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Monday, August 31, 2015

Coordinating Lighting Fixtures and Making Plans


I have talked about lighting in previous post as being somewhat like jewelry in an outfit. 

When you think about it, it adds sparkle, texture and sets the mood for the room, somewhat like jewelry does for an outfit.

When choosing lighting you need to keep in mind the overall style and/or mood of the room.

A way to tie lighting together is by its style as well as it’s finishes. 

There are instances where one fixture such as a chandelier over a dining table that is off by itself can be an over-the-top fixture that is completely different than the overall setting. 

This method of juxtaposition has to be done very carefully, and not everyone has the ability to do it well, so move in with caution.

Sometimes, “Different,” is just different, and it does not marry well to other pieces in a room, so I always caution non-professionals when trying to make this move.

I have been playing with lighting for my new home over the last week, or so. I have come up with fixtures that I truly like and now I have to marry them to each other.

Personally I find it very helpful to do a collage of sorts, and then put them with some of the base pieces that will be in the room to see if there is a gentle flow.

I don’t want anything to be jarring on the eye, or  to not make sense. I use a saying, " It visually flows!" all the time.

Let me set up the scenario for you…

Our new home will be a traditional/coastal look, hopefully somewhat like a Nantucket home. 

Of course I live in an area surrounded by vineyards, and not the ocean, but the ocean is where my heart always wanders.

It is a small cottage home of 1590 sq. ft. this is our retirement home, and we have downsized a bit.

My furnishings will be the same as in my previous home…



You can see I have a base of black and white, and blue and white. My sofa is a traditional style blue and white ticking, and I add pillows to change things up seasonally. Green is a constant accent color in my home.

spring summer look collage

Ribbet collage Summer Fabrics

winter look_thumb[5]ribbit

Now that you have a feel for my home let’s move onto the lighting choices I have in mind.

We will start with my entry hall which is small, (5ft X 8ft.) by most standards, but I am thankful to have an entry hall to greet my guest.

No matter what size or shape of entry you have my philosophy about entrances into your home is this…

“You are about to enter the place we love, and call home, as you enter I hope you know your are welcomed here. We hope we have made you just a bit curious about how the rest of our home will look by our choices in colors, wall treatments, and the other elements we chose to greet you.  We love beautiful things, but nothing is too precious in our home that it will ever be more important than YOU.  We hope you feel at peace, and relaxed while you visit here.”

The plans for my entry will involve one of two looks.....

One  look will be all white paneled walls, floor to ceiling, we have 10ft. ceilings, very similar to the image below….

white molding and wall frame art.

Once I move into our home I will be able to see  if this look will be the right way to go.

The other option will use a bit of color, and texture and I will go up 6-7ft with the panels in white millwork, and then it will be topped off with a navy/cobalt grasscloth. 

This will be an introduction to the  base colors that I will be using in our home.

I love the texture and warmth this wallpaper provides, such a fan of wallpaper covering

As you go further down the entry hall you will enter into the kitchen and great room area.

I will have a huge island in the kitchen that is 9ft long and curved. There will be white cabinets with a quartz counter top that is white with subtle gray veining.

I could possibly use a fixture over the large island, but I usually do not like visual clutter, and there will be another fixture over the dinette table that you will see all at the same time. 

Another reason it is very important to coordinate lighting fixtures. 

Once we live there for awhile I will be better at judging whether or not I will use a fixture over the island.

In the Great room there will be the furniture very much like what you have already seen in the above images of my previous home.

Sorry it took so long to set it all up for you, but I know if you are like me you like to have a visual picture  of the overall room or base.

Now lets move onto some of the different combinations I have in mind…….


collage lighting choices 
The pendant would be the entry light, the large linear fixture would be over the island, the chandelier from our previous home over the dinette, and the sconces would flank the fireplace over mantle.

Ribbet Edit lighting choices
Here is the lighting with some of the base pieces that will be in the room.


Ribbet collage Lighting choices 3

This option does not have any fixture over the large island, only a chandelier over the dinette table which is round. The Hicks pendant would be in the entry hall and the sconces would be over the fireplace mantel.

Ribbet Edit Great room lighting #5


Ribbet collage New house lighting choices
             ENTRY                               ISLAND                   DINETTE                        FIREPLACE             

Ribbet Edit Great room lighting


Ribbet collage OPTION #5



After viewing all of the options I think it can give you a better idea of what will possibly work.

There will always be one, or two combinations that you will prefer over the others, and once you  get to that point then be very critical of your choices. 

Look at scale, color, texture and pricing. Yes, the pricing has to be considered by most of us, we all have the ugly.......

“B,” word =Budget!

Through this whole process always stay true to who you are and what you want. 

There are  many, many options out there, and it is so easy to be swayed. 

This is why I spend time sourcing my desires first, and I really get in tune with what I love before moving forward with any purchases. 

Once I have my options chosen then I can move to the next step of choosing what I love the most. 

For clients I like to only give 3 options, it is so much less confusing, but for myself I can handle more, in fact I have to see all of my options lined up as I have done in the above images .

