Any space has several key elements that help bring it all together and unfortunately, lighting is often hit or miss. Most often we will encounter clients who have fallen in love with a lighting fixture and purchase it as their very first item within a space - Now, this isn't always a guaranteed headache and can be successfully executed. However, most times it becomes too difficult to draw on key features of the lighting fixture selected and different elements in the room will take longer to come together (..or never really get there) The alternative is that we have clients who absolutely forget the importance of lighting. They would be perfectly okay with the ceiling plate that you see in hotel rooms throughout their homes - and that is what we call a cry for help! And don't worry, we are on our way to save you one light fixture at time!
Lighting is a topic that few people find themselves in the middle of the spectrum on - who knew it would be such a divisive topic! Clients have either gained an appreciation for fancy and expensive lighting fixtures or they don't want to splurge a single dollar on something they will rarely look up to see. But we're here to tell you that the middle of this spectrum is in fact where all the fun happens! For example, the light fixture above was a great find at a local antique store. The best part about this light fixture is that it wasn't one when we picked it up. It was still a relatively new piece, and was made in Turkey - we primarily fell in love with the hand made aspect of this stunning item. It was actually intended for a candle and although, we are sure that would have been beautiful out on some glorious European veranda, we thought we'd best enjoy it inside for the full 12 month's of the year! The adjustment was easy and we had one of our electricians do the work (it took him less than 30 minutes) and we couldn't be more pleased with our decision! This little fixture got a new lease on life! And the best part of this little project was that it cost us a third of what it would have in one of those fancy lighting stores.
Now, if you're serious about letting your lighting fixture 'light up your life' here's what you need to know..
1) Scale is important - the size of your fixture should meet the size demands of the room. Most often, you will see light fixtures that are too small for any given space and people will compensate for this by adding lamps and excessive side tables. Although, accent lights are important, they can't be expected to pull the weight of your primary light source in any given room. We actually like to use light fixtures that are a bit oversized. They have the ability to ground the space and can actual help scale the remaining components of your room.
2) Design is everything, be consistent! - the light fixture is not a separate component of any given space. As a result, it has to work with the other elements within a room - the design of the space must align to the design of the fixture. Sure, we're always talking about making a statement in a space and there's a time and place for that. However, with light fixtures you want to reinforce the design of the interior - not challenge it.
3) Materials matter - the material from which the light fixture is constructed can make all the difference. We love depth in materials - glass, crystal, brass.. the list goes on. The material from which the light fixture is made from adds the most value when the surface is reflective - this guarantees that your light fixture not only looks beautiful in the evening when it is turned on but during the day as well through the natural light that streams into your space.
We also recommend challenging yourself to think outside the box of conventional lighting stores as options on your hunt for the perfect lighting fixture. Now, if creating your own lighting fixture isn't your thing.. we say hunt in antique stores for that perfect chandelier. Not only do they have character, and their own story to tell but they have the perfect amount of gold detailing to make any space sing. Most re-creations of 'vintage' chandelier options now appear to be overdone, the gold detailing is often more yellow than saturated in richness and it ultimately, is missing that patina that makes chandeliers so special. Remember, patina is earned and should be appreciated!
Finally, don't be afraid to look for lighting options in unusual places. The lighting fixture featured above was from a vacation to Morocco. We understand that most people aren't contemplating their next light fixture on their vacations but if you come across the perfect piece in a flea market or in a hidden, off the beaten path, store front - we highly recommend you pick it up! You simply cannot get more authentic than that. And not only will you be going home with a wonderful conversation starter, you will be helping the local economy of where ever you've chosen to recharge! Now.. getting these types of pieces home is a whole other story but we've done it multiple times and it's often just an additional charge for a carry on! So worth it!
So yes, lights really can light up your space and your life! Just make sure you open yourself up to various range of possible lighting sources.. this way you'll be sure to select one that can really complete your space!