Design Profile: Lighting in a Brilliant New Light

Exclusive designer’s Tips on Lighting: Exclusive Tips for readers of RAYONSHINE BLOG

1. Lighting is the ultimate make or break element in every interior. Moderation is the key regarding lighting in general, and especially recessed lighting. Putting all lighting on dimmers is paramount, and I advise discretion regarding placement of spots. And of course sconces and chandeliers and torchieres are essential, but in moderation. The goal is a balanced, peaceful illumination that never glares, always focuses on correct elements, and mostly creates a harmonious, pleasing mood. 

2. The Living Room: The most public room in the house. It therefore needs to be illuminated in a manner that pleases and assists the guest. The only recessed spots should be over the coffee table, and on artwork on walls. Never generally in a grid. Never too bright. On a dimmer.

A beautifully proportioned pendant light (never too small or too large) can be wonderful in a living room, an intentional piece of sculpture hanging in the space. Pendant light should never be too bright or hard to look at. Soft and subtle will always work best in this room.

Rely on shaded table lamps and torchieres for everything else. Task lamps for reading at sofa side or chair side are ideal. In this manner you can well light the living room without any single light being bright. Create mood, and never over-light the room.

3. The Dining Room is also crucial to illuminate correctly. Just one bright chandelier will kill the room. Important to add 4 recessed spots – two at one end of table, and two at the other end, and chandelier in the center. The four spots will do the heavy lifting, creating clear warm pools of light across most of the table, and allowing you to turn down the dimmer on the chandelier until it glows perfectly. 

4. Sconces are also terrific in the dining room. They provide needed general lighting, but also give the walls depth and complexity. Without sconces walls can look dull and flat. And like the living room, this room can have art illuminated by spots or picture lights. I love sconces. They lift a room…and are unobtrusive, take up little space. They are wonderful in a hallway.

5. Bedrooms: A small chandelier or pendant works well depending on the interior. But it is crucial to have both table lamps and swing arm lights by the bed for reading. If there is art you need spots or picture lights. But any spot lighting must be kept to a minimum. No one wants to lie in bed and look up at bright spots. Design bedroom lighting so that the room can be quite dim, with just bedside lighting or reading lighting over the bed. A standing torchiere can be lovely and takes up little space.

Why Chandeliers Are Wonderful

Chandeliers are art when designed correctly. They are an incredible opportunity for sculpture to hang in the space. Their range of aesthetics is endless.

Chandeliers should never be common or familiar. They are by their nature the visual star or focus of a room. Their design has to delight and impress. Better to have nothing hanging from the ceiling than a cheap chandelier.

Talk about the magic of floor lamps

Sconces are my personal favorite to design. For me an elegant sconce makes the room.

A good sconce (they look best in pairs) is intimate, elegant sculpture, pleasing the eye with its material and form. Its only requirement is to cast light, but otherwise its possibilities are endless.

"My homes are design laboratories, they inspire new designs," says the designer. It's timeless and elegant and looks like it's always been there, rather than a newly designed piece. "

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