Light Imitating Art - How to Use Lighting as a Decorative Feature
By Paul Forte
Lighting is often thought of as a necessity, which it is, but not often as part of the decor. This is more the case in residential settings. For years architects in commercial buildings have used lighting to compliment their designs. A good example of this melding of light and art is the Chrysler building in NYC. Most of the original lighting followed the Art Deco style of the building, with many of the fixtures custom made to fit the style.
In residential settings the most common use of decorative lighting fixtures is in the form of a dining room chandelier or some wall sconces. There are so many unique and beautiful light fixtures to choose from. Using a combination of unique light fixtures, varied patterns and controls, the lighting can in itself become a work of art. Even something like recessed cans with some planning and forethought can be placed in patterns that enhance the room from a decorative standpoint.
A very popular form of lighting used today in kitchens is pendant lighting. Placed over an island or peninsula, they can help define the space and add an element of art into the room. Taking a simple set of three pendants and altering the height of the fixtures, a new visual experience can easily be created. Too many lighting plans just conform to a given symmetrical pattern. Recessed lights placed in rows that are very commercial looking in nature. Instead of the lights placed in 3 rows of three you can have rows of three, two and three. This minor change now adds interest and is visually pleasing.
There is also the style of the fixtures themselves. The vast majority of recessed lights used are a basic baffle and bulb. There is so much more in the way of recessed lighting. There are trims for recessed lights that come in glass, different colors, wall washers, gimbal rings and so many more. It just takes a little thinking out of the box to take a different approach. Not to mislead anyone, these more unique designs cost more money. The truth is that most people are willing to pay a little more but they just aren't made aware of all the options available.
On your next remodeling project, consider the lighting in your decorative plans. The finished project will be a step above the rest!
Paul Forte has been in the lighting and electrical field for over 25 years. He has helped countless homeowners across the country with their lighting needs through his Website - Here is a very unique Pendant Lighting Layout and a little How To.