Bringin’ the Outdoors In

As Beth so aptly put it yesterday in the comments, this bathroom wall color was like ground beef.  And if this little loo was raw bloody meat, then those sconces were the maggots that were eating the green slime that oozed from the ground beef. 

Yes.  We are serving vomit here at Bower Power, today.  Welcome.

Okay okay.  That was a bit of an overstatement…these sconces were perfectly fine.  But totally not my style.  I’m sure if someone took the time to make them over and incorporate them in their own traditionally styled home, they would be less-maggoty. 


Buuutttt…..they aren’t my style and sometimes you gotta start with a clean slate.  And they were doing very little for the lighting situation in the little room….as in, they didn’t light it up.  Since they provided uplighting and this room as 10 foot ceilings, the light just got lost in that curved alcove and didn’t illuminate the entire space. Frankly, that can be bad – especially seeing as how I plan on potty-training in the coming years.  Ya can’t aim Mr. Winky if you can’t see where to pee.

So while we were at Lowe’s snatching up a bucket of paint, I also talked Jeremy into wandering over to the light section and looking at new sconces.  The only problem was that a lot of the indoor sconces were over $50 a piece.  Yee-ouch.  That’s when I saw a few markdown prices on some outdoor sconces.  I instantly fell in love.  Not only were the outdoor lights cheaper, but they tickled my style bone with a peacock feather.  Literally.  Here are some of the ones that are available at Lowe’s right now – cute, huh?

And totally appropriate for inside as far as I can see.  Granted, you can only put 60W bulbs in them…but seriously, is it ever a good thing to look in a bathroom mirror and be reminded of every single pore on your nose?  Because I for one have never heard that as a pick up line.  “If I told you that you had volumptous pores, would you hold it against me?”   

The wall lantern we went with was really darling.  The rust finish and the clean lines made it look like something that was in an old Pottery Barn catalog. 

The price?  $20.  And we had a ten percent off coupon….making it $18 a piece.  That means that both sconces were less than the price of one regular indoor light.

And they actually light up the room since the light is concentrated on aiming downward. 

I love the little arms that hold the lantern. 

And the glass bowl on the bottom that the lightbulb goes inside of…well, it has the bubbled finish…so the walls get speckled with little refracted lights.  I love that.

And the little rust-finished grid thingie at the bottom just adds to the charm. 

Have you guys ever thought about using outdoor lights in?  Or maybe you already do it…I know a few of you already have these sconces and love them.  I am officially part of the love group.  I love them.  And the pricetag can’t be beat with a stick.   Especially since we didn’t want to spend more than $150 on this room.  That seems like a lot of money to me…and I am hoping to squeeze every penny from that total.  Especially since the paint + sconces already brings our total to $58.  Stay tuned – the vanity makeover, the new mirror, and new art & details are all on my to-blog list!



  1. Emily says

    I love your out of the box thinking, I have become accustom to. Pottery Barn is the perfect reference. I can’t wait to see it all together!

  2. Sara says

    I hadn’t thought about using outside lights inside, but it’s a good idea & looks great! I’m excited to see the finished product & sooo glad those red walls are gone.

  3. says

    You made me roar with laughter!!!!!!!! My husband loves that pick up line (lol) although I doubt he has ever heard the ‘pore’ part!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The lights are awesomely darling!! and are definitely wah-ay better than those maggoty sconces;)

  4. Allison says

    Hey Katie, this is totally off topic, but I was wondering if you have to manual focus your fixed 50mm lens. I just got one that has AF, but my camera body is not compatible with the AF feature, so I have to do it manually….and it’s really HARD! I’m not quick about it(so I miss facial expressions) and when I look at the photo on the computer, it’s usually out of focus slightly. Just wondering if you have to deal with this and if you have any tips.

  5. says

    I love those lights! Hubby & I were just at lowes last week looking at the same exact model. Now I’m itching to go back & pick up a few since they got the Bower stamp of approval.

  6. Beth says

    I LOVE your new sconces! What a great idea to use outdoor ones – I don’t think I would have thought of that! The bathroom already looks a million times better!

    Oh and by the way, I totally feel like a celebrity now since you mentioned my name and my comment about the ground beef that I posted the other day! Thanks KB!! haha

  7. Lisa says


    I actually like the color of your marble, especially with the new wall color. The pop of red is now just right, IMO. You can definitely play off of that with some red accents & it would be really adorable.