Once I have it narrowed down to two choices, then I spend some time in the environment living with the options in my mind for awhile before ever making a purchase. 

I realize this is somewhat systematic for most, but having worked with clients for over 30 years I have found this method to be pretty fail safe. 

If you love something, and buy with your heart that can work for some, but on base pieces for your home I tend to like a more strategic plan.

Now that you have read my plan of attack, and have seen some of my choices, is there one combination you prefer over another, or would you mix them up in another configuration.

Let me know in the comments. I hope this blog post will help you out in any of your future purchases for your very own home.

Above fixtures were found from the following sites....


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Lighting Saga Continues With More Choices!


I think light fixtures are like jewelry in a room, and just as you coordinate your jewelry with your outfit you also need to coordinate your light fixtures if they will be in close proximity to each other.

The next light fixtures I have to choose are in my kitchen area. 

Several of you thought it would be more helpful to visualize if you could see the area that I am talking about. 

I only have the models images of this area so you will have to use your imagination when it comes to color.

All my walls are white, cabinetry white with quartz counter tops that are white with gray veining, flooring is hickory in varied sizes of planks for a more casual look.


Here is the kitchen and great room area that you will see straight through from the entry hall

The opening into the great room is NOT arched in our home, which I am very happy about.

Do you have it all pictured in your mind, all white with wood flooring?

This area will have a chandelier over the dinette and possibly something over the 9ft. island.

I actually have only considered one fixture over the island, and I am not sure it will work because I do not want any visual clutter.

The back cabinets will be the focal point and I am not sure I will be happy with something hanging in front of them. 

Most people would hang 3 pendants above an island that is 9ft long, but that is just too much visual clutter for my minds eye. 

Personally I can handle two, I think, but would prefer one, or there just might not be any depending on what I feel once we move in.

I have found one that I like very much and it comes in two sizes…

New House lighting over island
The 8 light fixture is 48” wide by 15.75” high. We have 10ft ceilings so it can accommodate this size nicely.

The 5 light fixture is 50 in. wide and 9.5in. tall. 10in. deep.

This  probably seems somewhat more contemporary than most of you would think I would choose, however I have found that with my lighting and my jewelry, I tend to  like antique, or contemporary, and I feel that lighting is the jewelry of the room.

The tie-in for all my lighting styles, and fixtures is the use of antique brass, and oiled rubbed bronze/blackish.

I have already shown you some of the fixtures for my entry hall.

Ribbet collage New House entry lighting collage
So far these are the top contenders. The entry is only 5ft wide by 7ft long and then it opens up into the entrance to the kitchen and great room. I want to make it a nice introduction to the rest of my home.


The next light fixture to consider will be over the fireplace mantel in the form of sconces. Again, I am keeping it in either black or brass, or a combination of the two

Ribbet collage Next House Lighting sconce collage


Ribbet collage New House sconce collage
I found several sconces that I liked with simple lines.

Lots of information to absorb, isn’t it so where does one begin now that I have all of these fixtures to select.


The first place I started was the main fixture which is  the dining chandelier, then I will try different combinations until I get a mix that says, “This is IT!”

Often times there might be more than one combination that feels right, but if you are patient, over time one will speak to you more than others.

I have three options so far for over the dinette table.

We brought the one from our old house because it was black, simple, and would more than likely tie in with my future plans. It is the first one pictured below. You will probably recognize my striped wallpaper.

The new house comes with a brushed nickel fixture which is not going to work for my look.

Ribbet collage Next House dinette chandelier c
I have two transitional chandeliers, and one very traditional piece.

None of the decisions will be made quickly because I am a believer that you need to live in a home for a bit to let it tell you what it needs. 

Who knows I might have to start from scratch once we are in our new home. Luckily I love sourcing and the planning process so this is fun for me.

In my next post I will be doing some combination collages to see which fixtures marry well together.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Which Lighting Fixture Should I Choose?


With a brand new home you will be getting builder grade lighting. In some cases it can work for the homeowner, however in this homeowners plans it does not quite work.
We won’t be adding, or changing lighting anytime soon since window treatments and backyard landscaping is first on the agenda, but since I am a planner I have been looking already.


The first fixtures that will be on my agenda will be in the main living area, and entry hall.

What I like to do first is just starting saving images of lighting that I like.  I already know that I want oil rubbed bronze/blackish and/or antique brass. I like a mix of both metals.

Traditional Urban Hanging Pendant
I like the simplicity and the finish of this fixture.


Since black and white are staples in my home I loved the sophisticated look of this fixture. My reluctance is that it will be surrounded by white and I am wondering if it will show as well without some color around it.
Hudson Valley Dresden 12 Inch Mini Pendant | HudsonValleyLightingShop.com

This has the combination of the brass and oil rubbed bronze/blackish metals that I love. It is unusual and eye catching. I see this as a transitional piece that can cross over to contemporary or traditional.
Three Light Pendant

I like the shape of this fixture and the metal cage that looks as if is holding the globe. I think I would like it even more if the globe was smooth glass instead of indentations, looking somewhat like a pumpkin in my minds eye.

