Let There Be Lighting!

Lighting designs are such an important part of how your final interior design comes together – and floor, wall-mounted and table lamps are all an integral part of that plan. Unfortunately, for DIY designers, lighting and lamps are often completely overlooked in lieu of paint color choices, new furnishings, window coverings and all the fun things that are Front-and-Center of your design. However, your lighting design determines how all those gorgeous new furnishings and accents appear upon completion – especially when the available natural light begins to fade.


The following tips will help you choose the right style lamps for your living spaces so you can show them all off to your best advantage.

Bring on the Lamps! Light Your Living Space in Style.

First a little Lamp 101 to review the various options available to you:

  • Chandeliers. The right chandelier(s) can be a focal point in any room in your house, from the traditional dining room to a luxurious bathroom. They can be incredibly formal, like their antique crystal ancestors, or fun, funky and modern.
  • Pendants. Another ceiling mounted lamp, these come in an infinite array of styles and are usually hung with two or more in an arrangement over a table, bar or countertop.
  • Floor Lamps. These are most often seen in living and family rooms. They cast a nice ambient glow and can also be used next to a chair as a more direct reading light. If the lamps are anywhere away from a wall, invest in floor sockets to keep the cord out of your traffic and visual flow.
  • Table Lamps. The bases are your accessory (the shades can be as well) and the lamp is your light source. The lampshade you select will determine how direct or diffused the light will be so choose wisely. Table lamps are used most often in living and family rooms, dining room sideboards and perhaps on an entryway table.
  • Sconces. Don’t forget about sconces. They are an elegant way to highlight a particular work of art, a mirror, your fireplace mantel or a favorite reading nook. They are often used in the bedroom in lieu of bedside table lamps.

So those are your basic lamp options. Now it’s time to figure out what goes where.

Living room. Usually, living rooms will have at least one ceiling mounted light fixture (this can be a great place for a chandelier) and an assortment of floor and table lamps. Pay careful attention to room proportions so the lamps suit the dimensions and room height – and that tip goes for all the rooms. Be thoughtful about how each light will affect both standing and seated parties – try to avoid a glare. Typically, a formal living room will have more formal fixtures, but not always. Find lamps with bases that complement your decor. A great lamp base can be a focal point in and of itself.

Dining room. Depending on the size of your dining room, one chandelier or a series of pendant lights may suffice. If you have a larger space, consider smaller table lamps on your sideboard and/or recessed cans on the ceiling. Dimmers are particularly important here although, in truth, dimmers belong just about everywhere.

Bedroom. The bedroom usually has one standout ceiling mounted fixture and a mix of lamps. Perhaps a floor lamp or two in your seating area and sconces or nightstand lamps for the bedside. Larger bedrooms should also include recessed cans on dimmers.

Ready to light your home up in style? Contact Kristina Wolf Designs and we’ll get started.

Bring Your Vision to Life

Kristina Wolf Design creates memorable interiors in harmony with your personal vision, with minimal stress. Whether it’s a new home interior or the perfect color palette for a paint project, we'll deepen the connection between you and your home while honoring your objectives, schedule and budget.

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260 Alvarado Rd
Berkeley,CA 94705
(510) 848-8773
Kristina Wolf Design, Inc., Interior Decorators & Designers, Berkeley, CA