The wave of Mid-Century Modern design has taken over the marketplace. As one of the most popular trends in interior styling today, finding the right lighting fixtures to achieve this look can be an overwhelming endeavor. Here’s a step by step guide on how to pick your perfect mid-century lighting fixtures, without actually taking a step “back” in time.
CLEAN AND SIMPLE–
Keep it simple. Smooth style lines and basic shape structures are your friend when searching for lighting fixtures for Mid-Century Modern spaces. Less is more here- the simpler, the better.
ADD SOME TEXTURE–
Incorporate warm, neutral fabrics into your product selections. The Drum Shade pendant is your friend here. Bringing in a woven texture, like the one on this fixture from Quoizel can add a pop of interest to your space, while still exuding a strong, simple silhouette for a modern interior.
WARMTH WITH WOOD–
It is no secret, warm wood tones are a key product choice in mid-century modern designs. Many lighting manufacturers have several fixtures embracing this raw material. Whether it be the main element in a hanging pendant, or a small wooden accent incorporated into a wall sconce- wood is where it’s at.
A classic neutral packed with a powerful punch, white is a staple in modern design. Having more neutral elements in your room will lend a sense of importance to other items of color that are incorporated into the space. Don’t be afraid of it’s lack of pigment- White can speak volumes.
With so many lighting fixtures at our fingertips, selecting the exact-right piece for your mid-century styled home can be a difficult task. We have put together a few of our favorite picks to help get you inspired and steer you in the right direction. Take a peek at our
The layered architectural shape of this two-light structure, finished in nostalgic aged brass and black metal, sends us back in time. Adding this beauty to your walls will guarantee a modern transformation and eye candy of epic proportions.
Clean, modern and mostly transitional- this white linen simple structure has become a crowd favorite among more than just the mid-century mod seekers. The strong frame and linear shaping of this beautiful drum, available in 3 different metal finishes, would grace any table proudly and be the perfect compliment to your modern decor.
What is a mid-century styled home without a little starburst? Just like the name suggests, this fun and funky sputnik-styled beauty creates a statement wherever it shines. Place it in a foyer, living room, or over your dining area to intrigue all who come across it’s show-stopping style.
Sleek and sophisticated, this bathroom vanity series has mid-century mod written all over it! A streamlined body combined with retro and rounded glass globes makes for a winning modern fixture for any bathroom.
This iconic fixture, designed by Jonathan Adler, has become a showroom favorite when selecting for the modern home. The artistic and playful structure of this appropriately named piece will not only serve as a point of conversation, but will provide a beautiful shadowed cast upon your ceiling to create an ever-so-special glow within your space.
Available in three different metal finishes, the Meurice chandelier is a guaranteed stunner for your home! Equipped with 42 individual sockets, this fixture choice will illuminate even the darkest of dining areas and help to create the ultimate environment to serve your family and guests.
A chill is in the air and the Holidays are right around the corner, which means NOW is the best time to evaluate your current chandelier situation.
Not only will your table be gracing the most delectable eats this season, it will also serve to seat and entertain your nearest and dearest family and friends, which leads us to ask you an important question…does your current dining room light fixture fit the bill? Or, are you in desperate need for a dining light re-do? Let us help you find a new light fixture that not only reflects your own sense of style and is the right size and scale for your space, but provides the appropriate amount of illumination for your dining room situation. Follow our four-step guide to selecting the perfect chandelier.
Step 1: Which SIZE is right for me?
Size and placement are of the most important in considerations you need to make while selecting a chandelier for your specific dining space. Generally, we advise selecting a fixture that is approximately half the width of the table it will be above. However, with each sizing formula, there are exceptions and stipulations to consider for every unique space. Here are a couple of general sizing guidelines to help get you steered in the right direction.
First, take your room dimensions (length and width) and add those figures together. Convert that sum to inches to achieve the appropriate sizing guideline for your chandelier.
Example: 12′ + 14’= 26′
Converted to Inches= 26″
Recommended Diameter of Chandelier= 26″
Take a peek at this video from Hinkley Lighting walking you through this formula:
This being said, each home and space is unique. If you have a large, open dining area with tall or vaulted ceilings, then you may demand a fixture of a larger scale. For this, there is another guideline to consider which pays more attention to the size of the table itself.
Take the smallest width of your tabletop and subtract 12″, the remaining measurement would be the recommended diameter of a fixture deemed appropriate for your dining room.
Example: 72″ x 48″ table
Smallest Width of Table= 48″
Less 12″= 36″
Recommended Diameter of Chandelier= 36″
The next most popular question we are asked is, “How high do I hang my fixture above the table-top?” This answer will vary depending upon your ceiling height, but the most standard guideline we use is to start with a 30″ increment between the bottom of your light fixture and the top of your table. This is the best measurement for ceiling heights of 8′, adding 1″ per additional foot of ceiling height- 31″ for 9′ ceilings, 32″ for 10′ ceilings, etc.
