I started reading your blog a few months ago when I started looking for a house. I'm now in the process of buying a place and am thinking about what to fill it with. I am in a lucky position of starting from scratch and getting to buy all new things. I know what I want as far as furniture, but this will be the first time I need to think about lighting. The only hardwired lights in my new place are in the kitchen and bathroom, and there isn't a way I could easily add any (e.g. no ceiling fans there already), so I will need lamps or something else that plugs in. I saw your previous post about different types of light bulbs, but I was wondering if you had any more advice on types and styles of lights- floor lamps, wall sconces (would still have to have a cord), hanging lights, etc. I'm including a picture of the main room, one of the kitchen (the walls are actually painted the same color), and the existing light fixture in the kitchen ceiling. The kitchen/eating area opens into the main room.
The only idea I had so far was to maybe try a little art project and attach a small strip of LED lights to the top of a painting, but I am not sure that would be bright enough by itself, and it might look really tacky. I couldn't find a good picture for an example, so I can't tell.
Thanks in advance for your help! I look forward to reading your opinion!
Let me start by saying, "No" to the strip of LED lights on top of a painting. For a painting, you should have light shining ON the art work, not on the wall above it.
With that said, you should always be careful when lighting artwork. If we are talking about a trendy piece you picked up at Home Goods, and won't keep for more than three years- I wouldn't worry about it, if however, this is an expensive piece of original art work, UV rays need to be controlled. Keep it away from direct sunlight, and only use accent lighting with UV filters. No fluorescents. The most important contributing factor of damage is due to overall brightness of light. If you have accent lighting on art, use UV filtered light sources, limited exposure, and low overall brightness.
That was a bit of a tangent there wasn't it?
Let me go back to your place. I cannot give you a good lighting plan without a floorplan. Start with a floorplan. I would invest in ceiling light. I think people think electricians are more expensive than they really are. In a living room, family room or bedroom, you don't want such bright light from above that you cannot use shadow in your lighting design, but you do need some light from above. Perimeter can lighting is a common tool that I use. You need to have furniture placement nailed down to know where to put this exactly.
(photo from Houzz)
Then you need to plan your wall decor before you can decide on wall fixtures such as sconces or accent lighting for wall decor. I'm a big sconce fan, personally. While the electrician is there, have him (or her) hardwire some sconces for you.
(photo from interiorinspiration)
Then, you need your furniture in place before you can determine where you will use floor, table, and accent lamps.
(photo from Homesweethome)
Last but not least, you should add some lighting from the floor, such as a good uplight like I referred to in this post.
And so, you see in the grand order of things, lighting is best determined after the furniture placement and wall decor.
For more lighting plan ideas check out this post,