Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 6:55PM
Kim's Basement- which I posted on yesterday- needs a lighting plan. Currently she has can lights.
I have some general rules that I like to follow when lighting a living area. These rules are not the same for task areas such as kitchens and offices. Nor are these rules the same for bedrooms. These are my guidelines for living rooms, great rooms, and family rooms.
- Light should not flood the room from the ceiling. When can lights flood the room, there is no shadow, there is no beauty in the lighting, just light. Whereas this might be good in an office- this is not good in a living room. Kim- if your can lights are not already on a dimmer- put them on one.
- There should be light coming from the ceiling, but it should be illuminating something worth looking at. In Kim's room, she has a 19 foot wall- in my design, I put three large pieces of art on the wall. Track lights have a bad image in some people's mind- likely because they were so huge and tacky in the 70's - but they are great as they can add accent lighting to walls- creating beautiful shadows and mood- with great control over the direction of the light. On a long wall like Kim's- she would most likely need more than one. The light above is from Lamps Plus. This also is opposite the TV- and can be used without creating glare during TV viewing.
- There should be light coming from the floor. Every room should have a plant or two- and every plant should have an uplight. Uplights should be put on timers- so they automatically come on every night at a certain time, and go off at a certain time. Even if you are just walking by the room- how nice to see the beautiful shadows of the leaves of the plants on the walls. This creates ambiance. We shouldn't just have ambiance on special occasions, we should have it everyday. If you have a piece of furniture with lights in it- like an etegier- put it on a timer also. The uplight above is from lamps plus.
- Light needs to come not just from the ceiling and the floor- but also closer to eye level- generally with lamps. In an asymmetrical setting like Kim's- I like using different lamps with different lamp shade styles. In a more formal symmetrical setting- I might use matching lamps. I never would use a bunch of lamps from the same "series". Totally boring. It is like getting two matching end tables with a matching coffee table- dull. (OK_ all my friends that are reading this that have a set of matching tables- I don't care- I don't notice- please still be my friends- I got a lot of static after I bagged on the sofa love combination. :) For Kim's basement- I am selecting the pharmacy lamp below- from Restoration Hardware- for beside her curved sofa- and the rectangular pendent at the top of the post- for above her box table from yesterday's post. (from Lights Up). (in linen color- not bright white as pictured.)
So- that' s the plan- when you create a lighting plan for your living area- count the sources when you are done and make sure you get to at least 5. Remember sometimes light sources are fireplaces. This room doesn't have sconces- but don't forget sconces- they are a great addition. :)