1970 kitchen renovation | the new/old sconces

by | Jul 31, 2023 | 1970 home renovation, Kitchen, My House | 42 comments

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We are creeping towards the finish line of our 1970 kitchen renovation!  I feel like I’ve said that before (and I probably have), but it really feels like we’re very nearly there.  Last week, I painted the window trim (and repainted the rest of the trim that was looking a little too yellow-cream) and we got the stainless steel trim installed on the range hood and behind the range.  I need to take some updated pictures of those details, but they look good.  Today, though, I am going to share the sconces!  These are the vintage sconces I purchased from eBay to flank the kitchen window

vintage brass spanish sconce | miss mustard seed

I selected this style of sconce because it coordinates with my dining room chandelier and I wanted to use vintage fixtures so it feels like they might’ve been original to the house.  These fixtures were popular in the 1950s-1970s, so they make sense in this house.  If you’re interested in finding a similar style of chandelier or sconce, they are brass, typically marked “made in Spain”, and the chandeliers are often referred to as “brass pineapple chandeliers.”  I try a few of those terms on Etsy and/or eBay and usually come up with a few options.  I have bought a few online, but I have found most of my antique and vintage light fixtures at yard sales, antique markets, secondhand stores, etc.

1970 dining room | miss mustard seed

The wiring was done for the sconces weeks ago when the rest of the wiring was done (for the lights and outlets), but the sconces couldn’t be placed until the window was finished, so the wires have just been hanging out in the ceiling.  They were installed the week before last and I just love them!  It’s nice to have an ambient lighting option and they frame the window nicely.

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

brass faucet | kilim rug source | brass cabinet hardware | glass cabinet hardware | glass drygoods jars

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

I bought the shades years ago for a small 4-light chandelier, but I was able to find some secondhand silk shades at an antique store for that fixture (it’s in the foyer now and I’ll share that soon), so I used these simple linen shades in the kitchen.  I may end up covering them with little pleated slipcovers, but I would make the removable so I can change things up with the seasons.  I love the idea of using colored/patterned slipcovers in the fall and winter and plain white in the spring and summer.

Ah, doesn’t the window look so good?!  Since the cream paint I matched to the cabinet color wasn’t really working for the trim, I decided to use the wall color, Pure White by Sherwin Williams, in a different finish.  The walls are matte and the trim is semigloss.  Between the counters, cabinets, and walls, I had three different whites going on and I didn’t want to add another one.

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

There were a few opinions about displaying the sconces with or without crystals, but I decided to add the crystals and I like them.  Again, I can change them up at any time.

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

Carrera Caldia counters | appliance pull

I haven’t decided, yet, if I want to hang anything above the window and/or around the sconces.  I sort of like the white space at this point, so I’m going to live with it for a while.

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

brass faucet | kilim rug source | brass cabinet hardware | glass cabinet hardware | glass drygoods jars

Aren’t these branches so pretty?  It was another surprise this summer when an overgrown hedge along the left side of our house started blooming.  We were going to rip them out and start fresh, but I have now decided that I’m going to trim them way back and try to revive the hedge.  Anyway, they made such a pretty bouquet for the pictures.

1970 kitchen renovation | miss mustard seed

As we’re nearing the end of the kitchen and pool renovations (you can see the pool & patio HERE), you may be wondering what’s next.  Well, I’ve been doing some work on the foyer and hall and I need to get things finished up in that space to share.  We’re also going to pay some attention to the dining room and living room.  We’re done with the large renovation projects for a while, but we’ll be working on painting and decorating and things we can do ourselves.  I’m actually looking forward to sewing, hanging more art on the wall, arranging, and focusing on finishing touches.

I have a couple of small building projects to finish for the kitchen and a light fixture to hang over the kitchen table, but then I think we’ll be ready for a full tour and a before & after video!


  1. Donna Burke

    Love every single thing! I am liking the “blank spaces” more and more in my own home. I’ll NEVER be minimalist, but I have been “editing”. Money has been tight, so I have been focusing more on finishing up little things that got put aside for the past few years. I’m loving the brass coming back- not the cheap ugly stuff, but the quality vintage stuff- heavy and old. I almost wish instead of stainless steel for appliances that they would come up with an antique brass finish… You were able to blend the two because of your AMAZING stove, but that is not in my budget, so I’m wondering how to have the two together without looking junky or as if I’m always in transition. Love seeing your progress and how patient you are. You are a bit younger than I am, but I have always felt in a HURRY to do things and that I won’t have enough time to do it all. After almost 22 years of renovating/updating/re-decorating sometimes I feel like I am no closer to being “done”. Maybe I don’t want to be done… I look forward to your posts- just a little “happy moment” in a day… THANK YOU! ♥

    • Lynne

      Simply beautiful! I am continually in awe of your talent!

