INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS – LIGHTING MATTERS
Our homes tell the story of those who live there. It’s our one chance to show who we really are and influence the way our families live. At the end of the day, every material matters.
Today I’d like to welcome you, and I can’t think of a better place to explain to you how I really live, and what really matters to me. It’s decorative lighting! And there’s no other part of the home that delivers a mood, a message, and eye candy, quite like your lighting.
So let’s start with sconces and lanterns.
For this, I picked the entrance of my home – and because my style is a little bit vintage and a little bit modern. In my entrance hallway I have two of these exquisite three-light, clear Venetian glass, sconces. They radiate, and bathe my walls in warm welcoming light.
FOR WARM AMBIANCE
Only wall sconces can serve as all three types of light: ambient, task, and accent. They can also be used in a foyer, dining room, or a child’s room. They also serve as an out of the way ambient light. Use them near a reading chair, flank a bed or sofa, or place them in a cozy window reading nook, or over a desk, they are excellent for task lighting. Go ahead and showcase a painting, fireplace, or decorative niche. Remember they are accent lighting. Wall sconces can be used singly, but because they are small and offer smaller amounts of light they are most often used in pairs or groups. They also deliver that welcoming message right at the front door, where I think curb appeal counts.
NOW COME INSIDE
I wanted something fantastic in the center of my living room. So, I found this Lovely! (Aubree 6 Light Nickel Chandelier) Transitional Style Metal Frame chandelier with a Polished Nickel Finish, Crystal Beads & Accents, and with Textured Aluminum Candle Covers.
When I found it, it really intrigued me and I knew it was the right fit because it wasn’t vintage and it wasn’t modern – it was obscure, yet elegant. It has become a great talking point and I love the way it fills the room. But because it’s not too large in this room, I also have a variety of other light sources.
I love a lot of different lamps, and the way they look matters. When you look over at my table, I’ve got a beautiful candelabra Antiqued Brass Lamp. Hand Cast, Hand Painted, And Hand Finished, which looks great there. I bought a pair of them, and I sold one to a client and had to keep one for myself. Again, I love the flavor and vintage feel which is mixed with a modern touch.
Now we’re in our kitchen, this is where we eat breakfast and it’s also where we have our holiday meals. So, I have to make it a little fancy and a little fun by adding this vintage yet classic crystal chandelier that is rustic and natural against the very modern profile of my dining table.
We’ve created what we call a secret combination, when you mix modern and vintage. It creates simplicity, yet a little bit of refinement. To me that makes my living style very comfortable, but interesting. As a rule, we typically hang our chandeliers about 30 inches off a tabletop. It’s important to choose a light fixture that has enough chain so it doesn’t look like we’ve stuffed it in to fit. They must hang properly in the space. And by putting tall candlestick lamps in the middle to sort of celebrate the vintage style, again it helps bring in the old – contrasting against modern dining chairs, as well as the rest of my kitchen.
Next to the dining room I’ve switched to a little to a more modern feel and, I think that combination really works. These mercury glass pendants come way down to the kitchen island and beautifully warms it. As a rule, about 26 inches off the top of the countertop is a perfect place for your pendants to hang down.
And don’t forget your task lighting. Think less about recess cans and more about your decorative lighting, because that’s the eye candy that makes all the difference. I love to talk about dimmers because they’re the cheapest way to create a mood in the house, especially with lighting. You can see what difference it makes when I hit the lower button, and when I go all the way up for those times when I need to. Otherwise, I’d much rather warm the space and create a cozy atmosphere with dimmers.
Now is the time to talk about planning ahead. When it comes to your lighting it’s not easily done when you’re mid-stream. You have to think about it in advance, so for us we knew art would be a big component in our home. Instead of using a typical eyeball recessed can in the ceiling, we went with these modern flush mount ceiling lights, and they provide just a little bit of interest in the ceiling. And they really illuminate the wall art beautifully.
We love lamps!
Again. I’m going to tell you lamps matter and they’re not easy to find. So when you find one you love, wherever you find it – grab it, it’s likely to fit in.
In my bedroom, I started with a chandelier of course. A Transitional style steel chandelier with a polished nickel finish, with mesh chains, and a cascade of crystals. I love the personality of the glimmering mesh chains and the crystals. I needed it to ground the room with the high ceilings.
I adore finding interesting lighting along the way and I’m always looking for it. Like these wonderful silver leaf sconces that we put on the beds headboard.
TABLE LAMPS BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Even the table lamps in this room have a beautiful fabric on the shade, all answering to my own distinct personality. Now is another good time to point out why we love dimmers so much. Of course we could just turn both the lights completely on as you see here but I’d like to reduce it and dim the chandelier. It just makes it cozy and much warmer.
Another important tip when it comes to deciding on the lighting in your home is – choosing your lamps wisely. They’re a great way to add personality and style to your home. I’m a little obsessed with crystal and I’m sure you’ve probably noticed. When I saw this gorgeous natural crystal lamp, I had to have it. Keep your eyes open and pick out individual lamps that are interesting and cool and fresh.
Even in my stairway, I knew it still had to deliver a surprise for the eye. So of course I added framed wall art I love. The shades of blue art is float mounted on white canvass and framed in a white lacquered wood molding. And it complements the stairway chandelier that has a white drum shade and a lot of silver detail. And at the top of the stairs, I went with some vintage buffet lamps setting nice and tall on a beautiful console table.
FLOOR LAMPS MATTER TOO
Instead of looking for something more typical, what about a floor lamp. You can easily show off your children’s pictures and at the same time have an interesting look in your rooms the décor.
They are an excellent alternative to a dresser table lamp and they can add beauty and style, while not taking up space on the dresser. They provide a vertical element to a room – that can also help draw the eye upwards.
Floor lamps are considered the most versatile lamp because they are so easy to move around, they can be positioned right where you need the light, and many can be adjusted in height. You can stage a floor lamp next to a comfy reading chair or one on each end of a sofa, they work well with desks, secretaries, besides a bed, or on each side of a buffet table.
Sometimes it’s all about scale. Like adding something unique in the room that draws upward attention, like a beautiful flush mount fixture, which means that it sits right on the ceiling itself. Look for interesting ones not just the ones at Home Depot. Bathrooms are my favorite part of the house so I’m always thinking about what would make the bathroom glamorous. If it’s a modern bathroom I usually go for something chrome, and very clean and sleek. In my bathroom I have a little more eclectic personality, so I love a wooden sconce. Now of course I’m not expecting this to be the practical white look. For the recessed cans to deliver the needed detailed lighting stuff that I don’t want to see in the mirror, if you know what I mean. But for looks and appeal, I love a sconce directly mounted on the wall. Again you can imagine how important it is to plan ahead, like where that junction box is within a wall of tile.
I’ve loved having you join me in my own home where I could show you lighting that I think really matters. Lighting really is our greatest accessory!