No matter what style of home you have or how you have decorated it, appropriate and plentiful lighting makes it better. Having stylish, well placed lighting shows off furnishings, carpet, art, and collectibles to best advantage whether you are upgrading your home for yourself or to put it on the market. Real estate agents often suggest that clients update lighting before listing their home as lighting sells home, but freshening up the fixtures is important for you as you enjoy your home too.
Replacing existing lighting with new fixtures can be a costly, time consuming job. If you have multiple light fixtures that need updating, your best approach might be to make a room-by-room checklist of your lighting needs, along with a timeline and budget for each room.
Finding Accurate Lighting For Period Homes
With literally thousands of fixture choices online and in lighting showrooms, you need to be very focused as to your needs. While eclectic design is popular, you want to make sure you have stylistic cohesion among the choices you make. Especially if you have a home representative of a specific period, you might want to research the type of fixtures popular at the time. For example, homes from the Victorian era often used sconces, pendant lights, and gas or duel-fuel fixtures. Your lighting choice should incorporate detail common in the period. Even though the fixture you choose need not “match,” or be from the same collection, they should coordinate especially if they are in the same room.
If your home replicates an earlier period and you want to stay faithful to the design, you have a more serious research issue. Exterior fixtures were not popular before the early 20th century, while interior lighting fixtures were not common to the period either. Lighting manufacturers have developed lighting choices that are faithful to the period, even if the exact design was not in use then. Working with a company known for its reproduction lighting is crucial to lighting your home in the right style. This is the approach that museums and historic production venues such as Colonial Williamsburg have used to create lighting that is appropriate to the period yet safe and acceptable for modern visitors.
With these things in mind, here are some of the top locations in the home where you should take stock of your lighting fixtures.
Brightening up The Foyer, Entryway, and Halls
Hanging or flush mount lights will usher your guests into a welcoming environment and gives them enough light to get inside, hang up their coats, and proceed into the house. The layout of your home dictates the size and number of fixtures you will need. If visitors first step into vestibule before entering the hallway of a center hall colonial, you might want a modest flush mount fixture right inside the door and a larger flush mount or hanging one in the main hall. A small fixture on a landing or at the top of the stair will illuminate getting upstairs. Lanterns in the same style but different sizes bring the look together.
Living Room Lighting Ideas
Your living room may include some of your finest furnishings and artwork, yet lighting is often provided by table and floor lamps rather than overhead lighting. You might illuminate the room by adding ceiling mounted lighting such as pot lights, track lighting, and flush/semi-flush mounts. For a more dramatic effect, consider adding a chandelier as a focal point in your living room and employing sconces. Sconces not only frame a fireplace, but can illuminate art and decorative piece. Using sconces with pull-out arms or a pendant light can prevent clutter on end tables.
Regardless of what type of lighting you select for your living room, adding dimmers will ensure that the lighting is soft and not overpowering.
Dining Room Illumination
In many homes, the chandelier over the dining room table is the most elegant figure in the home. Experts suggest that it should hang 30-36″ over the table and measure ½ to ¾ the width of your table, but designers might adjust the dimensions to get the right amount of light and correct proportion. By having the light aim toward the ceiling or towards the table, you can obtain light that is softer or more direct. Depending on your preferred style, you can install a sparking crystal chandelier or a more refined but no less impressive lantern enhanced by sconces centered over a sideboard or placed along the wall to produce additional light.
Island Lights And Pendant Lanterns For The Kitchen
Since kitchens are not only the center for food preparation and cooking, but also eating, socializing, and even working, having plentiful light is essential. Hanging chandeliers, pendant lanterns, or flush mounted fixtures over an island focuses attention to where the action is, so lighting that is efficient, functional, and decorative works well there. If the kitchen features an eating area or attached dining area in addition to the island, you should select light that does not compete with island lighting in size or style. To light areas under cabinets, flush mount or hanging pendants provide the needed task lighting, although recessed or track lighting can do the job as well.
Restful Bedroom Lighting
Bedrooms need a combination of general lighting and more focused lighting for reading, dressing, or putting on makeup. A simple ceiling fixture can provide the ambient lighting, but for a more dramatic effect, a chandelier can be a focal point of the room. Since most people do not want extremely bright general lighting, you should install a dimmer or select a fixture with low wattage. To make sure that you have adequate light for reading, writing, sewing, personal care, etc., hanging lights or wall lights with swing arms provide light while not using up space on table tops. Accent lighting does the job to show off photo and artwork.
The Right Lighting For Bathrooms
Many bathrooms have “zones” where bathing, showering, toileting, and grooming take place. Most people prefer the most intense lighting at the bathroom vaniety, with a bath bar over the mirror or sconces on each side with lower wattages elsewhere. In master bathroom with a separate tub, installing a chandelier over the tub is a popular to making bathing relaxing and romantic.
When it is time to upgrade lighting, lanterns and pendant lanterns from Lantern & Scroll can meet nearly every lighting need. For ideas, view the collections on our website or stop in our showroom to discuss your lighting needs.