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Fashion-forward wall sconces brighten your style

By Elaine Markoutsas
Universal Uclick
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/16/11/05/uQrWq.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Courtesy of Corbett Lighting -
    Soft, sexy lighting at the side of a vanity also adds a glam vibe with this sconce named Party Girl from Corbett Lighting. The one-light candelabrum has a crystal column and bobeche, and its integrated shade is crafted from clear and incandescent crystals. It’s finished in silver leaf and measures 8 inches wide by 23 inches tall.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/12/15/48/fuJ1m.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Courtesy of Regina Andrew -
    Shade of light: This elliptical linen shade conceals the light source, which simply glows against a mirrored base, especially effective on a textural brick wall. The Parisian sconce from Regina Andrew has graceful proportions, measuring 11 inches wide and 12 1/2 inches tall.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/12/15/48/VcLwY.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Courtesy of Regina Andrew -
    With a giant metal screen shade reminiscent of a birdcage, this articulating Boom Arm sconce from Regina Andrew has an engaging, industrial vibe. It delivers light where you want it without taking up precious floor space.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/12/15/48/15QZ0l.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Courtesy of Jacco Maris/Global Lighting -
    Dutch designer Jacco Maris takes a familiar form and gives it a bit of a twist with silver braided copper and unexpected burnt-orange velveteen shades with this two-light sconce available through Global Lighting. The design is called Ode 1647, an homage to luxurious chandeliers of the early 17th century.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/12/15/48/yN6p2.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Courtesy of Visual Comfort & Co. - VISUAL COMFORT & CO.
    Simplicity is key to the design of this large Chapman ring sconce from the Chart House collection by Visual Comfort & Co. But the strong scale, burnished brass finish and natural-paper shade make it a focal point.

More Information

  • Sourcebook

    Aqua Creations: 212-219-9922 or aquagallery.com

    Astel: 203-557-3332 or

    astele.com

    Avram Rusu: 718-389-0350 or avramrusu.com

    Bocci: 604-639-5184 or

    bocci.ca

    Boyd: 415-778-4300 or

    boydlighting.com

    Corbett Lighting: 626-336-4511 or corbettlighting.com

    Currey & Co.: 877-768-6428 or curreyandcompany.com

    Global Lighting: 914-591-4095 or globallighting.com

    Regina Andrew: 734-250-8042 or reginaandrew.com

    Visual Comfort & Co.: 866-344-3875 or visualcomfort.com


  • Artistic illumination

    Lighting and art have been mentioned in the same breath before – Tiffany stained glass and the more contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly are hugely collectible. But in the last five years there’s been an evolution to what some describe as art lighting.

    One thing is clear. There’s a strong desire for the one of a kind – or at the least, designs that stand out.

    “Clients are very specific: They say they don’t want what everybody else has,” said architect, interior and lighting designer Andreea Avram Rusu. “They enjoy experimenting, pushing boundaries.”

    That sometimes translates to higher prices (an Avram Rusu Confetti sconce costs around $2,800 to $3,500).

    The fun, of course, is in the search. As for art – well, just like beauty, perhaps, it’s in the eye of the beholder.

    Elaine Markoutsas,

    Universal Uclick



Light sconces, sadly, are not on most folks’ interiors radar, unless they’re for a bathroom. But illuminating a vanity is not the only task for a pair of wall-mounted fixtures.

Like anything that embellishes a wall, light sconces these days offer plenty of decorative options. With a little flourish, swagger, bling and sophistication, they offer far more than task, accent or mood lighting. Styling has ramped up, with an ample range of bright ideas in traditional to contemporary designs as well as surprising materials, shapes, colors, textures and sizes.

“In the old days, (residential) lighting was limited to crystal and some sort of brass,” said Nigel Maynard, editor of Residential Building Products and Technology, a digital trade publication. “European designers have raised the bar (particularly in contemporary lighting). And Americans are stepping up their game.”

High-end interior designers and architects long have looked to Italian companies such as Artemide, Fontana Arte, Foscarini and Leucos for edgier, off-the-chain styling in metals and glass, including clear, frosted and even glorious color. And those seeking authentic midcentury modern, Art Deco or ’60s and ’70s pieces might start with the impressive global online retail site 1stdibs for excellent examples. And for a good representation of trendy styles, check out Horchow where sconces range from $195 to $895.

“Sconces definitely are having a moment,” said architect Andreea Avram Rusu, who also designs lighting. “It has been building for a while. It is winning public consciousness.”

But Avram Rusu sees different levels of beauty in lighting.

“It’s the most important thing in the room in general, for how people look, how people feel,” she said. “Light transforms space.”

Sconces can add ambiance and an artistic note – without taking up precious real estate. Designer Ayala Serfaty is known for the sensual shapes of her light sculptures for Aqua Creations, some of which evoke couture fashion touches such as pleated and shirred silk. In addition to such textural pieces, other sconces add movement, like those that mimic the form of cascading chandeliers.

And there are hybrids – fixtures that can attach to the wall or ceiling, to float. They’re plug-ins, so they go anywhere. There are candlestick designs that are elongated, exaggerated more like torchieres. Other sconces resemble table lamps with giant shades, some on articulating arms. And there’s new respect for the backplate, now designed as an integral part of the piece.

Some finishes dial down the shiny, favoring matte looks (although polished nickel remains a favorite in modern interiors because of its sparkle and elegance). Burnished gold is hot, in keeping with home design trends where metals are warming up. Patinated or bronzey finishes lend a vintage or industrial vibe, especially striking with see-through shades to bare bulbs. Complex finishes include painting, distressing and glazing.

Materials also include wood veneers and embellishments such as capiz shells, beads and crystals. It’s an imaginative mix that sets apart some designs.

“We mix modern with rustic, elegant with casual, romantic with relaxed,” said Carla Regina Zajac, partner in Regina Andrews. “It’s an eclectic vision that resonates with natural style – a new look at how we live today.”

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

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