Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lighting Inspiration


Nina:  House and Home
Pinta:  Lili Diallo from Livingetc.
Santa Maria:  Jonathan Adler Design, Elle Decor
I know not every state and/or business celebrates Columbus Day but it's a holiday here
for most of us in Massachusetts so I thought I would mark the holiday with a little Christopher Columbus lighting inspiration with Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria chandeliers.

Inspiration is an interesting thing; it can come from anywhere.
You just need to take the tiniest spark of an idea and run with it.



My lighting plan for the kitchen includes a pendant and few flush mounts.

Circa's Yoke pendant, Marine flush mount and Siena flush mount

Going with a nautical look was my first inclination but
I've seen it done before and it's just a little too literal.



So I took a little inspiration from the rubble.  When the kitchen floor
was opened up, I found these few light fixtures tucked up on the second inner
foundation.  I probably could have reached them from the basement but the
ductwork obstructed them from view.  I thought the white porcelain fixture was
interesting and I would bet it was used in the house at one point in time.


I pulled it out and studied for a few days.  I considered cleaning
it up, having it rewired and finding a globe for it but it's cracked
in a few places and has some discoloration so I got in internet to
look for something similar to see what I could come up with.

And after looking at thousands of lights I found it a Schoolhouse Electric:
a white porcelain fixture with a glass globe that looked very similar
to what I thought the fixture from rubble would look like if it were restored.


And I paired that with a white enameled pendant and a nickel flush mount.



It's a group of fixtures that transport me to an old bakery in my hometown.
I photographed it the last time I was home.  It's so charming and warm and authentic.
I thought if I could ever make a kitchen with this feeling, I'd be quite happy.


I then took the white and swapped it out with black with brass
for another look that I think is quite handsome.



Another possibility but with white shades.

Have you looked at Schoolhouse Electric?  They have a great mix of fixtures all
available in different finishes and variety of shades that will work with each fixture.
It seems the possibilities are endless.  And they sell a lot more than lights.

I haven't made a final decision but I think these would be great
juxtaposed against cabinets made from an antique store counter.

62 comments:

  1. ah, so many good choices. i think i'm partial to the black and brass. we found a local guy who restores period pieces that are a lot like the ones you're look at. i venture in his workshop at least once a month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly,
      They do all feel very vintage. If I look through industrial and vintage fixtures on ebay, you can see how Schoolhouse pulled from old school fixtures.

      Delete
  2. I hope that you enjoy your day! Happy Columbus Day! I love each of your lighting choices, they look great.

    I know that you are not using it but that ship chandelier is fabulous and has always been a favorite of mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would never want to have to dust the ship chandie but it's definitely a statement piece and looks great in some spaces.

      Delete
  3. I love all of the collections that you put together. I am particularly interested in the flush mounts as a replacement for all of the builder "boobs" in my house. Your kitchen seems to be coming together nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerry,
      I have a really tough time with flush mounts. I just think that 99 percent of them are horrible. One thing I like about many of the Schoolhouse shades is they're basically downlights which I think would provide less offensive light than the typical overhead fixture.

      Delete
  4. I think any one of these choices would work well with the warm "bakery" style you envision. Choosing these details is the most fun of a renovation.
    Best...Victoria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria,
      I should be fun but I'm the kind person that has to look at every one of the world's one billion light fixtures before I can narrow it down.

      Delete
  5. Lots of good choices. Not an easy decision but I think the lights in the last pic would look great in either black or white. I’d go with whatever shows dust the least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thought about the dust. Black really shows dust.

      Delete
  6. I love the journey that this post represents! From 'artifacts' tucked into the ceiling of your basement, to online searches, to a favorite bakery ... it's what design is SUPPOSED to do. Your choices so far look very personal and oh, so classic.

    I thought about your kitchen the other day while I was in my own kitchen, on a gloomy day when I was thankful for some of the lighting decisions that I made in the design phase. Undercabinet lights like the ones I have are something you should consider. They're low-voltage with little clip-on xenon fixtures that are ultra low-profile and absolutely hidden under the cabinets, and they make a huge difference in the task lighting. The transformers are tucked into the corner of two high cabinets. Here is a link for you: http://www.ambiance-lighting.com/Lx_CableSystems.htm (I just saw that they now offer LED ... I'm going to have to look into these.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly was an unexpected journey but one I was happy to take.

