Good Lighting makes a huge contribution to the beauty and functionality of a home. And the addition of beautiful fixtures – chandeliers and lamps – creates delightful design elements in any room. Whenever someone tells me they have recessed lighting and don’t need any lamps the designer in me just cringes at their lost opportunity.
Having just received some new lamps in the shop got me to contemplating lighting and thinking about my own home so I thought I would share some lighting information with you.
10 Lighting Tips
A truly beautiful room will tend to have soft pools of light that come from a variety of sources – Use lighting with different wattages and and place light sources at various heights.
Position lighting all around a room to dispel dark corners.
Table Lamps are excellent decorating tools…use them even if they do nothing! They are not actually doing “nothing” because they are creating great verticals which enhance the beauty of any room filled with horizontal lines.
In a lamp that has double bulb sockets use two different wattage bulbs and you will create a medium and low setting!
Lamp shades that are opaque will create a more dramatic atmosphere as they throw light up and down and emit little side light.
Fabric shades will create the warmest most glamorous light.
Paint your outlets to match the walls to minimize the distraction of cords and outlets. Have lamps wired with clear or fabric cords.
When placing a reading lamp the height is lower than seems intuitive: it should be below eye level so it lights your page, not your head.
Albert Hadley said “I personally try to avoid all ceiling lights because i think that overhead light is a tragedy.” Well I agree with that in reference to recessed lighting…but as to chandeliers – What could be more beautiful? A general rule of thumb for a dining room chandelier is 30″ above the tabletop. Bulbs should not be bright…lower wattage is better for creating ambience around table gatherings.
Dimmer switches go where you want to be able to create ambience.
The bottom line is that lighting needs to be functional but it can take a room to another level if you think in terms of ambience and beauty. It’s an essential design detail!