Help me choose a front entrance light
mcjin1
September 28, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My house came with the tiniest front entrance light. There's plenty of real estate above the front door so I'm looking for something bigger and with more presence. What type / style / size of light would you suggest to replace it?
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Jamieson
Seems as though your entrance is begging for a coach lantern similar to this. I'd also invest in a new mailbox and numerals for your beautiful stately door. A pair of planters or urns wouldn't hurt either! Sorry for throwing so many suggestions at you, but you have a great area to work with!
Large Sussex Bracket Lantern
Wall Mailbox and Address Marker
Small Tuscany Urn - Frontgate
September 28, 2012 at 8:28am     
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mcjin1
Thanks for the great suggestions. I hadn't even thought about the mailbox or the numbers, but the mailbox/number combo looks fantastic!

For the coach lantern, how big do you think I can go in size? I definitely want the light to stand-out, but what would be too big?
September 28, 2012 at 9:10am   
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Jamieson
I'd go approximately 1/3-1/2 the width of your door (just the door, not the side lights), hope that helps! PS make sure you can exchange, you'll know if it looks weird! Good luck, and keep us posted!
September 28, 2012 at 9:27am     
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mapeggy8190
You seem to have fallen in love with copper... do you know it changes colour when it has been exposed to outside elements? Jamieson's ideas are right on. The outside light you favour is a little to fussy for the style of your home...it is more New Orleans... but maybe that is where you live? Like Jamieson says you have a lot to work with and enhancing the front stucco colour; not such a stark contrast from the rest of your house, may also give a bit more curb appeal.
September 28, 2012 at 9:57am     
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mapeggy8190
mcjin1 - then go with what you like best. It is always special to have something you do yourself. You are then aware of how copper changes and the special treatments which can be used on them. You certainly have enough space to do the moustache light fixture you like. The mail box Jamieson recommended is great because of its 3 dimensional affect. So maybe you can do something similar if you make it yourself... layering the front of the box so it is not 'flat' looking. If you are adding copper, then maybe you might consider using it on another place on your house... i.e. an overhang, window boxes, etc. so the front is coordinating with the rest of the house. Good Luck. I am always 'in awe' of people with as much talent as yourself. Let us see your final results.
September 28, 2012 at 11:49am   
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mccutcheon1
There's a new idea book on how to match garden containers to your landscape. This looks rather like your house, but the lantern problem has been solved rather elaborately. Hidden under a porch roof.
September 28, 2012 at 12:01pm     
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September 28, 2012 at 12:11pm   
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judianna20



I'm seeing craftsman influence and I think you should follow this style in your lantern.
September 28, 2012 at 7:35pm     
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Maggie
Of the links you posted I like the Kent. The Jamestown is too narrow for the shape of the space.
September 28, 2012 at 7:53pm   
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hello mcjin1, I've compiled an image of your front entry to give you some alternate ideas. Depending upon your style, if it isn't this formal, you could still apply the same elements, just more to your taste. This happens to be a more formal feeling. I've added a transom window over the door, putting left and right wall sconces, plaque address with appropriate planters and statues for that well-dressed feeling for your guests, family and friends to be greeted with.

If you were only wanting to add a different light - instead of an actual renovation, then go with a large hanging type fixture. It is impossible for me to recommend a size without knowing the width of the entrance, and the height of the space between the door and roof line.

