weather icon Clear

Good lighting can enhance interior design

“There are two kinds of light — the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.” — James Thurber (1894-1961), American humorist, illustrator

I absolutely love daylight! And after enjoying the extended daylight hours during our summers, one of the saddest days for me is the day that daylight savings time is over.

Although I realize the whole concept of an additional hour of daylight is controversial in some circles, I think we can all appreciate it. As humans we’ve been seeking light for ages, it’s no surprise that even now, we are still seeking it. And when those long winter nights do arrive, indoor lighting is even more important.

Lighting design is, of course, a discipline unto itself. Even seasoned interior designers will often call in a lighting designer, depending on the project. They understand the importance of that design element and that good lighting can enhance an interior design; and bad lighting can ruin one.

Candice Olson, an interior designer and TV host, gave an example several years ago in a seminar. In discussing lighting and its importance in overall design, she said that good lighting can make $10-a-yard fabric appear to be $100-a-yard fabric; and bad lighting can do just the opposite. That’s an extreme example, but no doubt true.

After the positioning of lighting is determined, then the fun part comes — picking out the colors, styles and designs. The entire design style of a room can be changed by the lighting selections, So if you are a do-it-yourselfer, or if you are working with a designer, pay attention.

There are hundreds of same old, same old lamps and other fixtures. But, take a chance and go for the unexpected. Lighting is so important, make it stand out. So, once again I’ve been on the prowl for distinctive lighting choices, and I have several to share with you.

It’s definitely not your mother’s chandelier. For the middle of a room, over a table, or to accent any special place, there are some knock-out one-of-a-kind chandeliers from La Murrina (www.lamurrina,us) that look like true works of art.

The company will also accommodate custom designs. I happened to see these at a recent trade show, and they are definitely worth a look. This type of fixture would become the focal point of the room.

Floor lamps and wall sconces are staples and hard workers in lighting our homes. Floor lamps are great for casting light over your shoulder for reading, or just brightening up an otherwise dull corner, More times than not, wall scones are purely decorative, although can provide a certain amount of light.

For pure whimsy, eangee home design (www.eangee.com) has created a line of lighting products using real cocoa leaves to create incredible lampshades on their new floor lamps and sconces. If you had any of these in your home, the compliments would flow and brighten your day in more ways than one.

Although these fanciful fixtures may not be for you, they are just a few examples of the choices you have. Remember the importance of lighting in your space, and how your picks can mean the difference between night and day.

Carolyn Muse Grant is a founder and past president of the Architectural &Decorative Arts Society, as well as an interior design consultant/stylist specializing in home staging. Send questions to creativemuse@cox.net.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Lack of hot water probably problem with thermocouple

Q: My wife started complaining about a lack of hot water, so I ventured out into the garage to check out the water heater. I took the door off and peeked inside and discovered there was no flame. Following the instructions on the tank, I relit the pilot but as soon as I let go of the button, the pilot light went out. I originally thought a breeze may have blown it out, but now I don’t know what to do.

Rainy conditions can cause diseases in plants

A disease called fire blight might pop up in some pear and apple trees beginning around May. It can be common several weeks after spring rains, particularly if trees were flowering. It can lead to tree death if not controlled when it’s first seen.

Delay grape pruning as long as possible

Delay pruning grapes as long as possible in the spring to reduce disease possibilities and avoid any late spring frost damage after pruning. Immediately after pruning grapes, consider applying a fungicide to the vines if there were problems with grape bunch diseases last year.

Time for a pool renovation?

So often the driving force behind such renovations is the pool surface, a cement-based coating of about three-eighths of an inch over the gunite structure. Because of Las Vegas’s hard water, the longevity of a gunite pool surface is 10-12 years.

Mexican petunia needs to be contained to area

My experience with Mexican petunia is that it grows like a weed, and I consider it the broadleaf version of Bermuda grass, aka devil grass. If it’s contained in an area and prevented from spreading into the landscape, I think it will be OK.

Local pros discuss cleaning essentials

Although the official start of spring is March 19, warmer weather has arrived in Las Vegas and the cleaning season is definitely here.

Check for borers after rainfall

An infrequent desert rain is not a problem. But when irrigation water is applied over and over to a soil that is normally dry, these soils shift, collapse and chemically change. In urban landscapes, this can be potentially destructive.

Sanitize blades of loppers, hand shears before using

When preparing to prune plants, follow these three rules: adjusting loppers or hand shears so they don’t rip plants instead of cutting them, making sure the blade is sharp for the same reason and sanitizing the blades.