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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....