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For The Home

Custom Lighting

Author: F. Christopher West
Issue: March, 2014, Page 44
illustration By F. Christopher West, ASID Industry Partner

I am interested in incorporating custom lighting in my home. Can you give me some guidelines for doing so?

Any room can benefit from the impact of a great light fixture. For example, a custom chandelier is typically found in foyers and dining rooms, but a chandelier in a walk-in closet or over a kitchen island will make a “wow” statement. High ceilings can accommodate a single, large, tiered fixture or a grouping of fixtures. For a breathtaking effect in a long hallway, consider a parade of elongated sconces.

It is important to know the ceiling height of a room to determine the appropriate scale of a fixture for that space. Make sure the chandelier or pendant you choose is adequate for the volume of the room. Small fixtures can be hung in multiples to strengthen their impact. And lighting over dining tables should provide sufficient illumination without interfering with the art of conversation.

Like furniture styles, lighting designs run the gamut, from Old World to Transitional, and elegant to earthy. Don’t be afraid to mix and match—to use Contemporary fixtures in Traditional architectural settings, for example, and vice-versa. It’s always more interesting to be a little unpredictable. And some interiors truly benefit from the element of surprise.

Changing an existing fixture by adding gold or silver highlights to the finish, or attaching a few crystal drops as trim, are a couple of budget-friendly ways to create lighting that is unique to you. Another easy fix is to replace a fixture’s shade(s). Options range from leather, copper and silvered mica, to solid-color fabric or prints, which can be embellished as desired.
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