The Sputnik Solution

Look way up at the top there. See that big light fixture? Did not like. 

Over the weekend my parents came to visit for an early Christmas celebration, and one night my dad and I were sitting at my dining room table talking about how unfortunately cavelike the lighting in my dining room/kitchen area is. The two primary problems: I had recently moved my dining room table from the center of the room over to one wall, and the pendant light that had previously hung over the center of the table now hung in the center of the dining room. Like, at head level.

The second problem I discovered on the day we moved in: the only light in our kitchen comes from one of those big, square 1960s-era fluorescent monstrosities. It’s huge and ugly and casts a sort of sickly half-glow over the room, but I’ve always been nervous to pry it off because god knows what’s underneath.

Dad and I started talking about ways to make the lighting feel cozier, and I told him about my sputnik flushmount dreams. The one I really wanted was too expensive, and the one I mentioned last week just didn’t seem right (too busy). So we went online and looked around some more. And?


I thought that this fixture (which I bought at a local Lamps Plus – you can see it if you scroll down) might look cheap – because for a lighting fixture it’s definitely on the less-expensive side – but nope: it is gorgeous. Lamps Plus has been surprising me lately; I keep being impressed by both the style and the price of their pieces. The globes of the lamp I purchased – actually frosted globes surrounded by clear globes – are honestly stunning, and the whole thing is the perfect size and a phenomenal price and exactly what I’ve been looking for to give my dining room and kitchen the kind of warm wash of light that makes you want to actually spend time in a place. And when I went to the store in person, the salesguy gave me a deal for buying two (!). Done done done done donnnnnnne.

Henceforth commenced two solid days of light installation (and drywalling, because it turned out that I had been correct in thinking that maybe something horrifying was laying in wait underneath the fluorescent light), and now? My ceiling feels about three feet higher, every corner of the room glows, and my new favorite view is the one I have while laying flat on my back on the kitchen floor (which is weird but speaks to just how much I love my little sputniks).

P.S. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post you’ll see a bunch more sputnik-style finds…including two that are actually even less expensive than the one I found.

P.P.S. Apologies for the un-blogger-y mess you see in these photos; I was too excited about the lights to wait until I cleaned up to shoot the room. Priorities.

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Possini Euro Design Glass Sputnik

This is the style pictured here (the one I bought). I went for the flushmount style that is right up by the ceiling, but if you prefer a pendant there’s a chandelier style as well.


Light Society Chandelier

I find the bulbs on this style a touch bulky, but you seriously can’t beat this price. (Also available in brass.)


Matrix Dia Pendant Lamp

Or…maybe you can beat that price. This chandelier, at $122, is confusingly inexpensive (there’s a slightly more expensive style with double the lights as well).


Noir Leslie Chandelier

This sputnik-style antiqued brass chandelier from One Kings Lane is the perfect mix of classic and retro. Completely stunning.


9-Light Atom Pendant

Another unique twist on the look from One Kings Lane, this 9-light pendant features gorgeous smoky glass.

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