If you have ever opened an Architectural Digest magazine, you probably know most homes are shown during the day. The time of the day had to be perfect and of course, there must be some touching up to come up with these perfect lit images. Often times, designers and architects forget the importance to a well-lit room. This is why we sometimes find ourselves trying to convince the client of the importance of this step.
- Floorplan comes first: My formal education was from an Architectural Engineering program. This is why at MASON D+D, we always start with the furniture plan and nail down where outlets will go, recessed lights and even spotlights for art pieces.
- Sources of lighting: My rule of thumb is that every room should have at least three sources of lighting. It can be a ceiling fixture and two sconces, or all table or floor lamps. What is important is that we don’t rely only on one source of lighting. Bouncing off lighting on a wall or ceiling, or even cove lighting are great ways to bring more light in a subtle way too
- Ambience: The key to ambience lighting is, dimmers! Every light in the house should be on a dimmer. It is better to have five lights on with a subtle glow than one light that is super bright. Think boutique hotel instead of Duane Reade.
- Shades: The shade of your light depends on the purpose. Metal shades are for task lighting. If you are looking for a source of light that will allow you to read in bed, this is the type of shade you need. On the other hand, fabric or paper shades will create more of a glow for the room.
- Overhead lights: Yes, they are useful but the common mistake people do is to overdo it or rely on them entirely. Overhead lighting is not flattering, so it needs to have floor or table lamps to complement the overall glow in the room.
- Light people and not rooms: This is probably the most important tip to remember. Think of how people will use the space, where that person will sit to read a book, or how they will lay down on the sofa. This will help you not only to provide the proper lighting for the room but also will help you avoid uncomfortable lighting that blinds guests.
Remember to bring this important topic to your new home or renovation team. It will save you money and headaches further in the process.