Just Say No to the Brass Nipple! Alternatives to Builder-Grade Flush Mount Lighting

I get lots of requests from design clients and blog readers for recommendations for alternatives to those generic builder-grade flush mount light fixtures in their entries and hallways.  You know – the dreaded nipple lights:


 Dated Brass Nipple Light

My decorating experience here in Nashville and with online clients has certainly forced me to find some good alternatives to the builder-grade fixture.   While the options are a bit limited in this price range, here are a few you can score at big box stores (either Lowes or Home Depot) for under $100:


 via Pinterest


 via Pinterest

Drum shades are great for a contemporary or transitional look – choose one with a linen or pleated shade if you want it to tie in with traditional decor.

Any light fixture with seeded or bubble glass gets my vote – the light is diffused, rather than glaring.  I’d still use frosted bulbs, though.

Retro or schoolhouse lighting is also an option:

via Pinterest

For a little bit of bling or old-world glamour, try these two:

Small lanterns or carriage-style lighting works nicely with almost any decor.

If you want to find out more about the lighting I featured here or need even more options for the builder-grade light fixtures, check out my pinboard called I Light It Like That on Pinterest.  If you aren’t following The Decorologist on Pinterest, what are you waiting for?  And yes, I do realize most of the lights here still have a nipple. They just don’t look as boob-like overall, so that’s an improvement!

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13 thoughts on “Just Say No to the Brass Nipple! Alternatives to Builder-Grade Flush Mount Lighting

  1. Linda says:

    Kristie, did you sneak into my home and take a photo of our dreaded nipple light in our hallway??? We had 12 of them when we moved in….2 left. I do like a few of your suggestions so hopefully the last two will be gone by Summer.

  2. Elissa Cain says:

    Nipple lights…the cardinal sin of builders. Thanks for giving us some options that have a big impact and a small price tag. Your blog is a daily-read for me down here in Huntsville, AL.

  3. joy says:

    my daughter has this nipple light in her bedroom and she wants a chandelier. do you know what do I need extra to make the conversion? or nothing extra needed?

  4. Tennessee Girl says:

    Oh No the dreaded Boob/Nipple lights. I like several of the options you showed. Just might have to visit Lowes and update on in an extra bedroom. I read your blog daily and really enjoy it. Thanks for the suggestions.

  5. Gina says:

    I agree with you and also dislike those nipple fixtures (yuk!). I have that very first light fixture that you show above (the one right after the “nipple” fixture at the top). I purchased it at Home Depot online and LOVE it. First of all, it is made with a WHITE (not off-white or beige as it is shown in the photo) organza-type fabric on the outside shade. This fixture is in my hallway which is painted a creamy white (Behr’s Eggshell Cream) and I wanted to keep the “creaminess” style, so I painted the fixture (the brown parts) and the upside down finial in the Eggshell Cream Semi-Gloss (left over from painting my crown molding and trim). Voila! I now have a fixture that looks fabulous in my “creamy” colored hallway. The fixture is so elegant and looks like it cost hundreds.

  6. Mandy says:

    So glad to hear someone else refer to these lights this way. I call them boob lights. I like all of your recommendations for “boob reduction.” light fixtures, that is

  7. Pingback: 5 Ways To Go From “Builder Basic” To “Dream House” | interiors for families

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