Go Ahead. Fall In Love...With a Chandelier

August 19, 2018

Earlier this week I was doing some research for clients who are building a lake home out of state.   Today, Kelli, Jeff and I are traveling to Missouri to see the current state of the construction project and help finalize some materials.   


 One of the topics of discussion will be the critical areas in the home that call for decorative lighting that inspires.   In preparation, I began perusing all of our unique lighting resources for fixtures that I thought would resonate with both the home and our clients - rustic, yet modern, casual elegance, clean lines and not fussy! 



Every client is different concerning their home and lighting style.  And the truth of it is that decorative lighting can make or break the look and feel of a home.  

I know!   It can be overwhelming.  Two things make choosing decorative lighting difficult. First, there is an endless number of finishes, sizes, styles, and materials to choose from.   So the task of picking them can be daunting if you don’t identify the styles that resonate with your taste.

Generally, lighting falls somewhere in three categories...with smaller niche styles within each.    For example, we tend to be drawn to either traditional, contemporary or transitional (somewhere in between) lighting. 



 This style tends to have clean lines with minimal fuss and decoration.    If this is your style, look for fixtures that have crisp lines, a strong frame or simple geometric shapes.  




Fixtures in this genre tend to have an old world feel.  They generally will have curves, ornate details and have a sense of elegance. 




This style brings together the best of both contemporary and traditional elements.   If your goal is to bring the warmth and elegance of a traditional design but mix it with the clean lines of contemporary...then this style might be for you.  



Then there are all sorts of variations on these styles such as...



This style of lighting is casual and personal. It often has an organic feel by using materials like shells or wooden beads. Whimsical is a word that comes to mind.




These are the lights that add a touch of nostalgia to your home.   They are reminiscent of another time and place.   You can find great modern renditions of an older trend.




Think manufacturing plants or the types of lights that might be used in other industrial settings. 




These are the light fixtures that feel like they may be an antique whether they are new and inspired by another time or truly vintage.



And the list goes on of different style variations within each of the three main categories.     


The second reason that lighting tends to be difficult to select is that good (and unique) lighting is an investment.  

If you have ever built a home you know that there is an abundance of pressure to pick out all of your decorative lighting even before the foundation is dug.    And... unless you are willing to go a tad over your building allowance for this category, you are forced to select ordinary, everyday decorative lighting or inexpensive fans…the ones you can find just about everywhere.

Seriously, I would almost rather see no decorative lighting (at least right away)  than a family of uninspired light fixtures that all coordinate and match.   You should have plenty of recessed lighting in your home to make due until you find fixtures that you love.

Lighting will most definitely affect the mood in your home.   It has the ability to make a room feel warm, inviting and certainly festive.  




Since lighting is an investment (and a very good one) here are some tips to help you along in the process.


Tip One:   Try not to fall into the trend trap


So, what is a trend trap?   All new lighting is a twist on a classic - contemporary, traditional or transitional.   And that’s a great way to update and refresh your home.

But every three or four years there is a bandwagon that everyone seems to want to jump on. Right now, farmhouse modern is on fire.   And I really do like the style...warm and cozy.   But I would be concerned about selecting all the decorative lighting for the entire house with this genre in mind.




My guess is that these very style specific fixtures will become outdated in a relatively short period of time.   

Another example has been the resurgence of the Edison bulb, and this trend has been around for the last three or four years now.  I am generally not a huge fan of this particular retro vibe nor the yellowish light it tends to distribute in the space it lights.   




And the other issue is everyone always seems to struggle with finding the right replacement bulbs.  


Tip two:   You don’t need to select lighting in families.   


This is what builders tend to do on their spec houses because it’s easy and cost-effective.   But it also translates into boring and matchy-match. Lighting loses its impact when each direction you turn, you are seeing a light fixture that matches the next.





Tip 3:  You don’t have to pick one finish and stick with it. 


When choosing light fixtures in adjoining areas, they don't need to be made from the same material   There just needs to be a tying element of some kind.    For example, the fixtures in my home have a variety of different finishes.  



The back of the house showcases a chandelier and lantern with a different style but a similar finish while in the front of the house, I have a chrome fixture with a greek key detail.  And upstairs I have a very gold and blingy fixture that I loved.  

Some might call these choices an eclectic pairing, but the general tone of my home flows through all the other elements such as a consistent paint color, wood flooring, and furnishings.   These tying elements give me great latitude to choose the fixtures that I love without having to box myself in with a specific finish or look.

My friends, you are not ordinary nor plain.   You are all one-of-a-kind people. 


Your decorative lighting should resonate with whatever style that gives you immediate pleasure when you see it.   Life is all about falling in love with both the people and the things you surround yourself with...and when it comes down to it... that is all that really matters when picking out your decorative lighting.

So go ahead, fall in love...with a chandelier!   I promise it will be easier than you think.

Have a great week,