    • Babs

      You were wise to stay with one of the whites you were already using…four would have been too many. Whites are not easy…I just spent a month picking out a simple white…it drove me wild! Finally settled on Sw Dover White although Pure White was in the running.

      The kitchen is wonderful…now you can do some fun things and add your touches to other areas of your house. I don’t think we are ever DONE with our homes…maybe that’s when we are ready to move again!

    • Lisa P

      I think that we can definitely mix stainless appliances with brass accessories in our kitchens! Add three brass items around the kitchen—maybe a brass tray propped up against the backsplash, a small brass bowl for display or with teaspoons in it, and maybe some brass hooks to hang tea towels on. Repeating the brass is what makes it look intentional—and warms up the stainless beautifully! Europeans mix old and modern all the time. We can too!

      • Nancy in WA

        Good insights! I agree; in fact, there’s no reason not to add copper to the mix (as Marian has done).

  2. beverlee

    Wonderful, all of it. I also like the negative space….more and more in my own life, and a couple of empty dreawers really gives me peace.+ I hope you show us the sconces lit. I know that will really bring the warmth.

  3. Patricia Smith

    Yes to the crystals! Your kitchen is looking really nice and I hope you are loving it!

  4. Jean B

    Your kitchen has come together so nicely. Enjoyed the journey with you. Looking forward to the entire reveal. Thanks.

  5. Ramona Jane

    I’ve been waiting for the sconce reveal and I must say, they are perfect!

  6. Amy

    YES to the crystals. YES to everything! This is one of the most stunning kitchens I’ve ever seen: Can’t stop looking at it.

    QUESTION, however: I don’t see back splashes behind either the range or the sink. Can you comment on that? (Planning to put them in, don’t see the need, etc….) Thanks!

    • Marian Parsons

      While I had a pretty clear vision for everything else, I really didn’t have one for the backsplash. Since it would have to be done after the cabinets, counters, window, etc., I decided it was something that could wait and I can add it once I’ve lived with the kitchen for a while. I have a high-performance paint on the walls, so I am not concerned about it, but I will likely add a backsplash when I’m sure what I want to do.

      • Kris

        I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to install cabinets first and give them time to settle before adding a backsplash, especially tile. I don’t know if that’s accurate advice, but it made sense to me. Your kitchen is beautiful and I like the sconces–I kinda prefer the current linen shades, as it looks less busy to me.

      • Laura

        You may want to check out sonomatilemakers.com. I used their tile for backsplash when I remodeled my kitchen. I selected my tile from the Stellar collection which has numerous shapes and sizes and 90 colors. I love it and think you would too. They produce handmade tile so they are not perfect. Not what you’d find in big box stores. And no, I do not work for Sonoma Tilemakers.

  7. Betsy

    Our son and daughter in law went with a patterned backsplash in their kitchen last year and they’re tired of it already. They wish they had gone with a pearlized subway tile. You’re smart, hold off until you’re sure.

  8. Taria

    What an absolutely beautiful space to work in, do family stuff and just flat out enjoy. There is no surprise how wonderful the room is. You have an eye for perfection. Thank you for taking us along on the project. Oh, leave the crystals.

  9. Chris

    The negative space around the windo has such an airy and summer-like feel. It works for this time of year. Perhaps, when autumn and winter chills arrive, you can change up the window area for a cozier look.

  10. Mary Ann

    Beautiful, as always! Have yet to see one of your completed rooms that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in.

  11. Mspoon

    Love, love your new kitchen! When I was remodeling my kitchen in 2018 I was looking for a table like yours to use as an kitchen inland. Unfortunately here in Los Angeles we don’t come across furniture as you do back east and if we did it would be a fortune.
    What a gratified feeling every time you walk into your new kitchen!

  12. Jinny

    Curious why you didn’t “center” the sconces??

    • Laura

      My first thought seeing the sconces was I would have installed them 2-3 inches further away from the window. Maybe when you open the door of the cabinet to the left of the window, it would hit the sconce. The sconces are lovely and I like crystals on them.

      • Marian Parsons

        That is exactly the case. They needed to be closer to the window so the cabinet door on the left side wouldn’t hit the sconce.

