Vintage lighting rules of thumb

navi_jenJuly 11, 2014

I started a thread over on Renovations before I remembered this gem of a let me 're-introduce' myself.

I have a small (950 sq ft, 2bd, 1ba) c. 1926 farmhouse/bungalow mutt outside of Boston. I am starting on what will likely be a 2 phased project...Phase 1 all 'internals, kitchen and bath total gut renovation (due to PO animal smell & mold). Phase 2 likely a period sensitive 2 story addition with a garage, family room and master bedroom.

I met with the architect yesterday to go thru my 'requirements' list and he's going to come back in a week or so with the first round of conceptual ideas.

Over the weekend, I'm on a ridiculous jaunt to see and pay for my 'new' OKM stove (c 1954 6 burner, double oven original family beauty) I have lots of time for research. I have a pretty good handle on kitchen appliances, I think, and have started on lighting.

So, I am pretty sure 100% of the lighting in my house is not original. Since they are rewiring the whole house, I'd like to take this opportunity to get all the fixtures replaced. Thrifty old house lover gal that I am, I'm all about the architectural salvage places...then I will take them to a little old guy locally that does small appliance appliance repair and get the fixtures rewired.

So my question to this group is...are there general 'rules of thumb' when thinking about choosing the right light fixtures? This is the first time I've really looked at lighting (as my c. 1900 condo had 95% of the original, very simple lighting). I know I shouldn't have a chandelier in the bedroom, but other than that, are their other maxims I should consider? With the exception of the kitchen (where I know we'll have to think thru a lighting plan) I am sorta just going off what is period appropriate (20s-30s) and what appeals to me.

What say you, wise maven of Gardenweb?

Thanks in advance, as always

PS...Couple that caught my eye....

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The above I thought might be cool for the DR (it would look great with the trim and built in)

This one I (along with maybe a single of the same style) thought would look good in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:32PM
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And an option for the upstairs hallway or bedroom

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:33PM
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My house built in 1926 had almost the exact same light you have for upstairs hallway/bedroom. It was in the hallway, just outside the bedrooms.

Where did you find it?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:18AM
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The first one is AWESOME, especially if you slide the decor of the dining room towards Craftsman ... the other two not so much.

The "pool table light" looks more 1980s than 1920s, and the other one not nearly farmhouse enough.

I had a 1920s bungalow with mostly original lighting, and the kitchen had what we now call "Schoolhouse" lighting. the bedrooms had center fixtures with 3 small pendant lights from it.

Much like this:

Or maybe these:

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:06AM
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Have you looked at Rejuvenation? They classify fixtures by room and period or style. Their fixtures are rather expensive, but good quality. Even if you don't buy from them, their site is very helpful.

Those last two fixtures do not look like real reproduction, they look like modern adaptations.

Try the salvage stores first and be open to anything. I've seen chandeliers in bedrooms that look great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Rejuvenation

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:14AM
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Hey Navi!

I have personally found LOTS of lights on EBAY- some rewired and completely redone and others in need. Either way I have found it to be a great resource.

Find the style of your house through any original details that do remain and leap from there.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:39AM
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