Here are a few ideas to consider as you analyze the lighting in your home for possible improvements:

Light Seating Areas – but not too brightly!  Make sure you plan for a balanced approach including a bit of overhead lighting (preferably above a table at the center of the seating area) and then add lower lighting that will feel more intimate in the form of table lamps and floor lamps.  The right kind of lighting will draw people to a seating area.

Focal Points:  There are rooms were lighting makes a very natural focal point.  Consider this especially for entries, dining rooms and master bedrooms.  The right pendant or chandelier can set a tone for a space in a more effective way often than the furniture does below it.  People’s eyes naturally get drawn to the brightest objects in a room – and usually the lighting is just that!

Create Dimension in your space by making sure to also light up some corners of the space and not just focus on the seating areas – up lights behind a corner plant or work of sculpture is great for this.  

Layer Light:  Being careful to avoid clutter, consider ways you can layer lighting into a space to light it up optimally.  Often this involves a combination of some recessed lighting at the ceiling, semi-flush or hanging fixtures at the ceiling and wall sconces and or table lamps and floor lamps.  Spaces respond best to lighting coming from various levels of height in the room.

Reflective Light:  An effective trick for balancing out lighting in a room is to use well placed mirrors.  This can work great opposite a wall of windows to balance lighting out during daylight hours.  Mirrors are also effective at night to practically double the feeling of light in a space as it reflects back the illumination.  Reflected light also tends to be softer and more flattering to a room and the people in it (and who among us doesn’t want to be lit to our best possible effect!)

Improved Bath Lighting:  Whether new construction or old, bathrooms are often a room where I find clients are asking for additional lighting assistance.  Keep in mind the recommendation I make for all rooms – having light from ceiling level and wall level is much more optimal than just one or the other.

Reading Light:  If you still like to read the old fashioned way (printed books) and haven’t adopted an electronic reader (I still am attached to printed books myself…) then warm bright lighting is important in any of the places you like to read.  For many that includes the bedroom and a place in the family room or living room.  For either option, make sure the light selected has a shade that will diffuse the bright light of the bulb from shining directly into your eye, while shedding plenty of illumination onto your lap.  There are a lot of terrific wall swinger sconces that are terrific for bedrooms – many of them can be hardwired into the wall or hung directly onto the wall with a small bar covering up a cord that travels to the nearest outlet.  We have many options available in both of these styles.

Art Shown Optimally:  Whether you are in a modern or a traditional space, there are great recessed ceiling fixtures available to highlight your art where desired.  Make sure to work with an expert when you lay out exactly where these should be installed in your ceiling to create the desired effect.  There are also some terrific choices for both modern and traditional wall mounted light fixtures that can be easily adjusted in case you tend to change your art pieces out on occasion.

Light Up Your Niches:  Do you have a series of decorative niches inside of your home that you’d like to highlight for a collection of ceramics or other objects?  Great idea!!  Also a great idea to spend a little to light up display shelves in a cabinet – your art objects will look so much more beautiful and your room will feel better too due to the additional subtle lighting.  Perfect for a touch of drama!

Illuminate Texture:  Does your fireplace have textured stone?  The right wall lights can accentuate this in a beautiful way at night.

Add Color:  Two of my favorite manufacturers of lighting include designs that have amazingly stunning glass bases in a variety of colors and finishes.  The right accent color in the form of a lamp base or shade can add an inexpensive touch of magic to a space.  Basically, why be boring in your selection?

Put Some Fun in Function:  Living in a loft and looking for an interesting room divider?  Looking for some opportunities to add a playful touch to a space?  There are fixtures out there that can achieve both of these ideas.  One of our vendors has some amazing modern fixtures made to operate like a divider in a large space but emanating a great deal of light at the same time.  It’s tricky to describe this in writing without an image, but trust me – they are cool!  Another supplier has white glass tables shaped like a modern Asian inspired garden stool table that emits a fair amount of light – great for an artistic touch!

In The Garden people sometimes under estimate the difference the right lighting can make.  Consider not only path lights (important but over used) but spot lights for featured plants and trees.  Wall mounted down lights can beautifully enhance textured walls and uplights behind plantings can create an elegant touch and make the space feel larger (and safer) at night.

Have Options:  Dimmers!  I can’t say enough about adding simple dimmers to give you the optimal level of control for all of your ceiling and wall fixtures.  This easy change gives you the opportunity to take your rooms from bright when you want them so to intimate, romantic and zen in seconds.  Once you choose dimmers you will likely never go back!

For Fluorescent Fixtures – or rather I should say fixtures in which you have placed a fluorescent bulb:  Consider changing the lamp shade out to one with warm colored silk or linen.  While the fluorescent bulbs are being developed to have a warmer glow, in the meantime you will create a much more pleasing effect by changing out the shade.

Fire Light!:  And no matter what your lighting improvements entail, this is a terrific season to add the magic of some relaxing candle light to any of your spaces.  I prefer real candles for dining rooms and living areas – but for bedrooms where one worries about falling asleep with the candles still burning, the new battery operated candles are terrific for inside lanterns  and other diffusers.  I have some in my own bedroom that also have a timer feature.  It’s like the maid has been in the room every evening before I get home filling the room with candle light!!

 

Here’s to adding a little more glow to all of your favorite spaces!  Sasha

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