When you're trying to select the perfect lighting, it's easy to become overwhelmed by options. For the living room, there's nothing more classic than a flush mount light fixture. The happy medium between recessed lights and pendant lights, flush mounts nestle right against your ceiling. (A semi-flush mount, meanwhile, extends just below the ceiling on a short stem.)
Because they don't hang down, flush mount lamps are ideal for rooms with lower ceilings, where they look unobtrusive and help create the illusion of extra space. Another wonderful benefit to these "close-to-the-ceiling" fixtures is that they have less surface area for collecting dust, which means they're easier to clean. Just because they're simple doesn't mean flush mount fixtures are boring. They come in a many shapes (domes, drums, chandeliers, and more) and a variety of shade materials, including glass, acrylic, and metal.
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Like other ceiling lights, flush mounts do require you to make a hole in your ceiling for proper installation. For enclosed models, changing a lightbulb requires standing on a ladder and removing the shade. Flush mount lights are also generally not the best for illuminating large spaces. In those cases, you'll need multiple fixtures or a mix of different lighting sources (think ceiling lights, sconces, and floor and table lamps).
Flush mount ceiling lights work particularly well in the living room because they are excellent sources of directional lighting, which means they allow you to illuminate a targeted area. Directional lighting is ideal for highlighting wall hangings or illuminating a reading chair.
For decorative inspo to help brighten up your living room, here are 14 flush mount lighting ideas that will properly (and beautifully) illuminate your space.
1. Choose a neutral color palette.
This midcentury modern living room from Studio McGee features a gorgeous flower-shaped ceiling lamp. Its gold-trimmed, frosted glass shade adds a bit of glam to the room while keeping within the neutral color palette. A fabric shade table lamp beside the couch provides extra light.
2. Use various textures and materials.
Included in this lovely family room from Heidi Caillier Design is a flush mount drum ceiling light. Its brass finish fits perfectly into the room's warm neutral color scheme. It also echoes the subtle gleam of the fireplace tiles and polished wood chair legs.
3. Go the artsy route.
If you want to add a bit of dramatic flair, art-inspired flush mounts will likely suit your tastes. The gorgeous starburst-shaped option in this setup by Blackband Design brings bold personality to a modern living room. Its rich color and angular silhouette complement the space's sleek, sophisticated aesthetic.
Get the look: Troy Lighting Sierra 32" Flush Mount Fixture, $2,398
4. Move away from the center.
Exposed wooden beams might present a bit of a challenge for ceiling light placement. Instead of abandoning your flush mount lighting idea, though, consider spots other than the center of the room. Choose an area you want to illuminate and install your light above it like the team at Chango & Co did, placing a starburst light fixture over the entryway to this living room.
5. Double up on lighting.
This vibrant contemporary living room is overflowing with color and personality, so the last thing it needs is a loud light fixture that makes the space feel cluttered. Instead, the designers at Amy Sklar brought balance to the space with a pair of minimalist lights. Sleek and clean, they blend effortlessly with the ceiling.
Get the look: Eglo Beckner 1 - Light 17.52" LED Flush Mount, AllModern, $260
6. Enhance the boho-chic vibes with brass.
No boho-chic space is complete without brass accessories. In this living room designed by Amber Interiors, a brass flush mount light fixture pops against the surrounding soft colors and textiles. We also love that it matches the floor lamp.
Get the look: Pottery Barn Deane Flush Mount, $659
7. Pick a fixture that plays well with natural light.
Even in a room with tons of natural light, artificial light sources can still serve a purpose. With Mother Nature doing the heavy lifting, a single fixture in the middle of the ceiling is all you need. This gorgeous farmhouse-style design from Dichotomy Interiors proves that lighting in a space with tons of windows is best when it's simple.
Get the look: CB2 Ariel Fluted Marble Flush Mount Light, $349
8. Keep it classic with glass.
Beautifully executed by Bright Designlab, this living room makeover features handmade, vintage, and classic furniture accessories, including a clear glass globe flush mount ceiling fixture from SCOPE Lighting. The minimal shade makes the room look bigger while also maintaining the contrast between the white ceilings and walls and the richly colored furniture and flooring.
9. Go for elegance and visual interest.
This black and white living room from Andrea Rodman Interiors resembles an art gallery: quiet, understated, and filled with sculptural pieces. Along with the asymmetrical chairs and solid circular tables, the nickel sunburst light fixture brings an air of retro elegance. A simple color scheme balances the bold shapes.
10. Create ambiance.
Once again, we see that decorative ceiling beams can work with flush mount lights in unique ways. In this Gina Holz design, the dark, weathered wooden beams are offset by Edison bulbs. Positioned with ample space between them, they create cozy, ambient lighting.
11. Choose caged lighting.
When renovating her classic ranch house, Beth of 1111 Light Lane went with a caged flush mount light fixture from Wayfair. The light's square shape continues the geometric theme of this living room, pairing well with the circular mirrors and the drum shade floor lamp. The matte black and hard angles bring beautiful balance to all the softness of this space.
12. Use multiple fixtures to ensure sufficient light coverage.
To ensure that you sufficiently illuminate every nook and cranny of your living room, we recommend using multiple small flush mount lamps. This Gina Holz living room displays the technique in action. Notice how the designers chose to space the three-light arrangement, positioning the fixtures near the corners to ensure that they distribute light evenly throughout the room.
Get the look: SmileLampWorks Ceiling Flush Mount Solid Brass Light, Etsy, $103
13. Combine multiple light sources.
A pair of low-profile flush mount light fixtures works with a large window and additional lamps to illuminate this chic living space by Ronen Lev. Simple yet functional, these small lights are ideal in spaces with low ceilings where they're far less imposing than lower-hanging lights would be. As demonstrated above, when paired with table and desk lamps, they get the job done.
Get the look: Astro Lighting Kos Round LED Flushmount, Lumens, $173.40-$315.35
14. Create a pared-down look with a single-bulb fixture.
If you're working with an airy, bright space with multiple windows, flush mount lights will blend seamlessly with your design. This laid-back living room features rattan chairs, sheer window treatments, and a warm white and beige color scheme. Add a ceiling light with a simple glass shade and you have a perfect boho haven.