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  • 3 Rules for Contemporary Bathroom Lighting Design


    Sculptural fixtures are the hottest trend in contemporary bathroom lighting. These lights use throwback Edison bulbs and resemble mining fixtures from a bygone era…or a Steam punk fantasy world. But if they aren’t installed correctly, your bathroom could become a very real death trap.

    Industrial inspired contemporary bathroom light

    Popular contemporary bathroom lighting like this dark rust cage sconce resembles vintage industrial lighting from the early 20th century. They often have a worn, distressed look that adds visual interest.

    How do you avoid this trap? Follow the International Residential Code (IRC), the electrician’s bible for working on residential projects. If you want to buy the IRC 2015, prepare to drop $100 for digital or hard copy.

    Brushed nickel bath bar that combines vintage and industrial styles

    This vintage style bath light in brushed nickel is ideal for complementing the overhead lighting. Glass globes protect the bulbs from splashing water, so you can place the fixture close to the shower.

    Luckily, we have a copy of the IRC in our office. And we don’t mind divulging the bathroom lighting guidelines for free!

    How To Choose Contemporary Bathroom Lighting and Meet the Code

    Start with a general lighting fixture that provides the bulk of the ambient lighting in the room. Just make sure the fixture has a damp location rating.

    Industrial style galvanized steel close-to-ceiling light with light cage

    This galvanized outdoor ceiling fixture by Franklin Iron Works is UL listed for damp locations. It can be wired to a dimming switch to change the mood in your bathroom.

    Each functional area of the bathroom should have a task light. These are often in the form of vanity lights and bath bars.

    Brushed nickel bath bar with 5 edison bulbs

    This industrial-inspired bathroom light in a brushed nickel finish can be placed over a 27-inch vanity mirror, softening the shadows under your eyes and cheeks. It also adds layers of light to your washroom.


    IRC Guidelines for Bathroom Lighting

    Below is a layman’s guide to the rules laid out in the International Residential Code (IRC). Install your contemporary bathroom lighting per these rules so you won’t have to tear them out later due to non-compliance issues.

    1. Have at least one switch near the door. (IRC E 3901.6, IRC E 3803.2)

    This one’s pretty self-explanatory, though we suggest using two switches. Many electricians like to place the vanity lights on a simple on/off switch. General lighting is then placed on a separate dimming switch to enhance the mood.

    The basic dimming switches are:

    Single-Pole, Full Range Dimmer: Consists of a dimming slider and rocker-type switch.

    Example: Leviton Decora Rocker Switch Preset Slide Dimmer

    3-Way Dimmer: Works with a separate on/off rocker switch. Both connect to a single fixture.

    Example: Philips Sunrise Pre-Set 3-way Electronic Dimmer paired with a Lutron Diva SC Single Pole Switch.

    2. Bathroom fixtures must be protected from water. (IRC E 3903.8)

    Any light that is inside or over the shower must be wet location listed: Recessed bathroom lighting with a waterproof lens is the safest to use in these applications.

    Recessed LED downlight with nickel trim

    The DLR56 Nickel Retrofit Contemporary LED Downlight is UL Listed for Wet Locations. Recessed pot or can lights are one of the safest fixtures to place over your shower.

    Any light outside the shower must be damp location listed: This can include the vanity lights, fanlight and bath bars which only need protection against mist and water droplets.

    3. Pendant lights must hang 3-feet from the outside of the tub, or 8-feet above the bathtub rim. (IRC E 3903.10)

    Most bathrooms don’t have high enough ceilings to accommodate pendant fixtures. But if you prefer this look, make sure the fixtures hang 36-inches away from the bathtub, or 96-inches above the tub. Hanging lights must not have a pull-chain switch.


    What style of contemporary bathroom lighting did you choose? How did the size and shape of your washroom affect the fixture(s) design? We would love to hear what worked for you.

    All images from Euro Style Lighting

  • Stylish Entryway Lighting Ideas


    Modern home with contemporary entryway lighting

    Glamorous entryway lighting

    This is the time of year when you want certain rooms to look their best, the entryway is one of them. Be sure to impress family and friends when they visit this holiday season... Here's some pretty ideas to help you with selecting your entryway lighting.

    Try some statement lighting, like this image above. If you have lower ceilings, or just a smaller entryway, you can also celebrate great lighting, but with unique modern flush mount lighting.

    Entry console with framed wall art leaning against the wall and industrial desk lamp

    Task lighting in a modern entryway

    You can't go wrong with a modern console and some great art, even if you never hang it.

    But try something a little less predictable and use an interesting desk lamp instead of a table lamp, it will give your entryway a little industrial vibe.

    Vintage roll-top desk with potted plants and wall-mounted swing-arm lamp

    Plants and wall lighting for the entry

    If you love plants, this is where you can introduce your guests to your green thumb. Whether you use an indoor tree or several small plants, greenery creates a pretty welcome.

    Go one step further than using a task lamp and try some modern wall lighting for a little unpredictability.

    Images from Domaine Home, Design Sponge, Frk Overspringshandling

  • Understated and Elegant Thanksgiving Dinner Tables


    Elegant Thanksgiving dinner table with candles for ambiance

    Simple decor for a Thanksgiving dinner table

    This holiday season, don't fall into the trap that so many do... Your decor doesn't have to be ornate or "perfect" to look special for family and friends.

