Wise Design Favorites: Totally Lit - Our Top Picks for Accent Lighting


When it comes to lighting, there is so much more than ambient overhead fixtures to consider. Wall sconces, floor lamps and table lamps are a great way to bring more specialized lighting to areas either for specific tasks or to accent a design feature. Often under-utilized and under appreciated, these fixtures add an important layer of livability to any space.

When we are designing a space, we like to layer several different types of lighting to give the client options depending on their needs. Overhead fixtures are nice for providing a base ambient light, wall sconces are great for accenting features in the room or providing extra task lighting where it is needed, floor and table lamps also provide a focused light for tasks or can highlight an area of the room. All of these lighting elements should work together to give a room a comfortable, highly livable feel.

Wall Lighting

Here is a confession: At Wise Design we LOVE sconces! Not like, but love! They are like beautiful pieces of art, with a function! They add so much interest and character to a space and they are also great for tight or unusual spaces because they are literally stuck.to.the.wall! There are SO many beautiful options for sconces out there, but we have a few favorites.

In our NW Nob Hill House project, we wanted to keep the design classic with a modern shape. The Vendom sconce designed by Thomas O'Brien had just the classic look we wanted to highlight the artwork in the foyer area, as well as above the built-in family room sofa.

Another modern classic sconce we love was the ideal choice for our Irvington Dutch Colonial bathroom. The Schoolhouse Electric Irvine sconce was perfectly suited for above the vintage-style medicine cabinet and in this sweet little niche. We love this timeless fixture for it's effortlessly elegant shape.

As we mentioned above, sconces are great for tight spaces. In the small bathroom of our SE Tabor Basement project, we had to pack a lot into this compact footprint. The Vista sconces from Cedar & Moss are a great streamlined fixture for small spaces. We love supporting local business, and Cedar & Moss is located just outside Portland in Oregon City!

It goes without saying that wall lighting in bathrooms is very task-driven and therefore has to be very functional. That doesn't mean it can't be beautiful as well though. We love the Mid-Century vibes of this fixture from our Bridlemile Midcentury bathroom. Function and beauty all in one package.

We also have a couple of projects in the works that we've used a few of our favorite sconces (stay tuned for photos of these gorgeous spaces!). One project is a bathroom renovation in our SW Modern that has been in progress for the last 2 years, but it is totally worth the wait! For this slick minimalist bathroom we chose two beautiful sconces to accent the unique plaster walls of the space. We love the clean, yet interesting lines of these sconces from Cedar & Moss and Rejuvenation.

For another current project, we chose a sconce that works seamlessly with either modern or more traditional styles. Our Irvington Foursquare project will feature the Rejuvenation Keystick Sconce. We can't wait to share this gorgeous space!

Floor Lamps

Floor lamps are also great for accenting different areas within a room. We love to choose materials that coordinate with the other furniture & fixtures in the design. In addition to the aesthetics, floor lamps are a great way to light a dark corner of the room, provide a much needed reading light and fill an awkward space. Here's a round-up of our favorite floor lamps.

This beautiful lamp from Rejuvenation was a perfect reading and accent lamp for our Alberta Arts Bungalow. The touch of gold on the interior tied in perfectly with the dining room pendant and other touches of brass around the space.

In our NW Nob Hill Home living room, we used two of our favorite floor lamps. Each with their own purpose. For the corner of the room next to the curved sectional, we chose one of our go-to faves - the Tripod floor lamp from Design Within Reach. The leather wing back chair in this room is a great place for reading, so we paired a lovely Charlton reading lamp.

For an upcoming project, we are sourcing a beautiful Mid-Century style floor lamp from Schoolhouse Electric. This lamp for our NW Hillside project features beautiful natural brass legs with turned walnut accents. So gorgeous!

Table Lamps

Table lamps are another beautiful and functional lighting accent that enhance the design for many spaces. Unlike other lighting fixtures, table lamps somewhat fall into the "accessory" category. For our Bridlemile Midcentury living room, these sculptural table lamps were a fantastic highlight to the niche areas next to the fireplace. We love lamp!

For our NW Nob Hill House, we chose a classic style desk lamp to sit atop of the family piano. This beautiful task lamp from Rejuvenation is a favorite for it's timeless shape and beautiful brass accents.

We also have a couple projects in the works where we've sourced some favorite table lamps. In our Irvington Foursquare living room, we specified a beautiful neutral ceramic table lamp to sit on top of a navy console table. This table lamp also serves to illuminate a gorgeous art piece above it! Such a lovely lamp, we can't wait to share photos when the project is finished!

Of course, these are just a FEW of our favorite picks for accent lighting. There are so many beautiful fixtures out there and we're always seeing new amazing things coming out! Stay tuned next week when we bring you more of our favorite picks!

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