A few months ago, I received a text at 11 PM from a panicking client. That text turned into a site visit THAT SAME night. (Sometimes I'm crazy like that. )
This client was installing new light fixtures that they'd selected before hiring me. It was dawning on them that this mishmash of lights was making their open-floor-plan house look more like a lighting gallery than a home.
We were able to fine-tune a few things, eliminate some unnecessary chandeliers, and my client was luckily able to exchange few fixtures to create a better flow.
But thinking about this experience, I decided to share a few tips to help you develop a cohesive lighting plan, so you never have to panic about lighting at 11 PM.
(click here to shop for this light)
These rules apply to a new build, a renovation, or even if you're updating just one fixture in your existing home.
1. Choose ONE queen. That's right: you can only have one queen. (I will give an exception to this rule later.)
What do I mean by one queen? Choose one grand light fixture that will be the center of attention.
2. If you're computer savvy, create a digital mood board. Or save pictures of your lighting selections and print them out to see if they all work together.
3. When shopping for additional light fixtures, always refer back to the main one, THE QUEEN. All of your lights need to be "runners up" to the queen. Unless....
4. If your selection will hang in a room where you can't see the queen, you can then select another queen and repeat the process of selecting runners up.
5. Even if you can't see both queens, if you can see some of the runners up in room A from room B, make sure that your runners up flow with the lights in both rooms. They should have similar tones, styles, light bulbs, etc. They don't need to be matchy-matchy (a custom look will have some variety), but they need to look like they can be friends.
6. DO NOT buy light fixtures from the same collection if you can see them in the same space. It looks cheap.
The setting below looks elegant, but a different hallway light that's still cohesive with the dining room light would have created a more tailored look.
7. Yes, you can mix metals. You can put two different metals close together if they have the same undertone. Or if they will be far enough apart that you can only see one fixture at a time, you don't have to worry about undertone.
Here are a couple of examples:
See how I pull both metals together?
Now, this next one is a bit tricky, but you can do it.
I have three different metals, but they play well together because they all have the same warm undertone. If you zoom in, you can see that even the silver one (it's actually called "winter gold") has a gold tone to it.