    For example, you don't need lots of expensive flower arrangements, these simple cotton branches above are perfect for a warm welcoming to your table. Also, notice how candles can create the perfect mood lighting.

    A series of polished brass mini pendants over a dining table

    Brass pendant lighting for a Thanksgiving table

    Don't be afraid to use a cluster of  mini pendant lights in the same way you'll need a collection of dining chairs to accommodate all your loved ones.

    Thanksgiving is all about abundance, but if you keep the elements simple, it will never look gaudy.

    A rustic style dinner table with a pair of industrial pendant lights above

    Rustic dining room with industrial lighting

    Strip your design down to the essentials... This rustic dining room above would look good year-round, but especially for such a traditional gathering. Classic dining chairs and industrial pendant lighting will help you achieve this look.

    Here's some lighting ideas to help you get started with some of the Thanksgiving dinner table looks above...

    Lighting ideas from Euro Style Lighting

    1. Industrial Pendant Light

    2. Brass Mini Pendant Light

    3. String Lights

    Images from Cote Maison, Yellow Trace, Scout

  • What You Need to Know About Contemporary Lamp Shades


    Table lamps with lamp shades in a range of styles

    This fall, replace the lamp shades on your fixtures and bring your rooms back to life. Often a neglected design factor, contemporary lamp shades can add personality and elegance to any room. But don’t click BUY just yet!

    Consider these tips as you begin shade-shopping:

    Modern Lamp Shade Styles

    When selecting the perfect shade for your living room or bedroom, familiarize yourself with these basic styles:

    Set of 6 ivory drum clip shades

    Set of 6 ivory drum clip shades (EU5G806)

    Chandelier Shades:

    Got a hanging chandelier over your dining room or foyer? You’ll need several identical chandelier shades to cover each lamp on the fixture.

    Orange satin drum shade

    Orange satin drum shade (EUY5649)

    Drum Shades:

    If you have a pendant light, sleek drum shades are a wonderful way to transform the fixture with a colorful flair. You can also go monochrome with a white drum shade (for a diffused light), or a black shade which cuts the side glare.

    Giclee lamp shade in the colorful "Synthesis" pattern

    Giclee lamp shade in the "Synthesis" pattern (EU37869-2N385)

    Art Shades:

    For monotone pendants and table lamps, add interest with unique patterns. When considering a replacement art shade, take a look at the surrounding room, fixtures and furniture patterns.

    If you buy an art shade based on the product picture alone before evaluating your space's design, you may be disappointed with the results.

    If you want a traditional look, choose a pleated lampshade. For an eclectic look or a contemporary room, go with bold colors and patterns.

    Selecting Light Shade Sizes and Shapes

    When purchasing lamp shades online, always read the fine print. Restrain your temptation to impulse buy. Purchasing a shade that’s one size too big or too small will make your table or floor lamp look unbalanced.

    Always measure the original lampshade first.Then, shop for a replacement that’s just the right size and shape for the lamps base.

    You should leave a little clearance inside the shade; otherwise the hot light bulb could melt the fabric or even start a fire.

    Other Considerations for Contemporary Lamp Shades

    • Height — For floor and table lamps, the light shade should cover the bulb and the harp (metal piece that holds the shade in place.) In the case of table lamps, the shade should measure about two-thirds the height of the fixture base.
    • Shape — In general, your lampshade should mimic the base. So, a square base will look best with a square shade, and a round base looks best with a round shade.
    • Width — The outer part of your lamp shade should be at least a half inch wider than the widest section of the base. Also, keep in mind the space surrounding your lamp. If you go with a large lampshade, make sure it fits on the table and won’t get knocked over by people passing by.

    If you didn't see a lamp shade you like here, don't worry! We have hundreds of contemporary lamp shades available online.

    Your Thoughts?

    If you recently bought new lamp shades, how did the fixture or surrounding furniture affect your choice? Did you choose a solid color or a streamlined pattern, and why? We would love to hear some of your ideas.

    Image source: Euro Style Lighting

  • Open Shelving for Every Room


    Open shelving unit mounted on a wall above a console

    Open shelving over a console

    One of my favorite design elements in any home is open shelving, and I'm not just talking about the kitchen. Open shelving is great idea, no matter how small your space or your budget.

    This home above opted for a small open shelving unit above a console instead of a piece of art or an eye-catching modern mirror. If you have lots of accessories or souvenirs from traveling this is a great option for displaying your favorites.

    A collection of mini pendants hang over a modern kitchen island

    Open shelving in a modern kitchen

    While the kitchen is a more obvious place to install open shelving, these box-style shelves are a fun idea and a little more unpredictable.

    Minimal and clean, they add just enough wall space for cook books and a couple of plants. The collection of mini pendant lighting is another playful element that works great with the shelving and plants.

    Rustic open shelving unit in a dining room

    Rustic shelving in a stylish dining room.

    You might predict a buffet or built-in cabinet in the dining room... But why not open shelving?

    It's a great way to display your favorite dishes and serving platters, while opening up some space in the kitchen for less attractive appliances, glassware, etc..

    Images from Design is Mine, A House in the Hills, Bettina Holst

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