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Sconces and Wall Lamps

When it comes to lighting, emotion is every bit as important as pure illumination. Ambience is inseparably connected with style. Light fixtures make it easier to read and relax or party with friends but, even more, they provide the setting for those occasions. Lighting gives the room the exact feel you want it to have, from warm and intimate to spacious and exciting. At Pottery Barn, we understand that creativity and imagination know no bounds. That’s why we offer different kinds of lighting, including sconces and wall lamps, so you have tons of styles to play around with. If you are not quite sure where you want to place sconces and wall lamps in a room, we have some helpful tips.


What can wall sconces bring to bedroom illumination? That depends on the type of ambience you prefer. If your idea of a perfect bedroom involves wrapping yourself in a fuzzy blanket or bathrobe, sipping a glass of wine and reading a favorite novel, then indirect lighting is a suitable choice. It fills the room with a cozy vibe that takes all your stress away. Toss in a few candles or flowers and you have a romantic getaway without leaving the house. To get that indirect – or uplit – glow, place sconces with a shade or frosted glass in pairs on your bedroom walls.


What about the living room? Here, sconces usually play the role of accent lighting. That means they direct your attention to the main pieces of decor you have in the room. If you have a favorite painting that defines your signature style, place a wall lamp on each side of it. The soft light enhances the colors of the artwork, shows off the contours of an elegant frame and tells your guests that this spot is your magnum opus. A fireplace is another awesome spot for a pair of sconces, especially when you use the top surface to show off a collection of decorative objects.


One place that wall lamps fit beautifully and help out is next to a picture window or on the columns in between a large window divided into sections. Why there? Isn’t there already a lot of natural light? Definitely. Once you close the curtains at night, however, a large window can appear like a dark void. If you want to brighten that corner of the room up a bit, sconces are a great solution.


Although they’re incredible as accent lighting, wall lamps are also amazing team players. Feel free to layer lighting in a room to get it just right in your eyes. How? Well, there are many ways to design a light scheme, so don’t feel restricted to one formula. Some interior decorators recommend starting with the central light fixtures – the ones that provide the majority of the overall illumination – first. Flushmounts, chandeliers and pendants usually fall into this category. Then, think about where else you want a touch of extra light. Lamps illuminate the spaces around and behind furniture from the comfort of a table. Floor lamps and sconces take care of the perimeter and accent walls especially.


What style of sconce is right for your room? There are many different types of wall lamps like crystal sconces, adjustable and articulating pieces, lamps with transparent spherical covers and more. They can create virtually any theme in a space, from elegant 1920s vintage to a modern and minimalist vibe. One thing to remember is that your take on design is what counts. If you’re looking for contemporary farmhouse bedroom, for example, use wall lamps that feel bright and positive to you. Mixing and matching elements of several styles are terrific options as well.


How far apart can you space sconces? That depends on the size of the space, how bright you want it to be, and your personal preferences. Generally speaking, 8 feet to 10 feet apart is enough to light most areas, but you can go closer if sconces are the main source of illumination. What about height? Many designers say to shoot for eye level or a little higher, but it’s OK to vary that for style or practical reasons.