lampssources: scissor lamp, wood chandy (not always available)

Yesterday’s discussion on instagram (follow The Nester here to join in the fun) got me thinking even more about the importance of lighting in our homes; here’s what I said on one of yesterday’s posts:

Lamps, chandys & lighting serve us in two wonderful ways.

1. they help us see

2. they add style

Whether you shop yard sales, thrift shops or fancy stores, let’s stop letting the builder choose what lighting we live with.




From the instagram comments; my friend Stephanie is getting ready to start building a new house & here’s her struggle: …

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Here’s the thing, lighting is one of the LAST things to go up in a home. (My parents’ renovated home will be done in two weeks–counters go in today–are the lights up yet? Nope.) In my own kitchen the lighting was just about the last thing we did. Same with the barn, it KILLED me to wait until everything was finished so we could finally put the ‘jewelry’ {the lighting} on the in the room–it’s pretty much the last thing before furniture goes in.


Do you need to decide on your lighting plan early? ABSOLUTELY–you’ll need to know what TYPE of lighting and how many and where they are going to go.

Surprisingly, with both the barn and our kitchen, creating the lighting plan and choosing the actual lights was the most difficult, time-consuming part for me–more than choosing cabinets, counters, appliances, more than paint colors. It’s always been worth it for me to think long and hard about how we’ll use lighting in our home.

barn lightssources: chandy, string lights, pendants, sconces

BUT, once you know you are going to need 2 chandeliers, 5 pendants, 3 flush mounts a fan and 4 sconces, you can then take your time to pick out exactly what you want–often times you have months in between coming up with your lighting plan and actually installing your lighting.

And you DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT have to shop at only one or two stores where your builder is sending you. Unless you have agreed to some set package (even then you should be able to pay the difference and get your own lighting) then pick out what you want, order it, and have it ready for them to install.



Maybe you are building, renovating, renting or living in the same house you have lived in for the past 30 years. My question to you–have you paid your lighting the attention it deserves?

We wouldn’t let our builder choose our outfit, sofa or breakfast, we wouldn’t trust him to naturally know our coffee order. So we shouldn’t expect for him to know our style and how we’ll use each room.

Usually, a builder really has no business picking out lighting that we have to live with as long as we are in a home. Builders are wonderful, talented people who are usually excellent at building, but when you buy a home–especially one you didn’t have built yourself, the lighting is usually an inexpensive suggestion–just enough of something to call the room done.


You are allowed (and encouraged!) to change out your lighting, it’s one of the most room altering choices you can make.

For more lighting inspiration, check out the Lighting Pinterest Board.