Jun 25, 2012

Fabulous Front Entrances :: Lighting :: scale + style

Selecting the lighting for a fabulous front entrance
can be a little overwhelming.
Especially now, when there is SO much choice in fittings.
But, as always, if you follow the golden rules of 
scale, proportion & symmetry,
you can achieve a very pleasing result.
(And if it is light which casts a decent glow where needed,
it's a definite bonus!
Sometimes, I reckon this gets forgotten when people 
choose something which "looks nice".)
Here, all that is needed is a little directional lighting over the number,
located in a street in Belgium,
so the visitor can quickly see what they are hunting for.
The soft brass finish and simplicity of shape is the perfect foil
for the sculpturally twisted, gnarling wistaria vine.

If you have an older house, 
and want to highlight the original spirit of its provenance,
selecting a light which uses the same rationale as the house's design
will generally create a harmonious design.
This is a ranch house, circa 1969, in Texas,
and after the home's owners replaced the very ornate door 
with a boxy black one 
(referencing the mid century modern style),
they switched the "updated" coach style light
for a more simplified black one, 
with the much-loved atomic shape of the era.
the original design is celebrated,
and the eye can appreciate the pleasing horizontal lines of the composition,
instead of being distracted with "busyness".

A conical light fitting draws the eye to the triangular form of the shed.
The timber has enough richness of texture for the light to be very simple.

The wall has just a little detail, 
with the grooves formed by edges of the timber boards.
(No fuss here - no architrave around the door frame.)
So the light speaks the same language:
with just a little detail around the top capital,
using the same vertical ridged lines of the timber walls. 

Mixing a contemporary style light with a more ornate older home 
can work just as fabulously,
if the scale and balance is in proportion.
Over-scaled door architraves + an over-scaled, very long light 
sit happily together.
This time, we are celebrating the vertical lines. 

Shiplapped timber panelling, bagged render, slate tiles.
They are all timeless, rustic finishes. 
No fussy detailing. Just beautiful textures.
The light fitting answers back with a simple, almost pitted, metallic finish.
Nothing is pretending to be what it's not.
It just clicks.

So, if you follow these golden rules of scale, proportion & symmetry
you are halfway there with a light fitting choice.
And if you choose a material in keeping with the "story" of 
the surrounding materials, 
you can choose a light fitting which is truly worthy 
of a Fabulous Front Entrance.


  1. Love these. Your taste is so similar to mine. I love what you post.

  2. Beautiful examples, the front of my house needs a bit of tarting up but I'm most sure where to begin.

    1. Email me a photo Tabitha, and I'll be happy to give you some thoughts.

  3. What a fantastic post, such beautiful images and insightful comments. You have a keen eye for the details! Co-incidentally I'm sitting at my desk this moment selecting the exterior lighting for a project so I thoroughly enjoyed this!! ~ C


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