Good luck with your project, and be open to new and interesting ideas!
September 29, 2012 at 12:06am     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
My favorite - because it is a simple fix by changing out the position of the front lights to wall sconces
then investing in the perfect house numbers - this suits your home perfectly - make sure it fits your style as well...
September 29, 2012 at 12:17am     
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kellyannew
There is something else to consider. As I redo I learned about 'dark sky compliant' lighting and 'good neighbor' lighting. Very interesting topic. And if any lives across the street from someone who's porch light shines out it can be very annoying. Down-lit lighting is much more pleasing and lights the way not the world.
September 29, 2012 at 6:20am     
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apennameandthata
Yeah, don't buy a light, decorate the front of your house. Nice house, too.
September 29, 2012 at 6:31am   
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apennameandthata
I got a set of these figurines for my front yard. Not much light but it might be enough!
September 29, 2012 at 6:37am     
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Monique Jacqueline Design
Hello!
Do you know how many inches you have from the center of your lighting mount plate unit down to the top of your door casing? Prior to determining a style or dimensions, we need to know the space height that it will mount in. At this point, I can tell you that the new fixture would have to be a wall mount.
Cheers!
m.
September 29, 2012 at 6:47pm   
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xsapari
check out www.wayfair.com
September 29, 2012 at 6:58pm   
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selenavaz
Out of the two lights that you have mentioned, I liked the first one. I am sure it will look nice at night once lit up, but the frame of the light is thin and that may not give the desired aesthetic appeal during the day. You need something with a broader and darker colored frame so it grabs attention at the entrance.
September 30, 2012 at 5:00am   
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silverscreenstar
I agree with the reviewer who suggested that you check out www.Wayfair.com. We just bought a gorgeous post head from them. We're waiting for HIN2226CB to come back into stock. We both love the Plantation series by Hinkley.
September 30, 2012 at 6:16am   
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chriswlyons
people tend to pick out exterior light s that are WAY too small - I agree that you need a new lantern. something at least twice the size of the one in the photo - maybe even triple. Adding one on each side of the door will keep the symmetry in the front entrance. Also might try some very large numbering over the top of you entrance - If you think it is too large walk to the other side of the street or 40 feet away a judge the size from further away.
September 30, 2012 at 6:50am   
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Narron Designs
It looks like a mission style front entrance, so I would look for a light that compliments the style. You could also use a coachman lantern, as mentioned above, but with decorative wrought iron scrollwork filling the void on each side of the lantern.
September 30, 2012 at 7:16am   
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ubettpar
Would you consider doing away with the overhead fixture and replacing it with two side fixtures? That would open up all sorts of ideas about size and style. I would stick to something in black or bronze wrought iron to ground the white around your dark wood entrance.
September 30, 2012 at 7:50am     
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silverscreenstar
I'd be inclined to paint the front door a glossy black, richer than the reddish brown, and it would bring out the black in the bricks. The house also needs color, likely from landscaping or planters, on either side of the front door, as well as new, larger, lighting fixtures. I like the idea of placing wall sconces on either side of the door, for balance, as suggested by earlier reviewer. If the front door was glossy black, a bright gold would be a classy choice, also adding some brightness to the front of your home.
September 30, 2012 at 8:08am   
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sjmom
Noticed there are no railings for steps. Not only can they add character but in my neck of the woods, local authorities would require them. Then, how about some planters for entryway on either side, lighted address above door for guests, traditional lanterns for either side of door, more landscaping and shutters for windows (if room). Also, how about landscaping lights up the pathway to front door? Just some ideas to dress the front of your home. As we called it in real estate; curb appeal.
September 30, 2012 at 10:15am   
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karelina
Since I just searched for outdoor lights, I know what you're going through. It's the first thing people see when they come to visit. Your doorknob is brass. Why not a large brass light? The mailbox definitely needs changing - why not brass, too? I'd change the font of the house numbers, to a brass period font. The side rails are calling for urns or planters or something on the sides - a hand wrought railing?
September 30, 2012 at 10:21am   
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mfheryford
Beautiful house and a lot of potential to be even more beautiful. I agree with others that a larger fixture is better in your case. Your doors are wide and you need something to counter balance that large expanse. Check out this site for some inspiration: http://www.bevolo.com/gallery-residential.php
This company has lovely lights that are usually over-sized. Also, I realize cost is an issue, but it may be someplace you should spend just a little more because 1. it is the first thing you and everyone else sees when approaching your house, and 2. it sets the tone for the overall style of your home. It would be money well spent because you will notice it everyday. Good luck! I agree that you need two planters to add some greenery. You can swap out what is in them per season and it adds a textural element.
September 30, 2012 at 10:59am   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I agree with others: if you can, I would add nice large lanterns on either side of the door rather than overhead. I would put a large address plaque where the tiny little light is now. You could even add a small fixture to light that. If you could splurge on the address plaque, it would add a lot of personality - perhaps a beautiful tile plaque with some color/pattern. Since your address is '50', I would add the street name, too. Here is an idea of what I have in mind:
http://housenumbertiles.com/category/Custom_House_Signs.html
I think the handcrafted look would be much nicer on your house than an aluminum sign (the kind you can order through the big box stores) I would also paint the entrance in a softer color - I think a soft green would look nice, but at the very least, a darker neutral.

