Yeehaw! Dear Husband says that after 10 years of living in the house, he is still tired of our big living room being so dark at night, and can we please add some sconces in order to brighten things up. “Yeehaw,” because I get to do a project… and it’s been while, so I have the patience, desire and money to attack the issue. That said: I didn’t say I wouldn’t make it a torturous project. Starting with my first torturous decision: Where to place the sconces flanking the fireplace — at the edge of the mantle, or on the main wall just beyond and in this case, set back a bit? What is the “right” answer? Is there a “right” answer?
Let me note, the living room and dining room in my 1951 colonial-ranch are one big open concept room, about 45′ long by 15′ wide. See those two round steps to the left of the Barcelona chair? Those are steps up to the dining room. There are a lot of windows, and the light is fabulous in the day time. But, the only built-in lighting fixture in the space is the chandelier in the dining room. The ceilings are quite high in the living room. And at night, when we closed the pinch pleat drapes, it’s very difficult to light the room with table lamps. We also have a pole lamp. I don’t really care if it’s darkish. But Dear Husband wants light. 10 years later, he still wants it. Okay.
We’ll put a pair of sconces flanking the fireplace, and another pair at the far end of the room flanking that window. That’s it, though. The rest of the space will use table lamps. I am concerned that any more sconces will make the room look like an airport runway. I’ll show a panorama of the space later, as I continue to ask your opinions as I eat my kishkas (sp?) out.
I rarely make decisions that involve calling in electricians, cutting holes in walls and carefully applied grasscloth and in general, mean “permanent” changes… easily. This project will likely involve scores of hours of research and much nail-biting and second guessing about not only the right style of sconce, but also how tall, how wide, how far out it will stick, the shade, the finish and of course, the cost. Already, excitedly, I have spent two hours with DH looking at vintage sconces online and kind of getting a general focus in place… then I went to the local lighting store and spent two hours looking at new lighting in catalogs… and then I came home and another three online again, looking at both new and vintage. Let the games begin.
So back to the question of the day — where to place the sconces that will flank the fireplace? Some key measurements: The fireplace and mantle are set on a wall that protrudes about 6″ from the main wall behind. Where you see the light switch by the door at the right, there’s about 10.5″ of wall space. The big decision:
Should I put the sconces on the main wall (outside arrows) or on the mantel wall?
What do you think, readers? Any “original” go-to examples in your homes?