The Search for Farmhouse Fixtures

Challenges for Choosing the Right Lights

So Many Choices … sooooo many options! Shopping for lighting has been one of my favorite parts of our renovation project. I could literally shop for lights for HOURS!! I love so many styles, finishes, sizes, shapes, and designs… that sometimes it’s hard to choose. 

During a remodel, you’re also in the process of choosing paint, hardware, cabinets, etc. so the decisions start to pile up. Organize your ideas by creating a Design Mood Board. 

Lighting an Entire House

The biggest challenge in finding lighting for the remodel was the fact that we are seriously updating every existing light in the house– from pulling out 1980s fluorescent tube lighting in the kitchen to replacing all the old, shiny brass fixtures. 

The dining room chandelier and horrible ceiling fixtures on the catwalk. Oh! Don’t forget about that beautiful fruit and plaid wallpaper. 🙂

Overwhelming at first, finalizing the design in the kitchen and great room helped the lighting choices for the entire house come into focus.

Stay True to Yourself and your own Style

It’s hard to shop for lighting without being distracted by the many changing design trends. Know yourself or your client and stay true to their personal style (or help them find it)!

Research rooms and homes on sites like Houzz to refine your style and gain inspiration!

The trends in farmhouse lighting are all over the map and we found ourselves pouring through images of warehouse pendants, industrial metal fixtures, and mason jar DIY projects.

However, none of these trendier options would work in the light, airy home in the country. We had to find something stylish, but traditional. Farmhouse, yet still elegant.

Via Martha Stewart

The Solution to our Farmhouse Lighting Problem… Bell Jar Pendants.

Bring an Appreciation for the Past into yourHome’s Present 

Bell Jar Fixtures are a historical lighting design that’s been around for literally hundreds of years. Before the invention of the electric light and light bulbs, early Americans would place candles in the bell jars, which would keep the flame alight even in the wind, rain and drafts in old homes.  As we entered the 20th century and the age of electricity (thank god), bell jars stayed popular and have stuck around until today!

19 C. English Hall Lanterns add light & warmth to any space.

Before the invention of electricity, Bell Jar Lights, or Hall Lanterns, were candle fixtures. Created in the early 19th century, these antique bell jar fixtures would normally hold a single candle, sheltered from the elements by the large curved bowl design.

Some styles have hand-blown glass canopies and smoke bells which kept smoke from drifting into the rafters of homes. Most antique bell jar lights wereelectrified around 1920.

Hand-blown glass bell jar Circa 1860

A Modern Twist on a Timeless Design 

The new collections of bell jar lights add modern details and stylish changes to a very vintage light. In a lot of ways bell jars resemble our own remodel project –a loving update of the old and an appreciation for the past. Today’s collections of Bell Jar Fixtures feature metal chains, hardware in multiple finishes, bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes, and textured glass options that will blow your mind!

Practical, Functional, Timeless Design 

One reason these bell jars have remained a “fixture” (like that?!?), in homes over the years is the fact that they are both functional and versatile.  Many of these lights have multiple mounting options that allow you to incorporate them in rooms throughout the house. They are not meant to just hang over the kitchen island or in stairwells, but can be flush-mounted in foyers, bedrooms and mudrooms.

Below are some of my favorite bell jar fixtures and some that I’m considering for our farmhouse remodeling project. Hey… we have a whole house to fill, right?!? Links to where you can purchase each fixture are below the graphic! Enjoy!

1 |    Jefferson Bronze Three Light Pendant 


2 |    Hudson Valley Quinton Old Bronze Ceiling Fixture


3 |   Bubble Glass Bell Jar Pendant

4 |   Pottery Barn Paxton Glass 8-Light Cluster Pendant

5 |    Medium Bell Jar Lantern With Clear Glass by JVI Designs

6 |   Capital Lighting Covington 3 Light

Two Traditional Fixtures hang above an island in this coastal kitchen

Bell Jar Fixtures are versatile and can hang in every room of the house.

Bell Jar Pendants as Island Lighting

Bell Jars as Dining Room Chandeliers

Multiple Finsihes and Mounting Options in One Style!