Monday, February 23, 2015

Tips for Finding the Perfect Light Fixture

Owning a 1950s Ranch home that was updated in the late 80s, early 90s makes for a mix of old, new and the in between. Most of our lighting is in that awkward in between stage. It is not so old that it has come back in style, but it is old enough to show that its not new and sometimes takes away from the look of a room. That was the case with the oversized fan in the guest bedroom. More than being slightly dated, the fan was way to large for the room. We have 8 foot ceilings and the fan hangs at least 13" down from the ceiling (not to mention its 52" wingspan). So when we were perusing the lighting section in Home Depot a few weeks back and stumbled on this fixture I knew it was going to be a good fit. Not only was the price right, but it was also retro and glamorous all at the same time.

All that to say, I am very pleased with our new lighting solution for the guest room.  How did I know this light fixture was "the one?" There are a couple of guidelines I use when picking out fixtures. These are not hard and fast rules (hate those!) but they are good things to consider when purchasing a light fixture. 

Tips for Finding the Perfect Light Fixture

1. Choose a fixture that is decorative AND gives light. Fixtures not only add light to a room, but they also add interest. Pendant lighting, colored lamps, and chandeliers are a great way to add a pop of color to a room. 

2. When decorating over a table, such as a dining table, kitchen table or island, coordinate the length of the fixture with the length and direction of the table. 

3. Make sure your light fixture matches the style of your space. For example, track lighting might clash with a traditionally decorated space, but could be a better solution in a more modern space. 

4. Size matters. Your fixture should be proportionate to the room, as well as to the furniture it is  above or beside. A minimum of 7 feet of clearance between the ceiling and the bottom of your fixture is a good rule of thumb. For lighting over a tabletop, hang your chandeliers at about 30"-36" above the table. 

5. Don't forget that you can place lights in unexpected places. For example, a chandelier can also be used in a bathroom or a bedroom as a focal point.

Light fixtures are one of my favorite elements of designing a room. Ty will tell you, I never met a lamp I didn't like (or couldn't find a place for!). What is your favorite element in designing a room?

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