island: Quartzite stone : White Macaubus or Luna
– hardware brass
When (if ever) is it ok to contrast styles in sconce and chandelier? We have sconces that look similar to the sconces in no. 2 or the chandelier in no. 3, and I’ve been considering a wooden bead-style chandelier. Is that off side or is it ok to mix the styles like so?
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sorry to digress from lighting but do you know the color of the kitchen cabinets on the island? A kind of green? I am looking for a wonderful color paint for my house -in this the first PUD in America. Begun in the seventies with emphasis on leaving ALL of the trees and the homes blending into the green and brown of nature…most of the homes are the most horrible variations of BROWN. With two young children you are probably well aware of all of the most disgusting hues and tones of BROWN. Please tell me a nice dusty green that would look good on a house….and not cause heart attacks for the Architectural review committee. Thank you thank you and thanks.
Those kitchen stools would look so much better in black. Feels like they would balance the room in a way that the white ones are definitely not doing.