Macon, GA, USA

TURN IT ON - THE ART OF LIGHTING DESIGN

Never dim your light...let it shine!

Earlier this Spring Capitol Lighting asked me for an interview on my take of dining room lighting after seeing a few of my posts on my Instagram feed. I was flattered at the request and happily contributed my point of view. 

That gave me the idea to share some of my design ideas and philosophy on lighting design here, as well. The finishing touches - how a room is illuminated - of an interior should be one of the first things to consider when designing a space.


It sounds like an oxymoron, starting with the finishing touches. However, lighting is one of the most important design elements of an interior. It not only illuminates, but it creates ambience...and sometimes even romance. It can be a beautiful decorative piece, but it is also quite necessary and functional.


The lighting I select for a project may often direct the design plan. When a client asks me to update or design a space, the light fixtures are some of the first furnishings I will recommend replacing.

Lighting in a foyer or entry hall should never be neglected. Often it is the initial element one sees when entering a home or office, and it is an area where you can express your style and give a hint of what other fabulous things are happening in your home or workplace.

The right lighting draws the eye upward and can create a dramatic first impression.


The options today for luxury lighting are endless. Styles have become more playful and whimsical, colorful and architectural, hand crafted and highly modern. This is what makes it such a joy to select for a client's home or place of business.




I strive to find a piece that is dramatic and gives the appearance of customized design and I individualize the selection for each client. I look for unusual characteristics, such as porcelain flowers, gilded and hand molded features, wrought iron, scalloped ceramic shades, or ombrΓ© colored beaded or fringed fixtures. Adding a extra touch, such as these crystal swags (below), to an already gorgeous hand made chandelier uplifts and personalizes the fixture and interior design even further.


A chandelier or pendant above the dining table becomes part of the table setting design if it is selected properly. A dining room is not complete without a striking light fixture suspended over the dining room table. It is the centerpiece of the room, elevating the design of the space, creating ambience and an inviting gathering place.


The lifestyle of my client and furnishings that will remain are always taken into consideration, as does the purpose for the lighting - whether in a home or a business. The proper selection of a light fixture sets the mood and enhances a room.


The lighting should complement the interior design of the room and not be the first thing you notice, but rather notice how beautiful the interior is in its entirety - whether with the lights turned on and the room illuminated or the lights turned off and the fixture becomes almost a sculptural piece of art.


Chandeliers, pendants, sconces, lamps all light up a room in their own special way. Lighting dazzles and adds a luminescence to the room. It can bring the entire room together with a flick of the switch!



Repetition of a fixture is also a powerful way to create a statement especially in a commercial space, but also in the home.

 
These precious ceramic scalloped pendants look like flowers falling from the sky blue ceiling in this kitchen. Below, the retro wicker globes (circa 1960), which happen to be back in fashion today, look fabulous hanging on simple white cords from the beams of this vaulted ceiling above.


A pair of pretty sconces in a bathroom flanking a mirror gives a different character to the room than the standard vanity strip light above the mirror.


However if you do choose to use a vanity sconce above the mirror, be creative and select one that has great design.



If there is not enough height for a chandelier or pendant, a decorative flush mount ceiling fixture in a guest bedroom gives the room that extra touch.

It’s important that lighting brightens the space without being glaring. Dimmer switches are a must! The scale of the fixture must relate to the size of the room and furniture - for example the dining room table if it’s a chandelier or pendant, a fireplace mantle, a wide open sunroom, a powder room, reception area, or work station.

A vintage lamp on a modern desk in a home office not only provides efficient task lighting, but is also a creative way to use a cherished heirloom.


Lamps on sideboards, console tables, or chests for ambient lighting in a dining or living room can be beautiful accent furnishings. Consider not using traditional buffet lamps but larger scaled and striking lamps that compliment the other pieces in the room.


Changing out a fixture is one of the quickest and possibly, least expensive ways to update a room and bring a dreary and dull interior back to life!

The best upgrades for your home or office are simple ones such as these described above, but are tricky to implement if you are not trained or have the resources. If you are considering a quick update to your home or business, and adding a little sparkle to conquer the dull, call SMR Interiors and schedule a design consultation! We'd love to help. Lighting plays a major role in setting the mood in a space and we have some fabulous sources of unique lighting for every budget.


All projects and photographs shown here are copyright Suzanne M Rogers Interiors designs.


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