When we bought our house I knew we were going to have to replace all the light fixtures. For our client work we use a TON (and I mean a TON) of Visual Comfort/ Circa fixtures and so I was happy to partner up with them to outfit the house with new lighting top to bottom. So far we’ve done all the hardwired fixtures, next up is layering in floor lamps and table lamps as well – different layers of lighting is super important. I need some furniture first though :)
But it brought up a good talking point about how I pick fixtures for rooms and even adjacent rooms and whole homes. While you want each space to feel unique, you also want it to flow from one space to another nicely. I am working in some existing items I have and love (like my Bunny Williams lamp and an antique floor lamp I have), but most everything else is new. So here are ALL the fixtures in my home, I’ve been getting lots of DM’s for sources and now they can all live in one spot:
I’m not big on matching sets for rooms – in any capacity, furniture or lighting. So while there may be a “collection” available, I tend to mix things up a little so it feels more interesting. I like to keep the finish relatively consistent – but vary the design style – so if the chandelier is really ornate, keeping the sconces a little simpler.
I also try to make sure fixtures that all exist in one room or line of sight have a mix of shades/no shades. So if using kitchen pendants that have shades, for example, I’d keep the breakfast table or dining table light something that does NOT have shades. I talk about this approach in more detail in my second book! (Shameless plug!)
For remaining unlit spaces, you can choose an indirect light, which does not illuminate a specific area, but has ample coverage to illuminate all the points of your interest.
So I LOVE Circa lighting, but each piece is so expensive. I am always happy to splurge on pieces I love but would be curious to learn about why certain price points might be worth it (or not). It’s easy for me to see how and why a 5k couch will hold up better than a 1k couch, but am interested to hear your perspective on this in regards to lighting. I can definitely tell the difference in material quality on a flushmount that retails for $50-100 as opposed to $1000. What are the main factors you consider when looking a varying price points? Durability? Artisan craftsmanship? Can quality impact how well a fixture lights up a room? In other words, what do you say to clients that question a pricier fixture and ask if there’s something for $500, etc? I don’t expect a full answer here, but would be grateful if you’d consider this a potential topic for a future blog post :)
Excellent post-lighting design plans for a home really do seem to almost be an entire subset of overall design and can def take on life of its own.
We are building our home in Dallas and realize just how much the the “tone” of the home is dictated by choices and lighting selections.
We too have gone mostly Circa Lighting/Visual Comfort. I really surprised myself from my initial “musts” to what we ended up with-lots of education along the way (thanks Taylor lighting and also Lights Fantastic Pro Dallas !)
We leaned lots towards Julie Neil(I crush the Alberto lighting) and Aerin “Jaqueline” white acrylics with soft gild. Finally Thomas O’Brien Goodman pendants just darling over island.
Happy Lighting and home curating, Erin. Thanks for sharing all the plans-so helpful.
Thank you for sharing your expertise. I just finished reading Elements of Style and loved it. I read all your blogs this weekend and made many notes in my “home improvement” binder. I even purchased 2 lovely nightstands from Frontgate after reading one of your blogs. We are currently remodeling our loft into an office/craft and guest room. It has an angle ceiling so the lighting is tricky. I need task, ceiling and sconces for built-in. You have given me inspiration. I can’t wait to read your next post. Stay safe and keep on sharing 🙂
I really like seeing these all together – gives a nice sense of the variations on a theme and it’s exciting to see how a professional puts it all together. When we did our renovation it was so fun to choose the lightening though I was often scouring ebay and outlets to get the special pieces I was looking for so it was less planned out and depended more on serendipity (the general contractor would have preferred if I had just gone to Home Depot for everything). I even got my extra large Hicks pendants off of Craigslist (they are huge and someone forgot to check the scale against their 8 foot ceilings so I lucked out)!
Thanks so much for pulling all of this together! I saw in one of your instagram stories you mentioned some exterior lanterns you might use as well. I’ve used Bevolo and love them, but wondered if you had any other recommendations for exterior lights for the old farm house I call home. Thanks!
Erin, Thanks for the break from looking out at the winter snow. Your post is enjoyable and informative. I changed three hard-wired fixtures and have been stuck trying to pick out the next one. I am sure your update will inspire and guide me. Congrats on the new baby and the move. Take care of yourself, even pamper yourself. You’re important to a lot of people.
Hi! I was wondering if you had any tips for finding a flushmount that gives off a good amount of light? In our house I have an office that I use as a sewing space, and it has an overhead light (currently a ‘boob’ light I’m totally ready to get rid of). I’ve had trouble finding an alternative fixture that has enough wattage. Thanks!
Look for something that has multiple bulbs- at least 3 40w, ideally 60w!
While I appreciate that you received your light fixtures for free from Circa I think you missed a real opportunity with your house. You live in a historic home. Why not include amazing antique lighting? Your dining room would have been the perfect place to showcase a knockout antique chandelier. Something unique. Something no one else has. Every room should have something old in it. The vintage pieces add the important layer in a room. They provide the soul. The magic is in the mix.
Hi Amy – A few things to note… first, Erin didn’t partner with Circa because they were giving her things for free (and they weren’t free, by the way), but because they simply make beautiful pieces. As she mentioned, we work with Circa all the time for clients, so also trust the consistency and quality. Second, (and again, not that she needs to answer to anyone on the design of her own home) Erin mentioned in the post that she still needs to layer in floor and table lamps, as well as actual furniture. Plenty of opportunities to add in antiques. Third, if you’ve been following along on the blog (and everywhere else Erin provides design advice – often times FOR FREE, such as here and on Instagram), you’ll see that EGD uses vintage and antique pieces often and agree that it adds depth and interest.
I will never understand why people go out of their way to post comments like this on the blog and Instagram, where, as I said before, you are consuming free content and are welcome to “unsubscribe” at any time. End rant.
@Monroe – you’re right, the comment wasn’t that terrible. I’ve certainly seen much worse! My point is that, rather than coming from a place of curiosity, Amy’s comment came from a place of condescension, while she is visiting this blog, reading and commenting willingly and freely. That doesn’t mean readers can’t be critical, but it’s all about tone and approach. Would you walk into a stranger’s house and say “oh, you missed a real opportunity here! don’t you know about antiques?!”
I don’t think Amy’s comment was that terrible! It’s hard to distinguish tone online. I think its great to clarify that Erin didn’t get her items for free, so that her fans and followers can understand that partnerships don’t always mean free! It’s nice to educate what could be a very common misunderstanding.
The lighting was not antique. It was from 2013. So while I appreciate your love for the antique, I do not appreciate the tone of this post. And the lighting wasn’t “free”. And antique lighting come with a HOST of issues. These are all LED fixtures which cut down electricity costs and use.
I mis-typed- 2003 when the previous ow we renovated.
While I appreciate that you have the right to comment, I think you missed a real opportunity to make your point in a more positive way. You are well spoken. Why not ask Erin “Did you consider using antique lighting fixtures in any of the rooms, since you live in a historic home?” Something thoughtful. Something that invites Erin to give context to her choices. Every room should reflect the taste of those who occupy it. The variety among our personal styles can add to our appreciation of differences if we allow it. Variety adds color and depth to the human experience. The magic is in the mix.
All beautiful! Can you share your picks for lightbulbs for these fixtures? Always struggling to find the perfect LEDs that are not too warm nor too cool.