Where To Put Sconces In The Living Room: 4 Positions

When it comes to enhancing the ambiance and illumination of your living room, the strategic placement of sconces can make a significant difference.

This guide will delve into the intricate details of where to put sconces in the living room, ensuring that you make the most of your space, both aesthetically and functionally. We’ll explore different positions, their impacts on room dynamics, and tips to seamlessly integrate sconces into your living room decor.

Lighting plays an integral role in the living room, defining the mood, functionality, and overall aesthetic of the space. Proper lighting enhances the room’s ambiance, highlighting key architectural features and artwork.

It also plays a functional role, accommodating various activities, from reading and relaxation to social gatherings.

Sconces, specifically, offer a unique blend of decorative and practical lighting, creating a soft, diffused glow that can make a room feel warm and inviting. Their placement, as such, is a critical aspect to consider in a living room setting.

Introducing Sconces as a Lighting Option

Among various lighting fixtures, sconces stand out due to their unique characteristics and versatility. Sconces are wall-mounted fixtures that provide both upward and downward lighting, creating a balanced illumination that adds depth and dimension to your living room.

They are available in a range of styles, from traditional to contemporary, making them suitable for any decor style.

Besides enhancing the aesthetic appeal, sconces effectively illuminate dark corners, highlight artwork, and contribute to creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere in your living room.

1. Placement by the Fireplace

Where To Put Sconces In The Living Room
Image: Pinterest

Positioning sconces on either side of the fireplace can significantly enhance the aesthetic and practical aspects of your living room.

From an aesthetic perspective, sconces draw attention to the fireplace, creating a focal point in the room and adding visual balance. The symmetrical placement generates a sense of harmony and order, contributing to a well-structured and appealing room layout.

The glow from the sconces can accentuate the architectural details of the fireplace, creating a visually rich and dramatic effect, especially in evening settings.

On a practical level, sconces by the fireplace provide functional illumination that can augment the light from the fire, ensuring the area remains well-lit even when the fireplace isn’t in use.

This placement also helps to minimize shadows cast by the fire, creating a balanced, warm radiance that enhances comfort and visibility. Whether you’re reading a book by the hearth or hosting a social gathering, sconces offer an ideal lighting solution that combines beauty and utility around the fireplace area.

Furthermore, they can effectively illuminate any artwork or mantel decorations, turning them into standout features.

2. Placement Near Artwork or Photos

Where To Put Sconces In The Living Room
Image: Pinterest

Placing sconces near your prized artwork or treasured family photos can dramatically enhance their visibility and appeal. Sconces serve as a powerful tool for directing the viewer’s attention, casting a focused, flattering light on the framed piece.

This purposeful illumination helps to highlight the details and colors within the artwork or photo, bringing the piece to life and helping it stand out against the surrounding wall space.

When you pair sconces with artwork or photos, you’re creating a spotlight effect. This not only draws the eye but also adds a museum-like sophistication to your living room.

Strategically positioned sconces can help to create a gallery wall effect, perfect for showcasing a collection of family portraits or pieces of art.

On a functional level, sconces can provide ample lighting for viewing the artwork or photos, especially in the evenings or in rooms with limited natural light. By adjusting the intensity or hue of the lights, you can influence the mood and ambiance surrounding the displayed pieces.

Moreover, the design of the sconce itself can complement the art piece or photo, acting as an additional decorative element.

Modern, minimalist sconces may suit abstract art, while ornate, vintage-style sconces could pair well with traditional landscapes or family portraits. In this way, sconces can create a cohesive aesthetic, marrying the style of the lighting with the art it illuminates.

3. Placement for Reading Areas

Where To Put Sconces In The Living Room
Image: The Spruce

Sconces can be strategically installed to create a well-lit reading nook in an otherwise dim corner of the living room, transforming it into an inviting space that beckons you to unwind with a good book.

The directed light from a sconce provides focused illumination that’s perfect for reading, reducing the strain on your eyes in a way overhead lights can’t.

With sconces flanking a comfortable chair, you can adjust the light’s direction to shine directly onto your book, providing the perfect amount of light without disturbing others in the room.

Moreover, sconces with dimmable features allow you to adjust the lighting level to your comfort, setting the perfect ambiance for your reading time. Whether you prefer a bright, stimulating light for more challenging content or a softer, subtler light for leisurely reading, sconces offer flexibility and control.

In terms of design, sconces can add a touch of elegance to your reading area. You can choose from a variety of styles to match your living room decor, be it modern, traditional, or rustic.

The right sconce not only functions as an effective reading light but also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the space, enhancing your overall reading experience.

So, by introducing sconces into your living room, you’re not only improving your reading light but also adding a stylish element that can elevate the look and feel of your space.

4. Placement for General Lighting

Where To Put Sconces In The Living Room
Image: HGTV

Wall sconces are an excellent choice for providing soft, ambient illumination throughout the living room, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. By strategically placing sconces around the room, you can effectively disperse light at a level that’s conducive to relaxation and casual conversation.

When mounted high on the walls, sconces can cast a gentle downward glow, subtly highlighting the architectural features of your living room.

Conversely, when placed lower, they can emit light upwards, introducing interesting shadow effects and softly illuminating the upper portions of your walls.

This flexible light direction contributes to the layered lighting effect, which involves mixing different types of light to create a well-lit and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Furthermore, wall sconces can also serve as a secondary light source, complementing your main overhead lights. This dual lighting system allows you to control the ambiance of your room, adjusting it to suit different moods and occasions.

For instance, you can create a more intimate or calm atmosphere by turning off the overhead lights and letting the wall sconces cast their gentle glow around the room.

Sconces with dimmable features offer even more control over the room’s ambiance. With the ability to adjust their brightness, you can tailor the level of ambient light to your specific needs and preferences, further enhancing your living room’s comfort and appeal.

Overall, the strategic placement of wall sconces can transform your living room into a warm, inviting space where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy your time.

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To recap, the strategic placement of sconces in the living room can drastically enhance the overall aesthetics and ambiance.

These versatile fixtures can be positioned high on the walls for a gentle downward glow that highlights the room’s architectural features or lower for an upward light emission that creates intriguing shadow effects.

Sconces serve as a secondary light source, complementing your main overhead lights, allowing you to control the room’s ambiance, and tailoring it to suit different occasions.

With dimmable features, sconces provide the ability to adjust the brightness to your needs and preferences. Across all potential placements, the best location to put sconces in the living room would arguably be at eye level on either side of a central focal point, like a fireplace or a piece of statement art.

This placement offers balanced lighting and helps draw attention to the room’s key features.


How far apart should sconces be placed in a living room?

The spacing of sconces in your living room should be determined by the size of the room and the wall where they will be mounted. Generally, they should be placed 8-10 feet apart. However, the key is to ensure that the light distribution is even across the wall.

How high should wall sconces be positioned in a living room?

The height of your wall sconces will depend on the ceiling height and the wall’s length. Typically, sconces should be placed at eye level, which is usually around 5-6 feet from the floor. If you’re using them to highlight specific features, such as artwork or architectural details, they may need to be positioned differently.

Can sconces replace the need for an overhead light in a living room?

While sconces can provide a considerable amount of light and contribute to the overall ambiance of the room, they are typically not a replacement for overhead lighting. Sconces are often used as a secondary light source, enhancing the lighting provided by the ceiling fixtures and allowing for more control over the room’s atmosphere.

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