Updating your lighting doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are many easy and efficient ways to create big lighting impact in your home. Let us walk you through the six main areas to focus your lighting efforts on, and the best approach for each space in order to reap great reward with illumination!
First things first, the foyer. Your main entrance, whether big or small, is the initial impression of your overall style. We all know the saying, “you only get one shot at a first impression”. This is exactly why updating your foyer fixture is number one on our list. This can be as simple as a new semi-flush ceiling fixture if you’re dealing with an 8′-10′ ceiling height, or a brand new chandelier for those 11′-20+’ applications. If ceiling fixtures aren’t your jam, some welcoming wall sconces flanking the interior door or adjacent wall can also create big impact. Whatever the fixture type- the foyer should set the tone for the entire home and provide a strong visual impact upon first glance into the space.
The kitchen, often referred to as the heart of the home, is next up on our list. We tend to all congregate in this wonderful place, regardless of it’s size. We cook, we eat, we talk, we laugh, and we may even cry in this square footage of central command. With so much activity happening in the kitchen, it’s important that we LOVE it’s aesthetic. Along with great visual appeal, lighting in your kitchen also needs to be highly functional, and able to provide a properly illuminated working environment. The trick to achieving this is all in the layering. Emphasized more here than in other areas of the home, layering the lighting sources in your kitchen space is imperative. There are three main types of lighting we focus on here:
- Ambient- The first, and probably most important, layer. This refers to the main overhead lighting source(s) that provide you with the largest amount of lumen spread, or “lighting coverage”. Recessed lighting is commonly used in the kitchen for general or ambient lighting. Other central overhead lighting sources that would fit in this category would be large flush or semi-flush mount fixtures.
- Task- Task lighting is any lighting source that is placed in particular areas of a room for specific “tasks”. Under-cabinet lighting, for example, is a common type of task lighting found in a kitchen space. When used in conjunction with good ambient lighting, task lighting is a very important layer to achieve proper illumination in a kitchen. The addition of this layer creates a more uniformly lit working environment that is both flexible and efficient for the user.
- Decorative- The label pretty much says it all. Decorative lighting sources create visual interest within a space, as well as provide any additional lumen coverage for a seating or gathering area of the kitchen: island, dining table, breakfast nook, etc. These fixtures create a layer of visual intrigue within the space and contribute to the overall design of the room. Decorative fixtures can come in the form of hanging pendants, chandeliers, or even wall sconces.
For those of us lucky enough to have a separate dining space outside of the kitchen, this room should rank high on the list of places for lighting improvement. The dining room is a place we gather- we break bread, we celebrate, and we share our lives with the ones we love most. That alone makes this room a place we should cherish and make beautiful, which is why it is number three on this list. The most common lighting application in the dining room is the placement of a chandelier centered over the main table. But, in today’s world of illumination, there are so many different options to choose from and new trends to follow. The single suspended fixture may not be enough for the size of your dining area, or the thought of a conventional chandelier may not fit your “unconventional” space. There is no rule book here- other than that the lighting choices should be proportionate to both the table size and the size of your room, provide you with enough light, and be reflective of your home’s overall decor and aesthetic. Maybe two larger pendants are more your “style”? Whatever your preference, we’ll help make sure that you have the right fixture(s) to fit your needs. For more information regarding proper sizing and placement of dining room fixtures, click here.
We focus so much effort on making the inside of our homes look like they are right out of an interior decor magazine, but we often make the mistake of forgetting about what the real first impression of your home is- the exterior! Don’t be complacent about the greeting the outside of your home gives. Your exterior lighting should add warmth and security to your entrance, as well make a stellar first impression. Proper sizing on exterior fixtures can be tricky, and more often than not we see the mistake of using fixtures that are too small for a home’s stature. Questions on how to find the right sized fixtures? Check out our step-by-step tutorial here. Our consultants will help to determine proper sizing of exterior fixtures for your home and show you the latest lighting technologies available so that you are not changing light bulbs in the dead of a Minnesota Winter. (We’ve all been there.) But we beg you, don’t forget about this prime lighting location. Put it fourth on your list!
Your sanctuary. Your getaway. A room that should evoke rest, relaxation, meditation and peace. Yes, for all of these reasons above, your master bedroom space should be set as number five on your list of illumination improvements. Your bedroom lighting does not (and should not) have to be boring! Make this space a lighting priority. Even if you don’t have tall or vaulted ceilings that allow you to gracefully suspend a dramatic gem from your ceiling, a more modest semi-flush fixture can provide some major visual impact! Adding wall sconces to your walls can also provide an amazing ambiance to your space. Layers are needed here, as well. Pay attention specifically to your bedside lamping to ensure that you have the proper task lighting for those nights where reading is an absolute must. Our one “must-have” addition? Dimmer switches. Having more control and options with your light levels in this room are oh-so-ever important. You won’t regret it.
The last line item on our 6-point checklist goes to the main bathroom in the house. Being one of the only closed-door spaces in a home that most all of your guests will see, the main bathroom of your home should be well lit and well represented. Update that original-to-the-house bath vanity light with something that has as much style as it does proper lumen output. (Click here for a quick guide on how to determine the lumen needs for your square footage.) Our favorite bathroom lighting application? We prefer using wall sconces flanking either side of a mirror rather than using one larger wall mounted fixture above. Why? You will receive a more evenly distributed spread of light, with limited shadowing, when illuminating from the side. You’ll thank us later.
Need more advice? Head into the showroom and speak with one of our trained and talented lighting consultants. We’ll help make sure that your illumination update is as easy as it is beautiful.
PHOTO CRED: Pinterest, Feiss, Crystorama, Hinkley Lighting, Hudson Valley Lighting.