There’s no question that the impending cold weather is bringing up some fear and sadness due to the fact that the sanity-saving outdoor activities are swiftly coming to a close (we do have a tricks here to expend that a little). BUT as we were talking about ways to help all of you make the most of cozier days at home, lighting naturally came to mind and more specifically that warm soft glow that can magically warm the soul.
Actually, I decided that for this post I was going to sit in my living room, dim my Noguchi paper pendant and let the delicate, warm light it emits be the backdrop. Is this “method blogging??” Indeed, there is just a natural peace that comes with sitting in a softly lit room. So let’s go a little deeper on how to get/what to look for when “a soft glow” is the goal. Then, because I have little control when it comes to rounding up beautiful lighting, there are about 66 options (floor lamps, table lamps, and plug-in sconces) for you to shop from if you don’t have the source to get some “glow” of your own.
Here are your options. You can A. choose a natural material lamp that has a natural off-white color like Julie and I did with our pendants. B. buy a lamp whose whole purpose is to be glowy (you’ll see what I mean below) or C. choose either an amber, low wattage, or dimmable soft white light to create the glow you want. Actually, as I was researching lightbulbs, a lightbulb went off in my head. The less blue light the better! If “night mode” on your computer is meant to protect your eyes (it’s an amber-toned filter for those who don’t know), wouldn’t you want that same type of light in our home… especially in the evening when you are trying to wind down for bed?? My answer is yes.
I also want to be clear that we LOVE fun, colorful lamps and lampshades. Here and here are two posts proving that. BUT for this post, we wanted to go a bit more neutral and soft rather than moody and romantic (which is also a great call;)). Let’s get into it…
Julie wrote a post this year about floor lamps because honestly, we felt that the design world had gone very “sconce” and we wanted to remind you all that floor lamps are ALSO where it is at. They can bring that sculptural moment your room needs and the light to bring a happier mood. These are my favorites for maximum soft glow potential.
1. Bridaine Wood and Brass Floor Lamp | 2. Tabitha Floor Lamp | 3. Metal Floor Lamp | 4. Globe Floor Lamp | 5. Parasol Floor Lamp | 6. Knixhult | 7. Great Jones Floor Lamp | 8. Oralee Glass Cylinder Floor Lamp | 9. Brixton Acacia Floor Lamp | 10. Siren Floor Lamp | 11. Vivian Floor Lamp | 12. Adjustable 65″ Floor Lamp | 13. Ellis Tripod Floor Lamp | 14. Modern Arm Floor Lamp | 15. Tanner Floor Lamp | 16. Floor Lamp with Wood Block Base | 17. Lauters | 18. Berkshire Floor Lamp | 19. Akari 10A | 20. Walker Medium Floor Lamp | 21. Clara Tripod Floor Lamp
If me talking up my pendant earlier doesn’t give it away, #2 and #19 are going to give you the glow you want (no special bulbs needed) and SO much style. #3, #16, and #17 are all under $80 dollars and have quiet but special details. For those you that might want to change the bulb on hand for a “softer” one, I have some options for you below. If you have a bigger budget, #7, #9, and #18 are so beautiful. Plus number #7 is naturally going to give you a beautiful light because of its natural tan lamp shade.
Table lamps are just my FAVORITE (hence why it’s the largest category…. I couldn’t stop pinning). Whether you live in a big or small space, a table lamp can be an unexpected style moment that really brings the room to life. I think if you are wanting to take a “safe design risk”, get a cool table lamp. Low risk, high reward. Plus with these, you get a lot of soothing glow…
1. Table Lamp with USB | 2. Priscilla Table Lamp | 3. JWDA Concrete Lamp | 4. Martin Table Lamp | 5. Matter Lamp | 6. Blekklint / Lunnom | 7. Striped Table Lamp | 8. Paper Lantern Table Lamp | 9. Altadena Glass Shade Lamp | 10. Globe Ambient Lamp | 11. White Frosted Glass Orb Lamp | 12. Staggered Milk Glass USB Lamp | 13. Angelo Rattan Lamp | 14. Sullivan Table Lamp | 15. Akari 24N | 16. Audrey Glass Accent Lamp | 17. Luna Lamp | 18. Tristan Ceramic Lamp | 19. Rattan Table Lamp | 20. Tala Knuckle Table Lamp | 21. Homer Lamp | 22. Tokabo | 23. Large Ceramic Lamp | 24. Word Table Lamp | 25. Mesa Ceramic Lamp | 26. Delilah Table Lamp | 27. Ribbed Glass Lamp
Let’s start with Em’s rec since this is after all her blog:) #3 (as you can see in the photo above) lives in her upstairs guest bedroom. To get work done without the distraction of the family, she likes to work in there and this lamp is apparently awesome. It’s dimmable, casts a warm, happy glow, and could go with almost any style. Now the top contenders for me personally are #2 (duh), #5, #21, and #24. There are all different but say, “I’m cool AND cozy” at the same time. I do also love #17. Julie (so many Julie callouts! Miss you!) used it in Grace’s very chic young adult bedroom. I was never that cool as a teenager. If you haven’t seen this room yet you have to check it out.
