Decorative lighting for log and timber homes is a little tricky because wood walls and ceilings tend to absorb light and make rooms darker.

There is a good reason that log homes seem darker than other homes. Log walls and wood ceilings actually absorb up to 50% of the light in the room. The darker the walls, the greater the absorption.

But, never fear. This is not a lost cause. With a little ingenuity, you can use lighting to create drama, intimacy or coziness in each of your rooms—depending on the effect that you would like.

How Do You Make a Log Home Brighter?

To avoid feeling like you are in a cave, you can add several sources of light in each room. It’s important that you don’t rely on just one light source in a room. A single central overhead light in a room produces glare.

In order to accomplish this, you’ll need a reasonable amount of general or ambient lighting, and a few other sources of light, for tasks like reading a book or preparing meals in the kitchen.  And don’t forget to include lighting that highlights special items in your room.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Track Lighting

Use track lighting to show off your pretty walls and your exposed beams. While you can get track lighting in black or white, I prefer bronze, which tends to blend into the walls better.  That’s because track lighting is functional, but it is definitely not decorative!

Fluorescent Lighting

Use fluorescent lights under the cabinets to help you prepare meals.  In addition, many people also like a large fluorescent light overhead in the kitchen. However, don’t depend on a central overhead light for all your lighting. The reason for that is that you will always be working in your own shadow, if the only light in the kitchen is in the center of the room overhead, .

You’ll need to have task lighting over your sink, under the cabinets, over the stove and anywhere you will be performing tasks. This is for safety, as much as for comfort.

Heights of Lighting

Vary the heights of lighting in your home. This adds interest and help to illuminate more areas in your room. Sconces give you light at eye level, breaking up tall walls and adding interest.

Fireplace with several types of decorative lightingThe track lighting in this room draws your attention to the height of the stone fireplace and its picture. It shows off the height of the cathedral ceiling and provides ambience.  You’ll also notice a ceiling fan with lights and table lamps. Indirect lighting provides ambient lighting and add light to darker walls.

Task lighting

Task lighting is not just for the kitchen. If you place table lamps or floor lamps beside chairs, you will provide areas for reading or knitting. Overhead lighting can provide lighting for a game table or pool table.

Highlight Your Artwork

Using small lights to highlight special paintings or prints draws your eye to the wall, and it also add interest and some light to your room.

Chandeliers Add Drama and Interest

Use chandeliers in special areas, like the entry to your home, the main sitting area in the great room or over the dining room table.  Chandeliers are impressive and provide interest.  And many can be dimmed to provide ambience.

Pendant lights

Use these lamps where you won’t be bumping into them, with your head. Over an island or the stove in the kitchen are two possibilities.  Decorative pendant lights serve as task lights, illuminating a small area underneath them.

Using decorative home lighting in a log home is not difficult, but you will have to put your thinking cap on and get a little creative. And, in doing so, you will find ways to really show off the beauty of the wood, in your log or timber frame home.

You may be interested in this article on Log Home Lighting.

Rustic Ceiling Lighting

Choosing rustic ceiling lighting is an important part of outfitting your cabin, log home or lodge.

It seems so simple, but picking the best rustic ceiling fans and lighting for your home can make a huge difference in the ambience of your cabin or lodge.

Ceiling lighting is most often used in bathrooms, kitchens, hall areas and bedrooms.  They need to be installed by the builder before your home is completed.

Deer Antler Decorative Lighting

A deer antler chandelier can be dramatic and awe inspiring.  And, of course, rustic antler chandeliers are the perfect complement for an upscale hunting lodge or a cabin in the woods.  If you want a “Wow!” for your common area, consider a deer antler chandelier.

Authentic deer antler chandeliers are made from real deer antlers that have been shed naturally by animals in the fall.  Because antlers are found on the ground in the woods, no animal is hurt or killed to use their antlers.

In other words, antlers are a renewable and sustainable resource.

On the other hand, some people prefer to get faux deer antler lights.  To fill this need, companies have developed faux antlers made of resin that are lighter and less expensive than authentic antlers.

How did Antlers get into Lights?

The use of deer antlers goes back thousands of years.  For example, ancient Chinese physicians used ground antlers in their tonics and medicines for healing.

Closer to home, in the Americas, native Americans used antlers to make knife handles, spear points, scrapers for processing animal hides, combs and hairpins.

