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10 Statement-Making Modern Wall Sconces

Functional, beautiful, and full of personality--let our picks for modern wall sconces light the way

Joanna Linberg
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Shine On

A classic globe silhouette is updated with a modern mix of metals: brass on the backplate and cradle, mirrored chrome for the globe. Switch on the light and the outline of the bulb becomes visible in a cool “now you see it, now you don’t” way. Hang these wall sconces indoors in any room that could use a bit of Italian-inspired design cred.

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Elegance on Display

Vintage-inspired components like a seeded glass lens and an aged brass cord cover that trails down the wall come together in a streamlined fixture. An alabaster backplate gives this sconce extra shine. The glass disk is tailor-made for showing off an Edison-style bulb (it accommodates incandescent, CFL, or LED versions). Picture a pair of these framing an upholstered bed.

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3 / 10

Ship-Shape

More than just inspired by the no-nonsense lights used in turn-of-the-century ships, this indoor/outdoor wall sconce is made by a naval manufacturer in London. With frosted glass and a cast brass body, it will smarten up any front stoop.

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4 / 10

Small-Space Ready

Wall sconces are always a smart move in tight quarters, but sometimes they lack the wattage or placement to help out with tasks like reading or lighting a whole room. No longer. This mid-century-inspired sconce is basically a lamp attached to the wall. Its rotating arm extends up to 73 inches, spreading functional light diffused by a drum shade anywhere with limited floor space. Installation is simple: Mount it near an outlet and plug the cord in.

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5 / 10

Better Than Ever

You’ve likely seen this indoor sconce a lot lately and for good reason: Whatever the aesthetic, this fixture fits the bill, accenting a modern organic room just as well as it does a historical Victorian. The style is classic but brought up-to-date by the slenderness of the arms.

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6 / 10

Scandi Simplicity

Leave it to Ikea to give us the Platonic ideal of minimalist style. This pill-style sconce uses LED bulbs, can be installed up or down (or even sideways), and is intended for bathroom walls. But the unassuming shape could just as easily be absorbed into a kitchen, over a desk, or bedside. Like all bathroom sconces, it requires hard-wiring.

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7 / 10

Mood Setter

If you’re looking for glow over blazing illumination, this iron indoor sconce is your lighting love match. It’s basically a cool stud earring for your wall that happens to offer both up and downlighting at a low wattage that makes everyone look good.

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8 / 10

Brilliant Reuse

Factory style gets fancy with gold accents but the fixture’s real bright spot is the frame that bends around the bulb—it’s made of recycled steel and includes a disk above the bulb that rotates to direct light. This sconce is suited for indoor use only and the relatively shallow profile is perfect for marching down the length of a hallway wall.

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9 / 10

Versatile Charm

Modern, historical, or somewhere in between—this glass rod sconce jells with almost any style. It’s wet-rated so you can hang it outdoors in a protected area, but it’s most at home in a bathroom where the almost 12-inch length of the light offers plenty of mirror-side illumination.

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10 / 10

Whimsical Fun

In a room where ample light already exists and attitude is everything, hang this neon heart. In a kid’s room, it’s whimsical. In a kitchen, it’s playful. In any other room, it can get a party started.  The heart is just over one foot tall and includes a black cord and mounting hardware for easy plug-in installation.

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