Almost every French interior features them, and they can be expensive as hell to buy and find in identical quantities. I am talking about the classic gilt wood ornate wall shelves. They have been fashionable for centuries, and still happen to be in style now.
In ancient Roman times, wall shelves were used to hold oil lamps. Fast forward to the 1840’s, it was fashionable to display busts, ferns and taxidermy on the wall. Chinese porcelains, or china are common to see on wood shelf sconces. The most quintessential of homes have them……
How can you pull off this look for yourself….
- Wall sconces can highlight a collection of objects that are special and unique, which would otherwise be lost in a home.
- Wall sconces can free up table space, which you could display pictures or other accessories on. Use the wall space.
- Wall sconces are an easy way to dress up plain walls with something different, other than pictures as most people do. Add depth to your walls, sconces can make it happen.
- Wall sconces create a focal point in the room, and draw a persons attention of where to start looking in a room. Likewise, smaller walls can be transformed into something special, highlighting different areas of the house.
- Wall sconces have been classically positioned above doorways. Look for a longer wall shelf to display a vase hung above a doorway. Start looking for spaces that are otherwise overlooked.
How To Successfully Hang Wall Sconces:
1. Larger Objects Should Be At Eye Level– To draw attention to a larger object in the room, be sure they are positioned at eye level. What sits on the wall sconce should be hung exactly in the middle or on either side of the object when decorating around larger objects.
2. Avoid Hanging Sconces On A Diagonal – (one off to the side but lower….) Hanging anything in a diagonal, can look dated, UNLESS you have a collection of pieces. Keep pairs of 2 one above another, in a symmetrical arrangement.
3. Pair A Heavier Sconce Below A Smaller Scaled Sconce- Rarely does it work to place a “heavier” object above a frailer one.
4. Group “Like Minded” Sconces Styled Sconces Together- Keep your eye out for sconces that look alike, if you cannot find identical matches. Keep rococo styles together, modern looks together, and so forth. Keep the unity some how, which will draw more attention to the objects placed on them. Consider what you plan on placing above them to choose an appropriate style.
5. Keep The Proportions In Check- Don’t hang a small, wimpy sconce and display a huge jar on it, which will look really awkward. Put larger objects on larger brackets…ect.
6. Visually Match Up The Sconce To The Object You Hope To Display– If you have something more ornate, look for a sconce which also has depth in detail. Work with the furniture wood or paint color you also hope to pair with the sconces. Match up the wood from the chairs, console tables to the sconces. Work with paint colors, or faux finishes to draw up on the likeness of other features you plan on pairing together.
7. Position Wall Shelves Where They Won’t Get Bumped- Avoid hanging wall sconces in a narrow hallway, unless they are over top of a console table, or chest. Kids, visitors, husbands happen to run into these things.
8. Secure Objects On Wall Sconces- The last thing you want is your objects falling off your sconces. This can happen when you have someone with a heavy foot walking around on the floors, or someone running down the stairs. Lets face it, the walls can be rattled a little bit, and would you want to take the risk with grams good china? When displaying anything, use a small piece of florists clay or a spot of hot-glue to hold china firmly to the surface.
9. Always Use Two Screws To Hold Up Sconces, Not One– Two screws cannot tilt or cause your sconce to be uneven. Never hold a sconce up with one flimsy nail.
Common Search Terms For Finding Bargain Basement Prices On Shelves On Ebay:
- Search “Wall Shelf Sconce” on ebay
- Search “Italian Wall Shelf Sconce” on ebay
- Search “PAIR Wall Shelf Sconce” on ebay
Dare I say it, copy a design you want, and make duplicates from plaster.
I love the look of gallery walls which show off large collections. The challenge is, finding wall sconces or picture frames in larger quantities that are identical that fit into a budget.
Putting together a gallery wall collection would otherwise be quite costly when most sellers tend to ask at least $100 or more for one sconce. Rarely can you find a quality sconce below this price. This can especially be the case if you are looking for a very specific style in mind, such as rococo, or ornate designs.
So do what I did… copy the design, and make your own molds.
After trying many different molding products, I found “Amazing Mold Putty” works the best. The rubber comes in a two part solution that feels like playdough. You simply mix the two colors together, and the set up time is a matter of minutes. You apply it to the object, and it sets up within a couple hours. I have found, even after purchasing thicker pre-made molds on ebay, that Amazing Mold Putty allows easy extraction for larger pieces. If I wanted to make my sconces from concrete, it wouldn’t be a problem with Amazing Mold Putty.
Above, I purchased a miniature ornate wall sconce from ebay, which was one-of-a-kind. There is no way I will run across a duplicate, so I decided to copy it to hold my feathered bird display that is going in my living room.
I am on my 5th duplicate, and my mold has stood up quite well. Instead of plaster of Paris, which can be very flimsy, I have found that Durhams Water Putty works the very best for thicker molds. After using a number of different materials, Durhams holds well, and can be painted, or drilled into. Hopefully this will give you some more options going forward if you fall in love with a very expensive sconce, and want more than one of it.
Vintage Florentine Gold Gilt Wall Shelf $150 From Seller Jolanta3377 On Ebay
Louis XVI Hand Painted Shelf – Found on fleaingfrance.com
1, 2, Aerin Lauder’s Home, 3, Unknown 4, Living Room Seen In Home Beautiful Magazine, 5, 6, Charlotte Moss
Coastal Beach Home- House Beautiful
A collection of busts displayed on wall brackets takes this classically elegant dining room from beautiful to unforgettable. Image via Cote de Texas
Celadon vases on plaster brackets, bleached midcentury dining chairs in Edelman leather, dining table finished to look like inlaid ivory. Walls are lacquered in pale aqua by decorative painter Agustin Hurtado. Miles Redd