When we purchased our cape home a few years ago, we were extremely fortunate the home itself needed very little updating before we could move in. However, I wasn’t in love with the overall aesthetic of the home. It had a very dated feeling to it – think lots of oak wood finishes, dark wood cabinets, brassy gold hardware, and cheap lighting.
Adding new light fixtures is a very simple, easy, and affordable way to bring any room up to date, especially in cape homes that are notorious for dated finishes from the 50s and tough lighting on the 2nd floors.
One particular type of lighting I instantly fell in love with were sputnik chandeliers – the space-inspired, atom-influenced fixtures that typically have ‘arms’ extending out in many directions and varying lengths from the ‘nucleus’ ball in the center. These retro fixtures are awesome for many reasons, but here’s a few of my top reasons for why they’re perfect for cape homes:
A normal non-chandelier light fixture has 1-3 bulbs. These babies usually have at least 6. You’re starting with 2-6x the amount of light you would usually have. In cape homes with low ceilings & less windows on the second floor, this is a super simple way to brighten up the bedroom or hallway.
We also have one in our downstairs hallway (space behind the central stairs) and it gives off enough light to brighten up the adjacent living room, dining rooms, and kitchen.
I hope Tim Allen would be proud of this light logic!
You first obviously want to check the compatibility of your fixture for the types of bulbs its compatible with – many just have a wattage requirement, but I have seen a few that require a particular style (globe, etc). If you’re loving the mid-century modern look, simply add a compatible globe bulb (those big round, sometimes white, bulbs) to your sputnik chandelier. I personally love a good modern vintage feel, so ours all have antique-looking LED Edison-style bulbs (reproductive light bulbs made to look like the originals). If you’re more into ultra modern, the super slim tubular light bulbs are a great option.
Since cape homes have only a 1/2 floor on the 2nd story, you usually would not be able to have a chandelier in the bedroom due to this low ceiling. However, semi-flush mount sputnik chandeliers are a great option. Be sure to look for one that hangs close to the ceiling and has ‘arms’ that are wide vs. deep (or low).
For some inspiration, here’s how we used these fixtures in 2 areas of our cape home:
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