Affordable Vintage Lights for Toronto Lofts

Affordable Vintage Lights for Toronto Lofts

Author: Carl Langschmidt

Dec 9th 14

Every historic loft should be equipped with an Edison. Image used under Creative Commons from Marcin Wichary on Flickr.

Lighting is one of the most important design decisions you can make when transforming the interior of a Toronto loft. Authentic Toronto lofts cry out for vintage-inspired industrial light fixtures that complement character features like exposed brick, high ceilings and mix of hard and soft surfaces. The right lighting can also add both real and perceived, emotional value to Toronto lofts for sale.

Here are our favourite classic designs available as modern reproductions for under $200.00 each.

For Steam-Punks: The Edison Pendant

This allen + roth pendant, pictured here in one of our client’s hallways, is available at Lowes.

The Edison pendant has a functionality that’s beautiful in its simplicity. It manages to feel both historic and modern, fitting in perfectly in urban Toronto loft design while simultaneously hearkening back to the industrial revolution. It feels like something we’d see hanging in an old-fashioned apothecary, laboratory or a London flat occupied by Sherlock Holmes.

This beauty from allen + roth at Lowes is only $154.00 CDN. It’s spectacular when hung in a pair or trio down a long hallway or front foyer. The clear glass shade has a nice weight to it and the design and quality mimics designer fixtures at a fraction of the price.

Best for: long, galley-style front halls used in multiples. In smaller lofts, use as a single fixture over a leather or velvet chair in a cozy corner nook but remember you may still need a side table lamp for adequate reading light.

For the Grade-Makers: The Schoolhouse Pendant

Schoolhouse lights are popular in Toronto interiors including this renovated kitchen in our client’s historic Victorian home.

While we love clear glass shades when using Edison bulbs, if you require more wattage and are using standard light bulbs, a milk glass diffuser is perfect. It hides the bulbs while casting a soft, warm glow.

Our favourite milk glass pendants are those of the ever-popular schoolhouse variety. There’s a reason why you see top-of-class schoolhouse lights hung in multiples in Toronto coffee houses and hipster bars – they’re both timeless and affordable.

The stem hanging system on this $150.00 CDN light from Progress Lighting available Home Depot comes with several rod lengths along with a chain to handle any ceiling height and type, both flat and sloped. We think they would look great in the kitchens of many hard lofts in Toronto. For large spaces, spend a little extra and size up to a 14-16” version.

Best for: kitchen accent lighting or as a main light in a small bedroom.

For the Detail-Oriented: The Edison Sconce

Sconces can elevate your loft interior design from simply nice to smashing. Yet the average person hears sconce and thinks fussy or old-fashioned or equally erroneous, something you eat with your mid-morning tea.

There’s a reason why designers love sconces. Used in a set, filament sconces in a tear-drop shape like these available at Restoration Hardware for $159.00 U.S. each are the perfect balance of classic and modern. Look for sconces with clear shades in a simple, classic profile to let the bulb do the shining.

Best for: flanking a horizontal mirror in a dining room space or flanking a bed in place of table lamps for those who don’t require reading lights.

Special mention goes to…

If you’re looking more for a unique art piece than functional lighting, check out this great Edison wall sconce by West Elm. And if you know someone looking at buying a loft in Toronto, this beauty would make an excellent housewarming gift.

For the Country-Strong: The Barn Light Pendant

Rustic and rusted authentic barn lights are the real deal but there are affordable reproductions readily available at most major lighting retailers. © Pbphoto | - Barn Door Lamp Photo

Look at the interiors of most lofts for sale Toronto, when it comes to hard lofts at least, you’ll see a design aesthetic that’s true to the urban industrial history of the building. Yet there’s nothing better in an urban loft space than a little touch of country charm – namely, the quintessential barn light.

Barn lighting was commonly used in – you guessed it – barns. Their bright down light made them appropriate for hanging in spaces with very high ceilings while providing adequate ground-level work lighting. The sheer usefulness of barn lights meant they were soon adopted for use in warehouses too. Their design has since become synonymous with urban industrial buildings rather than their country cousins.

The colour choices available for this classic barn light pendant from Barn Electric pop against the earthy palette of typical lofts in Toronto and the shiny surface offers a nice, glossy contrast against the brick, concrete and steel backdrops of authentic loft interiors. Prices start at $109.00 U.S.

Best for: hanging over a dining room table or buy the mini-versions to hang in multiples over a kitchen island. 

For the Peace-Keepers: The Extension Sconce

Sconces can often be mounted to brick walls for a stunning effect but leave the wiring to the professionals or buy a plug-in style. © Kuzmichs | - Brick Wall Photo

For couples interested in buying a loft in Toronto, when you find that perfect space to call home, try hanging sconces with swing-style, extension arms in a set above your bed. Thanks to their mobility you can target where the light hits so night owls can read in peace.

There are a ton of slick, mid-century modern wall sconces to be found like in the photo above but for lofts we love this industrial wall sconce from Kenroy with its accordion extension arm, available online at Canadian Lighting Experts for $124.00.

Best for: use in a pair directly above or flanking a bed frame.

For more loft design inspiration, check out our featured properties.

Please note: lighting prices and availability accurate at time of publishing.