Wall Sconces and Decorating
Many people only have a vague idea what a sconce is, so perhaps we should begin by defining the term. A sconce is a decorative wall bracket that holds lights or candles. You can achieve a lot of different looks and feels in your decorating just by selecting the right wall sconce to provide light for a hallway, entryway, or porch.
One popular way of decorating with sconces is to use candle sconces. These don't have to contain real candles to bring a lot of the romance of candlelight to your hallway or other area. Instead, you can have an ornate, romantic looking sconce that holds up a candlestick with a low watt bulb shaped like a candle flame. An old-fashioned wrought iron look may provide the decorative statement you're going for with an ornate plate and filigreed arm curving gracefully to hold the candle. Or for a lighter look, you can choose a pewter sconce, perhaps with two arms curving in opposite directions to hold two separate lights.
If you really want to go all out, of course, you can get candle sconces that hold actual candles. There's nothing quite as romantic as the flickering of a candle flame providing just a bit of light. You won't want to install these sconces anywhere where they'll be lit and left unattended. But as a romantic accent to a living room, a genuine candle sconce can provide exactly the mood that you've been hoping for.
Light Bath Sconces
For a little more light, you'll want a light bath sconce. These sconces shade the light on top and angle it downward to provide a clear pool of light on the area beneath. You can mount these sconces high enough to provide plenty of light for an entire hallway or entry area. They can be positioned above pictures to show off your art or family photographs. On the down side, you may risk having the light shine into your eyes if these sconces aren't positioned carefully.
Spot Light Sconces
Spot light sconces aren't meant to be decorative. Their purpose is to draw attention to whatever they're pointed at. So spot light sconces are simple affairs with lights that can be angled in any direction. You can use them to light up the wall above a mantle, a decorative vase, a curio cabinet, or just about anything you can think of.
Bowl sconces actually look like a half bowl sticking out of the wall. They don't have arms that curve out to hold the light. Rather the bowl itself contains the light and acts as a shade below. Bowl sconces can be installed above eye level to shine shaded light downward without producing glare and unshaded light upward to bring more light into the area. Bowl sconces tend to have a more modern look and as such are generally fairly simple. You can find ornate ones if you look, though. Or you can get a simple round bowl, or a tiered design.
Circular sconces are simple affairs consisting of a half globe that juts out from the wall. The half globe shades the light on all sides and provides equal illumination in all directions.
If you really want to get decorative, you can find sconces made in the Tiffany style. Delicate colored glass and ornate patterns will shade the light while drawing attention and appreciative comments. There's nothing quite like Tiffany glass to provide that feel of elegance and beauty.