great room lighting

Another incredible tool I love to use in my work is customized lighting.

When used well, proper lighting can utterly change the way we perceive space… Rooms feel bigger or cozier, more comfortable, intimate and memorable.

Lighting affects our moods and energy level as well as the subtle “tone” of the room or entire house…

Sometimes my task is to find beautiful fixtures but more often than not, the real trick is to

manipulate light itself to enhance the space.

Different rooms require different amounts and kinds of light. I enjoy making spaces come alive with intelligent, effective layering of light.

Light layering employs ambient light: (natural light from windows, passageways and skylights as well as general overhead lighting). Task lighting: like desk lamps, reading lamps, under cabinet lights and such and accent lights such as up lights behind a plant or a spot light that highlights art or a wall washing flood that accents a texture like brick or stone.

Considerations for a light plan:

  • Budget
  • Clients’ needs and preferences
  • Room function
  • Safety/Electrical Codes/Energy use
  • Switching/dimmers/outlets
  • Furniture placement and room flow
  • Flexibility

A good lighting plan can be complex because it relies on strategic planning early in the remodeling process and a clear sense of priorities as to budget because good lighting is expensive. The designer, contractor and electrician need to be in sync and the client generally needs to be fairly involved because they are the one that will be using the products daily. Little things, like the kind of bulb a light uses, the ease of replacing the bulb and how often that bulb needs changing become a big deal if the ceilings are 13’ tall or the chandelier takes 27, $8 lamps every few years…

As to aesthetics, a humble but beautifully lit room is far more comfortable and inviting than a poorly lit palace. Lighting makes all the difference. Between the planning, coordination and shopping, a comprehensive light plan for a single story house can run $850-$1200 for design time.