Today marks our last and final post in the “Modern Victorian” series (cue collective grabbing of hand-embroidered victorian hankie to wipe away single tear on cheek) and although we are sad to move on, we do have some fun new styles we are bringing to you very soon. If you missed the first few posts in this series: An Introduction to Modern Victorian, Modern Victorian: Furniture, and Modern Victorian: Art and Wall Treatments click back through those to get yourself caught up on everything you need to bring this style to fruition in your own home as today we are capping it off with some of our favorite options for Modern Victorian lighting.
As we have mentioned before, Modern Victorian is all about a mix of the new with the old, and the old with the new. The same goes for lighting in this style. However, for today’s purposes, we are going to highlight some of our favorite Victorian-inspired pieces as we are going to make a general assumption that most of you don’t already live in an architecturally stunning victorian space complete with a “parlor” and “powder room” and oodles of built-in character like some of the inspiration images. In other words, we are going to show you what pieces you can bring into your existing space that will help it lean more Victorian as your space will provide the “modern” aspect of this style.
Let’s start with chandeliers and overhead lighting. The chandeliers and overhead lighting in this style are all about the details – lots of details. Think an abundant use of crystals, fringe detailing, tassels, or all of the above.
If the light doesn’t have a lot of the aforementioned details then it should have some sort of curvature or lines that evoke a more traditional shape or style. You will want to steer clear of anything that feels too “french country” or “industrial” even though some of the lighting from those two styles can work in this style. It should feel more playful, fun and whimsical. Here are a handful of our favorites:
Moving down the wall to wall sconces. These will again have some sort of detailing to them but typically will not be anything too overly playful, whimsical or intricate. Why you may ask? Well because the overhead lighting typically is very detailed as are the table lamps so the sconces act as the supporting role to those other two sources of light. You can’t have two Meryl Streeps in one movie. And you can’t have three very detailed pieces of lighting in one room all vying for your attention – even if it is Modern Victorian which is about abundance and details. Keep these guys a bit more refined and simple like the ones we have rounded up below.
Up next is table and floor lighting. The main rule with this is: if it has a simple shade (like a drum shade or anything that feels modern) then it should have a more detailed base. Or visa versa. Simple shade + simple base = does not work in the modern Victorian category. You’ll see this example clearly in #2 which has a very simple brass base but then a fringe shade that is much more detailed, playful and fun. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, #8 which has a very simple white drum shade but then the base has some Victorian lines and also is made out of marble. The one exception of this rule comes into play if metallics or metal are used on either the base or shade which then allows both to lean more simple as the metallic or metal makes it feel more special. #3 is a good example of how the metallic shade makes the simple base and drum shade feel unique.
But, what if you already have a very simple base that you feel could work within this style but the lampshade feels a little drab? Then you swap out the lampshade of course. We walked you through the difference just swapping out your lampshade can make in a room in this post. But, swapping your generic lampshade on your existing piece for one of these more fun and playful versions will instantly bring it into the Modern Victorian style at a much more affordable price point. Think of it like going to the blow dry bar but for your existing lamp. It goes in feeling generic, regular and drab and comes out feeling rejuvenation, colorful, and playful. Pretty drastic what a simple zhoosh can do to you (or your lamp).