      While the verdict was out on recessed lights, everyone seems to love their undercabinet lighting. Thank you for the information!

      Delete
    2. I have recessed lights for general lighting, with a nickel-plated pendant over the sink. The footprint of our kitchen is too small for much else.

      The undercabinet lights are something you can add later, as long as the wiring and switches are in place to control the transformers. That's what I did.

      Delete
  7. That is so cool that you found old fixtures in the rubble! I love Schoolhouse--I think I first saw them on the White Flower Farmhouse blog. Love the thought of the pendant with your gorgeous old counter, especially in black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen,
      What fond memories of the Whiteflower Farmhouse you brought up. I really miss Lori. I'm just starting to plan what I'm doing with the store counter. Have you been to the European Country Antiques in Cambridge? It's worth seeing; I think you'd love it.

      Delete
  8. Our previous house had a fixture in the basement bathroom very like the porcelain one you found. The house was built in 1918 and was in my husband's family until we sold it, so I know it was original. Unfortunately, by the time we occupied the house, it had a naked bulb in it - which we replaced with a globe. I love the thought of using the first grouping to recreate the feel of that fixture.

    But, whatever you choose will be spot on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that story, Webb. It was my estimate the porcelain piece was from the late teens or '20s. Many of them have distinct Deco styling.

      Delete
  9. Love this blog, gosh what great finds love the old porcelain fitting. Like the http://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/ link too getting some ideas from across the water.
    Annie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annie,
      I think many of these would look great in your cottage by the sea!

      Delete
  10. I love your potential candidates, especially in black and brass.
    Good sleuthing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what it is about the black and brass ones. I love them too.

      Delete
  11. Hi, Steve - Happy Columbus Day.
    I like your photographs of the hometown bakery; it does have a lot of charm. In your last grouping of fixtures, I like the two right-hand ones. I find the dangling cord of the left fixture a little bothersome. Now that art stores stock a gazillion spray paints (for contemporary muralists), I'd paint a fixture with a unique color that ties to some other accent in the kitchen. (But you can never go wrong with white, can you?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark,
      I appreciate you honesty about that cord. I didn't like it at first but I've started to see it as an abstracted nod to an old rise and fall pendant. The light with the two shades actually comes in a dozen or so different colors, some of which are really fun.

      Delete
  12. Since I'm a pale-on-pale kinda guy, I of course love the white with the nickel. But I'm also digging the black with brass - that grouping seems more old world. Such fun decisions and great selections! Happy Columbus Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loi,
      It SHOCKS me that you're digging the black and brass!

      Delete
  13. I never realized that Columbus had such BLING! taste!!!!!! Luckily YOURS has evolved and you have picked beautiful, classic pieces...........good luck with your final selection!!!!

    All the best!!!!

    Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does seem that Columbus loved the bling! Thanks, Rob; nice to hear from you.

      Delete
  14. To replicate your bakery/store you so love...I would do the white. frankly...I would be partial to white and brass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. White and brass would be awesome, wouldn't it?

      Delete
  15. For a minute there I got scared...thought you were thinking of using one of those hideous ship chandeliers and had truly lost it (renovations cam make one crazy). I really like all of your choices and think you can't go wrong with any of them; now to choose! Nice problem to have. Hope you've had a nice day off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, come on, they're kind of fun. But can you imagine cleaning one of those in the kitchen?

      Delete
  16. I like the all of your choices, but the 3rd trio is my fave. I will mention that I have that flush mount in my son's bedroom and it doesn't give off a lot of light. Can't wait to see what you pick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maureen,
      Are you referring to the porthole one? It seems to me that it minimizes general light because of its metal sides so the light only shines down. I'll have multiple sources of light so I think that's a good quality of this particular flush mount.

