Lighting can be an impactful element in bringing your space together and setting the perfect mood in your home. Not only is lighting one of the most shopped categories at Kathy Kuo Home, but it’s also a topic that we always get questions about! “How do I choose a chandelier? What sized table lamp do I need? Track lighting or recessed lighting? And what’s the deal with dimmers?” Keep scrolling for Kathy’s tips on how to pick the best lighting to make a grand statement in your home.
Make a Statement
When designing an entryway or any grand space, especially one with an open floor plan, this gives a perfect opportunity to allow an overhead lighting fixture to make a statement and steal the show. One of my personal favorites is our Jalbala Antique Gold Lotus Pendant. This piece adds geometric and dimensional glamour, which really helps elevate most spaces since it’s also warm and rustic.
My top 5 favorite statement fixtures:
- Emery Modern Trio Glass Pendant
- Green Oaks Rattan Woven Pendant
- Pipa Frost White Ribbon Bowl Chandelier
- Zanadoo Antique Brass Burst Chandelier
- Ziggy Glossy White Wide Hammered Iron Pendant
Lighting can add to or subtract from the overall colors of a room. These woven drum pendants in this kitchen complete the space by bringing together the wicker and rattan decor on the countertops and shelving.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore neutral spaces and subtle warm tones. But an extra POP of color or texture brings the space to another level in terms of dimension and depth. With the majority of this space is light and bright, the lighting feature contrasts well and is for sure an attention grabber.
Light and Space
Imagine a big airy room full of neutral tones and natural light. Just describing it feels like a breath of fresh air, right? So much of how we perceive space and openness actually comes from light!
Dark colors or insufficient light makes a room feel smaller while light colors and good lighting make a room feel larger. If you’re looking to open up a small room or narrow hallway, consider painting with light colors and installing lots of lights.
The 3 Types of Lighting
Ambient Lighting radiates from the center of the room and comes from chandeliers, pendants, or recessed lighting. Having an ambient lighting source is fundamental to almost every room in your home.
Design Credit Bria Hammel Interiors
Task lighting in interiors is great for a reading nook, preparing and cooking food, doing homework, working on your laptop, etc. Task lighting can come from recessed or track lighting, but it also commonly comes from floor, desk, and table lamps. The key to task lighting is to ensure a glare-free workspace that is easy on the eyes so that you can focus on the task at hand.
Accent Lighting: Adds drama to a room by creating visual excitement. Think of a jazz singer spotlit on a smoky stage. Use accent lighting to draw the eye to paintings, sculptures and other standout pieces in your design. Accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on a focal point as the general lighting surrounding it, and it is usually provided by recessed and tracked lighting or wall sconces.
Types of Lighting Fixtures
Design Credit Becky Shea Design
Track Lighting: Consists of linear housing containing several heads positioned along a track, like the stage lights at a rock concert. Similar to a rock concert, track lighting allows you to direct the attention of your audience by positioning the heads to act as accent lighting.
Image Credit Emma Fiala
Under-cabinet Lighting: Mounted under kitchen cabinets, undercabinet lighting can be linear or a single puck-shaped fixture. You’ll generally see undercabinet lighting in the kitchen to provide better lighting for your stove or counter space, but undercabinet lighting can also be creatively implemented in a space like a home office.
Design Credit Jute Home
Pendant Lighting: Suspended from the ceiling, a pendant light directs its light downward, typically over a table or kitchen island. Our wide collection of pendant lighting can provide ambient or task lighting, and you can find them in a variety of design styles.
Design Credit Whittney Parkinson
Chandelier. Suspended from the ceiling, chandeliers direct their light upward, typically over a table or entryway. They are a beautiful, elegant, and add a sense of luxury to the home. We get loads of really good questions about chandeliers, how to choose them, which rooms to place them in, how to style them. Check out our Chandelier Cheat Sheet for answers to those questions and more!
Design Credit Jean Stoffer Design
Wall Sconce. Surface-mounted to the wall, sconces can direct light upwards or downwards, and their covers or shades add a stylish touch to a room. Our sconces offer versatility: adjustable hinges and heights reinforce the flexibility and functionality of these lighting fixtures. Alone or in a pair, the sconce is perfect for bedrooms, bathrooms, entryways, and any place where a strong lighting statement is needed.
Design Credit Sita Montgomery Interiors
Desk, Floor & Table Lamp. As pieces in a room, lamps are extremely versatile and portable sources of light. Most lamps direct light downward and are often used as task lights, particularly for reading or lounging.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to incorporate floor lamps into your design, be cautious of placing them so that they won’t get knocked over and the cords won’t be in the way. Floor lamps can also be difficult if you have pets or young kids.
Types of Lightbulbs for Interior Design
Candle. The candle bulb transports us to another time, one with a very warm and intimate lighting environment. Perfect for the Rustic Lodge style, candle bulbs light a place with nostalgic beauty.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs consume a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and last 10 times longer. Unlike the old fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet and have warmer, color-corrected tones. The Kuotes also wants to advocate: recycle, recycle, recycle all of your CFL bulbs. The one hesitation with CFL bulbs is that they contain traces of mercury, so if broken, it’s very important to dispose immediately and keep away from children.
Edison. Named after the king of innovation (despite his questionable methods), the Edison bulb is a carbon or tungsten filament lightbulb that carries a vintage look modeled after the Edison Electric Lighting Company at the turn of the 20th century. The Edison bulb’s factory look works great in an Industrial Loft style space.
Image Credit Spence And Lynda
Globe: The globe bulb is named after its shape. A big burning globe gives a bright and heightened feel to a room. These bulbs bring romance, like lanterns floating down a stream or being thrown up to the sky.
Incandescent: Incandescent bulbs are the common household light bulbs you probably imagine in your head when someone says the word light bulb. They are also the most affordable type of light bulb. This type of light is warm, inviting, and was made for the home. Incandescent bulbs usually last between 700 to 1,000 hours and can be used with a dimmer; however, they’re not as energy efficient as other options.
LED: This bulb, which stands for “light-emitting diode,” is a lighting technology that is long-lasting and extremely energy-efficient. LED lights provide only directional light, not diffused light, so they’re fantastic for undercounter and task lighting, but they are generally not used for ambient lighting.
Keep checking The Designer Handbook for even more lighting tips coming soon! Have any questions or comments? Share with me in the comments section below!