Unique Bedroom Lighting

Choosing bedroom lights with a unique design will give your bedroom an unforgettable look.


Photo by: Maurizio Marcato

Maurizio Marcato

By: Gina Hannah

To find the perfect unique lighting for your bedroom, you can look as far and wide — or as close to home — as you like.

And while finding a true one-of-a-kind light may be a challenge, you can certainly incorporate bedroom lighting that will give your space a look of its own.

Bring Character to a Bedroom with Thrifty Finds

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Sitting Pretty

Small armchairs are ideal to tuck in a cozy bedroom corner. Look for a piece that is the proper scale for the space and in good condition. A good chair worth buying should have a sturdy frame and soft padding. In your bedroom, pair the chair with an ottoman, comfortable throw and a lamp to create an inviting place to read.

Cozy Up With Vintage Quilts

Bring a handmade feel and sense of history to a space with a vintage crochet bedspread, heirloom quilt or an all-white matlasse or coverlet. Look for spreads that are machine washable and relatively free of holes or stains.

Multipurpose Furnishings

Bedside tables are an essential part of a bedroom suite, but don't feel confined to only using furniture pieces intended to be used as side tables. Petite dressers, servers and desks can all be used as side tables that provide loads of storage. For a tight space, use an antique stool, plant stand or even a wall-mounted corbel.

A Bright Idea

Most bedrooms will require at least one or two lamps for task lighting, for reading in bed or getting ready in front of a mirror. Vintage lamps are inexpensive and readily available at thrift stores and yard sales. Choose lamp bases with a stylish shape, and keep in mind that most surfaces can be updated with paint and lampshades are easy to replace. If the lamp is vintage, it is best to rewire before use. Kits can be purchased at home improvement stores, or it can be taken to an electrician.

A Vanity for Luxury

A place to sit in front of a mirror to get ready for the day brings luxury to a bedroom. Use a traditional vintage vanity or look past the obvious and use a desk, farm table or even an industrial cart. A mirror, lamp and a stool or chair instantly define the area.

Furniture Savvy

When shopping for used, vintage and antique furniture, take the time to inspect the piece thoroughly. Look for signs of quality like solid wood, dovetailed joints, sturdy construction and well-known maker's marks. Also, you should inspect the original hardware. If a piece requires specialty hardware that is missing or broken, it may be costly and difficult to replace.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Vintage mirrors turn up at flea markets and antique stores regularly and can even be a free bonus with a dresser or vanity. Don't discard these mirrors because the glass is smoked, corroded or aged. Use modern mirrors with clear glass for functional needs and keep the antique mirrors to use as accents that reflect light and bring sparkle to the space.

Better With Age

Pillowcases are an ideal thing to source while shopping secondhand. They are generally inexpensive and there are some beautiful examples available. The best thing about quality cotton and linen pillowcases is they get softer with each wash, so they become more beautiful and comfortable in time. Look for cases with crocheted trim, lacework, monograms or embroidery.

Sometimes, the unique look comes in the mix of lights in a room. Recessed or track lighting placed over the bed or used for highlighting wall art can add a unique look. If you've chosen to decorate in a modern style, look for pendant lights, floor lamps or table lamps with interesting geometric shapes. Some fixtures have shades with a cut-out design that will cast an intriguing shape on the ceiling when the light is on.

If your style is more traditional, peruse thrift stores for lamps and other items that can be repurposed or upcycled to become a table or floor lamp or a hanging fixture. Take an old lamp and add a new shade, or perhaps take a plain shade and use fabric paint or glue and embellishments to create a unique look.

You can even make a light fixture yourself. Lamps can be made from wine bottles, vases, jars, pitchers, statues — even a stack of books can serve as a lamp base. Craft supply stores often have kits for the wiring and bulb assembly. Lamp shades with images of family photographs or your own design can help you create a personalized look.

Also check out art galleries and shows for one-of-a-kind creations by local artists and crafters. Local sources are a great way to find quality unique fixtures made of metal sculpture, stained or blown glass and other materials that are still affordable. Think beyond singular fixtures. Can you group a collection of small pendants to create the look of a chandelier?

Sometimes just the right unique lighting comes from fixtures that can't be seen at all. To add ambient light to your room, you can install cove lighting, which is lighting that is made up of tubes or other shapes of light that are hidden high up on walls or ceilings such as above a ledge, tray ceiling or crown molding. You could even choose a headboard with built-in lights, which could uplight art hanging above your bed.

As you choose your unique bedroom lights, keep your overall plan in mind and remember to include ambient light, as well as fixtures that will provide task and accent lighting.

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