Sending kids back to school this year is most likely very different from years past but given the time of year, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the idea to talk about an item in my home I get a lot of questions about so today we are going back to school learning a bit about the history of Schoolhouse Light Fixtures plus some of my favorites.
The History of Schoolhouse Light Fixtures.
In the early 20th century lighting with bare bulbs were covered with opaque glass shades. Most popular in the mid 20th century in public buildings like schools, libraries and courthouses they became the norm in the 30s and 40s.
The slightly Victorian appearance made these lights extremely popular because it’s said that the shades looked like finely sculpted marble.
Even today these light fixtures continue to be extremely popular. I think that much of the appeal is that they fit into so many styles of homes from modern to vintage, industrial to traditional and they have a simple and timeless design that makes them a great investment.
Our schoolhouse light fixtures are a bit of a mystery. I bought them both at a public sale a few years ago for a total of $1. The bases were rusty and dirty but the globes / shades were in pristine condition so I knew they were a steal and would find a home in our house eventually. When it came time to renovation the pantry and mudroom / laundry area, I knew they were perfect.
Schoolhouse light fixtures today come in a variety of styles from pendants to semi flush mounts and the shades can be plain white like mine or come with stripes in fun vintage inspired colors. Below are some of my favorites:
Schoolhouse Style Pendant Lights
I could see these over an island or peninsula in a kitchen. They would be more of a statement look but I think that’s part of the appeal. Picture white cabinets and some fun, patterned tile with an equally vintage vibe [see my current obsession} and you have a super fun kitchen.
Schoolhouse Style Semi-Flush Mount Light Fixtures
This option is a modern version of the lights we have. They are great for a hallway, mudroom or laundry room like in my house. I love the black base which pops so nicely against the white and black and white is a classic color combo that never goes out of style.
Other Schoolhouse Light Fixtures
The clear glass is beautiful and so is the somewhat industrial feeling base. I love that it isn’t really a pendant but it’s not flush mount either.
The chandelier would be great over a dining room table and I love that it also does have a vintage feel while still feeling modern too.
Schoolhouse Style Sconce
I’m obsessed with these. They are so vintage feeling and yet I can see this in a modern bathroom or even in a study or office. These might be my favorite of them all.
Schoolhouse light fixtures are timeless and versatile despite their nod to history. Whether accenting a bathroom, lighting a mudroom or creating atmosphere in your dining room, they are a style that never goes out of style.