Lighting is an often underrated element of home decor. We’re not just talking about the decorative beauty of an antique lamp or expensive chandelier – we’re talking about the way illumination can change the look and feel of your home.

When choosing lighting fixtures for your home you have many options to consider. There are overhead lights like globes and recessed cans; there are hanging lights like chandeliers and pendants; there are table and floor lamps.

However, the daring decorator may also want to consider what adding wall sconces can bring to the overall aesthetic of a room. As a homeowner you may be wary of adding these relatively rare lighting fixtures to your decor.

However, you’ll find that sconces can complement any room, whether you’re hoping to flank a bed, add ambiance to the living or dining room, or bring unexpected charm to your luxury outdoor furniture set. Once you start looking at sconces, you’ll see that they can be a unique addition to any room in your home.

The question then becomes how to choose the right wall sconces for your living spaces. With a few helpful hints to get you started, choosing sconces for every room will be easier than finding bargains at an outdoor furniture sale.

Consider Usage

Lighting can be used in a variety of different ways in your home. Believe it or not, wall sconces can be used for more than just ambient light – they can also provide accents or even task lighting.

For example, you could put wall sconces on either side of your bed that have flexible extender arms, allowing you and your sleeping partner the ability to each maneuver your own lighting for reading at night. Or, if you place sconces high enough on the wall and point them downward instead of up at the ceiling, you can arrange artwork underneath with a built-in spotlight.

Once you have an idea of your purpose for this form of lighting, it’s easier to choose appropriate fixtures and determine their orientation (casting light up, down, or all around).

Know Your Home Style

The style of your architecture may or may not ultimately affect the sconces you choose, but you should at least take it into consideration before you decide. On the one hand, classic chandelier-style sconces can add a lot of personality to a spare, streamlined, modern home.

On the other hand, ultra-modern, metal, cylinder sconces might look really out of place in an old Victorian or an arts and crafts style home. Mix and match styles are becoming more common, but some mixes just don’t blend.

Compare with Keeper Furniture

You shouldn’t base your home decor entirely on your furnishings, especially if you like to upgrade every few years. That said, you may have heirloom furniture or other special pieces that you intend to keep for the foreseeable future.

If this is the case, or if your tastes tend to be relatively consistent, think about how your wall sconces will go with the furnishing you plan to hang onto, or at least how they fit with your established style preferences.

Add Your Own Aesthetic

It’s all well and good to get matchy-matchy with your architectural style and to make sure that your lighting fixtures suit your practical needs. However, adding your own unique flair to elements of your decor is what turns your house from a showroom model into a home that is imbued with your own personality.

Cost and Installation

Any home improvement, be it the best outdoor furniture to the smallest wall sconce, affects your budget, so cost is always a consideration. In addition, you probably don’t want power cords hanging down your wall for all to see, which means you’ll either have to DIY the installation or hire an electrician to thread the wires through the walls for you.

It’s probably a good idea to hire a pro if you want your sconces hooked up to a light switch, which is obviously preferable to plugging them in or finding a switch on a power cord every time you want to turn your lights on. If you’re going to bother purchasing new lighting fixtures for your home, you want to make sure they are displayed to their best advantage, so plan for the extra expense of having them properly installed.