Over the last few months while we’ve been staying safe at home, we’ve been focusing our attention on all of the ways we can easily upgrade or freshen our spaces with limited resources, cashola and energy expended. Which has been such a fun thing to focus on! It’s lit a new kind of creative fire inside us and forced us to expand our home decor and home improvement perspective in ways we’ve never experienced before. Serendipitously, right before we started hunkering down at home we shared a fun rundown of our foray into finding the perfect flush mount lighting for small spaces around our home to easily and affordably upgrade any space in your home, and since then we’re even more focused on the power of lighting than ever before. It truly is one of the easiest ways to give any space inside or outside your home an affordable, fun upgrade without a lot of fuss (Well, theoretically. Admittedly electrical can be fussy sometimes). And of course, most of the best awesomely affordable lighting around can be found in all corners of the interwebs, which makes it easily accessible when you have limited ability to shop in store. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to talk about another important topic on the lighting front that’s been top of mind for us as of late – sconces! Specifically affordable, stylish sconces that are perfect for an array of cottage style abodes and again, fit beautifully in small spaces like narrow hallways with low ceilings, small bedrooms with minimal wall space, exteriors and more! As I mentioned in the flush mount post, I like to think of lighting as the jewelry of the home decor scene, the frosting if you will, and that goes double for sconces. Sconces are a home decor moment where you can really throw off those bowlines, let loose and have a lot of fun, or you can keep it simple and sophisticated to really polish off a room. Whichever route you go, the power of the sconce is real, which is why I rounded up tons of super cool, stylish, affordable sconces of all kinds today so you can make those small spaces shine!
Shop The Best Cheap & Affordable Cottage Style Wall Sconces
Top to Bottom, Left to Right
Copper Lantern Sconce | Beehive Sconce | Rattan Swing Arm Sconce | 1 Light Black Hanging Sconce | Copper Patina Sconce | 1 Light Candle Sconce | Sage Barn Light Gooseneck Sconce | Two Light Star Candle Sconce | Rattan Globe Sconce | Copper Barn Light Gooseneck Sconce | Vintage Glass Arc Sconce | Petite Copper Barn Light Sconce | Vintage Glass Curved Arm Sconce | Blue Patina Barn Light Sconce | Rattan Arc Swing Arm Sconce | Lantern Sconce
Choosing a Cottage Style Sconce Light Size and Style For Every Wall in Every Room
Though sconces are typically some of the smallest light fixtures in a home, not all sconces are created equal on the size front by any means and they range in style in so many ways. They’re all over the map between height, width and style. Some sit flush against the wall, some have arms that extend or articulate for extra versatility, some have goosenecks, some have fabric shades, some have glass, some have metal, some are big, some are teeny tiny, some are sleek and simple, and some are entirely ornate. That said, I’m of the opinion that the size and style of sconce you choose only has a couple of key considerations and the rest is all personal preference! Because they’re a smaller light fixture, you can afford to have a little fun if you want, without overwhelming the space. Sweet! The two considerations that I do like to think about where sconces are concerned? Location and your home’s style. In light of that, I’m breaking down some sconce size and style considerations for each room around your home below, in case you need a little guidance to make your sconce dreams a reality!
All that said, I think the whole concept of lighting, and particularly sconces, being the jewelry or the frosting of home decor lends itself to the concept that you can go as wild or keep it as classic as your heart desires, and as such, I won’t tell you what style of sconce is “appropriate” or “should be” in a particular room in your home. No no no! Besides, the cottage lifestyle we all love and celebrate here on this blog is personal, eclectic, fun, charming and character-packed, which is just another reason I think that when it comes to sconces, you should do YOU! Have tons of fun, or keep it sweet and simple to elevate a space. All things are possible.
Bedroom Wall Sconces
If your sconces are flanking the bed in a bedroom and will serve the purpose of offering some isolated illumination as you read in bed at night while your hubby slumbers, you can definitely get away with choosing a sconce with an extended, articulating arm or “swing arm” sconce. If you don’t need that kind of flexibility, I think the sky’s the limit and you can get really creative and personal, though you’ll just need to think about the size of the sconce in relation to room size and the size of your headboard/bed. I, for one, am absolutely in love with the rattan sconces linked below and couldn’t imagine a more cozy way to add warmth and the perfect amount of light to your little bedroom nest!
Shop Cottage Style Wall Sconces for your Bedroom
Hallway Wall Sconces
In general I think a hallway is a great opportunity to have a little fun with your lighting and introduce a sconce with some interest that sort of sets the tone in a home. Especially if you’re home’s of the character-packed cottage variety like ours! A hallway usually includes less “stuff” than the average room in a home, so when choosing lighting you’re not competing with other decor elements as much. Which for me, is an invitation to play! That said, in a narrow hallway with limited space and low ceilings, a swing arm sconce or sconce with an extended arm that sticks really far out from the wall might not be an appropriate fit, unless you’re in the market to maim a family member… and then all bets are off. For hallways, I generally love a sconce the either sits flush against the wall (a flush mount sconce) or has a very, very short arm so that it doesn’t take up space and present an obstacle in the hallway. Also, the overall size of the fixture and its shade should be a consideration. If the hallway’s not narrow and has really high ceilings, you might be able to get away with a larger sconce. If the hallway’s narrow and has low ceilings, a more petite sconce overall is the answer.