      Delete
  17. These look beautiful. Does the pendant light have openings so some light reflects back up to the ceiling? I think that has a nicer effect than one that only shines downward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like it has opening to let some light reflect up but how effective that is I'm not really sure.

      Delete
    2. The effect won't be to cast functional light but more to soften the space and avoid having it look like a poker table at 3 a.m. after too many rums and a couple of cigars!

      Delete
  18. I just adore old lights...especially when I get a fabulous deal...like finding them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The black and brass takes my breath away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could totally see them in your kitchen too!

      Delete
  20. love the black and brass combo steve. please pick that set up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kind of surprised you like the brass, Janet.

      Delete
  21. I was one of the lucky ones that worked today! First day back from vacation!
    At first glance I thought the bakery was a photo of the shop from "Practical Magic".
    I'm SURE you must have seen that movie. If not, stop everything and watch it.
    Best kitchen, best house ever.
    Of course I adore the WHITE but I also like the Black and Brass.
    I don't care so much for the 3rd pick.
    I got my vintage hanging light from the ReStore. (Habitat for Humanity).
    I sat in my living room and stared into the kitchen and realized that while I love white, I needed something dark to balance the room. I was lucky and found the perfect light (for $15!).
    Whatever you decide, I know it will be perfect, it always is!
    (I have a white porcelain fixture in the basement with a scary wiring coming out of it. My house was built in 1918 too, I wonder now if it's original...that's even scarier!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, you totally shock me liking the black and brass. Is your kitchen light black?

      I would bet your basement fixture is original!

      Delete
  22. Normally, I'm all over the black and brass, but I'm kind of loving the fresh white here. White enamel? Love. White porcelain? Love. The black and brass feels very masculine, a tad dressy, sort of Darryl Carter. Which of course is fabulous. But you are right that the white feels homey. A bit dressed down. A place where pancakes are made. And there is something so right about the combination of white and wood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice analysis, Camille. Thank you for chiming in.

      Delete
  23. Music is made because of the silence between the notes. Same with lighting. It is the shadows between the lights that create the mood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really beautiful. Is that your own line?

      Delete
  24. Now this is going to be a hard decision as I LOVE them both. The white grouping is what I would normally choose, but I'm obsessed with the unlacquered brass flush mount fixture!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I'm saying. It's a tough choice.

      Delete
  25. I love the white options!! So classic! :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erin. It's nice to have another vote in the white column!

      Delete
  26. All your choices are very handsome. Can't go wrong. Love the feel of the bakery too from your photos. Light and airy.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just checked out School House Electric & Supply - very nice stuff. Too pricey for me but great for inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Crickey, Steve, even your rubble is exciting! But decisions, decisions. By now my brain would have turned to mush. I can start out on projects with very clear intentions and all goes well for ages but there inevitably comes the stage of small, late choices where I become a dithering mess. Am at the dithering mess stage now because I can't decide between your black or your white lighting - good job it's you in charge! (One of our daughters has old metal jelly moulds as light shades in her kitchen and they look great.)
    The bakery looks fab.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love that you are so considerate of your home's history as you make design decisions. Your choices are always inspired and unpredictable to me. I never know which way you will go, but at the same time when I see it I nod my head and think "yep, that's Steve". :)

    Love the black and brass....wow. But wonder if they'd feel heavy? I so like light and airy. Yes and the dust...

    Hope you and the kitties are well.

    Xo Terri

    ReplyDelete
  30. Steve,
    Love Schoolhouse Electric. Over my sink I have the exact one you show with the brass and black shade and I was going to use the pendants in white over our island, but they were too large. I do love those though. We went with something smaller, but similar from Schoolhouse. I love their show room in the city, I can only imagine the one in Portland.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can't wait for the final decision. I'm still partial to black, but what about rusted iron?

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love them all....in fact the white enamel one is similar to mine. And I have an extra one sitting in my basement with the thick rope cord if you are interested.....

    ReplyDelete
  33. The black and brass option is gorgeous, but how much focus do you want it to pull? The white will recede more, for the overall feel. The black and brass will knock you upside the head with awesome.
    And I can't believe it took me this long to find another house blog run by a guy. +1 follower here.

    ReplyDelete