As with many lighting choices- size, scale and hanging height can be subjective. Using a grouping of smaller fixtures or chandeliers in lieu of the classic singular suspended piece, is another popular trend people are embracing. In this situation, the above formulas are not an accurate depiction of what you may need. Each space is unique and may require a different size and scale to help it “shine”. Don’t hesitate to visit us in the showroom with pictures of your particular space so we can best help you choose the appropriately scaled fixture(s) for your lighting situation.
Step 2: How much LIGHT do I need?
Our lighting language is changing. Instead of relying on our previous formulas focusing on how much wattage our fixtures are producing, we have shifted the conversation into how many lumens a light fixture is providing us with. A lumen represents the amount of actual ambient light coming from the lamp. This discussion can be complicated, so we have found a simplified formula to use as your guideline in determining how many lumens your dining room requires in this article from 1000bulbs.com, represented below:
General Floor Spaces= Require 20 Lumens per square foot
Dining Table and Raised Counter Spaces= Require 30 Lumens per square foot
Desk and High-Task Areas= Require 50 Lumens per square foot
Example: 72″ x 48″ (6′ x 4′) table
Square Footage of Table= 24
Multiplied by 30 (as recommended above)= 720
Recommended amount of Lumens for above Table= 720
Notice this doesn’t include the rest of the room. For the remaining square footage of the room, you would multiply that number by 20 (as referenced above) to achieve the additional amount of lumens needed to provide adequate illumination for the room’s entirety.
Example: 12′ x 14′ Dining Room= 168 square feet
72″ x 48″ table= 24 square feet
Subtract the difference= 144 square feet
Multiplied by 20 (as recommended above)= 2,880
Recommended lumens for floor area of Dining Room= 2,880
Add these two sums together to achieve your overall lumen recommendation for the Dining Room: 720 + 2880= 3,600 lumens
3,600 lumens compares to an average of 250-300 watts of incandescent light, or approximately 60 watts of LED light. Click here for more detailed information, and a lumens to watts conversion chart to help you with your calculations.
Step 3: What STYLE best fits my decor?
There are several key design features to consider when selecting the perfect chandelier for your space. Once you have determined the correct size and amount of light needed, the look of the light is the next most important decision. In order to find the right fixture to complement your overall look and decor, take some time to research the various styles and options available to you. Are you looking for something Mid-Century and Mod? Then stick to warm woods, neutral fabrics and simple, clean structures like this drum shade from Sonneman lighting. In need of a little Glimmer and Glam? Be looking for polished metals or lighter finishes adorned with glass and crystal. Evoking a Farmhouse Feel? Then dark or rusty metal finishes and more primitive shapes are going to be the key. Whatever style suits you, Creative Lighting is your source for inspiration. Come into the showroom, or visit us on-line to get started.
Step 4: Which FINISH do I choose?
With so many metal finishes to choose from today, it can be hard to determine which direction to go when updating your lighting fixtures. This step is in direct correlation to Step 3 above, but there are a few extra pieces of advice that will help you narrow the field.
First, DIFFERENT IS GOOD- It is okay for your dining room fixture to be unique from the rest of the house. The fixture you choose should be appropriate to the dining room feel you are trying to create, as well as connect to the furnishings you have within that space. This may not always be the same metal finish that is throughout the rest of your home. For example: if your house is full of smooth, satin nickel metals, but your dining room provides a warmer, more rustic feel- it may be more appropriate to select a lighting fixture with darker metals to help anchor the room.
Secondly, MIX IT UP- Long gone are the days where all bronzes look the same. Yes, it is OK to blend finishes within the same color family. Is your furniture hardware more of a smooth, uniformed oil-rubbed bronze finish? It is completely acceptable (if not somewhat encouraged) to use different shades of browns, greys, or even black, in coordination with the existing dark bronze hardware you currently exhibit. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and work with something that isn’t quite an exact match in color. Taking that risk can reap big visual rewards for your space. The important piece to remember here is that the finish you choose needs to complement the look and feel of your dining room area.
Ready to get started? Head into the showroom and let us help you create the dining room atmosphere you have always wanted, just in time for this Holiday Season.
Starting the beginning of August, Hilary came to our team with 21 years of professional photography and five years of landscape design experience. She is excited to utilize her expertise and unique perspective on the design side of lighting.
When asked what excites her the most about joining our team, Hilary shared, “I enjoy any project that involves problem solving, especially with clients who are willing to think outside of the box and look at options they might not have considered on their own. The move towards energy efficiency, sustainability and environmentally friendly options is really exciting. I am also inspired by the creative vision and level of craftsmanship I see in the world of lighting fixtures. The combination of science, technology and art drew me to photography and landscape design – this is another step along that path.”
