Buying Guides

Buying guide: Flush-mount light fixtures

Buying guide: Flush-mount light fixtures Author: Style At Home

Buying Guides

Buying guide: Flush-mount light fixtures

Flush-mount light fixtures have come a long way since the dreaded and over-specified builder-grade ones that look like, well, let’s face it, a boob. Today’s market offers a remarkable range of versatile and stylish lighting options that’ll work for many different spaces.

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When buying, look for fixtures that reflect the essence of your space. Flush-mounts can be more than just a practical choice, turning what may otherwise be a humdrum pass-through into a character-filled enclave.

Things to consider:
  • How much room do you have for the fixture to drop? The drop is especially important if your fixture is located where a door has to open underneath. Don’t forget, sometimes fixtures have small finials or extra embellishments that make their finished size bigger than you think.
  • How does the fixture look lit and unlit? Sometimes they can look quite different, so be sure to purchase one that you like both ways.
  • Is the fixture in good condition? Confirm that all the parts mentioned on the box are actually inside it. Look for broken glass, scratches or any other possible manufacturer defects.
  • What type of bulb should you use? What wattage is required? Will the fixture be installed on a dimmer? Is the bulb visible? What size and shape of bulb will best suit the fixture? Do you want a clear or frosted one?

Lead image courtesy of Urban Electric Co.

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New styles
There’s a huge range of styles and finishes available today, contemporary classic looks to traditional favourites to antique reproductions.

  • Handmade, industrial chic style or reproductions, including weathered metal, cage enclosures and faceted mirrors.
  • Fixtures that imitate jewellery with delicate beads, iridescent glass and crystal.
  • French influences, including gilded finishes, ornate detailing and crystal beads.
  • Warm burnished and black metal finishes
  • Colour, especially in bright, modern applications.


(1)
Nirvana flush light fixture. Universal Lamp, $840.
(2) Faceted Mirror semi-flush light fixture. West Elm, $157.
(3) Utkik flush light fixture. IKEA, $40.

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Where to use them
Flush-mount light fixtures are a great alternative to pot lighting, adding softness and character to your rooms. They’re perfect for:

  • The entryway/front foyer
  • The hallway (they look best when used in multiples).
  • The kitchen, over a family dining table or eating nook.
  • Areas with a height (or depth) restriction, such as the laundry room, mud room and powder room.
  • Spaces where doors or cabinetry require clearance to open at the top or in small spaces where chandeliers or pendant lights just won’t work.


(1)
Hand-painted wrought iron floral semi flush light fixture. Crystorama, $398.
(2) Medium Paris Flea Market flush light fixture. Elte, $865.
(3) Colour Pop sconce in Aqua. Shades of light, $159.

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Tip
While frosted light bulbs reduce glare, clear bulbs produce a nice sparkly light (although they’re typically brighter). They work especially well for refracting light through glass or crystal fixtures to create pretty reflections – perfect for the powder room. Vintage - and industrial style ones are appealing when exposed.

(1) Plantation flush light fixture. Universal Lamp, $295.
(2) Chisholm Passage flush light fixture. The Urban Electric, $1,205 US.
(3) Frank flush light fixture. Circa Lighting, $693.
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Buying Guides

Buying guide: Flush-mount light fixtures