And finally the ever beautiful and ever practical plug-in sconce. The last thing you want next to your bed (or anywhere in your house if you ask me) is a BRIGHT, cold white light. Instead considering opting for a light that will actually help you wind down. I know it’s hard to believe but they exist and here they are…
1. Modern Swing Arm Sconce | 2. Tristan Ceramic Sconce | 3. Brass Sconce with Milk Glass Shade | 4. Elsie Adjustable Plug-In Sconce | 5. Cane Wall Lamp | 6. Lanyard Sconce | 7. Flugbo | 8. Lynea Lamp | 9. Sarfatti Sconce | 10. Cedric Sconce | 11. Imbrie Articulating Pull-Up Sconce | 12. Yoji Sconce | 13. Gram Sconce | 14. Chain Link Hook Sconce | 15. Pelle Gooseneck Sconce | 16. Marcella Rattan Sconce | 17. Brass Sconce with Milk Teardrop Shade | 18. Vintage-Style Sconce
Let’s talk styles. If you are more on the traditional side #1, #4, #11, #17, and #18 are going to work great. If you love a sleek modern look #3, #8, #10 and #13 are wonderful options. BUT if a more natural and eclectic look is what you love then check out #2, #5, #12, #16. Now picking a sconce is obviously just the first step. Figuring out how high to hang it is another ballgame. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with this “how high to hang a sconce” post. Now let’s get a bit more technical, shall we?
I grew up in a pro dimmer household. If there was a light switch, my parents made sure to install a dimmer ASAP. Actually, as a kid, I loved bright lights and hated when they would dim them. “Yo, parents! I want to see where I am going.” Just kidding I would NEVER speak to them that way… but I definitely thought it. Apparently, I didn’t see the extreme value of the soft glow. Now as an adult I love a dimmer. Just like eating veggies, it just took me some time to get on the right side. So you bet that if I don’t have at least one dimmer in my home, Les Bunge will put one in… usually without asking (I am a very lucky daughter). Let’s talk about products for a sec.
According to Papa Bung (as my childhood best friend affectionately calls him) #1 is the way to go. It’s what I have and the range/dim smoothness (not a real term) is awesome. He also says that it lasts the longest because the big knobs tend to break off. Plus it’s pretty affordable and this one apparently works with almost all light bulbs but ALWAYS double-check. Now as a design snob, I love an old fashioned delicate know look. #2 and #3 are actually a package deal but are so pretty. Maybe for my next apartment??
1. Vintage Light Bulb | 2. Goodnight® LED Bulb (set of 2) | 3. Miracle LED Nature’s Vibe Relax Sweet Dreams Nighttime LED Light Bulb (set of 2)| 4. Dimmable Wireless Edison Smart Light Bulb with Bluetooth | 5. LED Tala Porcelain II G25 Matte White 6W Bulb | 6. GE Lighting Relax HD LED Light Bulb (set of 2)
Lastly, let’s talk light bulbs. Not all are created equal. First, you want to focus on the type of light the bulb emits. Most of the ones I have linked here are made specifically for relaxing (one even has bluetooth). But you can also use a plain “soft white” one with an off white shade (and a dimmer IMHO) that will give you a simple calming effect. Just make sure that if you want to use a dimmer that the bulb you buy is dimmable. No one wants to do an unnecessary return right now, amirite?? Now Mallory bought #1 and truly cannot stop raving about it. So I figured I would let her tell you about it herself:
“I fell in love with an exposed bulb sconce and everyone told me it would be a problem, and they were right UNTIL I found this super low watt Edison bulb that’s stylish and gives off the coziest and warmest amber light. It’s now the light we turn on in the morning as we wake up and the last light on before we go to bed. If you have an exposed lightbulb kinda light DON’T SWEAT bc this will change your life and make your winter SO MUCH BETTER. ENJOYYYYY”
Hopefully, this post made you look a little forward to getting cozy and relaxed in your house while “the weather outside gets frightful”. Lighting has way more of an effect than we think so even if you simply switch out a bulb, it could totally change your mood. Happy Thursday and go vote or drop off your ballot in-person!
Picture Courtesy: Sara Ligorria-tramp