Lighting – vintage and not…

We did a ton of recessed lights in all our rooms because we like light. We like to see without squinting. We are getting old. We need more light. We are happy with our recessed lighting. We have more light than we have ever had. We also have the ability to dim the recessed lighting as desired. Recessed lighting is very, very functional. We like recessed lighting. Though, recessed lighting definitely doesn’t do much for the decorative element in a space…


Initially, Tad was happy with just recessed lights in all areas except the dining room and for bedside lighting. I was happy with just recessed lights in all areas except the entry and hallway. We both agreed that bathroom vanity sconces were a necessity. I could go on for days about the bazillion discussions we had about lighting and light fixtures. I am guessing it would bore you to death. Heck, it bores me to death just thinking about it. I am going to do both of us a favor and just get to the exciting part.

We decided we were all in on the decorative lighting adventure!

Yippie ki yay!

Yes, we decided to get hardwired (rather than table lamps) decorative lighting for all the above mentioned areas – bathroom, bedside, dining room, entry, and hallway. This is a bit surprising for us. Neither of us gets overly excited about decorative lighting. So, it was definitely a new scene for us.

The new bathroom sconce decision was easy. We had chosen some sconces for our master bathroom a few years ago, but were unable to use them due to layout and space limitations. We looked around briefly to see what was new out there, but ended up still liking the old sconces. The sconces are simple and sleek. The lighting is great (LED for Tad – he is obsessed with LED). The finish is lovely in polished chrome. I like polished chrome in the bathroom. I have always liked polished chrome in the bathroom (and kitchen for that matter). I will always like polished chrome in the bathroom (and likely in the kitchen too). It’s my thing.

Bathroom Sconces...

The story is similar with our bedside lighting. While looking at lighting for another project several years ago, we saw these bedside lights. When the opportunity for bedside lighting came about with our current project, we were happy to see that these fixtures were still being made. Tad likes that they are LED (again, with the LED obsession) and very contemporary. I like that they are very minimal in size and appearance. We both like that they are easy to adjust, dim, and brighten.

Bedside Lighting...


The rest of the lighting story was a bit more circuitous. Our permit approval wasn’t dependent on the rest of the lighting, so there was no real deadline to get the decorative lighting decision done. What? No deadline? A lovely, relaxed, non-pressured process? I am not used to that!

However, despite the opportunity for procrastination (because there was no deadline), this whole decorative lighting thing came together pretty quickly. It was quite a surprise!

We had some informal criteria for our decorative light fixtures. Tad wanted simple and minimal. I wanted simple but unique. Tad wanted LED and contemporary. I wanted something inspired by the era of our house (1910s – 1920s), but not antique feeling or looking. I did some research. I found that some 1910-1920’s lighting was a bit industrial in style and feel. I like industrial, so I went with it.

Tad had previously chosen a dining room fixture that could be considered “contemporary industrial.” It met the requirements of simple, minimal, unique, and LED. The style didn’t quite meet the “inspired by the era of 1910-1920”, but I liked it. I was on board.

fullsizeoutput_1144To complement Tad’s chosen dining room fixture, I started the search for entry and hall light fixtures that were ”updated industrial”. I wanted the 1910-1920 inspired thing.

Tad liked the classic schoolhouse fixture.


While the schoolhouse style fixture met most of the criteria, I thought it was too simple, too basic, and not unique enough. After a couple of back and forth ideas, we settled on the idea of an “acorn” shaped fixture. An internet search for acorn lighting brought me to a company in Milwaukee. Immediately, I knew I had found my decorative lighting groove – amazingly cool vintage fixtures electrically reworked for current times with clear crystal glass shades of precisely cut prism type designs called holophanes.


Holophanes are a light fixture with a story, and I am a sucker for a good story –

Tad ended up choosing the Ellipse rather than the Acorn for the hallway.



I chose the Edison for our entry.



I love these light fixtures!


  • Beautifully simple and minimal – no fussy scrolls, candles, or hanging crystals.
  • Definitely unique – you can’t find these babies at the chain/internet lighting sources.
  • Wired for incandescent bulbs, but compatible with LEDs.
  • Complements Tad’s chosen dining room fixture – these felt similar, cohesive, and lovely next to the sleek, simple dining fixture.
  • Inspired by the 1910-1920s designs – the holophanes are circa 1920 to 1950s – not quite the exact time period of our house, but pretty darn close!
  • Industrial – salvaged from amphitheaters, naval yards and other industrial buildings.


When it came time to order the dining room fixture, Tad wanted to see it in person before committing. We went on a field trip to a store that had one in stock. This is where the initial dining room decision went awry. The sizes and shapes were limited and none seemed quite right for our space. We, sadly, scrapped it.

Back to the drawing board :(

You are probably thinking “Uh Oh – but every other light fixture in the place was chosen based on the fact that it worked well with that dining room light!” You aren’t alone. I was thinking the same exact thing.

The clouds, then, parted. Across the store, I saw a better version of the scrapped light fixture – a little prettier, a little more sparkly, a lot more interesting. Perfection!


It keeps the view from the front of the house to the back of the house open and airy.


The style is contemporary with an industrial vibe with all the exposed “wiring.”


The little glass crystal cut bulb covers are the modern, mini version of the vintage holophane fixtures – making it vintage inspired (at least in my mind).


I was pretty excited about finding light fixtures that I love! I am still excited! I think Tad is probably less excited than I am about the whole lighting scene. Though, I do believe he is still quite surprised that it all came together in perfect harmony!

Pretty together...

I think next up will be the front door restoration. It kind of goes along with this whole updated vintage thing. It also sort of started my 2017 is “the year of using what you have.” Yes, last year was the year of just getting stuff done. This year will be a continuation of that by using what I already have to pull together, organize, decorate and enjoy my little spot on the planet.

Happy New Year!