Let There be Light !

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. It’s one of the most overlooked and under addressed elements in the design of interior and exterior spaces. And, it’s also one of the most crucial to the overall design plan and concept. Without a clear and well thought out lighting plan, the rest of the design, well… gets lost in the dark.

Light is the most powerful tool we have. Our vision is a product of light. It produces an emotional response and experience. It can change space, scale, color and volume. The proper use of light beautifies, helps us relax and play, creates mood, provides comfort, convenience, safety and drama. It is truly a ‘guiding light’.

So, it’s important to hire an Interior Design firm that understands and studies ‘the architecture of light’. It’s not just about great fixture selection, we all love a gorgeous chandelier…

I’m a bling girl for sure. Lighting design is a true discipline based on a set of concepts, techniques and practices that enhance and augment architecture and design.

It’s all about the ‘layering’ of light. There are five main principles that provide a framework for understanding and achieving composition and aesthetics in lighting design. Shall I high ‘light’?

1.      To choreograph an experience:

Direct movement, flow and way finding in a space

Humans are phototropic… we are instinctively drawn to bright surfaces and objects. The power of light can subconsciously convince people to move through a space.  Don’t you literally feel like you are being pulled to that door?   

Humans are phototropic… we are instinctively drawn to bright surfaces and objects. The power of light can subconsciously convince people to move through a space.

Don’t you literally feel like you are being pulled to that door?

 

2.)     To define mood/ambiance:

What is the mood we want to create in the space? Calm, active, colorful…

Our approach to interior design is on a room-by-room basis and to determine the mood and emotional effect we desire for each of these spaces.  This room could be placed in the mountains with 3 feet of snow or a blistering desert climate, but it still delivers the intended mood.

Our approach to interior design is on a room-by-room basis and to determine the mood and emotional effect we desire for each of these spaces.

This room could be placed in the mountains with 3 feet of snow or a blistering desert climate, but it still delivers the intended mood.

3.)      To accentuate:

Highlight or diffuse textures, interesting objects, art, plants…

By adding light to already-interesting objects, we can dictate how a viewer’s eye travels over the landscape of the design. The niche lighting acts as a cue to invite you into the living space. As simple as subtle as the lighting is, imagine how dramatically this scene would change if the niches had no lighting.

By adding light to already-interesting objects, we can dictate how a viewer’s eye travels over the landscape of the design. The niche lighting acts as a cue to invite you into the living space. As simple as subtle as the lighting is, imagine how dramatically this scene would change if the niches had no lighting.

4.)      To reveal architecture:

Define spatial character such as height, set architectural boundaries,

accent architectural details

 Up lighting makes this narrow space feel tall and expansive as well as accentuating the architectural features of the stone and entry fixtures – which are super awesome!

 Up lighting makes this narrow space feel tall and expansive as well as accentuating the architectural features of the stone and entry fixtures – which are super awesome!

5.)    To assists tasks:

Add light for reading, cooking, navigating, functionality

This layer comes last, as it augments the other layers by adding fixtures strictly for performing specific tasks.  Task lighting should NEVER be the only layer or type of light considered for a space. If the first 4 layers are neglected, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever recapture the ethereal aspects of choreography and mood working in reverse.

This layer comes last, as it augments the other layers by adding fixtures strictly for performing specific tasks.  Task lighting should NEVER be the only layer or type of light considered for a space. If the first 4 layers are neglected, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever recapture the ethereal aspects of choreography and mood working in reverse.

Take this kitchen, which is a great example of the 5 layers of light.

1.      Notice how the under-cabinet base lighting directs movement and flow through the space.

2.      I would call the mood of this space active. It’s warm, but bright and colorful, the illuminated island encourages socialization. I’d have a glass of wine and appetizer there hanging with friends.

3.      I love how the lighting at the floating shelves accentuates the backsplash and colorful accessories.

4.      The lighting at the upper cabinets creates height, volume and interest.

 

Imagine if you ‘flipped the switch, off’ on the first four layers of light in this kitchen – it would be underwhelming and that would break my heart!


A proper lighting plan adds value to the overall project investment.

 

So, you say, “I hired my architect or general contractor for lighting”? Normally an architect or GC draws a lighting plan to make plan submissions. In most cases, these are quick designs that are generic in content and lack any thought out plan.

 

Is your architect or GC thinking about:

-          Space plans and furniture layout?

-          Interior finishes and paint colors?

-          Ceiling heights, slope changes, soffits?

-          Architectural details?

-          Art and accessories and placement?

-          The diverse activities to take place in the space?

-          Specific room light ‘scenes’?

-          The age of the people who live there?

-          Window coverings and locations?

-          Site orientation?

-          Where to put the light and for what purpose?

-          The placement, quantity and ‘color’ of light needed?

-          What elements in the space need to be dramatized or downplayed?

-          How the light story will play throughout the space to create a cohesive design?

-          How the light source is controlled?

A good design firm will think of all of this and plenty more.

 

Did I mention… that lighting is REALLY important?

 

When we implement a lighting design that addresses each layer of light, we will have a rich, dynamic emotional experience.

 

Shine on my friends, shine on!

 

Pantone's Color of the Year 2017 is Inspired ...by Nature.

Every year (since 2000) Pantone choses a color that reflects the current cultural climate. Their choice of color historically influences trends in a ll facets of design - interior decor ,fashion and architecture.

The color of the year for 2017 is Greenery ( Specifically Pantone 15-0343) Greenery signifies beginnings : A fresh new year;healthier food resolutions;grass and the outdoors of spring and summer. But most prominently the yellow green hue comments on the concept of "environment"

Courtesty of Pinterest

"There's a growing desire to reconnect with nature , with what is real and find ways to disconnect from technology. We need a break, We need to stop and breathe. Greenery is about unity and community- connecting to oneself and others and a higher purpose,nature" said Laurie Pressman , vice president of Pantone Color Institute

Coutesy of Pinterest

Pantone calls Greenery " Nature's Neutral" and is typically associated with spring and summer - but Pantone is forecasting that this hue will be worn and seen all year long.

Courtesy of Pinterest

 

Greenery aims to be associated with the 're- words' revive , refresh , restore ,rejuvenate jsut to mention a few. It is certainly fresh and a breath of fresh air from last years' pastel choices.

Design Your Life!