Period-Authentic Lighting for an Historic Renovation
In the early 1900’s, southern cities often sprouted up around local mills. In the area just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, the thriving mill district included the Highland Park Mill and the Mecklenburg Mill along with small local groceries, a barbershop and a dry goods store.
When the mills shut down in the late ’60s, the area fell on hard times, but the creation of the Historic North Charlotte Neighborhood Association in 1986 began a revival that transformed the area, now known as NoDa, into a vibrant arts district full of galleries, restaurants, boutique shops, and award-winning breweries.
It is here that Mark and Danielle began a painstaking, eight-month restoration of an old mill house. While they loved the location of the home — it’s close to the developing Light Rail and within walking distance to restaurants and entertainment — they struggled between restoring and renovating the home.
“With the home being built in 1900, we really felt more like stewards of the home than anything,” explains Mark. “So we decided to focus on restoration.” With help from the architectural team at Masterbuilder Fellowship for the Built Environment, the exterior of the home was completely restored to the original wood siding and trim details, and new doors and windows were installed.
“We wanted to get as much back to the original and period as was practical,” Mark says, “though we wanted to add our little funky to it too.” The new kitchen, in particular, shows off this delightful blend of historic charm and trendy funk. For the island, Mark and Danielle chose three Sinclair Industrial Pendant Lights. These porcelain enamel pendants are customized with 16″ shades, a Red with Black speckled graniteware finish, a nickel socket with knob switch, and a black cotton twist cord. They also chose period-perfect 1890-Era Edison Bulbs for these ceiling lights.
“We really love the period look and specifically the porcelain,” Mark notes. “It reminds me of spending time at my grandmother’s home in Texas.” The red pendant lights perfectly match the red AGA stove.
“We were super excited to see that the pendants matched the stove perfectly,” he adds. “As the only reds in the space, they are both huge focal points and complement each other perfectly.” The kitchen also features an Primary Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Mount Light in the center of the space. The couple still wanted a period fixture but something more subtle so as not to take away from the red features. With a dimmer switch, the schoolhouse pendant provides just the right touch of light in the evenings.
Outside, Mark and Danielle chose a classic barn light in The Original™ Warehouse Gooseneck Light. Customized with a hard-as-nails Vintage Green porcelain enamel finish, this gooseneck light will never fade even in this hot southern climate.
“We spend a lot of time outside on our patio and this light was just fun!” Mark says. “We initially wanted to purchase antiques but it was too time consuming. Once we found the Barn Light Electric website, we spent hours scouring it looking for the perfect fit. We saved a ton of time. And money!”
The couple found Barn Light Electric via Houzz where they created ideabooks to share their vision with the Masterbuilder team. The American-made, period-authentic lighting they chose offers the perfect punctuation to their labor of love.
“They are just cool, really cool,” Mark says. “They fit with our neighborhood and bring just a neat feel to our new home. It takes folks back to a simpler time.”
Photos courtesy of the homeowner