How Selecting the Right Lighting Can Decorate a Room
Light fixtures are a key element in the design of a room. “Think of decorative lighting as architectural jewelry. It can dress up or dress down the look,” lighting designer Randall Whitehead says. Consider style, shape, color, and size when choosing a light fixture as the perfect accessory.
Hang a chandelier in a room to make a statement. The eye is drawn to this light fixture when you enter a room because it is substantial in size and often showy in design — whether dripping with crystals or shimmering with sleek chrome arms. Chandeliers come in all styles for every design expression.
Pendants are smaller hanging light fixtures that draw attention in a room, in part because their decorative portion hangs down closer to eye level on a long poll or wire. Hung individually, they are perfect for smaller spaces or areas that need direct lighting, such as over a kitchen island. When hung in a group, pendants can make a big design statement, similar to a chandelier.
Task lighting is important in many places throughout the house, such as for bathroom mirrors and showcasing artwork. Think beyond standard task lighting (track and spot lights), and seek wall sconces that add design character as well as function. Sconces also offer a decorative way to illuminate a hallway instead of overhead lighting.
Table and Floor Lamps
Portable lighting — or lamps — is a popular element of design in every room. On a table or on the floor, they accessorize spaces with interesting shapes and colors. Use them to add scale by mixing tall and short, petite and bulky.
Lamps as Accessories
Give a room an instant facelift by changing the lamps or lampshades. An affordable accessory, a new lamp can give a room a fresh look. Or, redecorate without spending a dime by trading lamps among rooms. There’s more than one perfect shade for every lamp base, too. Pick up a couple of new lampshades to refresh a stale look.
Fit for Transitional Design
Transitional design — a subtle blend of traditional and contemporary — is popular today in light fixtures to complement our eclectic homes. Fixtures made from simple materials, such as wrought iron, lend themselves to many decors. Chandeliers with curvilinear arms and fixtures featuring subdued ornamentation also blend nicely.
Illuminate the Bedroom
The bedroom offers multiple opportunities for decorative lighting accents. For overall ambiance, hang a pretty chandelier or a quaint ceiling-mount fixture in the center of the room. For bedtime reading, choose stylish table lamps or functional and decorative wall sconces. A writing desk or sitting area offers the perfect spot for task lighting.
New Spots for Chandeliers
Chandeliers were once reserved for grand statements in dining rooms and entries. Embrace their trendy use today in nontraditional spaces, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. A sparkling chandelier is the perfect way to romance these private spaces.
Light Your Vanity
Lighting is an important function at the bathroom vanity. Give it equal importance as a design element by using decorative sconces instead of expected recessed lighting. Various styles can convey a spa mood or an elegant retreat.
Finding the Right Size and Placement
Scale and proportion are important in choosing the size and placement of hanging light fixtures. Consider these measurements:
— The bottom of a light fixture hanging from an 8-foot ceiling should hang 27-30 inches above a dining table. For higher ceilings, add 3 inches for each additional foot.
— Select a hanging fixture no wider than the width of a table minus 12 inches.
— Hang pendant lights 35-40 inches above kitchen work surfaces.