Where to Place Wall Sconces

Picture Light: Gaines

When it comes to lighting, wall sconces are the perfect blend of form and function. When placed in just the right spot, they can add a sense of elegance and sophistication to a room, and of course, a little extra light!

However, it can be a little tricky to decide exactly where you should place wall sconces. Unlike other light fixtures that typically hang from the ceiling in the center of the room, wall sconces are a little different. More thought and planning are required upfront to determine the perfect location.

In this article, I’m going to discuss all of the different places where you can place wall sconces!

In the Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to use wall sconces! They help add a custom look to the room and the kitchen is a space where you can never have too much light.

There are two ideal spots for wall sconces in the kitchen.

The first spot is above the open shelving. Since open shelving is typically installed after your electrical, it’s important to decide how many shelves you will have. This will allow you to determine how high to place the wall sconce.

Wall Sconce: Glenn Bronze

In our kitchen, we decided to only do one shelf on each side of the windows. We left enough room for a piece of wall art between the shelf and the wall sconce. We ended up hanging the wall sconce 84 inches off the floor.

Another great place for wall sconces in the kitchen is above windows. If you have windows above your sink, there are probably at least 24 inches between the top of the windows and the ceiling. Filling this space with wall sconces is a great design decision.

For both of these applications, it’s best to use sconces that shine down. Here are some great choices:

In the Bathroom

Instead of using vanity lights above each mirror in your bathroom, consider using a wall sconce between the mirrors. This is a great way to create a bathroom that feels a bit more upscale and elegant.

Wall Sconce: Olivia

In our master bath, we used three wall sconces evenly spaces with the mirrors above our double vanity. When doing this, it’s best to hang your mirrors first. This will allow you to take your measurements to make sure the sconces are installed at the same distance from the mirrors.

Above Built-Ins

Another great place to use wall sconces is above built-ins. Built-ins alone always add character and interest to a space. But adding well-designed sconces takes everything to another level!

Wall Sconce: Glenn Warm Brass

In our living room, we added a picture light, which is still technically a wall sconce, above each built-in bookshelf. Since picture lights are long horizontally, we were able to get away with only using one above each. We mounted the picture light six inches above the built-ins.

In our home office, Henry built a custom built-in bookshelf. We decided to add a brass wall sconce above each of the shelving units to add an additional design element to compliment the brass pendant light in the room.

Wall Sconce: Metal No. 2

We felt like our mudroom lockers needed a little something extra, so we added a sconce centered above each cubby.

In a Stairway

Wall sconces are an excellent addition to a staircase design. Staircases can often be a bit dark, so having the extra lighting is a plus! Also, the walls of a staircase can be awkward to decorate. So sconces are a great way to fill the dead space on these walls.

Wall Sconce: Dillon

In our stairway, we used two: one in the center of the first landing and then another halfway up the longest run of stairs. As for the height, we mounted them about at eye level.

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  • Reply Cheryll Bowie

    Thank you. Glad I found you, especially for the plaster head I can show my contractor!
    Who is the manufacturer of the brass and black sconces you used above bookcases in your home office?
    Thank you!

    February 22, 2021 at 11:29 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome and glad you found us too. It’s from Savoy House Lighting.

      February 22, 2021 at 11:33 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Thank you. Always great useful information. We will be building outside of Nash and I have taken many suggestions and recs from u. Love your style and ease with it as well!!

    July 14, 2021 at 1:24 pm
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