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From the Design Files of Heather B – Wall Sconces

Design Question

I would like to put wall sconces on each side of my sofa instead of table lamps. What are the appropriate dimensions to hang wall scones each side of a sofa; specifically the height from the floor, as well as the distance from the arm of the sofa? I decided to use swing arm sconces because my end tables are different heights which makes it hard to work with table lamps (height inconsistencies).

Design Answer

As a general rule of thumb, standard design wall sconces should be hung 60 inches from the floor. Because wall sconces are essentially used as ambient lighting and provide a decorative accent, you don’t want them too far down the wall. But they shouldn’t be so high that once in place you can’t change the light bulbs without having to use a stepladder.

However, swing arm sconces have more of a functional aspect to them – they can be used for reading or as task lighting. But the lower down on the wall the less useful they will be. I suggest that you place them at the same height no lower than 40″ and no higher than 50″. Before you make it permanent, check to see that the height you’ve chosen works okay with the end tables that are different heights.

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out.

Don’t forget to keep writing in. Visit Furniture and Design Ideas next Monday when I’ll tackle another design question.

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