Anybody Got A Light?

As I sat in my Great Room pondering my next blog series topic, the extension cord for the lamps on my end tables that I have deftly hidden under a rug caught my eye, and I thought – let’s talk about light!


Now you may ask why I, as an interior designer, don’t have an outlet in my hardwood floors? Ah, but I do – unfortunately, it was placed almost in the center of the room, and if that wasn’t enough, it was placed so far into the hardwood that it has rendered a flat-end extension cord useless. So, I might as well not have one in the floor at all! In this first part of the series, we will cover the basics.

Bottom line, most people don’t have nearly enough. Without light, there is no color in a room. Without enough light, there is no proper color in a room. Now you know why that fabulous paint color doesn’t look so fabulous in your space.

Natural vs. Artificial Light

There are two general categories for light – natural and artificial. There is nothing better for a space than natural light, but it must be controlled. A wall of windows in a two-story Great Room is very dramatic, but ever try to sit in that room in the late afternoon when the only thing on the windows is decorative drapery panels? We have complete control over the artificial lighting in our spaces, but this is where we often fall short.

For any space, there are three types of artificial lighting – ambient, task and accent.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is indirect or diffused lighting that fills the space such as recessed lighting.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is used for a specific activity such as reading.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to create drama by highlighting an object such as artwork.

Next week, we will discuss the fun stuff – what type lamp goes where, when to ‘chandelier’ and when to ‘ceiling fan’, etc. For now, take a moment to really evaluate the lighting in your spaces. After all, lighting makes a House2Home!

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