Hilary and her husband Eric live on the bluffs in East Saint Paul with their cat Mia, and dog Rin. She loves to cook and appreciates the bounty of fresh, local food we have access to here in Minnesota. “I continue to explore the world through photography, focusing on my neighborhood and nearby parks,” Hilary states, “You can find me on Instagram at hilary.n.bullock, if you’d like to join in on my outdoor adventures.”
Darker evenings require the right illumination. Is your outdoor space ready for the long, dark months ahead?
There is still time to update your current exterior lighting situation to best illuminate the night. We have developed a five category check-list to help walk you through the process, and make sure that you have the right type of illumination in your outside areas.
Front Entrance– Size and Scale are important here.Your front door has a big impact on the overall look and feel of your home, not to mention can add the perfect amount of curb appeal when properly lit. There is a common sizing formula we often use to determine the right proportion for your front entry fixtures. If you have two wall mounted fixtures flanking your exterior entrance, we suggest selecting a size that is approximately 1/4 of your overall door height. Only one fixture on the wall? Up this dimension to 1/3 of the height of your door. Check out this tutorial from Hinkley Lighting explaining this process-
Proper illumination is also important. We recommend having a minimum of 1200-1600 lumens of light by your exterior entrances, as well as each overhead garage door. This would equal the amount of light projected from a standard 75-100 watt regular incandescent lamp, or an 18-22 watt LED. Live in a secluded neighborhood, or a dark rural area? We recommend a minimum of 1800-2000 total lumens in each of these same locations. For more information on lumen output as compared to lamp wattages, click here.
Remember to also stay true to the style and architecture of your home when choosing the look of your fixtures. When in doubt, transitional fixtures and simple structures usually stand the test of time. Be careful not to force a look that is more modern or too traditional for the style of your house. Need a little more guidance in this department? Snap a picture or two and head into the showroom. Our talented lighting consultants can help make this selection process a breeze.
Steps, Sidewalks and Paths– Safety is Key in these areas.You want to be able to have a clear sight-line while walking, as well as make sure your guests have a well illuminated path to the entrances and exits of your home. Layering your lighting sources is important. The combination of wall mounted lanterns along with low-level landscape lighting will ensure the proper amount of lumen output in these specific areas where you need to increase visibility. Adding exterior post-mounted lanterns near entrances or stair railings is another optional addition for extra illumination on your exterior walkways.
Outside the Garage– Make a Statement.Your exterior garage lighting serves as a primary source of your driveway illumination, as well as a direct tie into the other main entrances of your home. These fixtures should coordinate with the rest of your exterior lighting, and be of an appropriate scale to the garage doors themselves. The same formula used for your front entrance does not directly apply here. However, it is important to keep the large scale of the garage structure in mind when selecting the correct size of these fixtures. These are typically the same size, if not a step larger than the fixtures selected for the front entrance. As with many aspects in lighting, there is never a “one size fits all” formula to use. Manufacturers provide varying size options to choose from throughout their product offerings, as everyone’s home is unique in shape, size and scale.
In many instances, the light from the fixtures on the garage exterior are used to illuminate some of the driveway to the home, as well. Because of this, it is important to make sure that each fixture has a minimum rating of 1200-1600 lumens, as referred to above.
Decks and Porches- Enjoy the Outdoors. Living in the Midwest has many advantages, but the cold winter months are not always one of them. With limited time to spend enjoying the warmer seasons, it is important to take full advantage of the good weather and sit outside! If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful deck or front porch at your home, make sure it has proper exterior lighting to create a cozy enough environment for you to utilize the space. Adding additional wall lanterns or deck mounted tread lighting will allow you to enjoy the outdoors into the evenings, and until the first snowflake falls!
Patios and Exterior Living– Extend your Living Space.Your yard is an extension of your home. Even in chillier fall temperatures, your outside environments can serve as great entertaining areas with the proper amount of illumination. There are several ways to add light to these spaces- Post or Pier Mounted Lanterns, Low Voltage Landscape Lighting, or Decorative String Light Kits. Adding one or all of these products will not only provide you with enough illumination for your entertainment needs, but will add unique character and charm that you and your guests will enjoy.
With any of the categories listed above, be sure to consider the right lamping option for your personal needs. Many exterior light fixtures today will come with an LED lamping option, or will accept a conversion type LED lamp in the standard socket assembly that is included. By switching to this option, you will be saving time and money, considering most LED fixtures have a rated longevity of 40,000 hours or 15 years! And, they use about 75% less energy than the incandescent lamps of the past.
Confused on where to start? Come visit us in the showroom and let us help you prep your exterior environment with the right amount of illumination this year!