above: a Photoshop mockup of our Big Room with mini flush mounts
I've long struggled with how to address the ceiling in our Big Room (what we call the open concept room that houses the kitchen, dining, and one of our living areas). Meaning I've always wanted to do something. Before we moved in, I was dead set on planking the whole ceiling. And truthfully, it's still a possibility but there are some real challenges to doing pretty much anything: a structural column & a beam that extends into the kitchen cabinets, a vaulted ceiling on one half of the room (an addition at some point), and various small walls, nooks etc.
But after almost 2 years in our house, I still can't shake the feeling that the ceiling feels incomplete. Enter a concept
I've loved for awhile AND that can kill two birds with one stone...mini flush mount lighting. Because an additional challenge in this room is that it is lacking in the lighting department. And what it does have is, well, not great: 2 island pendants, track lighting on the vaulted side of the room, and 3 randomly placed recessed lights.
Now people tend to feel strongly about recessed lighting (also called can lights)...they either like it or they don't. I'm somewhere in the middle. I do think there's a place for it depending on the style & age of your home, the type of room, and your overall needs for said room. With that said, I'm a big fan of ambient lighting and creating a cozy & inviting vibe in your home with wall sconces, pendants & chandeliers, table lamps & floor lamps.
And given the age of our house (it's from 1898), I'm certainly not looking to add any more recessed lights. My plan is to remove the ill-placed existing ones in the room and replace them with mini flush mounts that will add visual interest and more consistent lighting. The existing lights are all on dimmers and the new ones would be too.
above: Heidi Caillier's Portland Project / photography by Haris Kenjar
above: Jake Arnold's Brentwood Villa Vendome / photography by Michael Clifford
While I do think bigger lights can look good and be a real statement (see Studio McGee's project below), I'm thinking more in the 5-7" (both width & height) range and a TBD layout. Maybe 4 in the living side of the room, 1 in the kitchen area, and 1 in the dead zone, pass-through area by the basement that leads to the entry. The non-vaulted side of the room is pretty standard 8' and I don't want the lights to blend in per se, just to add a beautiful detail that also happens to provide a functional purpose as well. There are so many ways to achieve this and so many lovely options out there to use.
above: Studio McGee's Historic Charleston Remodel
above: The Misfit House Plum Nelly Project / photography by Kristin Karch
above: Jean Stoffer Design The Madison / photography by Stoffer Photography
I'm really excited to get the electrician over and vet this out more. I know the look isn't for everyone but I think it'll be exactly what this room needs. I'm hoping that because the ceiling is already hardwired, it won't be a massive job but we'll see! Note: I'll most likely replace the track lighting on the dining side of the room with a few armed sconces (these ones from our last house) or nicer looking track lighting that doesn't look like track.
Below is a list of some great options I found (many from Etsy!) including a couple I'm leaning towards. The best part is that many of these come in a variety of finishes and you can choose which bulb to use which changes the look.
from left to right, top to bottom
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine /
ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / sixteen
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