Hey guys, it’s Arlyn here (for anyone who hasn’t been around for a few months, I’m the new Editorial Director at EHD…don’t worry, Brady is still around, but he’s the Creative Director now). Emily is zipping around the Pacific Northwest finalizing the install of the Portland project for the open house this weekend (if you’re planning on attending, don’t miss the flyer with some details at the end of this post), so I’m taking over the blog today to talk about a new trend in lighting we’re all preeeeetty into right now. As you can tell from the title, petite bubble sconces have been on our radar as of late, and we were itching to share with you.
When you’re designing a house, you go through A TON of ideas, options, inspirations. Revision after revision, Pinterest board after Pinterest board. One day, you’re convinced you only want, say, lantern-style lights, the next day you see a photo of a bathroom with a tiny little bubble sconce and BOOM, mind changed entirely. Well, maybe not ENTIRELY, but all of a sudden you’re trying to find a way to fit your new fixation into your design for a room (rooms?).
Emily and the design team (Julie, Velinda and Grace) are in the thick of designing the mountain fixer upper right now (follow that progress here) and the “micro” sconce, as Em is calling it, is top of mind for her (she’s already planned to use it in the kitchen and the kids bath). Here’s a reminder of where she was considering it for the kitchen (we’re working on the kids bath renderings now, so stay tuned for that post coming up soon):
Besides being functional in the sense that they don’t block any sightlines, how cute are these?!? Here’s why we’re crushing on these little bubble sconces:
- They are minimal enough that you can use multiples without it being overwhelming.
- They are so minimal that they actually stand out…it’s like they are so understated that they actually are a statement. You know that “power” move of talking softly so people have to lean in to listen, hence giving you the upper hand? It’s like that.
- Depending on the brand, of course (because some of these can be PRICEY depending on the materials and craftsmanship), they tend to be pretty cost conscious.
A little more on point #2 from above: You know how in America’s Next Top Model circa Tyra Bank years (because honestly, who watched past that?), during the judge panel portion of the show where the girls would come dressed and coifed and accessorized how they thought best, but then Tyra would be all like “wait, take off that cropped cardigan and chunky belt and chandelier earrings and pull your hair back into a slick ponytail and wipe off that thick smokey eye…THERE WE GO” and you were like “ugh yes, SO much better. So simple, so chic.” While the early aughts styling looked fine to your eye at the time, and definitely would have been fine if Queen of Smize Tyra hadn’t given them a mini impromptu makeunder, it was pretty refreshing to see their looks toned down a few notches. Micro bubble sconces are just like that. Of course, you can use a traditional linear sconce or something more elaborate to great effect, but when you see a room with these simple little things, you kind of take a deep breath and think to yourself “oh yes, this is SO right.”
So what exactly is a “micro bubble sconce”? Well, these are usually flushmount wall lights with exposed bulbs (either those really little ones or normal-sized bulbs) with some sort of wood or metal plate, and no wider than about 6 to 8 inches (though some that we love aren’t much wider than 3 or 4 inches).
We’ve been seeing them pop up more and more in magazines, Pinterest, blog makeovers and we’re calling it…it’s a trend, people, one that we’re on board. Let’s take a look at some examples of the micro bubble sconce in action:
Mandy Moore’s Pasadena home (which was featured last month in Architectural Digest) is the gift that keeps on giving. Her designer, the lovely Sarah Sherman Samuel, who worked on the project with architect Emily Farnham, used little bubble sconces in both her guest bathroom (above, from Allied Maker) and master bath (below, from Candelabra). There’s something just so unexpectedly stripped down about the teeny fixtures that we (and clearly SSS and MM) love. The question is…how well do they light a space, though (if anyone knows…please chime in below in the comments).
The bulb here itself isn’t “micro,” but the sconce overall is pretty subdued. The wood base on this is like a little surprise…from the front, it’s just a simple white flushmount wall light, but from the side, it’s so much more. If calling something a mullet was actually a compliment, I’d go that route, but I wouldn’t dare insult these stunners with such a term.
Ummm, can we talk for just one second about that mirror hanging on a peg…fantastic. Okay, back to sconces. Everything about this vanity is pretty modern and simple, and the small flushmount sconces are the perfect addition to keep things streamlined.
Em had pinned this image as inspiration a while back, mostly because of those little bulb sconces on the walls. So simple, such a statement.
Here’s another fun function of the micro sconce: you can use multiple and place them basically anywhere you want to create an artful arrangement. The one here feels like a constellation. I’d be interested to see what something like this would look like on a bare wall without mirrors.
There’s a lot of good to take in here: the hardware, the paneling, the chandelier, and, of course…the brass sconce. The designer of this vignette could have easily flanked the floating console with a pair of wall lights, but the use of a single fixture off to the side feels almost sculptural on its own like that.
There doesn’t appear to be too much wall space on either side of the mirror/medicine cabinet here, so sconces on the side walls were the smart choice. And because you don’t want big ol’ lights jutting out into your view of yourself brushing your teeth…enter the flushmount bubble sconce (that rosy mirror finish is great, btw).
This restaurant photo was also an inspiration to Emily (plus, I’m guessing she’s really into those tiles). As lovely as the whole space is, I can’t help but direct my attention to the single sconce on the wall. It draws my gaze like a magnet.
For anyone as into the micro bubble sconce trend as we are, we rounded up 32 of our favorites right now, broken up into two boards: under $150 and $150+. There are some picks here as low as $40…have fun!
1. Brass & Black Modern Sconce | 2. Alabax Small Sconce | 3. Aureole Brass Wall Sconce | 4. Walnut Arc Wall Sconce | 5. Fremont Light | 6. Pearl | 7. Convertible Ceiling to Wall Sconce | 8. Teti Wall Lamp | 9. Modern Wall Flush Mount Sconce | 10. Marble Flush Mount Sconce | 11. Topsy Raw Brass Inverted Flush Mount | 12. Plate Matte Black Wall Sconce | 13. Solo Black Outdoor Wall Sconce | 14. Fleming LED Wall Sconce | 15. Flush Mount Sconce | 16. Brass Flush Mount Light
1. Baird 1 Light Wall Sconce | 2. Galileo Sconce 6″ | 3. Mini Orb 3-5 | 4. Hoist Sconce Bare Small | 5. Anton Mini | 6. 14 Wall Sconce | 7. Grove Flush Mount | 8. Spun Sconce | 9. Oculus Sconce | 10. Echo 1 Sconce | 11. Olema | 12. Mini Orb 3-10 | 13. Stud Sconce | 14. Curve Sconce | 15. Molten Sconce | 16. Hoist Sconce Small
What do you think? Are you loving the petite/micro bubble sconce look? Do you have any favorites from the roundups above? Where do you see yourself using these little guys? Let us know!
Now, for some details on this weekend’s event in Portland. If you’re around this Saturday, July 21 from 3 to 7 pm, come see the FINISHED PORTLAND PROJECT (!!!!) and meet Emily and some of Team EHD: