With the addition of our DIY banquette, the way we use Tree House has changed drastically for the better. Like, it’s almost unbelievable! Our old folding table and rusty patio chairs have been a thorn in our side for 2 years(!), and it was the happiest day to store them away. And when we added the custom dining table – well, forget it. It was like a whole new house, and we already have amnesia of table’s past. (By the way, we plan on sharing the story of our custom table very soon!)
The big thing our main living space was still lacking, however, was lighting. Lighting is integral to the way we live and interact in our home. I can’t stress this enough; lighting is so, so important in home design. Until recently, we had only our overhead light (on a dimmer, of course – we love and use these!), but as a general rule, any given room should have at least 2, if not 3, sources of light. Your evenings will be so much happier for it!
So not only did our dining nook see a drastic change with the table and banquette, but the entire room received a big (nay, massive!) upgrade when we added 2 wall sconces – one in the corner by the table, and the other above our sofa:
We love a good wall sconce, because you can essentially add them anywhere there’s outlet nearby. They provide a warm glow for a reading nook or conversation area, or they’re a great option to line a dark hallway, light up a small entryway or keep your bedside cozy. In our case, these extra light sources help to create soft mood lighting during a quiet Tree House evening, whether we’re playing games at the table or diving into a good book while curled up on the sofa. We have a bit of a route: As the sun sets, we flip on the sconces, and we dim the kitchen window light, too. We light a candle, we tune into a soothing playlist, and we just… chill.
So, how do you choose the right wall sconce for your space?
Check for Outlets
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the location of your outlets will be a determining factor in which kind of wall sconce you choose. For example, if you’re okay with an exposed cord, a more inexpensive option would be to choose a plug-in sconce. But if you’d prefer a hard-wired fixture where there is currently no junction box, you’ll likely need to consult with an electrician. However, you may be surprised to learn that adding a j-box near an outlet where there is none may be more affordable than you’d think! In our dining nook, our electrician tapped off a nearby switch for our now-hard-wired sconce, whereas we opted for a plug-in above the sofa. This leads me to…
How Do You Want to Operate Your Sconce?
We liked the idea of a plug-in sconce above the sofa for a more casual feel, but we also liked the idea of having switch directly on the fixture for ease of use. Most plug-in sconces have a switch built into the cord, and depending on where you purchase the fixture (i.e., an Etsy seller), you may be able to specify how far down you’d like it to go. In our case, we fell hard for the Nehalem sconce for the level of customization (we chose aged brass with a clear ash wood accent), but we especially loved the rotary switch directly on the canopy.
If you’ll be installing your sconce on a j-box, you will still want to consider whether you want to be able to operate your sconce from the fixture itself (either on the canopy or with a pull chain), or if you would prefer a wall switch. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when narrowing down your search on the perfect sconce. Try filtering your online searches by specifying plug-in vs. hardwired and going from there.
On a side note, you may be wondering what we did with the cord of our plug-in sconce, since it was installed above our slim console. We drilled a tiny hole into it!
And we did the same on the opposite end of the console and added one of these external outlets with USB! We have two outlets on the wall underneath the console, and both items are plugged in, out of sight. We were sure to drill the holes in the same spot on each side, and the result looks intentional and pretty cute, we think!
Consider Other Light Fixtures In the Same Room
What other light fixtures do you have in the same room? Is there an overhead light? A floor lamp? A table lamp? Consider the style of these light sources – everything from the metal finish to the shape – and use that as your guide when choosing a wall sconce. For example, just because the other fixtures in the room are brass, that doesn’t mean your wall sconce needs to be brass, too. You could still keep things cohesive by, say, choosing a sconce with a globe shade if that’s also the shape of your overhead light. We talk about this more in this post, which also dives into lighting pairs for an open concept home. The same general rules would apply!
The Right Shade Is Important
Are you a bare bulb fan? Or do you prefer more diffused light, such as that with milk glass or a fabric shade? There’s no wrong answer here, but I’m a thousand percent in the latter! I have sensitive eyes, so much so, that you won’t find a clear glass shade or bare bulb in any room of our house. When choosing the right wall sconce for you, you’ll want to be mindful of this.
- If you fall in love with a plug-in sconce but need something hard-wired (or if the opposite happens), that’s okay! Generally speaking, most light fixtures can be converted one way or another. Here’s an example of how we hard-wired a plug-in fixture, and this is our favorite place to purchase plug-in lighting kits.
- Don’t be afraid to mix metals with different light sources in the same room. Mixing metals is our favorite way to add instant charm.
- Don’t forget about the finishing touch – the light bulb! We prefer the look of an LED 2700k bulb, which provides warmer light. For a wall sconce, we also choose the lowest equivalent watt we can find, which is typically 40 watts.
Is there anything else we can help to answer, or is there anything you’d like to add? We’re also bursting to share more about our custom dining table (made from a tree from our own backyard, eek!) soon!