On the European continent, medieval Europeans started making antler candle holders.  From there, the transition was easy.

Standing deer antler chandelier candle holders soon became hanging candle holders or candelabras.  As you may have guessed, these were the forerunners of our modern antler chandeliers.

For centuries, European castles in Great Britain and Germany proudly used antler chandeliers in their grand rooms.  The chandeliers were dramatic and elegant—fit for a king!

Modern Antler Decorative Lighting

Today, here in America, you often see a deer antler chandelier or an elk or moose chandelier featured in great rooms of rustic resorts.  We also see them in high end restaurants, in timber frame lodges and, of course, in large log hunting cabins.

If you are thinking about using a large chandelier in your new home, here’s a tip to make things easier for you.  Decorative lighting fixtures like chandeliers should be purchased before your home is built, especially if you are building a log or timber frame home..  Installation becomes much more difficult after a home has been finished.

What’s the difference between Mule Deer and Whitetail Deer?

At first glance, these two deer look pretty similar.  In fact, many new hunters have difficulty telling them apart from a distance.

Here’s the lowdown:

The Deer’s Ears

Mule deer were named because of their large mule-like ears.  Mule deer’s ears are larger than whitetail deer’s ears.  In addition, mule deer tend to hold their ears at an angle, while whitetail deer usually hold their ears more erect, or straight up.

Deer Tails

The mule deer has a thin white tail with a black tip.  The white-tailed deer has a brown tail with a white underside.  It uses its tail to warn other deer of impending danger.  When a deer senses danger, she puts her tail up.  Deer behind her see the white underside of her tail and react accordingly.

Deer Hair Color

Mule deer tend to be grayish brown, while white tail deer tend to be reddish brown in the summer and turn to grayish brown in the winter.

Size of Deer

Both deer can range from 80 pounds to 400 pounds, with mule deer tending to be a bit larger.  Here’s another interesting fact.  Whitetail deer tend to be larger in New England and smaller as you go south.

Deer Antlers

Both mule deer and whitetail deer shed their antlers every year, after the rut or breeding season.  Mule deer have antlers that fork.  Their antlers have a main beam that splits into 2 directions.  Whitetail deer have antlers with one main beam, from which all other tines branch out.

Rustic Lamp Shades

Rustic lamp shades come in various materials like metal, leather and parchment.

You can even get lamp shades with deer, moose, bears, elk, trout or painted pine cones on them.

Of course the most important thing to consider is whether a lamp or light fixture will look good in your home and provide light where you need it.

But, don’t forget that a pretty lamp shade has its own appeal and it is the finishing touch for a beautiful rustic lamp.  The rub is that, often rustic lamp shades only come with a lamp and cannot be purchased separately.

Types of Rustic Lamp Shades for Decorative Lighting

Of course there are different types of lamp shades for rustic cabins and lodges. Some have a wildlife theme while others tend to be more western or just simple and rustic.

Choosing a lamp shade type will depend on your country style or décor and the theme that you have chosen.

Parchment lamp shades

These are probably the most common kind of country lamp shades that you will see. You can get plain parchment lamp shades, lamp shades laced with rawhide lacing and parchment lamp shade with hand painted designs. Parchment lamp shades are usually a neutral color.

Mica lamp shades

Mica lamp shades shine with elegance. They are usually hand made and they have an interesting natural texture. You can use mica shades with both western and rustic décor.

Metal lamp shades

Remember the old pie cupboards with the punched tin decorations (that let air circulate in the cupboard)? Metal lamp shades have an antique look and are also rustic lamp shades. They bring a unique sparkle to a room, with a touch of magic. You can get metal lamp shades in different metals: copper, tin and painted black metal.

 Leather or faux leather lamp shades

There are lamp shades that are actually made from thin leather. And quite a few are laced with rawhide lacing. Leather lamp shades are especially appropriate if you have chosen a western décor for your log or timber home. The colors and textures in leather lamp shades are natural and they are rustic but also very classy!

Hand painted lamp shades

Some of the cutest rustic or country lamp shades are hand painted with themes like deer, pine cones, trees, horses or moose. If you have a specific theme for your log or timber home, you can probably find lamp shades to match your them. And many of them are hand painted by famous artists!

In conclusion, choosing the perfect lamp or decorative lighting fixture for your home is only half the battle. You need to make sure that the lamp shades that you choose are complementary to your lamps and work with your theme.