'L' for Lighting Attic Guest Room The Victorian House

Analysis Paralysis

Have I adequately conveyed the amount of over-thinking I do for everything around here? Are you familiar with analysis paralysis?

“The state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, while on the way to a better solution.”


I think my favorite category of home decor is lighting. I’m looking for sconces right now and I can find plenty in the $250-350 range that I like, which is doable if you save up. But times three for the third floor, and then three more for the second floor? Now you’re looking at $1500-2100. You’d better damn well love those lights. Meanwhile, there are open junction boxes in the hallway outside our bedrooms, and the sconces on the third floor look like this.

Cheap Sconces with Badly Patched Damaged Walls

Bad patch jobs, complete with joint compound on the fixtures themselves. I’ve gotten really good at ignoring the problem until now, but it is starting to drive me batty. Hence the renewed sconce search!

A bunch of my favorites have already been pinned to my lighting board, and there are more that I’ve been eyeing as I think about what would work for the house. But then I went ahead and put some sconces in my cart and instead of letting them sit there while I spent four more days looking at every option from every source, I actually bought them. Boom. Done.

They are not my absolute favorite. They aren’t really brass (“water-based finish is painted in antique brass or bronze”), and the second floor hallway needs a mix of single and double sconces, so these aren’t an option for that space. I’ve gone ahead and ordered three for the top floor though where I needed something classic, not too big, with traditional details. On sale for $62 a pop, plus another $10 or so for each shade.

Pottery Barn Brass Collins Sconce
Pottery Barn Brass Collins Sconce in a Home Library / Dining Room

They won’t be the stars of the space, but I got three for less than one of the others I had been considering. They won’t be perfect, but they will be so much better than what we have now. That’s one more thing checked off of the house’s long to-do list! They should get here by the end of the week.

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  • Bethany
    August 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that not every item in my house needs to make a statement. Sometimes you just need to make a functional choice and be done with it.

    With that said, I love the sconces you picked out!

  • Alana
    August 24, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I think they’re very pretty. -Like a classic pair of diamond studs. They add a delicate beauty and will be really flexible as you switch up the space.

  • Antonia
    August 24, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Cute sconces! My analysis paralysis is about paint. I chose a bad color for my living and dining rooms two years ago that I haven’t changed because I just can’t find the *perfect* one. (I have to hire pros to do it since I’m a terrible painter, which is expensive.)

  • Celeste
    August 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    These are really lovely. And these will be a good choice for a long time (because one day, you may find the one and fall in love and buy all the light babies but that day isn’t today and that’s cool).

    This was a good reminder that not every single space in a home is going to be perfect, but it can still be plenty pretty.

  • Cari
    August 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    The are classic and lovely.
    I had similar glass shades on a ceiling fan when I moved into my house (think the 2 combined: frosted, hobnail, ruffled edged and bell shaped). For a little over $10 we bought 3 new frosted, trapezoid/ squarish glass shades, swapped them out and you would not believe the difference. I now am happy with the fan and had previously considered replacing it altogether. Maybe that is a temporary solution for the second floor while you are saving up.

  • katie fogarty
    August 24, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I have to remind myself constantly that perfect is the enemy of good. I think these are going to look good in your space. And they are a good balanced choice for your budget and life.

    • Ros
      August 25, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Also, realistically, ‘perfect’ means ‘it’ll be installed in 10 years when you find it, and in the meantime drive you batty each day’. Those are cute, affordable, and not in-your-face, which means a change of decor won’t force a change of lighting. Sometimes, background stuff can just be ‘fine’ and have the in-your-face stuff be ‘wow’. Balance.

  • Lauren B
    August 25, 2016 at 1:44 am

    I think they’re actually really nice! We had 4 overhead hall lights that desperately needed replacing (bad, bad 80’s brass). After 2 years of indecision, I finally went with 4 $10 IKEA lights- and I like them! It’s an 80’s split level, not a forever home, and it needs a refresh, not a restoration. I forget that sometimes. All that said, your lights look great for the vision you seem to have in your house. Hopefully the old eyesores will no longer be a distraction and you can focus on the parts that are perfect!

  • sarah
    August 25, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Lovely sconces–I think they’ll look great, and there’s a LOT to be said for just making a decision and getting something on-budget. Also, the timing of this post is perfect. I’ve been driving my husband absolutely insane as I waffle on picking out pendants to go over an island in a kitchen remodel and a new dining room fixture. Wanting it to look perfect doesn’t sound so bad until you realize you’re completely incapable of actually deciding on anything :/

  • Sarah
    August 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Love your lighting board! Any tips on bathroom ceiling exhaust fans? I looked for ages, found some I liked, installed them, and 2 years later they’re both broken. :(

  • Ros
    August 25, 2016 at 9:53 am

    a) Those are actually really nice! I like them!

    b) Especially when on a budget, you have to recognize when ‘good enough’ is good enough. 300$ for sconces is ludicrous. 6 of those would equal almost 2 of my mortgage payments. Priorities…

  • Kim Q
    August 25, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    HOLY COW- this has nothing to do with your actual post, but I came across an article on Yahoo, and I had to share it. The article which is about a woman who restored an old oven that reminded me of yours. She is now selling it because they didn’t end up going through the renovation that was planned. Anyhow, check this out… https://www.yahoo.com/style/ovens-insane-makeover-wish-youd-160826470.html

  • Edm Comms Grl (@EdmCommsGrl)
    August 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I like that they hint of bamboo–a subtle touch of chinoiserie.

  • Honor Roll – Making it Lovely
    August 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    […] The sconces that I ordered for the third floor have arrived and they are lovely. A good kick in the pants to just get things done sometimes instead of waiting around for unattainable perfection. […]