I’m currently working on a design for my dining room makeover project and instead of making you wait until the reveal to see what I chose. I wanted to break down some different light fixture options and show you how I’m assessing which one will fit my design best.
The most important part of being your own designer is not knowing what to pick, but knowing why you’re picking it.
THE DESIGN: This room is part of the MULBERRY MANOR project, an 1840s house that I’m renovating with my best friend. The style we’re going for is Victorian with a modern twist, I want to honor the age of the house while giving it a fresh look with lots of character.
WHAT I HAVE SO FAR: i’m usually never designing in a void i.e. starting with a blank space — design is always easier if you have something to go off of. In this space, I actually locked down the furniture options first.
I’m giving a dining room table a makeover, and covering it in plaster to create a DIY plaster dining table. Then I scored big at the Anthropologie outlet store and grabbed a rattan chairs to go with it. The trim in the space will be blue and I’m thinking cream walls potentially with some trim or limewash walls.
west elm, $499
WHY IT’S A YES: I love the way this chandelier blends, a traditional style with a modern twist. Since I’m renovating and 1840s house I need pieces that can honor the history of the house while still feeling fresh and the classic lampshade silhouettes are perfect for this.
I think this light fixture has a really great looking brass tone — it’s not too brown or too yellow. I also like that it’s super wide and oversized so it definitely creates a statement in the space. The four bulbs will give off plenty of light.
WHY IT’S A NO: The table I’m adding to the dining room is going to be very long and visually heavy. This light fixture is pretty square in terms of its footprint, so I’m not sure it’s the one.
amazon, ranges from $300-500
WHY IT’S A YES: This one is creeping up to the top of my list — I just love how the globes look like playful bubbles while still being polished. This one would work so well in the dining room, because the other dominant textures would be plaster (the table) and rattan (the chairs) so this would add as sculptural glass element into the space, which works well with both.
WHY IT’S A NO: Cleaning this looks hard and horrible.
shades of light, $470
WHY ITS’ A YES: Ummm because it’s perfect! Wicker/rattan light shades are so on trend: a perfect nod to the resurgence of craftsman style, and such a classic natural texture that I had tons of interest and a warm tone. I think this piece is so unique and the shade would be such a great contrast to my white plastic table.
WHY IT’S A NO: The only “No’s” for me on this one is number one the rattan color might clash slightly with my chairs — the rest of the design for the space would have to be a careful balance to allow the chair color, Wood Floor, and Brown town of this light fixture to coexist.
And then there’s the black accent.. I love it on this piece, but the rest of the house is already brass/gold. I’m not above rubbing buffing to get the look that I want but for a piece at this price point I would want it to come in the finish I need.
WHY IT’S A YES: Everything about this is a yes. It’s such a pretty gold tone. It has a sculptural silhouette, which adds tons of interest but the little teardrops give it a light and wispy feel.
The capiz shells have tons of dimension and texture and the price is perfect.
WHY IT’S A NO: The only note for this one might be that the delivery time is currently three months out. But I’m not above installing one and then sending it back and waiting for this one. If it turns out I have to have it… it might just be worth the wait.
serena and lily, on sale for $599
WHY IT’S A YES: the big yes for this light fixture for me would be texture: the glass scale-like design has so much interest. I love the translucent look of the glass — this would create such a pretty glow within the space. Plus, clear globes on lighting is one of my least favorite things…not only are they hard to clean, but they also don’t give off soft diffused light.
Another yes, for this one would be that it’s on sale, and this design would blend effortlessly with almost any style.
WHY IT’S A NO: I’m leaning towards a no on this one, because of the egg shape — it just feels a little too contained, and I want something that has a little more dimension / movement.
shades of light, $625
WHY IT’S A YES: The chandelier is designed for an island, but the rectangle shape is also perfect for my long dining table. The sleek metal lines in this design would complement my white plaster table (which will be visually heavy).
I love these little lamp shades, and the fact that they’re available in a wide range of colors: everything from neutral to green and maroon to add extra interest.
WHY IT’S A NO: The first no for this one is the price since it’s a couple hundred dollars more than most of the others — which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I think I could stretch that along way to add other design elements through the rest of the space. My usual rule of thumb when looking for investment-piece style lighting is to splurge if it’s a really unique or sculptural piece.
I think this design is a little more on the simple side with clean lines, while it’s so beautiful I don’t think it will bring the wow factor to the space that I’m looking for since I really want the light fixture to be the focal point.
dining room – before
Here’s the before I’m starting with. The space needs tons of work, but it honestly has great bones (and crown molding which is a win!)