While there’s so much to consider when decorating a home or office, lighting fixtures are important factors in the overall look and feel of the space. We guide our clients on thinking about elements such as room color (dark or light), available natural light sources, preferred style and each light fixture’s functionality. Functionality can be described in three ways:
- Ambient lighting: general light that fills your room such as recessed lighting
- Task lighting: more focused light to support certain jobs like shaving or make-up application in a bathroom or lighting for food preparation in the kitchen
- Accent lighting: a way to add beauty or drama such as lighting inside a kitchen cabinet or the decorative chandelier over the kitchen island
At Pamela Hope Designs, we enjoy finding various ways to incorporate all three types of lighting to brighten your home or office while unfolding perfectly lit spaces that suit your needs. Let’s explore some recent trends in lighting fixtures and the key aspects to consider when making your lighting selections.
TRENDS IN LIGHT FIXTURES
Lighting as a Focal Point, not just Functional
While lighting fixtures certainly have a practical use, we’re seeing more chandeliers, sconces and lamps serve as statement pieces. For instance, the lighting example above from Homes & Gardens draws your eye to its unique shape and wood tones that softly emit light above the dining area. This statement piece serves as a focal point, even with the dramatic art wall behind it.
“Thoughtfully placed, cleverly designed and carefully crafted ceiling lights will transform rooms. Lighting will become a starting point for design rather than being left until last,” according to Valentina Gori, the lighting expert at Smart Lighting Industries, quoted in the same article.
In many settings, light fixtures double as art themselves such as the above example. We’re loving this Griffin Starburst Pendant from Hubbardton Forge as another way to incorporate visual interest into this otherwise subdued room. We also like contrast of the six glass shades with the hammered steel rods in the fixture hung amidst rich textures in the room. While natural light enters the space from the right, this chandelier can release the right amount of light day or night. Imagine turning the light to a soft glow while enjoying a toasty fire in the fireplace. That sounds wonderful!
This type of lighting isn’t just for homes either. We were excited to install this striking chandelier in an adaptive reuse project for The Warrant Building, a commercial job of ours in Houston. As shown here, the chandelier provides beautiful lighting on the second floor and is certainly a stunning focal point. Of special note is that this same chandelier can be seen from the first floor, on the other side of the stairwell. Below are two more photos of the same lighting fixture from the ground floor. The photo on the left is a close-up shot of the light turned off. It shows great contrast with the dark wood ceilings behind it. On the right, you’ll see a panned-out view of the lit chandelier taken from the ground floor. The stair rail on the second floor can be seen on the left side of this photo, which gives some perspective to the space. Natural light also enters through three nearby windows. It’s really a spectacular view.
Lamps that Double as Sculpture or Art
We’re seeing a lot more color introduced into interior design, likely an impact of people having to stay home during the pandemic. It seems homeowners especially are looking to revitalize their home décor with bolder colors and lighting is embracing this same trend. This colorful lamp shade and base is a fine example. The Matthew Williamson Leopard Love Shade in Blue and Red from Pooky redefines the traditional animal prints by incorporating bold hues that inject excitement into the space. The purple flowers pick up the violet tones in the lamp shade, while the orange color of the lamp base ties into the books on the accent wall.
We added playfulness to one client’s bedroom with this sky-blue lamp base and lamp shade that artistically entertains the eye with lively cats, peacocks and other critters. The curves in the lamp base also mimic sculptured art. This was a wonderful addition for our client who sought to transform her predominantly white townhouse into a home full of color. Remember: lamp shades don’t have to stick to just one or two colors. Shades are an easy way to incorporate accent colors into your room’s primary hue and add an artistic flair. Repeat some of the colors in throw pillows and a blanket on the bed to tie the room together.
Task Lighting Just Right for Your Special Space
Sometimes, we’re tapped for lighting fixtures in some unexpected spaces. We’re always up for a good challenge. This next example below from designer Sara Malek Barney as featured in the May/June 2021 issue of Luxe Interiors + Design has us smiling. The window seat created out of unused spaced below the stairs unveiled a perfect reading nook. Natural light brightens the spot during the day, but additional lighting would be needed on overcast days and starry nights. This designer added a Generation Light sconce that can easily be turned on when needed. It’s clever and clean.
Of course, task lighting is often needed in open spaces like kitchens as well. In my own kitchen below, I’ve featured two hanging pendants over the island to add more focused light where we often prepare meals. As you’ll see in the photo below, we also have recessed lights for broader use but prefer the lighted counter surface when working around the kitchen island. You’ll also likely notice that there are under-cabinet lights as well as lights above the stove top for extra task lighting. Like many of you, I appreciate having the option of using additional lights when and where I need it.
We’ve definitely seen a “Rising Interest in Updating Kitchens and Bathrooms” and lighting is an important consideration there. If you’re looking to choose lighting fixtures that’ll brighten any room of your home or office, contact us for help selecting the ones that will best meet your needs and embrace the trends that are certain to last.