Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Happened to Traditional Lighting?

If we were to walk into Yale 20 years ago, these fixtures are what you would see.


They are called Williamsburgs and are the most traditional of chandeliers and lighting in general. The most popular finish was polished(shiny) brass. Fast forward 20 years, and the Willimsburg in polished is not sold anywhere.

Traditional fixtures are now sold in darker finishes with more modern details.

Traditional Light

To understand how to buy a traditional fixture or any lighting for that matter, you have to realize the changes in lifestyle. In earlier posts, we talked about this new informality or the combination of the dining room and kitchen into one great room. This trend is only part of the answer.

Perhaps a better question to ask is: Are there any exclusively tradition or modern spaces being designed anymore? No would be my answer. Most spaces are eclectic or a combination of many different design elements. So truly traditional Williamsburg type lighting is no longer appropriate.

Lets look at the next generation of (somewhat) traditional lighting

Traditional Light

Traditional Light

Traditional Light


  1. Okay, I understand the general ideas about choosing a chandelier for a dining area, I've read about task, accent and ...whatever the overall lighting is called. What about a chandelier for an entranceway? Ours is old and ugly with difficult to replace bulbs, but I have no idea what to replace it with, and when I go shopping, I'm overwhelmed with fear that I'll make an expensive mistake.

  2. Fear is a terrible thing....especially if it is expensive.

    Every foyer is different so every measurement for a chandelier would be different as well

    Simple rule of thumb, a 2 story foyer would need a chandelier of roughly 36 inches in diameter in 50-54 inches in height

    Remember decorative lighting is mostly visual not functional lighting so you really are looking for a proportional light

    Or you can do what I do....Give it to one of our designers and let them draw it...