Savoy House Lighting 7-3300-1-28 Casual Lifestyles 1 Light Foyer Pendant and Clear Glass Shade, Oiled Burnished Bronze Finish

I like the simplicity of this one and the smooth glass. It is 22 in. in length so I am a bit concerned that might be too long even though I do have 10ft ceilings.

Charleston 13 1/2" Wide Clear Glass Pendant

I like everything about this fixture, simple, yet interesting. I think if the ball at the top were brass this just might be a slam dunk for me. I could use antique brass cream to change it out. I am always afraid I will mess it up.

Industrial Classic Rivet Pendant- Large

Black, white and antique brass!! It is not a Hicks pendant by Thomas O’brien, but it does have a similar look and the price is a lot less and more doable.

large hicks pendant
item # TOB5063 
Designer Thomas O'Brien

Height: 17 1/2" *
Width: 12 1/2"

I think this is just about perfect, but it is also almost twice the price of the other pendant. I like the globe and the color of the antique brass on this light better.

I have found I like several of the fixtures designed by Thomas O’Brien.

This last image is a picture of a fixture I have talked myself in and out of several times so I thought I would show you.......

Superior Moravian Star Light

This fixture has been around for quite awhile now and is somewhat trendy, but to be honest it is a trend I have always loved. I am not sure I can tie it in with the overall look of the rest of my lighting.

There are a few things to consider before making a final selection for my entry fixture.

1. How will it relate to the lantern I want to hang on my front porch.

2. Since you walk into the kitchen/greatroom from the entry it needs to have some style reference to the fixtures in that part of the house.

3. The wall and ceiling treatment in the entry will determine what will work best.You can read about some of my plans HERE!!


We will be taking a look at the kitchen fixtures!

Stay tuned for my next post!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How Much and What Kind Of Lighting Do You Need?


Williams Chandelier - Overstock Shopping - Great Deals on Warehouse of Tiffany Chandeliers & Pendants

Lighting is the jewelry of the room!

When choosing lighting for a room it is somewhat  like when you choose jewelry for an outfit. 

You look at the style of how you are dressed, and add your jewelry according to the look, and feel you want to achieve when looking at your over all outfit.
Cambridge Library Sconce #Sconce #LIghts #HOmeDecorators

The same thing goes for a room. You need to first look at your basic furnishings, and decide what style, type and amount of lighting your room needs.

Every room needs a certain amount of lighting, and most rooms  are….

“Lighting poor.”

So how much lighting is enough?

Did you know that there is a formula on how to figure out how many watts of light your room needs?

I read a little formula a long time ago that said  find your square footage (example 12ft X 16ft = 192sq.ft)
Then multiply your square footage by 1.5 .

(192 sq.ft. X 1.5 =288 watts) so that means your room will need 288 watts of lighting sources.

An average room should have approx. 4-5 lamps.

Once you have this figured out you are ready to start the process of figuring out the how much and what kind of lighting you will need in your room.

Quogue- Living Room II

Look at your room and figure out where you will be placing your lighting sources. Are you going to have enough, or do you need to add some more?

There needs to be different types of lighting as well…..

Floor Lamps

.blue and white, bamboo shades, black lantern.
When choosing fixtures I like to start with the star of the room, and that is usually a chandelier of some kind.

It doesn’t matter what your style is, or what you gravitate towards, it is just a good idea to choose this main piece first because it will truly dictate the style, and feel of the rest of the room.

white book shelves with navy wall behind shelves
Think of it as the necklace in an outfit. You will choose, your earrings, bracelets, shoes and purse according to the style of that necklace, and your base pieces in your outfit.

If you are going to have sconces in the room I would suggest choosing those next.  These are like the earrings in your outfit.

Pale Almond Benjamin Moore

Notice we are choosing the more permanent lighting first. Once you purchase those, and pay an electrician to install them you most likely will not change them. These are your base pieces and usually the more expensive lighting fixtures.

Powder Bath designed by Pulp Design Studios, featuring PULP Home Starburst Pull Starburst pull hardwar $75 from Pulp home in Feb.
Once you have chosen the chandelier, and sconces you can add floor lamps, and table lamps that will work in the room. These are easily changed out, or replaced, that is why I would choose them last.

beach house style
In choosing your floor, and table lamps don’t miss the opportunity to add texture. Do you need more shine, or do you need rougher textures to add contrast in the room.

You can also use color and pattern in these fixtures to add to the overall interest in the room.

via (designed by Caitlin Wilson)

Now you have the basics to choosing, style, type, and amount of lighting fixtures you need in your room.


1. Go into your room, figure out how much lighting you will actually need in your room by using the above formula.

2. If you are short on lighting sources, figure out where you need to add more.

3. Think of different types of lighting that you can use in the areas that need more lighting.

4. What style, texture, design or color would look best in each spot?

5. Do a little on-line window shopping to play with your new additions before making a final purchase.

6. Once you are solid with your over all design, then you get to do the really fun part.

Have fun with this, and remember to always….

enjoy the process 3