powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Replacing 80's Lighting

Kim MFebruary 20, 2013
We recently bought this home and fell in love with the ceiling immediately but I am having a hard time deciding what lighting to choose. I originally was going to get traditional chandeliers (my favorite choices in the images). We have already decided to use oil rubbed bronze finishings on all fixtures. I am now wondering if I should do a combination of recessed lights and/or a downrod fan and a chandelier in the dining area. There is already a fan in the very upper middle that is hardly visible.
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The ceiling is attractive. If you want to emphasize it but also light the room, you need to choose fixtures that point down as well as up. Ask your contractor if the ceiling has room for recessed light fixtures.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
To my (admittedly untrained) eye, your replacement chandeliers are not so different from what you have. Can you just spray them black, change the bulbs and leave off the shades? If you can do it in place, you'll save a lot on the electrician alone..
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Pyramid Design Group Architects
There are curently to many pendant light fixtures in the room it looks too busy. I would install 1 very large pendant fixture and lignt the rest of the space with 250 watt halagen wall sconces uplighting the ceiling and some tall halagen floor lamps. Recessed lighting or surface mounted cans would be a good sourse of additional light but i dont think it can be done without damage to your ceiling.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
My studio has a very old high wood beam ceiling (lots of cross beams), and so it was tricky to try to put lighting up there that wasn't obtrusive and that would blend in well with the ceiling, but offer a lot of light, too. I ended up putting in very modern looking low voltage track lighting (black). The electrician managed to hide all the wiring really well-- but I really like the track lighting. I was able to position the lights the way I wanted them, and it has a really clean look. People don't really notice the lighting until they look up, and then are amazed how well they fit in-- as though the ceiling was built for the lights.

My feeling is that with ceilings like this, the ceiling should take center stage-- not the lighting so much. I agree, too, with the above poster who suggested more floor lights. But there are some really good-looking modern track lights that would look great up there. I think you need to go to a good lighting store with knowledgeable people who, perhaps, will come out to your place and offer suggestions. I had a really hard time finding the right lighting, and I went to a local lighting store, described my problem, and the owner offered to come out to look, so he could offer better suggestions. Very helpful.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
It's hard to offer advice without know your personal decorating style. But you mentioned you wanted traditional chandeliers. So, I would go with something like the attached images. I would avoid all chandeliers with glass globes. They scream "cheap, builder grade" to me. Overstock has this chandelier for a very good price and it would match with your oil rubbed bronze. BTW, to the poster that suggested track lights....those are even more 80's than what you currently have...

I would put a couple of these up on the outside of the room and find something else for what looks like the dining area.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cam27525: This is why I mentioned "very modern low voltage track lighting" to try to avoid the comment that I knew might immediately follow (and did). I agree that track lighting *can* be dated, but if you haven't been out and about in a while, you might be pleasantly surprised. One can get low voltage modern looking track lighting-- even low voltage track lighting that uses pendants-- which, in my opinion, would mesh better with the above ceiling-- rather than the overblown chandelier-- which may be the OP's taste, but really seems a bit out of place with that type of ceiling. Maybe you could get a chandelier that would work, but these prissy ones shown aren't it. My 2 cents. I would suggest that she (and you) do a search-- even on Houzz-- for modern low voltage track lighting, and see what comes up-- or, at least, look for chandeliers that are not so fussy and overwhelm the beauty of that ceiling.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
illinifan22: I re-read your initial posting. I do think recessed lighting (which, again, many people think is outdated) would be better than chandeliers in that room. Again, that way the ceiling is the focal point-- not some overdone chandelier.
Here; check it out: http://www.houzz.com/low-voltage-track-lighting
and here:
Ideabook: The Right Track · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
There are also some great wall-mounted uplights for illuminating and accenting a dark wood ceiling. Try this search on Houzzz: "dark wood ceiling". The quotes are important. Alternative search using "wood ceiling" and "track lights" turn up many good options.

