selecting

The Difference Between LIGHT and Wrong

Working with a client this afternoon on light fixture selections for the first floor of their home, I got to thinking that this is one area where clients often get lost. Now, I'm not saying that these particular clients are lost; in fact, they have actually been doing their homework on all the many things to consider when choosing, purchasing and installing light fixtures. But, because light fixtures can be such a difficult thing, I thought I'd share some designer insights that might be beneficial. So here they are!

Top 5 Things to Consider with Lighting

  1. Fixture Type/Usage First thing's first, what type of light fixture does your space call for? A ceiling pendant, table lamp, recessed light, wall sconce, floor lamp, or a combination thereof. And, what do you intend to use this space for and, therefore, how will you use the light fixture? For reading, cooking, putting on makeup, mood lighting, overall room lighting, or just for added decoration. With this first consideration, you'll need to answer the above questions and also think about how often you'll use the fixture, at what time of day, etc. This will make the following considerations easier.

Photo showing multiple types of light fixtures.

  1. Light Quantity and Quality Next thing to do is, based on the usage determined first, decide how much light you'll need and what feel you want that light to produce. Do you want lots of bright light? Or, do you want soft diffused lighting? This where you'll consider wattage, number of bulbs, incandescent of fluorescent, desired mood, soft or hard lighting, direct or indirect lighting, etc.

Photo showing low lighting for a mood effect.

  1. Scale and Proportion Once you have decided what kind of fixture and what kind of light you need, it's time to determine the appropriate size of that fixture. The first question to ask regarding scale and proportion is - How big is the intended space? You can only choose a light fixture that will actually fit in your space. However, that isn't the only size consideration you have. There is a real design decision to be made here. What impact do you want this light fixture to have? Is this a statement (or focal) piece? Or, is this a more functional piece that you want to meld into the rest of the design of the room? Playing with scale is a great tool designers use to add interest and drama to a space.

Photo showing scale with light fixtures.

  1. Style After you've tackled all the major requirements, you get to the fun part! What style is the light fixture going to be? Again, you'll have to remember its usage and its scale, and whether it's decorative or functional (or hopefully both); but, ultimately, it could be any style you wish, from a really clean, modern, simple fixture to a very traditional and overly decorative fixture. This will be dictated by your style, of course, and the style of your space! Make it work seamlessly with the rest of the design. Also, when choosing the style, you will also have other choices regarding the look of the fixture like color, finish, shade style, etc.

Photo showing the awesome style of an entry light fixture.

  1. Placement And, before you can call it done, you must think about the final perfect placement of your fixture. This consideration is really taken into account early on as well, but it's key in the installation process. Exactly where should your fixture be hung, mounted or placed? At what angle or position, and at what height or width apart? It's best to think about lines of sight and any specific axis used in the space. You know, consider if it should be centered on a window, in line with another fixture, at the appropriate standing or seated height, etc.

Photo showing placement of light fixtures.

So, next time you are thinking about switching out a light fixture or adding a new one, first think about these Top 5 Things. There are, of course, several other things to consider with any design element, such as budget, timeline, etc. But this list should get you started and hopefully have you selecting the LIGHT choice, and not the wrong choice!

Images from today's post can be found on DecorPad.

Powder Room Progress

It's been a little while since we introduced you to our plans for the design of our tiny powder room. Since then, we have made some progress on the space! So, let me fill you in. First things first, we had to nail down the color palette and determine where those colors would be found in the space. We stuck with the plan and knew we wanted to go with a palette of grey blues, light browns, deep oil-rubbed bronze, fresh white and yellow ochre.

Fun little side note: Our inspiration for this palette actually came from this book cover!

Photo of inspiration book.

Our color palette.

To jump start the project, we decided to get some color on those blank walls! We chose the subtle greyish-blue color as the backdrop for the rest of the palette and off we were to find the perfect grey-blue for the walls of our space.

As you know, finding the perfect color can sometimes be a fun difficult task. Well, for me it is fun, but I know that it can be overwhelming for many people, and I've experienced this first hand with some of my clients.

So, before I share with you the specific color we've chosen, here's how we got there. Listed below are a few quick and helpful tips (that we always use), when choosing the perfect paint color for your space.

    Top 5 Tips for Selecting Paint Colors:

  1. Gather swatches/samples together. Pull together all the intended (or existing) materials and finishes for the space, and create a color and texture palette, to see how they all work together. You'll want a healthy mix of color, patterns, contrast, etc. The flooring material may make the wall color look very different than it does on the swatch alone.
  2. Analyze the color. Are there undertones of another color in your paint swatch? Does the color evoke a mood or feeling? These are things you want to be aware of before the paint goes on the wall. Your soft green may make you sick to your stomach, or your neutral beige may end up reading peach when it's on a large wall.. eek!
  3. Think about lighting. View the paint swatch in the light of your space at multiple times a day. Swatches can look very different in different spaces and in different light. Make sure you are happy with the look and feel of the color in your space from the bright morning light to the evening low light!
  4. Pay attention to the plane. Hold the swatch on the same plane as where you plan to paint - vertical for wall surfaces, horizontal for floor/ceiling, etc. You'll see that it really does change how you view the value of the color! I even suggest purchasing a sample paint pot and painting a test area directly on the surface, to be really sure.
  5. Take your time. I find myself explaining this to clients often. Good design takes time. It should not take forever, but the word design itself denotes planning and well thought out decisions. So, be patient and take the time to think about and explore all facets of the color before purchasing and painting.

Well, we followed our own advice and pulled together the few finishes that were already selected for the space - the ceramic tile floor (which we decided we are not changing), the bathroom fixtures (toilet and sink) and the book cover we were inspired by. And, narrowed it down to a few options.

Test swatches on the wall.

And after following the rest of the tips, we eventually decided on the color "Morning Fog" by Sherwin Williams.

Paint fan swatch.

Paint color blocks.

Anyway, after we purchased the paint, we got started late one evening. And here are a few shots of the progress.

Left side of space.

Right side of space.

Ruckus in the painted space.

Oh and yep, we only painted the upper portion of the wall. Wondering why? Remember the paneling idea we mentioned in a previous post. You'll have to wait and see what we have in store!