Shop Wall Sconces for Small or Narrow Hallways with Low Ceilings
Shop Cottage Style Wall Sconces for your Wide Hallways with High Ceilings
Bathroom Wall Sconces
Ooohhh man I feel like this is kind of the room where I feel like on the sconce front, anything goes. No rules! Bathroom sconces are one of my very favorite ways to add personality and breathe life into an otherwise neutral space like a bathroom. Some people do that with cabinet colors, linens, tile and the like, but I love to keep our bathrooms refreshingly neutral for a zen, spa-like feel and add a little bit of personality via one or several sconces that make the space come to life. We have a pink DIY barn light centered over a vanity in our charming little master bath, and even after six years it still puts a smile on my face daily when I flick that bathroom light on. It’s just so fun! What’s more, it was one of the most affordable things we added in that space, the design of which is overall pretty budget-friendly in general, so that’s saying something. If you dive deep into the world of bathroom lighting on Pinterest, you’ll notice that the approaches are varied. Which is awesome. Not sure what I mean? Let’s walk through some examples, shall we?
When you have a tiny bathroom like ours, a medium-sized single sconce that packs a punch on the illumination front, but doesn’t overwhelm the space with a multiple-light fixture is such an awesome option, especially when the vanity is small. It’s simple, impactful and tidy. No clutter in an already tight space. That said, I also love the cozy feel of a single sconce on each side of the mirror or medicine cabinet over a single vanity in a small bathroom if there’s room. Such a cool look and adds just the right amount of drama. A larger bathroom gives you the opportunity to get even more creative and either utilize larger single light sconces, or have a lot of fun utilizing a double or triple light sconce that’s wider and has smaller shades, working under the assumption that you probably have larger vanities, larger medicine cabinets and a generally larger footprint to illuminate.
Shop Cottage Style Wall Sconces for your Bathroom
Fireplace Wall Sconces
Surrounding a fireplace may be one of the most popular areas for sconce placement around a home and it makes total sense. Firelight is cozy as it is, but add a couple of character-packed sconces that add just a hint of extra illumination and you’re well on your way to making that space the most snuggly room in the home. This is another space that has such a range of possibilities on the sconce front, but is also a space that can be a little bit tricky on the electrical front if you live in an old home like we do. In older homes you might not find hardwired sconces already conveniently hanging out around the fireplace (unlike a hallway, bathroom, bedroom or even kitchen), which means that adding a sconce to that area isn’t a simple afternoon swap unless you’re cool with plug-in sconces with exposed wires. The extra effort or call in to the electrician is totally worth it, though, in my humble opinion!
All that said, a fireplace is another one of those spaces that I think you can kind of go wild with sconce style! Seriously… the possibilities are endless and range from petite barn light fixtures to classic two light sconces with fabric shades (so dreamy) to single light swing arm sconces and sign lights to candle sconces. So depending on your home’s style, I think it all fits and I think it’s an awesome opportunity to add a ton of character to a fireplace.
Shop Fireplace Cottage Style Wall Sconces
Kitchen Wall Sconces
A lot of people forgo sconces in the kitchen for the much more popular (and super fun) pendant lighting options available that can make such a statement in a kitchen, but in small kitchens (or even big ones for that matter) sconces can be a really creative, beautiful way to illuminate the space without overwhelming it and add extra illumination where you need it. It’s kind of genius! Think sconces over the sink, over kitchen windows, next to or in between cabinets, over or in between open shelving, or flanking the sides of pantry doors/entries! So. Many. Possibilities. Two lighting styles I love in the kitchen for obvious reasons are colorful, classic barn lights and metal sconces with articulating/swing arms that direct their light down toward whatever design element you’re illuminating. Really, though all kitchens are so personal and so different that they’re a space where you can really mix it up and have some fun with sconces, which really shines light (pun totally intended) the idea that a sconce is such an easy, affordable way to add tons of personality to a space!
Shop Kitchen Cottage Style Wall Sconces
Outdoor Wall Sconces
An exterior sconce might typically need to provide a little more illumination power and have more wall space to play with, so I think it makes sense to go with a larger overall fixture and shade than you might use inside your home. Also something to consider – an exterior sconce can seriously set the tone for your home overall, so the exterior is kind of the one area of the home that I really love the idea of keeping sconces and light fixtures true to the style of a home and somewhat simple in nature. So if your home is a modern farmhouse delight, you might go with a gooseneck or classic barn light of some kind, or even spice it up a little bit with a set of dreamy copper barn lights. If it’s a cozy cottage like ours, I love an updated lantern sconce that hangs and adds a little bit of drama. I also love the use of “sign lights” for exterior areas, whether it’s over or flanking garage doors, illuminating address numbers next to a front door, or hanging out over an exterior entryway! Fun, affordable options for all that and more linked below!
Shop Outdoor Cottage Style Wall Sconces