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How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes

How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes

If you’re looking to create a vintage-inspired ambiance in your space, lighting can play a big role in achieving that aesthetic. The right lighting can bring warmth, character, and texture to a room, and create a timeless atmosphere that’s both cozy and stylish. In this post, we’ll explore how to choose the best lighting with vintage vibes.

Before you dive into the details, it’s important to understand the basics of lighting. There are three main types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting is focused on specific activities, and accent lighting is used to highlight certain features or areas in a room. When choosing lighting with vintage vibes, you’ll want to consider all three types and how they can work together to create the desired effect.

Emily Henderson has some super helpful posts about choosing lighting and lighting combination options that are worth a read.

Keep reading for my tips to choose lighting with vintage vibes!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase via these links we may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Feel free to read our disclosure.

1. Look for vintage or vintage-inspired fixtures

Vintage inspire wall sconces in living room

When it comes to creating a vintage ambiance, the fixtures you choose can make a big difference. Look for fixtures with brass or bronze finishes, glass shades, and unique details that harken back to earlier eras. Chandeliers, sconces, and pendant lights are all great options for vintage-inspired lighting.

When we were renovating the fireplace, we discovered that there had originally been sconces on either side of the fireplace. To bring some 1920’s charm back to the room, we opted to find new sconces that looked period appropriate.

The sconces we chose don’t seem to be available anymore, but I linked some other great options at the end of the post!

2. Choose warm, soft lighting

light bulbs with vintage flair
  1. Great Deal & Dimmable 2. Marconi Style Bulb 3. Pretty & Sustainable 4. Dimmable 4 Pack 5. Half Gold Bulb 6. Dimmable Frosted Candle

To achieve a cozy, inviting feel, opt for warm, soft lighting. This can be achieved with bulbs that emit a warm, yellowish light, rather than a cool, bluish light. Edison bulbs are a great option for vintage vibes, as they have a warm glow and a unique, industrial look.

Above I include links to different light bulbs. Click on each to learn more about what fixtures they work with, wattage and more.

3. Use dimmer switches

Dimmer switches for lighting
  1. Compatible with homes of all ages 2. Includes handy locater light 3. Smart dimmer switch 4.Versatile options available 5. 2-Pack Dimmers

Dimmer switches can be a game-changer when it comes to vintage-inspired lighting. They allow you to adjust the brightness of your fixtures, creating a more customizable ambiance. This can be especially helpful if you’re looking to create a romantic or relaxing atmosphere.

We have dimmer switches in our living room and dining rooms similar to number 4 above.

4. Consider the size and scale of your fixtures

Antique chandelier in breakfast nook

When choosing vintage-inspired lighting, it’s important to consider the size and scale of your fixtures. Large chandeliers can be stunning focal points in a room, but they can also overwhelm a smaller space. Similarly, small fixtures may get lost in a larger room. Make sure to measure your space and choose fixtures that are appropriately sized.

Our breakfast nook is one of my favorite spots in our house! The chandelier is an antique that I found in Los Angeles and intended to use it in our house there, but then we moved to Seattle. Luckily it looks right at home here, at least to me hee hee.

5. Mix and match styles

How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different vintage-inspired styles to create a unique look. A modern take on a classic fixture can add a touch of whimsy and keep your space from feeling too dated. Similarly, a vintage fixture paired with modern furniture can create a striking contrast.

Pin How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes

How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes

For the kitchen I paired a vintage school house inspired flush mount fixture with a modern, mini pendant over the sink. The silver nickel finish creates a cohesive look and ties in with the cabinet hardware and appliances too.

In conclusion, creating a vintage-inspired ambiance with lighting requires careful consideration of fixture style, bulb color, size and scale, and the use of dimmer switches. By following these tips, you can create a space that’s both timeless and welcoming.

Next I’ll share some light fixtures that perfectly embody a vintage look.

Pendant Lights

Click on the images below to shop. I picked fixtures that coordinate with one another, like sconces and pendants from the same line or pieces tied together by similar finishes.

Flush Mount Lights

This is a fun mix of options. Quite a few are under $50 too!


Sconces are on of the earliest forms of light fixtures. They look great framing a fireplace, mirrors, and work in all rooms.

Thanks for reading! Hope to see you over on Instagram and Pinterest!

21 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Lighting with Vintage Vibes”

  1. Vintage lightings makes every room unique and special to its occupants. Not to mention bringing one of a kind pieces back for a second use is practical, purposeful and keeps them out of the landfill.

    Your house looks amazing and you beautiful kitchen is still one of my all time favorites.

  2. Rachel - Tea and Forget-me-nots

    I found lighting so hard when choosing them for my house. I just basically went with things I liked and hoped it didn’t clash too much. These are great tips!

  3. I love the idea of using vintage lighting in your home! It’s a wonderful way to decorate and give your home a unique look that’s all it’s own! Your house is so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for all of your tips. I am kind of a light junky. I seem to have a collection in our basement quite by accident. I love the vintage vibes you are sharing today, and agree they offer a uniqueness all their own in our homes.

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  6. Excellent article Marie! Choosing lighting for light fixtures is something I need to consider more. Great vintage inspired finds!

  7. Great tips here Marie! The light in your breakfast nook is perfect! I’m excited to tell you that this post will be featured in Tuesday Turn About Link Party this week! Thanks so much for linking up and we hope to see you this week! Pinned 😊

  8. annafromskylarkhouse

    Oh My Goodness! I love this post. I always prefer to use vintage lighting over “new” lighting. This has some great information.

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