Where and why to use wall sconces

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It’s patently obvious why you need overhead lighting fixtures, but the endless options for accent lighting can be confusing enough that some homeowners forgo them completely. But if you do, you’re missing out on an opportunity to add functionality and extra touches of style throughout your interior design. Sconces in particular are versatile enough to be used throughout a home and can add a variety of effects that enhance your space.

If you’re unsure about how to get started with sconces, follow these tips about where – and why – to use them.

Bathroom: This is the room where your day gets started, but also where it ends, so bathroom lighting needs to be adaptable. Bright light gives you that extra energy you need to shake off sleep in the morning, but using calming, offset light as you get ready for bed can help you settle down for a good night’s sleep. Sconces are great for bathrooms because they can do both jobs. In the morning, used in tandem with overhead lights, they brighten the whole space – and your view of the mirror. Use them on their own at night for a more serene, glowing light.

Guest room: Giving your visitors a comfortable place to stay goes a long way toward making you the host with the most. Placing sconces on either side of a bed is a simple touch that makes a room much more comfortable – your guests can read by them and not have to worry about getting out of bed to shut off or turn on an overhead light.

Dining room: Here’s a secret from food stylists – your meals will look a lot prettier when they’re not presented under glaring direct light. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, a cozy holiday meal or an at-home date night, sconces can provide the offset, glowy lighting that will set the atmosphere perfectly. Sconces are also great above a sideboard or credenza; set out an array of dishes, buffet style, and sconces will provide the perfect amount of extra lighting.

These ideas can get you started, but as you explore your options, consider how sconces can enhance other rooms in your home, from the kitchen to the living room and beyond.