Mountain Fixer-Upper Lighting: The Modern and Traditional Options
If I were a single lady on tinder I would be enthusiastically swiping, left, right, left, right all day, muttering ‘ooh, he looks nice!’, or ‘oh yep, he could be the perfect date to the Oscars’ or ‘Ooh I love his beard! …. I’m super optimistic and open, but ultimately so picky. While choosing lighting is far less stressful, important, daunting or entertaining as choosing a potential partner it is still challenging when you just like a lot of different things and can see how they could work in different ways.
In my quest to design this ‘Modern-Scandinavian-Rustic-Cozy-Mountain-Californian-Cabin-Chalet’ I’ve really scoured far and wide for lighting to help tell that story in an accurate yet forward way. Last week I blogged about the more soft and a more Scandinavian options, and today I’ll show you the more classic, cabin-y or UBER modern and minimalist options. I like too many styles. It’s a problem. Combining them all could look chaotic and messy… OR totally interesting and incredibly curated.
First up. The trend that is the least ‘me’ and therefore the most attractive right now – the linear, super simple. minimal lighting style. It’s hard, severe and just so graphic. Do you think it can work in a cabin? Looky here ..
These lights give INSTANT edge and take it next level – design-wise. They are just so simple while making a statement.
Often they’ll do something architectural or sculptural, but always thin, never chunky and certainly refined.
It’s the Tilda Swinton of design. It’s cool, smart…Not trying too hard and at times it feels intimidatingly edgy, but in a more homey cabin that isn’t super minimalist, I think it would be beautiful.
Now I present to you the linear lights that I LOVE and really really want to use.
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I want every single one of these and can picture where they would go easily in this house. would go over the island in the kitchen. could flank a mirror over a vanity. could be in the living room near the fire place. in the master bath, in the guest rooms. They are all so simple that I don’t think that I’d get sick of them – HOWEVER, they are all also pretty trendy and I fear that the knock-off world is coming fast for this trend. Most of these are expensive and worth it, but that is another consideration – you know, budget. So I might splurge on a couple () and I think that could look great lighting a special ceiling (as well as down lighting).
Next up is glass.
In the name of ‘quiet minimalism’ nothing is more minimal than what you can’t really see (well, except if we only used can lights). And glass certainly keeps rooms feeling open and airy.
I would be opting for more handmade (mouthblown?) glass that doesn’t look basic and has some warmth to it. Something has to be more interesting about it – maybe it’s the texture, the shape, the color or the hardware.
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is GORGEOUS and the photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s so simple but there is nothing mass manufactured about it because it’s shaky and the thickness of the glass varies. would bring in some color and maybe it’s not that color, but I like the idea of something special about it. is weird and would definitely not necessarily work with all the other lighting we are talking about. When searching for glass sconces you find very few that peak your interest. and feel very scandy and simple to me, and would provide good lighting.
Next – the more utilitarian. This could ere on the side of ‘industrial’ but for this house, it wouldn’t. It would feel more simple and accessible – with a lot of directional light that goes old-world-European pretty fast.
This cabin won’t be too ‘modern farmhouse’ (although I love that timeless style) but if you think about older Scandinavian homes, there is this super simple utilitarian thing going on. It’s under-designed and I love that about it.
The shapes are simple and graphic and there are no bells or whistles or extra unnecessary parts. It’s just one pendant. One bulb. It also doesn’t create the best ambient lighting but WHO CARES? (JK we care)
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Couldn’t you see those in the cabin/house as well? is strangely appealing to me – not at first but it’s porcelain and hand-cut fluted glass so I think that in a way it’s actually really simple but special. I’m OBSESSED with . That detail of the mechanism takes it from basic to special (I almost wrote ‘basic to bitchin’ for phonetic reasons then decided against it because, THAT WOULD BE SO BASIC).
Of all the categories this is the one that I’m least excited by (except those two that I just called out), but I wanted to walk you through my thought process and blab what is in my head. #externalthoughtprocessor
Next up. One that is EXTREMELY tempting is the ‘updated simple classic’. It’s hard to say no to these profiles.. how functional they are. How simple they are in design and how well they light a room.
Matchstick sconces, arched double sconces, linen shades – these are all the things we’ve updated for decades and every year we simplify them even more.
I love every single one of these below very much.
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will likely be in one of my houses at some point. is SO BEAUTIFUL and when done in black (which is available) it’s a tension-filled statement. It’s like your eye thinks it’s standard but the proportions and the dimensions are extreme in such a good way. can articulate so that it moves to the side which I LOVE. , , are all classic and will never ever ever ever be dated. That is super tempting.
Q: Why choose anything that you are worried will at some point will be dated?
A: Because the pursuit of ‘timelessness’ often kills creativity. Also, do you know what else kills creativity? Pursuing mass appeal. But I’m trying to do all those things and it’s doable (just hard).
Last up – the lantern. It sounds boring, I realize but I LOVE A LANTERN SO MUCH.
It feels warm, grounding, familiar and effortless. It’s like ‘of course, there is a lantern pendant’ in this Scandinavian inspired cabin. It says ‘old world’ while also being new world.
Ugh. I know you guys voted for ‘Refined Scandinavian Chalet’ but these lanterns are just so perfect for a cabin. So we have to figure out how to do ‘lantern’ in a modern way.
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I think my favorite light right now is (but then again, I apparently have a ‘swipe left’ lighting personality and have already forgotten the first 3 categories discussed above). I LOVE THAT LANTERN SO MUCH AND YOU WIN ALL TINDER LIGHTING AWARDS IN MY HEART.
is also a huge favorite until Brady told me that you had to put in a gas line to have it be lit all the time. I fired him for delivering that news. I then realized that they gave you a normal bulb option, so I rehired him. We are all good, although I may never forgive him for breaking my sconce heart. But it’s seriously so beautiful and warm and perfect for this cabin. We are using in brass in the Portland house (and it’s so beautiful and simple and classic) and and are super attractive to me for a variety of reasons. They are all classic, but feel modern or special in different ways – the lines, the shape, the scale, the finish …
WHO WILL GET THE FINAL ROSE?
Now that you’ve seen all the categories I’ve chosen from you’ll start to get some lighting plans per space. I’m mixing a lot of these together (not all, obviously) and I’ll come up with a lighting plan that is both functional, beautiful, unexpected and yet appropriate.
But for now, how are you feeling? Do you think I can mix all these styles seamlessly? (I don’t .. some will be eliminated). What are your favorites and which ones would you be sad didn’t get picked?