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barn pendant lighting

Uniting Old & New with Easy-to-Customize Nautical Lighting

Cape Cod, the crescent-shaped peninsula jutting into the Atlantic off the Massachusetts coast, is well known for its sandy beaches, delectable seafood, and classic architecture. Sonia lives on “the Cape” as the locals call it and recently undertook a major renovation and new build on her property.

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“We kept our original 1940s Cape Cod salt box intact,” Sonia explains. “We removed a 1950s-era attached garage plus two additions built in the 1970s.” In place of the garage, a new mudroom entryway connects to the main house via a glazed breezeway. On the other side, a two-story addition features a dining room, family room, bedroom, and screened porch. Both of the new additions evoke a modern sensibility while speaking to the traditional vernacular of the Cape with gabled roof lines and box forms.

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“We also built a barn and guest house,” Sonia adds. “Both of these structures have a modern feel with tight roof lines, metal clad roofs, and monochromatic trim. The barn is stained a brick red while the guest house is stained matte black to connect it visually to the main house.” For lighting, Sonia wanted to give proper attention to the historic roots of the home but also be relevant for today. Nautical-style lighting bridges that gap with ease.

residential interior porch lighting Amidships Bulkhead Light Small 975 Galvanized

“For me, I look for quality in my lighting fixtures first and foremost,” Sonia says. “Authenticity is also of utmost importance. Luckily, nautical fixtures are a timeless classic that look as good against historic architecture as modern.” Sonia chose the Amidships Bulkhead Wall Mount Light for the guest house, the barn, and the new addition’s screened porch.

IMG 4015 residential exterior guest house lighting Amidships Bulkhead Wall mount Light Large 975 Galvanized

“The Amidships Bulkhead is the perfect nautical touch for the exterior,” Sonia notes. “They look great whether on traditional or modern architecture. Our house has both, so it is the perfect choice for both the original house as well as the modern additions.” On the main house, Sonia chose the small-sized bulkhead light and customized these with a Galvanized finish. For the guest house, Sonia opted for the larger size bulkhead also with a Galvanized finish.

residential exterior porch deck lighting Amidships Bulkhead Light Large 975 Galvanized

“I went up in size as I felt the long, black-stained façade with multiple glass doors merited a larger scale,” she explains. “With close repetition, it is a very modern look while the classic nautical form reflects the close ties that the Cape has to boating. The Galvanized metal works in harmony with the weathered shingles and pops against the black stain.”

IMG 4013 residential exterior barn entryway porch lighting Amidships Bulkhead Wall Mount Small 105 Textured Black

For the barn, Sonia chose the small Amidships Light to highlight the man door but customized this fixture with a Textured Black finish to contrast with the red stain and match the black hardware.

IMG 4014 residential exterior barn entryway doorway lighting All Weather Gooseneck Farm Light 15in 100 Black G16arm Dusk to Dawn Photocell

For the larger doors, she selected the All Weather Gooseneck Farm Light. She customized this American-made wall light with a 15″ shade, Black powder coat finish, and G16 straight arm. She also added a dusk-to-dawn photocell so the light comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn automatically.

IMG 4011 residential interior bathroom vanity lighting Bowie Wall Sconce 8in 800 Industrial Grey

Inside the guest house, Sonia opted for the Bowie Wall Sconce to highlight the bathroom vanities. These classic wall lights feature 8″ shades and an Industrial Grey powder coat finish.

IMG 4012 residential interior bathroom vanity lighting Bowie Wall Sconce 8in 800 Industrial Grey

“I needed a bathroom sconce that was both classic and modern,” she notes. “The Bowie is exactly that! The style is a classic barn-like fixture while the high-polish Grey makes it modern and reflects the polished concrete vanities.”

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The new mudroom entrance serves as the family’s main entry and features a high ceiling and plenty of coat hooks. Dozens of photos portray four generations of family summers on Cape Cod. Sonia selected the Chicago Vintage Industrial Stem Mount Pendant to bring plenty of light to the oft-used space. She customized these handspun lights with generous 20″ shades, a Graphite finish, and 48″ stems. She also selected a heavy-duty cast guard with a Galvanized finish and ribbed glass.


“I chose this pendant because I was going for an industrial farm look to give the white oak ceiling some contrast,” Sonia says. “I love how the Galvanized stems contrast against the oak, and the dark polished Granite shades add weight and a bit of modernity. For me it’s all about contrast. It’s a big wow when you walk in. Everyone loves the fixtures!”

IMG 3998 residential interior porch lighting Amidships Bulkhead Light Large 975 Galvanized

Sonia notes that being able to customize her Barn Light fixtures with a variety of colors and materials was a huge plus in her search for lights that would enhance both the interior and exterior of her home.

“I wanted bold statements, but I was also careful to choose fixtures that wouldn’t compete with the environment,” she says. “Instead, they work together to make a very interesting space full of contrasting color, material, and form. This, to me, is what makes a home sing.”

Photos courtesy of the homeowner

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