Interior Lighting

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Ideas for interior lighting designs for historic homes, including historic reproductions, lanterns, pendants, wire-armed chandeliers, mica shades, and sconces. 

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handmade lampshade

Sew Up a Fabric Lampshade

A fancy shade will dress up a thrift-store lamp.

Ceiling pendant with a hurricane shade by The Mine.

Victorian Tiles, Lights, and Ornaments

Brilliant tiles, lighting and ornaments.

Ellis sconce

Sconces, Lamps, and Pendants

See traditionally-designed sconces, lamps, and pendants.

Ball and Ball's gaslight lantern

Lighting 1910 to 1930

Endlessly inventive, Teens and Twenties lighting fixtures still appeal today.

Kingshaven light fixture

Traditional Lighting Fixtures

Illuminate the night with these beautiful traditional lighting fixtures.

Inspired by a billiard fixture, the ‘North’ from Rejuvenation is casual yet period over a kitchen counter.

Period Lighting Choices for Your Old House

Whether your taste runs to colonial wire-arm chandeliers or hammered copper with mica shades, period-inspired lighting is easy to love. But are reproductions really functional in this age of halogen lamps and organic LEDs?

A variety of salvaged ship lights hang on a wall at Olde Good Things in New York.

Nautical Lights Ahoy

Mid-20th-century ship lights are rewired and polished up to become attractive wall sconces or lamps.

bridge lamp

Bridge Lamps

They still make bridge lamps.

Urban Electric Co.’s Lundy Hang

Lighting & Hardware Inspiration

Lighting and hardware inspiration for your next interior design project.

Lights flanking a mirror cut down on harsh shadows and offered optimum illumination for grooming. The shades here-called turtles because of their resemblance to the critter-could also be mounted facing the wall, and often sat on brackets made of porcelain that featured convenient, built-in electrical outlets.  Photo Courtesy of Linda Svendsen

Art Deco Lighting for the Bathroom

When it comes to lighting bathrooms of the 1930s and '40s, you can't go wrong with a little Modern design.

With a chisel-punched shade and glass reservoir base, House of Antique Hardware’s Electrified ‘Cupid’ lamp is a revival of an authentic oil lamp design.

Farmhouse Lighting

Based on the idea that rustic materials—punched tin, seedy glass—make for a period type, Farmhouse Style is a new lighting craze.

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Switchplates with Style

Make an electrical outlet or switch disappear by painting or wallpapering it to match the wall. (Wallpaper gets dirty fast, so make two and store one for later.) Alternately, these decorative covers turn the switch plate into an architectural detail.

chandelier

Wire-Arm Chandeliers

Exceptional early American lighting is still made by craftspeople like Chris Burda, owner of Period Lighting Fixtures in Clarksburg, Massachusetts.

Iron fencing. (Photo: Dan Mayers)

Lighting Whimsies from Another’s Junk

How to create a light fixture from salvaged metal.

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Gaslight-Era Lighting Fixtures

They still make gaslight-era lighting fixtures.

pushbutton switches

Pushbutton Switches

They still make pushbutton switches.

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Lampshades Come to Light

Those 1920s designs mislabeled "Victorian" are pleasing to our eyes--but don't you want to know what really shaded your 1886 or 1905 lamp?

Traditional sconces flank a bathroom mirror.

Traditional Trades: Brass Light Gallery

For more than 40 years, Steve Kaniewski of Brass Light Gallery has been producing works of art in light fixtures.

In the original great room of an Arts & Crafts house, very plain lamps on industrial arms throw light toward the beautifully stenciled ceiling. Antique lamps add ambiance.

6 Ways to Integrate Modern Lighting into Old Houses

High-tech lighting illuminates places that period lamps don’t reach.

Rococo lighting, 1860-1865

A Timeline of Lighting History

Learn more about what influenced lighting designs between 1865 and 1970 with this illustrated timeline.

The Space Age had a profound impact on mid-20th-century lighting.

100 Years of Lighting Designs

A look at how lighting fixtures changed over the course of a century.

An ornate brass chandelier with candles in an 18th-century room is the early American ideal.

The Best Chandeliers for Colonial-Era Houses

Chandeliers are the apex of "colonial" lighting, but many beloved designs date to after the Revolution, even well into the 19th century.

Dearborn pendant by Wilmette Lighting

Room-by-Room Lighting Guide

Good lighting does more than just illuminate a space—if that were the case, we’d all be content to light our rooms with nothing more than a bare bulb on a string.

A trio of low-voltage ‘Adler’ pendants from Wilmette Lighting, fitted with the fluted amber ‘Blossom’ shade.

High-Tech Lights with Old-House Style

Newfangled lighting systems, once the scourge of old-house renovation, have become period friendly—or at least less obtrusive.

The lighting in Chuck and Judy Kohlhaas’ kitchen is all vintage—the 1920s Art Deco fixtures, which Judy found on eBay, were salvaged from an old theater.

Kitchen Lighting: Antique or New?

Narrow down the choices with these tips on what to look for in vintage and reproduction lighting.

Products of the Week

abatron-products-2020

Abatron

Manufacturer of adhesives, wood consolidants, and wood replacement compounds for structural and decorative restoration.

abatron Mold Making and Casting Compounds

Mold Making & Casting Compounds

Founded in 1959, Abatron, Inc. specializes in the research, formulation, and manufacture of epoxy and related compounds.