Let There Be Light


I’m working on a lighting scheme for a large home in Short Hills, which is a challenge I particularly enjoy. It’s always stimulating to look at the entire canvass of a home and put the puzzle pieces together. For lighting, as in most interior design, it is the integration of the pieces that creates a harmonious composition.

Recessed lights on dimmers accomplish the boring but essential job of letting you see where you’re going. Then there’s the light you need for specific tasks, like reading or working. There are many kinds of fixtures that provide the strong, focused light to accomplish this, either freestanding, or on tables, or attached to the ceiling. Then there are the more interesting choices, light that gives character to a space. For this I often feel like a theatrical lighting designer, using sources and qualities of light to affect mood and atmosphere. Sconces on either side of a chimney or hallway offer a dramatic halo of light, as well as providing elegant sculptural design. Chandeliers add to ambient recessed light, but they can do so much more. They can be dominant design elements, especially in large dining rooms or living rooms or entryways, where their size and height add a sense of majesty. Finally, there are decorative table and standing lamps, whose pools of light define the texture and color of a room, while mini spots bring out the detail in paintings or other artwork.

Good designers use light as a painter does, arranging shadows and pools of illumination, hard edges and soft washes. But while a painter may convey all manner of emotions, for me the goal is for my client to feel the comfort and serenity and contentment of a home that fits like a glove.

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