The original poster is lucky that there are at least three electrical connections already in the ceiling along the center line.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Agreed about too many lights up there. If you could get some recessed in the ceiling where needed, would look much better and forget the others you have up there. And if you want to go ceiling fan/light, maybe two at most with the recessed. My husband installed recessed on ceiling about a foot from the walls going up like you have and we put a gorgeous ceiling fan/light in the appropriate place. I found the one I liked at a well known light store and bought the same exact new one on ebay for 1/2 price of $300 (originally $600).
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kim M
Thank you for your feedback! We are DIYers so I was trying to avoid any new electric installations, especially on that ceiling! I plan to ask an electrician friend if we can install recessed lights in the existing connections. What I am leary of is having to change burnt out lightbulbs that high! Most of the searches show recessed lighting on this style of ceiling which is why I was having 2nd thoughts on the chandeliers initially. Another thought I am having is possibly hiding some uplighting behind window treatments (which will probably be replaced soon also).
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
illinifan22: I think if you get recessed lighting that can take LEDs, they will last a very long time. I think some of the LED's can last 50,000 hours, or something ridiculous, so you might have to change a bulb every 5 years or so? Halogen bulbs are good, too, but they make me a little nervous.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
All 4 Show, LLC
Great Room · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
All 4 Show, LLC
I would do both chandelier and recessed lights for your space! Good luck....
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If you cannot add recessed lighting to your wood beamed ceiling, the three fixtures centered on the peak of your ceiling should match and be larger scaled for the size of your spacious room. Take a look at Hubbardton Forge for traditional chandeliers with simple lines.
Carson Poetzl, Inc. · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 5:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I recommend placing no more than two oversize ceiling lamps at the peak of your ceiling. And, if after you still need more light in the corner where the small chandelier currently hangs, replace it with a Wall Scone. Here are a few modern updates http://is.gd/6HCM3e http://is.gd/K2N1kw
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kim M
I am adding a couple different views. In the first pic, I am standing under the dining room chandelier facing the front door. The single pendant is serving as a entry way light. In the 2nd pic, I am standing on the staircase to the 2nd floor. As you can see, there is a lot of natural light in the daytime, especially with the white sheers, which will eventually be replaced.
    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Given these new views, I would still opt for either recessed lighting and/or modern track lighting. I cannot imagine putting in traditional looking chandeliers on a ceiling like this. To me, it just seems like an outdated way of thinking (i.e., chandelier, because that's what people do with ceilings). It translates as a lot of visual clutter up there, to my eye-- and a ceiling fan mixed in the middle? Again, recessed lighting and/or some modern track lighting would be my suggestion. If you're hung up on chandeliers, put one over the dining room table.

Also, I'd get a different type (more modern) fan up there, probably on a rod to bring it down a little. Here's an elegant Artemis ceiling fan-- wood look that's aerodynamically streaks ahead of the old-fashioned blade fans-- and just a piece of artwork in itself. Rod lengths available. http://www.lumens.com/Artemis-Ceiling-Fan-with-Light-by-Minka-Aire/PAAAAAGONAAJPKCK/product
1 Like    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
How about a new ceiling fan and several globe lights?
Ideabook: Global Glow: The Versatility of Globe Pendants · See Ideabook
1 Like    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Design Find
With the wood ceilings and white walls, Spanish wrought iron circular chandeliers would be lovely in that space:
    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Do some modern ceiling fans, try Lumens. Check Restoration Hardware too for some light fixture ideas.
    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:45PM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Beam my bathroom out of the 80's Scotty!
Help! My bathroom is obsessed with the 80s and refuses...
It's not easy being green. (Or 80's-styled)
There are 80's verde marble tiles and brass touches...
Tired old 80's master updated
Changes made to 1980’s bath: We removed wallpaper,...
Laurie Martineau
Update '80's Ranch Exterior
We purchased our '80's ranch on 20 acres about a year...
Diane Cooper
Please help with 80s oak kitchen!
Hello! We just bought a home that has been updated...
Sharon Marrero
More Discussions
Master Bedroom Paint Color Help!
Hi, I'm in the process of decorating a new home we...
Tiffany Leslie
What color for the entryway wall?
We recently purchased an MCM Techbuilt home and painted...
Need help choosing front door color
The current door color is BM Caliente. It often looks...
Anyone know for sure how to care for quartzite countertops? Moving in
Caring for Donna Sandra Quartzite? Is it more like...
Diane Mazefsky
Am i missing something for my table?
I am not sure if I need more placements or if 2 are...
Janet Wolf-Hall
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.