I think that the overhang detail with the exposed rafter ends does give your home a vaguely Arts & Crafts style. I think this Quoizel Hillcrest HC8409 fixture would be nice - this is the largest size (13h x 9w). The only thing is that this only come in a bronze finish which I think is too close to the colors already in the finishes of the house; it won't stand out. I would go with black or with the copper you like. The overstock.com light you posted is way too lightweight looking. The Seagull Jamestowne isn't bad, and it's height is good - 20" - but you'd have to see if it looks too tall and skinny. The simple box style is one you should be looking for.

Add the urns and a mailbox similar to what Jamieson proposed and I think you will have a whole new look!
September 30, 2012 at 5:44pm   
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karelina
I forgot to mention, Rejuvenation.com has some wonderful lights - interesting arts & crafts designs.
BTW, I think the exposed rafter ends are call dentils.
September 30, 2012 at 8:56pm   
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bprince300
You have a beautiful entry sequence - I like Jamieson's concepts and classic colonial element choices. From the wee bit of photo we see it appears that someone closed in an original portico on a classic colonial home. The photo doesnt show enough to determine if thats the case for sure.

The color of the dk.brown rough sawn lumber edges draw my attention - not necessarily in a good way. Its fighting with the deep wine tones of your brick, white trim and grays in the concrete and pavers. You could add formal engaged columns (simple doric style - not fussy) or just simple corner moldings on either side and paint the entire face white to reduce the narrowing effect of the brown, add moldings that outline and highlight the gable end over the door and use black, metal hardware, including your fixture, mailbox and a door handle would add handsome detailing to your brick and white colors. Large planted pots with deep red flowers, topiary or textured plants on the lower cheek wall cap would complete the look.

When selecting a fixture try to find one with frosted glass and use a frosted bulb. Clear glass has a tendency to 'blind' people as they approach it. Frosted elements greatly reduce that effect. If your fixture still hung under the portico, the way I suspect it may have originally, then I would keep that placement, but in your case with the wall so far forward with little roof overhang, I would suggest splitting the connection and using two carriage lights, on either side of the door.

Then you can address the landscape to enhance the whole picture ........
September 30, 2012 at 10:04pm   
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mcjin1
Thank you to everyone for your advice. I'm frankly amazed by the thoughtfulness that many of you put into your comments!! I need to come here more often! :-)

From reading, it sounds like a picture of the entire front of the house is needed, so I'm attaching one I took yesterday. It's a stitched panorama, which is why the house looked curved. It's straight in real life, thankfully! Since moving in, I've changed the front door handles (antique brass) and the mailbox. I'm guessing the mailbox fails in many, many rules of design, so feel free to be at it! :-) It was a temporary fix to the old almost falling off the wall mailbox...

I also measured the distance between the light mounting plate and the top of the door caseing - it's 17 inches.

Thanks again to everyone for your comments. Keep them coming. I'm a first-time home owner. This is the first house I've ever worked on, and I'm learning alot!
October 1, 2012 at 6:33am     
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ubettpar
Landscaping may be the last thing on your re-do list, but taking out those two shrubs from the front of your home might offer a big boost to your curb appeal. I could think of lots of replacement configurations for new shrubs and plants, depending on where you are in the country, but I am sure you know what you like and can afford. Perhaps, even a landscape designer.... Your home has so much potential. Congratulations!
October 1, 2012 at 7:09am   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Wow mcjin1 - what a beautiful first house! You've gotten a lot of good ideas here, and I agree with ubettpar that those overgrown shrubs need to go at some point, but your plans to change the light fixture and spruce up the entrance will make a big difference. It's a great place - everything you add will just be icing on the cake :-)
October 1, 2012 at 11:17am     
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silverscreenstar
I agree. This property has HUGE potential. Good Luck with your first home!
October 1, 2012 at 11:54am     
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Merry Memories
I love Kim Gamel's photo! You could look at porch gables "roof overhang" and truly come up with something that you adore. I also love the look of an arts and crafts exterior light. I think they are gorgeous....but the question is what do you like? Good Luck!
October 3, 2012 at 3:18pm   
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Merry Memories
Nice comment Kathryn.
October 3, 2012 at 3:19pm   
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charlottegirl
I just replaced my same very small light on my house. I used Lantern & Scroll, they were so awesome to work with. All of their fixtures are copper and made in the USA. And my fixture was only $350, so a little bit more, but it isn't going to fall a part. I just love it. This is the picture she sent me. Email Karen over there: lanternandscroll@gmail.com
December 3, 2012 at 8:05pm   
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