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Make Your Own Twig Sconce

Designer Paul Schulman’s sconces, at a new restaurant, Range, are easy to copy.

Photography: (Left) West Elm; (Right) Colin Beckett

We have entered the season of bare trees and lots of stray branches lying around. So I ask you what better time to make a twig sconce?

Designer Paul Schulman, who did the rustic-modern interior design for the new Lincoln Park farm-to-table restaurant Range, brought some really cool lighting to the table. In addition to huge pendant lights made of cattle tags and other ceiling fixtures made of chicken wire, he made a slew of sconces out of twigs (see photo at right)—and it turns out, anybody can make them!

Schulman points to West Elm’s Angler Sconce (shown at left) as inspiration. “Instead of buying one of these, why not find your own twig, drill it into a wall and wrap a cord set around it?” he says. “That way you will have a one-of-a-kind piece.”

Make sure to hunt down a sturdy twig, says Schulman, and screw it into the wall with at least a nine-inch screw (or two of them, if the base of your twig is longer). You can get your cord set at West Elm, just to get something there; plus, their styles don’t require hardwiring. (Schulman had access to the entire contracting team of Ross Burton Design Build to hardwire his sconces, allowing him to use a ceramic socket plate to conceal the cord, but there is nothing shameful about letting the cord hang down your wall if you don’t want to electrocute yourself.)

The rest of the restaurant is lovely, by the way. It has an inviting rustic vibe without feeling too lodge-like. The lesson learned in this design is that white plus wood always looks good—and putting Astroturf on the ceiling is not crazy at all.

If you’d like to see how Schulman’s rustic style translates to a home kitchen, read this story that I wrote in 2012 about a project of his in Lake View. The man has a very recognizable, clean aesthetic.

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