7/24/14

SHINE A LIGHT ON DESIGN - LIGHTING IN DECOR

A good percentage of the time, the problem with a room design is simply a matter of lighting.

I hear about rooms being dark, looking dingy, and people not wanting to use curtains or window coverings because they feel it would cut down the light in the room.  Truth is, most rooms don't have adequate lighting.



Each room has whatever available natural light comes through - and some sort of ambient light to replace the natural light in the evening.  In addition, there should be task lighting to read by and to work by.  In a truly beautiful room, accent lighting is often used to spotlight certain areas/items or create mood.

Kitchens with good lighting, above
and bad lighting below - 
a kitchen requires more than one central overhead light...
but use common sense - 
you don't need it to look like an airport runway...
or like there was a fire sale on light fixtures -
(seriously - why so many large fixtures in this otherwise adorable kitchen???)


Lighting should be as beautiful as possible.
Natural light is only available in the daylight hours.  Not all rooms have an abundance of this...
Ambient light should illuminate a room in the absence of natural light.  Overhead lighting is the most common, but table or floor lamps also add to this type of lighting.
Task lighting helps us perform jobs in specific areas.  A desk lamp for homework.  Under cabinet lighting for kitchen counters.  Lamps for reading.
Accent lighting - creates a mood or draws your eye to a specific area.  Spot lighting for artwork.  Interior cabinet lighting.  Up-lights or down lights in alcoves or on ledges.

Every room needs a combination of these lighting types.

QUESTION FROM A READER:
















                                  
Hi Claudine,

I just discovered your blog and love it! Your pictures and suggestions are so helpful. I was hoping you can help me with my final choices in our total kitchen and living room/great room remodel. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any pictures since we are at mid-stage in construction and nothing is yet in place. What I can provide is the list of materials I’ve chosen so far and see what you think. 

The wall color is BM’s Thunder, kitchen cabinets are soft cream with cosmic black granite countertops and subway tiles are a pale pale green (Enchanted Shadow). The island is maple with the same cosmic black granite. All appliances are stainless steel. The flooring will be hardwood with a medium brown tone. 

One of my most challenging decisions at the moment is the pendant lighting over the island. Trying to decide what materials to use in the pendants has really got me stumped. There seems to be so many choices and ideas and just when I think I know what will work, I see something else completely different and can’t decide...

Any suggestions you may have will be greatly appreciated. Hope to hear from you soon.

Cathy L
California 



Hi Cathy,
Your kitchen selections sound wonderful.  BM Thunder is one of my favorite colors - and one of my most re-pinned wall colors on Pinterest.  I don't have a reference to your personal style, but I can give you a few choices and hopefully narrow it down for you.  As for the upholstery and furniture - we can tackle that via email and edesign if you like - email me for details - I see you are in California?

Back to pendants....

Lantern Style
Ballard Designs
This is one of my favorite styles right now, and one I will probably use in my own
kitchen remodel - soon - I hope.

Ballard

INDUSTRIAL/RETRO

This style is great for that 'farmhouse' feel 
and has a vintage feel

GLASS PENDANTS
glass pendants range from retro to contemporary
make sure the clear ones are hung a little higher than eye level so you don't have
that light bulb glaring in your eyes...
here
here
here

here


OPAQUE/VINTAGE STYLE
here
glass shades in vintage style are really popular right now
the opaque shades diffuse and soften the light

METAL SHADE PENDANTS
these are varied in style and color - 
vintage or contemporary
here
this is one of my favorites below - love that you can adjust the height of the light
and that its kind of funky and fun... 
here
Restoration Hardware has this version - made to look like it was created
from an old pulley - its more expensive but you are getting two lights in one
here

CHANDELIER PENDANTS
who can resist a little bling?
these are small enough to double up
here
here
BRASS IS BACK
just not so shiny as before...
here

CHROME -
I love silver, and I like the reflective property of Chrome...
here


BRONZE - still going strong...
here

here

Believe it or not, I have narrowed things down.... there are thousands to choose from so I just had to show my favorites... but in the long run you need to find something you LOVE.  You are going to live with it for a while.




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