Whether decorating your own home or designing the interior of a boutique hotel, bespoke lighting can transform the atmosphere of any space. Custom lighting also reinforces the theme of an interior and underscores its function in ways that store-bought fixtures cannot. For instance, a gentle table light in the corner tells a visitor that he or she is welcome to cuddle up and read, while a sparkling chandelier prepares guests for grandeur and luxury. Mass-manufactured pieces often fail to impress guests or express the intention of the space. This is why designers often recommend spending a bit extra on something truly special. To design the perfect interior for your home, hotel, or vacation space, follow below for five reasons why bespoke lighting design should be your first choice.
Three elements to consider when choosing a fixture for your space are footprint, color or temperature, and style. Footprint and color or temperature refer to the light bulb itself while style typically refers to the design of the fixture. The footprint of a custom light fixture is how far the light travels — i.e. how much of your space it will illuminate when at full power. The color or temperature refers to the appearance of that light — i.e. whether it is blue-toned, red-toned, or some other variation. Intensity — i.e. how direct and harsh the light is — also falls into this category. When choosing a fixture, the homeowner or hotelier should choose their bulbs and shades thoughtfully.
For instance, soft, quiet lighting is best suited to the den of a home or lounge of a lodge while bright, cheerful lighting is most appropriate for a kitchen or home office. Natural task lighting is ideal for studies and reading nooks but dim, warm lighting is perfect for hotel spas and master suites. When considering the style of the fixture itself, one should consider what kind of impression they hope to create. For a bright breakfast nook, one might choose a geometric chandelier but for a traditional entryway, one might opt for a classic tiered crystal chandelier. For a den or study, one might choose something a bit more rustic like a real antler chandelier. If in need of additional lighting design advice, search through Emma Love’s article “HOW TO LIGHT YOUR HOME – LIGHTING TIPS FROM INTERIOR DESIGNERS” for Elle Decor.
In her article “5 Things to Splurge On — and 5 Ways to Save” for Houzz, Yanic Simard — of Toronto Interior Design Group — welcomes homeowners to spend a bit extra on statement lighting. Simard writes that “whether you prefer a cool modernist creation or a grand traditional chandelier, an eye-catching light fixture can be enjoyed from many angles.” Furthermore, beautiful pendant lights “become a natural focal point,” drawing the eye upwards and around the room. This results in a space that feels larger, more open, and more welcoming.
Bespoke pendant lights and chandeliers can also “enrich your lighting scheme” because they are equipped with multiple bulbs that send light in different directions. This helps to “eliminate harsh shadows in the rest of the room” while “beautifying and personalizing your space.” When choosing what to skimp or spend on, Simac lists quality, handmade lighting as number one on a designer’s list of “worthy splurges.”
Lighting plays an enormous part in establishing the atmosphere of an interior — whether a single-story bungalow or a sprawling resort hotel. In the article “How Designers Set a Mood With Just Lighting” for House Beautiful, Circa Lighting designers Joanna Saltz, Mara Miller, Thomas O’Brien, Julie Neill, Alexa Hampton, and Jesse Carrier explain how lighting affects behavior and experience. The House Beautiful editorial team begins by noting that any designer will “tell you that to ignore the role of light in a space is to make a grave design error.”
Quality fixtures and layers of visible light are most important when designing an interior — note Mara Miller and Jesse Carrier — because they help the “room feel inhabited by light.” Julie Neill takes it a step forward, explaining that custom lighting is essential to establishing and maintaining an emotional connection to the space. Neill confesses that after installing the lighting in one client’s home, that client called her and said, “‘If I never get any furniture, I’m fine,’” underscoring how important lighting truly is to creating connection.
Though customized, bespoke lighting can certainly improve the homeowner’s experience while living in their space, it can also increase the value of the house when the owner decides to sell. HGTV lists updating lighting as one of several ways to up the offers on your home in their article “Increase Your Home Value on Any Budget.” The article explains that “a well-lit room feels more cheerful, and makes spaces feel larger and cleaner.” Well-lit rooms also show prospective buyers that the homeowner “has nothing to hide, so [they] will feel at ease when touring your home.” Upgrading while the homeowner still occupies the space is essential because it helps one understand how the light impacts comfort and mood. The HGTV editorial team notes that “you’ll enjoy the lighting now, and your home will feel more welcoming to home buyers later.”
In conversation with Cait Munro for her Refinery29 article “What To Splurge On & What To Save On At Home, According To Interior Designers,” Debbie Travin of DLT Interiors and Cheryl Eisen of Interior Marketing Group jump on lighting as their first recommendation. Interior designer Munro writes that unique light fixtures — like a hand-blown glass pendant or an antler chandelier — “up the cool factor and ensure your guests always look their best.” Flat overhead lighting from fluorescent bulbs or isolated table lamps not only washes out an interior but also the complexion of your guests. Interior designer Travin agrees, noting that custom lighting is a form of art or “‘the jewelry which sparkles and brings excitement into the room,’” painting every visitor in his or her best light — no pun intended.
Whether designing the interior of a home or a hotel, choosing proper lighting is necessary because it flatters guests, sets the right mood, creates a connection, and presents the space perfectly. However, one additional benefit of bespoke lighting remains. Effective lighting also encourages visitors to group and enjoy each other’s company. The article “7 Ways Lighting Can Make Your Home Happier” recently released by Mental Floss noted that proper lighting can both direct attention towards a certain spot and increase positive emotions. These cozy, positive feelings can help visitors loosen up and engage with each other more freely.