  13. DeeDee Clark

    I love your brass sconces! We built a Victorian Queen Anne home 20 years ago, and sourced many antique light fixtures. There was an antique mall here in Gainesville then, so we found many light fixtures and chandeliers there. We also learned of a lady in Dallas who took fixtures from houses that were being torn down. She rewired them and replaced crystals on ones that were missing. We have a set of sconces similar to yours which hang on either side of a round mirror in one of our bathrooms. We moved into our house in July, 2003, so we tell everyone we have a “turn of the century” Victorian home.

  14. Jane

    Prettiest kitchen in all of blogland or anywhere else!!!

  15. Mary M Zeilinger

    It’s beautiful, it’s stunning. The window, as frustrating as it was, was worth the wait. Oh to have a light filled kitchen. I was swooning at your IG photos of the dappled light. Im with the majority on the crystals. Love them. I may have said it before, Marion puts the home in the house.

  16. Michelle

    Beautiful!!! Love the sconces WITH the crystals ! They are like the cherry on top ! Stunning kitchen renovation. You are so talented.

  17. Irene Kelly

    Marian, Just love your new kitchen and the sconces look great crystals and all ! Maybe cover those shades with some gingham fabric and leave the window bare ?

  18. Honoré

    Oh, definitely keep the crystals. The sconces look so good and like you said, they tie in with your chandelier. Your kitchen is what dreams are made of. The only thing that sticks out to me as slightly wrong is I don’t see the “Priory” sugar jar for your dish brushes. 😥 Always been one of my absolute favorites of yours. I have spent years looking for something similar. If that poor little lid-orphaned sugar jar ever needs a new home where it will be loved, adored and cherished, please let me know. 😉

    • Marian Parsons

      I have it in the dining room right now along with the coffee pot. I actually do have the lid for the sugar jar, but the handle is broken off. 🙂 Yeah, it’s a special piece.

  19. Ellen Shook

    I love all.. Now hang some of your beautiful artwork!

  20. Rebecca

    The sconces look great and I love the empty space around them. I would also love to see an evening picture of the kitchen with only the sconces lot. I bet it looks super cozy!

  21. Kari

    Beautiful,, And thank you SO much for showing all the steps along the way. It’s the process, not the final photos of perfection.

  22. Cindy Coghill

    As always, it looks so beautiful. I love watching your renovations from start to finish. It’s like watching your furniture makeovers, only on a larger scale. You must be so pleased and beyond happy that the work is nearing an end and you can start really living in the space that you so creatively envisioned many months ago.

  23. Jen C

    Beautiful! The renovation journey of your home has been fantastic. You have created a gorgeous, warm, and cozy home for your family. I’m sure you are relieved that you have the big projects completed for now. Enjoy and take time to relax a little. I look forward to your posts everyday.

  24. Mona

    I also was looking forward to the sconces, and I think the crystals refer to the crystal knobs as well! I’m wondering, though, if they would look even better if the shades were a little bit bigger – they just seem somewhat small and out of proportion for the fixture. Maybe if you make a gathered slipcover for them, that will make the shades appear larger, but with this size, you can also see the bottom of the light bulb as well as the entire stem, which would likely not happen with a slightly larger shade (both length and width). If you plan to use the plain white linen shade, I’d try the next size up.

    • Mona E.

      This should have been “Mona E.” In the next blog post, I see there’s another “Mona,” so just want to distinguish.

  25. Antonella Bassi

    I have special paint as a backsplash as well – I love not having grout lines where dirt can fester. A sponge and grease etc are wiped right off.

  26. Susan Price

    I’ve been waiting for the window……Perfect!!

  27. Pat

    Your blog was the first one I followed and you still inspire me. I love everything you do. Your kitchen is beautiful.

  28. Cynthia Johnson

    I love the sconces .. they fit so well! Everything looks so clean and comfy.

  29. Michele M.

    They look perfect – and your window – sigh worthy. You sure had the vision. What a thrill it has been seeing
    all this take shape. Well done, Marian.

  30. Pam Emma


    Your kitchen is amazing and what a dream kitchen to cook in. The wall sconces are a wonderful vintage touch and I love the bling of the crystals. What a long way from the drawing you shared before you started. I have enjoyed your journey.

  31. Molly Ferguson

    We MUST have a night photo with the just the sconces lit! As though coming into the kitchen at night before bed, to chat just a bit more, or finish something left.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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