Lighting is one of my favourite elements to pick for a room and one of the last to get installed. (There’s a reason for this: when I wrote about living in US houses vs. Australian ones, I mentioned that all electrical DIY jobs are illegal here unless performed by a licensed electrician.) Well, the light I chose for the study has finally been installed… so come and play the game with me of Which Light Is Right.
I had no hard feelings against this fixture in our study, even though this photo isn’t great. The cut-glass shades would look lovely in someone else’s house, but they weren’t doing it for mine. The glass had collected some discolouration over the years, but that was a simple fix: I removed the shades, soaked them in the sink with some Bar Keeper’s Friend for a few hours, et voila. I also felt like the fixture was too small for the room; in a larger space like this, I want some drama.
My wish list:
- At least three bulbs. One bulb, no matter how oversized its pendant shade, is not going to be enough.
- Suitable in scale to this room, in width and depth.
- Opaque shades/covers. I know that the hot trend is for bare bulbs (or filament bulbs…) but I want diffused light to softly bounce around the room and not create harsh shadows.
- No downlights. I have a couple of freestanding lamps, but the central overhead light has to be ambient rather than directional.
- Less than $500. That’s reasonable, right?
- A little retro, a little mod.
This narrowed my choices down to multi-light drum shades, multi-light pendants, and chandeliers. Even though I just said that I like choosing lights… there are so many to sift through! At least my choosiness made me feel like I’d accomplished something. I looked through pages and pages of options and narrowed it down to these three, what a pro.
(NB: I did check out some antique lights, but they were either too small, not a good style fit, or both. Rewiring a light is no big deal, according to the people in my life who know about these things, but looking at old fixtures turned up nada. Getting one of the rare, beautiful Danish-modern chandies that turn up on Etsy shipped over to Australia was also not worth my while. Unfortunately.)
The unrepentant knock-off option: Mouille three-arm ceiling lamp (photo via Topson Lighting)
Real quick though, how good is this room? I’m liking the warm colours and the wood. It does feel like it needs a couple things removed, just for some extra breathing room, but overall I dig the space and I like this example of the three-arm ceiling lamp in situ. It has three adjustable heads, so I assume it throws light around well.
That said, I’d rather not go the knock-off route and the real deal runs into the five-figure range. Maybe in another lifetime.
The I-can-view-this-and-buy-in-person option: Pentone 3 Light Pendant (via Beacon Lighting)
I know this will come as a shock, but the options for browsing lights in Tassie are limited. (Casa Mondé is legit, but licensed Good Design is gonna be a budget-buster.) Beacon Lighting is close by, and the quality of this pendant came across better in person than in the images – the opaque glass looked great with the lights on.
The slightly-harder-to-view-and-buy-in-person option: Mid-Century Pendant (via West Elm)
I had this on my lighting Pinterest board for a while. Mid-century-inspired? Yes please. Well, I got to see it in person recently, in Melbourne, and it makes such a difference to see what a light looks like up close. It looks smaller in the images than it really is, although the cords are still shorter than the Beacon pendant. (West Elm also produced a separate mid-century-inspired design for a chandelier that I really liked – and wanted REAL BAD for the living room – but it’s been discontinued… ah well.)
The groovy chandelier option: Nibbia Pendant (via Eglo)
There should be a sunken conversation pit under this thing, yeah? I think it’d look great in my study, for what it’s worth. But I suspect these don’t have translucent casings, just LED downlights, so the pendants won’t glow. That’s a shame.
The minimalist chandelier option: Ellington 8 Light Pendant (their term) (via Beacon Lighting)
If you’ve ever scrolled through the chandeliers on any lighting retailers’ website, you’ll know what a sight for sore eyes this one is. (I must have looked at a thousand gaudy-ass chandeliers, seriously.) This one is a little too squared-off for my liking, but overall I like it. I could see it looking dated in some settings and just right for others… like my study, perhaps?
The dreamboat chandelier option: Crown Minor (via Urban Lighting)
God it’s gorgeous. Rather spendy, but maybe I’ll have a long hard think about two of these for our living room. I am ~inspired~ regardless.
AND THEN IT WAS TIME TO DECIDE. Can you guess which one I chose???
It’s the mid-century-inspired pendant from West Elm, or, the least surprising option on the list! Oh yes. In person it feels so very right, and you can see the difference it makes compared to the previous fixture.
Now, the study is currently a mess, since I’ve been super busy… but it’s getting prepped and cleaned for a full reveal post, which is next on the docket. I’ll share lots of details about the space and post about its functionality, since it’s been a while since I shared an update there. Stay tuned, and also feel free to tell me if I should have picked one of these other lights instead, haha.
Check out my other updates in the study: Initial plans; flat file storage; DIY linen-weave roller blinds, giving the disused fireplace a makeover; setting up a dedicated tea station; refurbishing the timber desk; assembling a workbench and inspiration board, making DIY timber magazine files.