If you’re like me and you love to include antiques in the “set design” of your home, then antique lighting (which can be a bit of a challenge) is something you should definitely consider.
In talking about antique electric lighting, we’ll be using the term “antique” loosely. Remember, practical electric lightbulbs weren’t invented until 1879. So true antique lighting (over 100 years old) often consists of candle, oil and gas lights converted to electricity.
I always recommend that chandeliers be put on a dimmer. All the romance and mystery tends to go out of lighting — and especially antique lighting — when the bulbs are glaringly bright. When you dim them down to a soft glow, approximating candlelight, they seem to be just right.
I really love antique chandeliers, especially drippy, crystal-covered ones. They are like elegant diamond earrings on a beautiful woman, adding sparkle and drama. And I like to encourage folks to remember that their use doesn’t have to be limited to just dining rooms and entry halls.
This is a classic antique lamp style that you have probably seen in movies or pictures, in a fantastically decorated, wood-paneled men’s study. Of course, it can be used in many other contexts, as seen here in this very chic bedroom. I love this lamp style and have used it myself in living rooms, in offices and even once in a bathroom.
Antique lighting can also come in the form of any antique object that lends itself to becoming a lamp. This antique santo is perfect. Just bring any fantastic find to a lamp store. They’ll wire it for you.
When decorating, you really are the set designer of your own personal theater, which is your home. Whether you use actual antique lighting, well-executed reproductions or some antique item imaginatively repurposed into a lamp, don’t underestimate the power these useful objects have in creating a welcoming and hospitable ambience for you, your family and your friends.