  8. Lynsey says

    Can’t wait to see it all come together. My parents recently redid the outside of their house and they picked out the exact same wall laterns. I am in love with them. Great choice!

  9. says

    I just did the same thing at our place! I couldn’t stand any of the indoor sconces, but the outdoor ones are so much cuter/cheaper!

  10. Lindsey says

    Love the lights! We picked out the same lights to have by our front and side door of our 1920s farmhouse. They worked out really well. We have a few schoolhouse lights on the porch as well and they all blend so perfectly. Love the idea about bring the outdoor lights inside. We are in the need for some sconces in the master bedroom and those examples you showed are so cute!! Just our style!!

  11. says

    I have TWO of the six example photos you posted, haha! And I almost got the one you have, but I bought the larger bronze bell sconce and the similar silver one – BOTH for bathrooms, too! :) (one for our downstairs powder room and one for the upstairs guest bedroom bathroom).

    I came to the same conclusion as you about why pay more for an indoor light when a cheaper outdoor one will do the job perfectly. I just bought them a week or so ago and haven’t had time to install them yet, but I know I’ll just love em!

  12. says

    My boyfriend and I are in the finishing stages of our first reno, and we started with the bathroom. We went to our favorite ReStore in Portland, Maine and found one fantastic light that looks similar to the one you purchased, but they didn’t have the match. Either way, I scooped it up for $15. I researched online and found out that not only was it an outside light, our local Home Depot carried it! So we purchased the other one for $30 and will be installing them this weekend. What a find and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who’s using outdoor lighting for our indoor bathroom!

  13. says

    I LOVE this. Are you savvy to any way of using sconces in rentals that don’t already have sconces? IE using them as a lamp, hanging from the wall without having to open up the wall to install them? Some way of rewiring?

    • Sandra says

      Mallory, if you don’t mind the cable showing, you could just rewire with a cable and plug – I did this in our dining room with our chandelier, it’s pretty easy to do.

  14. Diane says

    We totally did the same thing with my 2nd son’s bedroom light. We decorated his room with an urban, city alley vibe. I know, I know sounds weird but right now there is batman pillows and wall hangings which totally help the city alley thing be not so gonna be mugged feeling…but all could easily (and more importantly cheaply!) be switched out when he tires of batman and gets into skateboarding or surfing, or whatever!

  15. says

    Definitely wayyy much better! Those are great deals on the lights! I’ve also never thought of using those indoors. Brilliant idea!

  16. Amanda says

    It is highly unfortunate that I read that first paragraph while eating a bratwurst sandwich for lunch… But I love the idea of using outdoor sconces for indoor use! We’re currently looking at these for our living room, we have pretty high ceilings so we think they’ll go with our eclectic-modern vibe without being too overwhelming.

    Good luck with the rest of the bathroom makeover!

  17. says

    It looks so good! Between Home Depot and Lowes, Lowes def. has the best selection of lighting and I love that you used something made for outside inside. You have inspired me!

  18. says

    Loving the progress and can’t wait to see the final after photos. I’ve tried taking the indoors outdoors–haha–and didn’t fare as well as you. That darn “candle in the cute glass hurricane” idea doesn’t work outside. Hindsight = duh. :) Glad your bringing the outdoors “in” worked so well!

  19. says

    One of my favorite things about your blog is that you give the “okay!” for thinking outside the box. I might have thought of bringing an outdoor light inside–but I would have been afraid that everyone else would “know” something I didn’t.

    Thanks for bringing the confidence I sometimes lack :-P

  20. Lila says

    Yes, have several times used outdoor fixtures inside. I used the ones on the top row, far right just a few weeks ago to replace some fixtures in a funky bar area in my new (to me) house in Scottsdale az. They give off a great light and look great – just simple and classic.

    Love your choice too!

  21. says

    OMG. The previous owners of my house must have been inspired by the previous owners of yours. The half-bath had a similar paint treatment on the walls with outdated light fixtures when we bought it. It was our first DIY project because it was like peeing in a cave. And not in a cool field trip kind of way.

    Anyhow, I love the use of the outdoors lights in here! Very adorable. The paint color is lovely, too. Is it wrong that I love the vanity’s sink? It looks like an old, vintage sink or something. Can’t wait to see more. :)

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