Pity the poor sconce: Despite its impressive versatility, people tend to overlook, if not outright forget, wall lighting fixtures when decorating.
We’re going to rectify that. The tips and photos below will show you how sconces can make a room not just brighter but also chicer and more functional. And if you need additional help, book a free appointment with One Kings Lane Interior Design.
• Hardwired refers to lighting and appliances that are connected directly to a room’s electrical framework. There are no visible cords from the fixture to the outlet. However, you have much less flexibility regarding placement, unless you hire an electrician to rewire the framework. What’s more, only electricians should install sconces (or any other hardwired fixtures). Many sconces, however, are now available as fixtures you can plug into an outlet as you would a table lamp.
• In a bedroom, sconces can substitute for bedside lamps, freeing up space atop nightstands. Remember to position the on-off switch so that you can easily reach it from the comfort of your bed.
• Likewise, if you use a console or other slender surface as a desk, consider replacing a lamp with a sconce, especially one with an extendable arm or an adjustable shade.
• If you’re using multiple sconces to light a hallway, the rule of thumb is to space them about six feet apart.
• In a bathroom, having a sconce on either side of the mirror will provide even light without creating distracting shadows on your reflection. Optimal height for the center of the sconce is roughly eye level.
• If you’re placing a sconce above your bathroom mirror rather than beside it, consider one with at least two bulbs so that, again, your reflection is evenly lit.
• When placing sconces near moisture, be sure they’re damp-rated.
• When a sconce’s light is directed up, it provides ambient light. If you’re using the sconce as task lighting, choose one that directs light downward.