What Design Element is Missing?

A few weeks ago, I had a design consultation with a client regarding the approach he and his wife were taking on the design for their living room.  They had already purchased furniture and needed design advice on their decision and layout.

When you enter this client’s house, you step into their living room. This room sets the tone for the rest of the house. They have a separate family room but only entertain in the living room. The only lighting in the living room was a pair of wall sconces and a table lamp for general lighting.

What was missing and crucial to the design? Proper lighting!

What was recommended?

  • Accent lighting
    • Updating the pair of wall sconces over the fireplace. The sconces define the area around the fireplace as the focal point of the room and also highlight a painting above the mantle.
    • Installation of direct lighting within a built-in shelving unit, highlighting pieces of art and books.
  • General lighting
    • Installing recessed lights on a dimmer to change the mood.  Recessed lights were recommended as the ceiling is low and has decorative beams.  Of course, if your ceiling height allows this is a perfect place for a decorative  chandelier!
    • Table lamps, on consoles, at opposite corners to light dark corners.  Note that you don’t need to fill the ceiling with recessed lights. Instead incorporate multiple points of light.  In this case the table lamps act as supplemental lighting and also task lighting.   The table lamps can also be used to add sparkle  and interest to your décor.

As of today, furniture has not been delivered but the recessed/direct lighting were installed (on dimmers) – what a difference proper lighting makes!

How do you use your living room?   Do you watch TV, entertain guests, read? Based on the activity in a room it is important to have the proper lighting.

  • For TV watching and general entertaining,
    • Install ceiling fixture on a dimmer for general lighting.  This can be a chandelier (if you have a high ceiling), pendant, flush mount or recessed lighting.  If you watch TV in your living room, be sure that there isn’t any glare bouncing off the TV. Dim the lights for a more welcoming effect and/or have multiple switch controls.
    • Floor and table lamps can also be used but ensure they are strategically placed to provide proper lighting.
    • Candelight also provides an added layer of lighting and a very warm glow to your space.
  • For reading,
    • Include table or floor lamps next to a sofa or chair.
  • For that added touch,
    • Install angled recessed lighting or picture lights to highlight artwork.  Your guests will be able to better appreciate your art collection.

Keep this in mind – good lighting means layered lighting. Combining general, task and accent lighting according to function will add more interest, warmth,  and proper lighting  to your décor.

If you have a design dilemma I am here to help – call to schedule your design consultation.

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