Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spicing it Up with Lights!

Hi friends,
Clients and friends often ask me tips about how to spice up their homes without spending too much money or time. I'd say two relatively quick, high impact, low cost ways to spice up a room or two in your home:

1. New pillows
2. Paint color

But, let's talk about lights today. Sometimes we (I put myself in this category as well) get stuck in "light ruts" where we put a lamp or light fixture in a room and we never consider changing it. The lamp stays there for years and years and years.........Is this true for you? I am now giving you permission to consider spicing up a lamp or light fixture or two in your home. Take a few minutes and walk around your home and consider your lighting options.

I think we underestimate the power of lighting in decorating. I find when I visit client's homes that often one of the biggest opportunities to change their rooms is to change their lighting options. The two mistakes I see centered about lighting are:

1. Too few lights in a room/ too dim
2. Too harsh lights/ no ambivance

It's all about balance. How does the light in your room work for you in daytime? Nighttime? When you have a few friends or family over? When you have a formal dinner or party?

Lighting can make a huge impact on the rooms in your home. You can have fun by spicing up a room by changing out a lamp shade or two or replacing a lamp. You can add color, form, and texture to a room with your lighting choice. I am so happy that you have a lot of lighting options to meet you at your price point. Many stores have great lighting choices for various budgets: Walmart, Target, KMart, Pier One, World Market, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrell, and so many more.

Here are some lighting trends right now that I think are fun and inspiring:

Pops of color-

Very natural/ organic-

Fun with shades-

Fun with form-

I found myself in a "light rut" and walked around my home to take a light inventory. I made some very inexpensive changes now and have plans for some others in the near future.

Here are some lighting "before" and "after" pictures from my home.

My Guest Room Before:

My Guest Room After:

My Living Room Before:

My Living Room After:

My Office Before:

My Office "in progress" (it doesn't work! too small!):

My Office After (plans, not purchased from Ikea yet):

My Kitchen Before:

My Kitchen After:

Still Want To Add a Pendant Light or 2 to this Space in Our Kitchen Over Our Bar:

My biggest lighting tip ever besides spicing up a lamp shade or base or two in your home is this......DIMMERS!

Consider putting all of the lights in your home on dimmers. They are super cheap to purchase at your local Lowes or Home Depot. Having lights on dimmers give you power! Power to control your lighting options. Go for it! You won't be sorry that you did it. You'll love it! We have all of our lights on dimmers from our kitchen, to our family room, to our bathroom, everywhere!!!!

You can really show your personality and style through your lighting choices. Have fun! Hope you are inspired today.

The lights in these rooms really inspire me. How about you?

Happy decorating & living,


  1. I should be lesson planning and I'm now looking around my room planning my lighting! Thank you for your wonderful posts - I look forward to each and every one, and I learn something from them all. What a difference you made by changing the lights in your front room and kitchen! You have a wonderful talent - thank you again for sharing it (oops, I sould a bit too like a teacher 'thanks for sharing' - I say this to my students all the time). Have a wonderful day. Jane

  2. Hi Jane,
    Sometimes it's good to take a break from lesson planning to concentrate on something else fun like decorating....then you can be refreshed and energenerized to tackle that school work, right? That's what I tell myself too!
    What are some decorating topics you'd like me to cover next??????
    I've got to get back to planning a workshop that I'm doing for teachers in New York City in two weeks. Take care- Megan