Some of us may have a problem with having too many shoes – we just can’t say no to those cute Manolo’s or the pair we find on sale that would go perfectly with a certain outfit in our closet. I do not suffer from this problem as I have size 10 feet and only buy shoes that don’t make my feet look HUGE! I do have another kind of problem though, with lamps. I can’t say no. I am obsessed with proper lighting and am always on the look out for the perfect way to light my rooms in the most effective way. It is the first thing I consider when I decorate a room.
Here is a stash of extra lamps that I am not using and are in my basement. I should probably sell them or give them away. Any takers?
When I was a SAHM while my girls were growing up, I used to do decorating consults. I would spend a few hours in someone’s home and help them find the best possible ways to use what they already owned. I noticed early on that no one seemed to care about their lighting. They had a pretty chandelier or a table lamp, but their rooms lacked ambiance, especially at night. It was not until I found this little booklet back in 1992, that I was better able to show them illustrations of how to use 3 levels of lighting in every room to create the perfect balance of Ambient(general), Accent and Task lighting. Accent being the most overlooked element in any room, but always the most dramatic as it draws your attention to a particular element or architectural feature.
A little gem of a booklet.
Before I show you how I transformed my lamps with paint, I wanted to show you a few of my favorite lighting tips and tricks that are inside this little brochure.
Lamps are definitely a great decorating accessory, but function of a lamp, the wattage, shade(opaque or transparent), height and placement all play a key role in enhancing the beauty and comfort of your home, creating a mood, and helping you perform tasks easier. So think function before form when it comes to lighting.
For instance, you may have a ceiling light in your bedroom, but to create balance and interest bedside lamps work as task lamps. To add mood, add opaque shades to cast the light down onto the table or your reading material. In kids rooms you can accent their walls filled with their awards and such with a wash of light. If it is on a dimmer, it can act as a night light, too.
To add drama to any room, place one or two can lights(uplights) on the top of hutches, shelfing units or cabinets. You can find them in the lighting department of any home improvement store for under $10.00. They can make a dramatic difference and one of the least expensive ways to add interest.
Inexpensive puck lights or stick on strip lighting can light up the inside of any cabinet. If you have glass shelves you will only need to add the light to the top – the light will travel through the glass.
Have you ever been in a kitchen at night that has under the cabinet lighting? It makes the kitchen seem so special and cozy. Puck lights and the strips work well here also if you don’t have any electricity. They make them for closets also.
You can order Lighting magazine for free. The link is at the end of the post. The magazine is filled with photos of great decorating ideas and new lighting styles. It also is filled with many black and white line illustrations (above) to help you see how you can turn the lighting up a notch in your home without too much effort or expense.
To order a free copy of Lighting magazine to arrive via snail mail, click here.
For a digital copy to browse through on your computer, click here.
To find more lighting resources and ideas you can visit The American Lighting Assocation’s website, where you will find all the info that was in the little brochure that was so helpful to me many years ago.
Why not take a stroll around your house tonight. Look to see if you have ambient, accent, and task lighting in each room. Is your light balanced throughout each room or is one corner or side in the dark? Move your lamps around, change the shades from transparent to opaque, experiment with different types of bulbs and wattage, place a lamp on a pile of books to create more height. How about adding a dimmer switch. See what a difference you can easily make.