Decorating & Design

October 17, 2012

Rowhouse Reno: Choosing Lighting

After all our renovations the past few months, I’ve been focusing on the entry to the house these days. After all, it’s your first impression when you open the door. The most challenging thing for me — now that we’ve opened up the main level — is that the sightline from the entry goes all the way to the back of the house. So every decision I make in the living room, kitchen and back sitting room all have to be cohesive or decidedly contrasting.

Since we don’t have furniture or kitchen cabinets yet, I’ve been obsessed with the lighting. Should it all match? What room should be the focal point? The other challenge is that we purposefully decided not to do a lot of recessed lights — we aren’t huge fans of them — but it makes it even more challenging to find fixtures that work together and also provide adequate lighting. To make it more difficult, I like so many different styles of lighting. Here’s a sample of what I’ve been coveting for the house but we’re still not sure what works together…

Beautiful brass pendant from Oji & Design.

Cool sculptural Spica Light by Iacoli & McAllister.

I love the matte finish and the gold glow on the inside of these pendants from Oliver Yaphe.

A classic! I think the Nelson pendant through Design Within Reach will give off good light.

The Skygarden S1 pendant from Flos — also through Design Within Reach — has a gorgeous plaster garden on the inside.

These West Elm semi-flush mounts are a great price and will blend nicely into the white ceiling.

This Thomas O’Brien hanging lamp from Circa Lighting is very handsome.

I’ve always loved mercury glass and we’re seeing a lot more of it lately. This one from West Elm has an industrial edge.

An ever-popular schoolhouse light from Rejuvenation. I think these look great in kitchens and are a nice alternative to the boring flush-mount.

So now what? I have all these styles that I like but what will work in our house? Being an art director, I did some test mock-ups so I could get a visual of what different options would look like. Like I said, I have that challenging sightline down the house. Here are three options I tried — looking through the kitchen (left) and looking from the entryway to the kitchen and back of the house (right).

1. White + black

2. White + brass

3. All white

I think we’ll wait until the stairs are finished, the kitchen is in and maybe some furniture is in place before making a final decision. But I would love to know what you think works best! Comment below.

If you missed my previous posts on the reno, click here.

Photo credits:
1. Oji & Design
2. Iacoli & McAllister Spica Light,
3. Warm Circus Pendants, Oliver Yaphe
4. Nelson Saucer Pendant Lamp, Design Within Reach
5. Skygarden S1 by Marcel Wanders for Flos, Design Within Reach
6. Contour Semi-Flush Fixture, West Elm
7. Thomas O’Brien Medium Goodman Hanging Lamp (TOB5091), Circa Lighting
8. Industrial Pendant in Mercury, West Elm
9. Jefferson Classic Flush Ceiling Fixture, Rejuvenation
10-12. Mandy Milks