words & images:words & IMages Lee Anne Henry, Whiteline Designs
I absolutely love natural light flowing into a room through a window.
Lighting brings us closer to nature, it brightens a room, and it gives color the chance to shine! Light makes small rooms seem larger and can give you a clean, sharp feel.
Today there is a dizzying array of choices for lighting. There are track lights, desk lamps, can lights, flush-mount fixtures, chandeliers, and pendants. With so many choices, my clients sometimes struggle when choosing the right style of lighting fixtures to fit their needs.
Here are four considerations to keep in mind before you go shopping for that new light fixture.
1. How large does the light fixture need to be in order to balance the room?
Designers refer to this as scale. It must be proportional to the rest of the room. Let me explain. Have you been inside a large home where the entryway light fixture is tiny? Doesn’t it feel as though something is lacking? In my experience, it is better to have no fixture at all than to have a tiny or outdated fixture welcoming your guests. There’s an easy solution here—lighting stores will be happy to help select a light fixture that has proper scale. Bring your room dimensions and a photo as you shop.
2. Remember that less is more.
I encourage clients to use natural lighting as much as possible, and you don’t need a fixture everywhere. It may just be me, but I actually discourage the overuse of wall sconces. I have seen many wall sconces come and go, and all seem to look outdated after only a few years.
3. Buy what you like!
Look for value and quality. Sometimes I purchase fixtures from home improvement stores, but I also shop at light fixture specialty stores. Whatever your choice—be sure your selection is consistent with your existing light fixtures.
4. Pay close attention to your bulb!
Select the right light bulb to minimize conflict between fluorescent and LED lighting color spectrums. Inspect the back of the box to find the right color temperature. For living areas, I encourage using a warm tone, which is around 2700 Kelvin. It’s the one described as inviting, comfortable, and relaxing.
One fixture can make a dramatic change to a room, so be creative!
Lee Anne Henry, owner of Whiteline
Designs in Fayetteville, Arkansas, expresses her love
of art through interior design. She looks forward to
getting to know her clients and creating a sense of
calm in their personal spaces.