I thought I would share one of my favorite decorating books, New Swedish Style by Sasha Waddell. In the section What is Swedish Style? The chapter Light and Lighting describes the elements of Swedish lighting. She first discusses letting in the sun, light colored surfaces, mirrors and window treatments. She next comments on using candles.
“Obviously it is not always possible to use only candlelight. And in order to capture something of the same feel with electric light, you must choose your lamp bases and shades with great care. Whatever style you choose, it is vital to balance the proportions of the shade and base, as nothing looks worse than a small base with a heavy shade, or vice versa. If you want a large lamp, a blue-and-white Chinese pot with a pleated cream shade can be very successful, as can a candlestick style base painted off-white (or in a similarly pale color) with a simple shade of parchment, checked or pleated cotton, or cream and silk again. Even an electric light will give out a very soft, attractive light if the cream silk shade is lined with a silk of the palest pink.”
Scale makes all the difference.
“A chandelier can be very beautiful and elegant if you choose well: if it is too small, it may look like an apology, and if it is too large, it may overpower the room.”
And don’t forget the right bulbs!
“The bare bulbs can also give a very harsh light unless controlled by a dimmer. Small, frosted bulbs are best (usually made in France), being infinitely preferable to the more common large bulbs which tend to detract attention from the delicacy of the chandelier itself.”
The book is available for as little as $2.00 on Amazon. The photos are beautiful and it has clear explanations on the elements of Swedish Style.