The small details can really make or break a space, which is why it is so easy to get caught up in them. From the very beginning of our renovation of the back TV room/guest bedroom at the beach house I have been planning on putting in a pair of aged brass sconces on either side of these antique butterfly prints over the daybed. Of course I don’t have a great photo of the space for you, but here is a close-up of the very unfinished space…

…and here is a long view shot taken right after the door to the room was put in. One of my goals is to get rid of the overhead light on the ceiling fan, and two sconces would certainly help with that. Since there is no room for any kind of end table either, they would also work for reading and as night table lamps.

A swing arm or moveable style makes the most sense to serve such a multi-functional space and I have long been in love with the Sandy Chapman designed Boston functional library wall light from Circa Lighting, whether it be the single arm version…

…or the double arm version. The beautiful patina of the brass and the details of the hardware are just beautiful. The question between them has always been whether the 2 arm version is simply too large for the small space or perhaps it is just that oversized kind of piece that helps to make a small room look larger.

While I have been tracking dual arm sconces for more than a decade – like this pair in an old version of Nanette Brown’s summer house from a 2000 House Beautiful

…the entire design world has gone nuts for them more recently, perhaps stemming from this much blogged about photo from Domino magazine. This photo gives a good sense of how big the dual arm version is, but also how dramatic it can be in a small room.

Everywhere I look, I come across dual arm sconces, from this Celerie Kemble designed bedroom…

…to Candia Fisher‘s gorgeous living room…

…to above kitchen windows, often in long rows.

The Boston style is not the only choice. Circa Lighting also makes this similar Anette library lamp

…and the Graves Pivoting Sconce, which has lovely hardware but not the brass shade.

Rejuvenation makes a version called The Reed. But none of them compare to Circa’s Boston version for me.

For all that I love that Boston version, what I really wish I could have is the real thing – a one-of-a-kind vintage sconce, like these 1930s brass boat lamps selling for $1200 and $1800 on 1st dibs

…or these 1940s brass sconces from a recent One Kings Lane sale, priced at $1299. But with prices like that, it is not going to happen unless my fantasy of stumbling across a pair at a shrine sale comes true (and stranger things have happened!).

My other worry is that they have now become ubiquitous and too trendy. Don’t you just hate when things you love move too far into the mainstream? So I have been contemplating some other options.

Another favorite lighting company of mine is Holtkotter. The quality of their fixtures which have halogens on amazing rolling dimmers is unsurpassed. I already have a pair of standing desk lamps from them, my first anniversary present bought many years ago (for those in the know, they are the lamps that were backordered, causing my husband to have to write that very first poem instead of present). I have always liked these swing arm sconces from them, with their exaggerated retro shape, but hadn’t considered them until stumbling across a post by Camille over at The Vintique Object.

She bought a pair at a thrift shop in California for $4. Shall we say that again? Four dollars! And as she doesn’t seem to be using them, I have been trying to trade her any Japanese antique of her choice for them, but she hasn’t yet made up her mind.

They are also available new over at the Holtkotter site, as is this sconce, a wall version of the desk lamps I just mentioned. Sweet practical husband votes for this one because it also up-lights as well as down-lights which would help in the quest to get rid of the ceiling fan light, but in this case we are going to ignore him, because we (the global we) care more about form than function at this moment.

There is also a cheapie version in black on sale for $59 over at PB Kids. Just mentioning it!

As the Holtkotter sconce continued to feel too mod and not antique-y enough for the beach house, I kept my eyes open. And then the other day I was reading some blogs new to me, including Bryn Alexander‘s and I saw these brass sconces she had used in her bedroom.

They are from the Robert Abbey and combine the qualities of the Circa Lighting Boston functional library light with the Holtkotter swing arm sconce. The shape is reminiscent of the Holtkotter light, but more fully formed and the brass has the aged feel of the Circa lamp as does the hefty detailed hardware.

So what do you all think? Which would you choose? And would you change you mind in the 11th hour, or go with your long-term vision?

And in case you think I am over thinking it all, I am not the only one agonizing over these decisions – take a look over at Pure Style Home and The Lettered Cottage for more.

Related Posts:
Found! Kilim Footstools in Tokyo and Decisions on the TV Room