Shedding Some Light on Lighting

What’s all the fuss about?

Lighting is a critical aspect of great interior design. It should enhance and compliment its surroundings as well as function as needed. Each room of your house has different lighting needs, and several factors need to be considered when choosing the best lighting. How big is the space? What is the space used for? What kind of natural lighting does the space have at different times of the day and at different times of the year? Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in a mirror in one room and thought, “Gee, I look great!” and then see yourself in a mirror in another room and think, “Wait, what??” You can blame the lighting.

Lighting choices, like everything else, have become overwhelming. With so many options out there, how do you decide on what’s best? Let’s break it down and look at a few rooms and some of the important factors for each area.

You only have one chance to make a first impression.

The foyer is a great place to get creative and wow your visitors with a spectacular light fixture.

These two fixtures pack a punch and need no introduction. They compliment the space well, are sized correctly, and have taken into account the natural lighting provided by the space.

How to Determine the Size & Placement of a Chandelier – Use This Formula

Add the length and width of the foyer area together and convert the total into inches. Example: The area is 18 feet by 14 feet. Added together this equals 32 feet. Then convert your sum to inches: the chandelier’s diameter should be approx. 32 inches in width.

Additionally, consider the following:

Sizing By Table Size

To determine the width of your chandelier by the size of your table, assuming you have an open floor plan or just want to make the chandelier the centerpiece of the room, then the width or diameter of the chandelier should be one-half to two-thirds the width of the table. With ceilings over the standard eight feet, base the size of the chandelier on the room size or living space. Make sure the width of the chandelier is one foot less than the width of the table, to ensure six inches of clearance on either side of the table.

Hanging Two or More Chandeliers

To hang more than one chandelier over a table, divide the table width by the number of chandeliers plus one and use the result as the width or diameter for each chandelier. Install the chandeliers spaced the same distance apart as the width of the chandeliers.

Height of the Chandelier

Hang the chandelier approximately 30 to 34 inches over the table with an 8 foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, mount the chandelier an additional 3 inches higher for each foot of ceiling.

For ceilings higher than 8 feet, add about three inches to the hanging height per foot. So if your ceiling is 10 feet tall, your lighting fixture should be hung 36-40 inches over the table.

Dining Room

Let’s use my dining room as an example.

I picked this chandelier from a catalog. As soon as I saw it, I just knew it was right for this house and the way I was going to decorate it. The rest of the dining room will fall into place under it and around it.  It is the correct size, enhances the space, sets the mood, and provides the correct functionality.

Here’s the before.

This is a perfect example of the difference between a light fixture that fits the space well and is installed properly and one that does not fit and is not properly installed. Not only is it too high it is too small.

Kitchen Lighting

There’s a lot that goes into determining the best solutions for kitchen lighting:

Task. Used for work spaces, such as countertops where you are preparing food or inside a pantry closet so you can see what’s stocked on those shelves.

Accent. This adds depth and dimension to the environment. Examples include recessed and track lights.

Decorative. Decorative lighting is used to add interest to a space.

Because kitchen lighting is so complex, it’s a good idea to have someone come out and do a site analysis to assure you are getting the most effective solution. Of course we can help with this.

Don’t take shortcuts with lighting!

Lighting budgets are typically low for new construction and/or remodeling. If you are able, try to bump it up, it can be the difference between good design and great design.

Don’t forget about lumens.

Lumens are the amount of light you get from a bulb — in other words, its brightness. For instance, you need a total of 1,000-3,000 lumens to properly light a 250-ft. living room. Dining rooms need 3,000-6,000.

A word about dimmers.

Dimmers are a must have! They are great for setting the mood and giving our eyes a rest. I have them throughout my house, really on just about everything. They take up no extra space and serve as a guide in a dark area.

A few of our favorites and some recent choices for clients:

Mary Ann’s pick for a client.

Mary Ann’s pick for a client.

We love this teacup chandelier! Original, clever, and well worth the investment!

Can be custom made with your own teacups and silverware! Call for details.

Add some color.

Be unique!

Seriously charming.

Queen of the castle.

Love this vintage chandelier posing above the game table as if it has something to say. I can almost smell cigars and whiskey and hear the debate on which horse has the best odds. I don’t know why, but I expect Frida to pop through one of those doors too.

Frida Kahlo

Notice the size of the chandelier and how it relates to the table.

I love the play on geometric shapes here too.

Photo courtesy of Traditional Home.

As you can see, there are so many ways to express yourself through lighting, but you can’t forget the mechanics behind it or you may be left in the dark. Choosing the best option can be confusing so don’t go it alone….call The Cob Collection and save yourself a “wait, what” moment.

Let’s create great design.

Have questions? Just ask! We’d love to hear from you!

2017-02-16T17:44:43+00:00