Antique lighting: How to illuminate your house this winter
With the long nights drawing in we’re more likely to be spending time in the comfort of our own homes. While it may be dark outside, antique lighting can bring you all the illumination you need this winter.
Lighting is a key element in the home, whether for practical purposes or to help create the perfect mood. It can be purely decorative or entirely sensible, ornate or simple, big or small; whatever your tastes and requirements, antique lighting can offer answers to many problems as well as add real character to your home.
Before you begin looking for antique lighting, try and work out the natural light in your home. Identify spaces that need illuminating, or whether there’s a particular area that could do with a helping hand.
Whether it’s a statement fitting or a practical purchase you’re after, we’ve put together some antique lighting ideas to help you find the perfect piece.
Make a statement with antique lighting
Antique lighting can really set the tone of a room and often, when selected carefully, can be its central focus. Dramatic or statement lighting will not only illuminate your home this winter, but may really command the attention of anyone that enters it.
Chandeliers create a real sense of drama and there are plenty of antique chandeliers to choose from.
Over the winter months and festive period we may find ourselves welcoming more people into our homes, and dining rooms can become the chief gathering place for family and friends.
An exquisite 19th Century gilt bronze chandelier over a dining room table will bring a sense of opulence to your winter dinner parties and create a real warmth.
When considering the scale of antique lighting and the size of your chandelier, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of your room and table and the height of your ceiling. Hang the chandelier so that the bottom of it is roughly around 70cm from the table. You want the chandelier to be the main focal point, but it needs to feel in balance with the rest of the room.
Neoclassical crystal chandeliers set against a statement dark wall or hanging in a hallway can create an impressive impact as soon as you enter the home, while the warm glow from the antique lighting will ensure guests feel invited.
If you’ve time to plan ahead, organising the rest of a room around a special piece of antique lighting can help you create the hue and warmth you’ve got your heart set on. For something completely different, a 1950s pendant light will transport you back to a glamorous time gone by.
While antique lighting can be used as the cosmetic jewellery of our home, it can also be used to illuminate areas of the home that require a little helping hand, be that in the kitchen, bathroom or over a desk. When buying antique lighting, don’t forget the purpose of a room; while you may be drawn in by the beauty and splendour of a one-off piece, we sometimes need to think practically about where and how we will use it.
In the kitchen, consider using pendant lighting or glass bell-shaped ceiling lights to hang over work surfaces or kitchen islands. Not only will these help you illuminate your kitchen to make cooking easier, but they’ll also create a light and airy feel, which will be welcome in the dark winter months.
Juxtaposing sleek lines with more ornate items remains on trend and is one of our top fireplace ideas for this winter.
Alternatively for a more stylish statement piece, opting for art deco chrome and glass ceiling lights can create a real impact.
If you often find yourself working well into the evening, some task antique lighting in the study or living room will ensure you don’t strain your eyes, and the more concentrated hue from a desk or standing lamp can create a real cosy ambience to your home. Classic antique brass or restored Victorian oil lamps are subtle but effective features and can provide a pool of light in an otherwise dark room.
Create warmth and shadows with wall lighting
Whether you have a nook to fill, a hallway to illuminate or a piece of art to highlight, antique lighting can help you create the right glow using wall fittings and sconces.
For something subtle, Victorian or Edwardian brass candle sconces can help complement a roaring fire when used to illuminate either side of a chimney breast. If you’re hoping for something with more impact, don’t be afraid to go big. Gothic revival multi-light wall fittings will light up a room as well as make a statement.
If you prefer antique lighting a little more ornate, opting for wall lights in Rococo or Neoclassical style will create an atmospheric home this winter.
Mix the old with the new
You may have a modern living space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install a bit of history amidst your contemporary interiors. A staple piece of antique lighting can really add character and a unique charm to your home, which is particularly important in the winter months when we spend more time indoors. Be adventurous and don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new, clash colours or cross decades.
Other ways to illuminate your home this winter
Antique fireplaces can add a real sense of warmth and light to your home and the glow from a roaring fire can complement your antique lighting. Ornate or grand feature mirrors can optimise natural light, while placing wall lights next to them will create elegant additional illumination.
Another alternative to electrical antique lighting is to invest in some antique candelabras. Lighting your home using candlelight will create a seductively warm atmosphere and will have you feeling only too happy to stay indoors this winter. A Rococo style gilt bronze candelabra wouldn’t look out of place on a lavishly dressed dining table, while a Victorian gothic revival piece would be fitting next to any antique fireplace during these cold dark months.
There are so many options for illuminating your home this winter. Browse or stock for ideas and inspiration to create the perfect festive glow.