50°F
weather icon Clear

Great light fixtures shine in your décor

I’ve learned through the years that the right lighting in the right spots transforms a room. So when it came time to select the fixtures for our lake home redo, I followed these three tips to ensure the lighting was a bright spot in my decor:

1. Kitchen lighting should work hard but be beautiful.

I swear the kitchen in my little lake home could have been used as the set for “I Dream of Jeannie.” Midcentury modern, I’m sure it was the height of style when it made its debut back in the ’50s.

But I knew this turquoise tribute to domesticity was not going to work for me. So my husband, Dan, and I teamed up with an architect to bring this all-important space into this century. His plan included lighting suggestions — lovely oiled brass fixtures — that completely nailed my vision for the room.

The lights in your kitchen need to provide the illumination necessary to chop your veggies without cutting your fingers, plus add lots of style. Pendants succeed on both levels, as they offer a contemporary take on a traditional silhouette.

The island is the hub of the kitchen, so it needs a killer focal point. Try an interesting chandelier that will help bring oodles of charm to a traditional kitchen.

When our daughter Kelly decorated her kitchen, she picked a pair of simple, clean chandeliers to brighten up her island. Since you can’t change lighting very easily or inexpensively, it’s key to pick fixtures that will stand the test of time.

If your kitchen is a neutral color you can pick a fixture that stands out a bit. I’m crazy about the oiled brass finish that’s so hot right now. It’s warm but not shiny.

2. A little glow makes a room warm and wonderful.

The ceilings are low in my lake house, and the rooms can feel a little dark. So our architect suggested we install library lights over the bookcases in our living room. In the evening, when they are turned on, the lights give the room a warm, welcoming glow, as if we have a dozen candles burning.

Sconces are another classic way of adding a little illumination to a room. My friend Beth employed sconces as an art element over her fireplace. They are a beautiful parentheses to lovely artwork.

Beth’s dining room boasts towering ceilings, so she needed some soft lighting to make the area around the table more intimate. She turned once again to sconces.

Kelly picked a pair of classic sconces to frame the mirror in her powder room. They give off a warm light that makes everyone look good.

3. Overhead fixtures should add to the ambiance.

Back in the day, the trend was to pick matching light fixtures for the entire home. Today, the doors are wide open and we’re mixing fixtures in a gamut of finishes and styles.

That said, coordinating lighting looks in a particular area makes a design seem cohesive. For instance, since our lake house’s kitchen and eating area were going to flow one into the other, I wanted to make sure the lighting all harmonized.

The chandelier over your dining table sets the tone for the entire room. It could be modern and edgy, a great pick for a transitional home, or a unique chandelier for a dining room that is elegant and dramatic.

For a dining room that’s light and bright, use a collage of formal and informal pieces that blend together. A rustic lantern works to make such a space feel relaxed and approachable.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
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.