new lighting that caught my eye

One of my goals with this blog is to include more design-focused posts about products or materials – things that are original and interesting but don’t take hours to write and assemble. So, a few weeks ago when I came across some new lighting while flipping through the Crate&Barrel catalog I thought, “this would make a perfect short post!”. Well, a version of that post has sat on my laptop since then, routinely getting pushed to the “I’ll finish it tomorrow” list. But hey, it’s Saturday night and Kyle is slowly working his way through the entire X-Files series on Netflix so let’s do this, ok? (Ha! It’s Sunday now…see how that happens?)

As architects, we’re always on the lookout for new options in lighting. Historically, it’s one of those categories that has about five bazillion choices yet 97% of them are pretty bad. And the ones that are good – $$$$. So, I was pleasantly surprised to come across some well-designed and affordable fixtures from Crate&Barrel of all places. Which led me to check out what was new at a few other big retailers. And then I made these collages.

(Note: most of these are wall or ceiling mounted fixtures since those are typically the types we help select, but I threw in a few playful floor lamps for good measure. Also, this is not sponsored in any way and all opinions are my own.)

floor and pendants

1 IKEA, 2 Crate&Barrel, 3 CB2, 4 Crate&Barrel, 5 Crate&Barrel, 6 Crate&Barrel


1 Crate&Barrel, 2 West Elm, 3 Crate&Barrel, 4 West Elm, 5 Crate&Barrel

Has anyone had first-hand experience with these fixtures? It’s always difficult to get a feel for the quality of construction from an online photo, so I’d be interested in any feedback. I also noticed that most of the wall-mounted fixtures come with a cord and plug (vs. being hard-wired). Not ideal, but I suppose it provides more flexibility and ease of installation.

And hey, while we’re on the subject – bathroom lighting. Why is it all so bad? There are some good sconces out there, but I’ve found very few options for modern linear lights that can go above a mirror/vanity. Maybe you’ve found some? Maybe you’ll share?

Finally, I’m heading to the Alt Summit conference this week! It will be my first time to go and I’m excited. It will also be the longest time I’ve spent away from Avery since she was born. But I know she’ll be fine and I’ll be fine. In fact, I’m looking forward to stepping outside my normal routine (and comfort zone!) for a few days to fly to SLC (without a toddler on my lap!), meet awesome people, learn new things and hopefully come home with fresh ideas for the future of our blog and business. Now, time to start packing.


15 Responses to “new lighting that caught my eye”

  1. Isabelle Nuenninghoff says:

    Hi Lauren, happy new year and nice to read from you again. As I am not in the states, I don’t know any of the lighting options you propose. But regarding bathroom light options, I share your “pain” 😉 We actually put TETI lights from Artemide everywhere in our house except for the dining table (MORUP lamp there) because of low heights, and also decided to put the TETI in the bathroom as a wall mounted lamp over our mirror. We find it a nice, modern option – esp. as it complements the rest of the house – the light is good. However, I don’t know about legal/ security issues in terms of if it is officially approved for use in bathrooms. Regarding TETI, we tried to “pep up” some spaces with the coloured options, but as they are quite transparent, they didn’t look that great. So we stayed with white fittings everywhere.
    Have a great trip!

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Isabelle! I love Artemide but haven’t used that fixture before. Do you use it with a shielded bulb so it’s not so bright?

  2. Kathryn says:

    The Crate and Barrel ones arrive in store next week. I’m hoping they’re as good as they look and that either the accordian or the swing arm will be heading home with me for our kitchen.

  3. Amy h says:

    That’s funny — I was just flipping through the C&B catalog, and I saw those lights. I had to flip back to the cover to see that I was indeed looking at a C&B catalog! Pleasant surprise. I haven’t seen them in person though. You are right about the bathroom problem. We ended up settling for a goofy “modern” halogen light in our bath — I don’t like it.

  4. Mo says:

    Not that it helps, as then you’ll be looking for two fixtures, but side lighting’s usually better from stopping the awful aging-shadows-from-above. I do love these picks, though and a few have been pinned 🙂

  5. Kyle Zerbey says:

    Hi MO, we actually do have some nice side lighting in our bathroom covered in this post previously.

    we also have artemide tolomeo wall shades for bedroom wall sconces

  6. Erin says:

    I highly recommend Ind Lights ( I too wanted hard wired sconces with a scissor arm and an industrial look. They were able to custom fabricat them for me! Great quality too!

    I would post a pic of them in our room…but can’t figure out how :/

  7. Elin says:

    The yellow floor lamp (5) reminds me of the “grasshopper” lamp – which is significantly more expensive.

  8. christine says:

    I especially like # 6 floor lamp. I am going to try and find one like it as I need or want a new lamp.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Lauren M says:

    We just ordered the Jax Sconces from Crate & Barrel yesterday in white (before I saw this post) for above our small bedside table/shelving. I’m looking forward to seeing how they look and having the extra room for water at our bedsides. One thing I like is that some light comes up from the top of the shade which should warm things up visually.

    We’ve also been looking for above the mirror lighting for our bathroom and are having a hard time finding anything nice. Here are a couple that I thought were interesting.

    Have fun at Alt Summit!

  10. Kelly says:

    Bummed that you don’t blog anymore – hate to take you off my reading list 🙁

  11. Iris says:

    Very modern-looking and sleek pendant and floor lights! I’ve gotten my own fixtures from . They’re very posh and chic too. It’s just that I’m beginning to wonder if I might have purchased these from somewhere else that might have saved me some money.

  12. Lisa says:

    I’ve learned the hard way that the most important thing in scones is adjustability! Style is cool, but the light is worthless if it can’t illuminate what you need to see. Looks like you have some great adjustable options!

  13. Lisa says:

    Sconces not SCONES – ha

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