What Role Does Lighting Play in Interior Design?


    What Role Does Lighting Play in Interior Design?

    Discover how lighting can dramatically alter the ambiance and functionality of a space as we delve into seven illuminating experiences shared by top interior designers and CEOs. From the subtle elegance of under-cabinet LED highlights to the transformative power of Art Deco sconces, these professionals shed light on the pivotal role that lighting features play in their design projects.

    • Under-Cabinet LED Highlights Countertops
    • Impactful Lighting Enhances Design Details
    • Statement Fixture Elevates Stairwell
    • Chandelier Adds Warmth to Minimalist Space
    • Natural Light and Rustic Fixture Create Ambiance
    • Festoon Lights Transform Rustic Restaurant
    • Art Deco Sconces Modernize Bedroom

    Under-Cabinet LED Highlights Countertops

    I have black granite countertops with natural, glittery gold flecks under my kitchen cabinets. When light hits them, the gold stands out beautifully. I wanted to add concealed lighting under the cabinets to showcase this natural beauty. I found some ultra-bright LED strip lights that can be charged via USB without any visible wires, batteries, or plugs. This lighting has illuminated my countertops, displaying their natural beauty.

    Tammy Sons
    Tammy SonsCEO, TN Nursery

    Impactful Lighting Enhances Design Details

    Lighting plays a crucial role in any interior design. There are several lighting features I try to include in all of my projects that may seem small, but can be very impactful. Personally, I try to include linear or strip lighting on shelves, weird nooks, and toe-kicks to add interest and draw your attention to these areas. I also try to include wall sconces on either side of artwork, mirrors, and some furniture to create balance and symmetry in a space. The last lighting feature I like to add is pendant lights to highlight specific areas and help with overall ambiance. The right lighting is crucial in influencing how a person feels within your interior design space.

    Ashtyn BellInterior Designer, Deco Architects

    Statement Fixture Elevates Stairwell

    Lighting and paint make the biggest impact in any space—one is a bit less expensive than the other! We recently finished a casita in California, and the stairwell was bare. We considered simple can lighting, but a hunt through a questionable warehouse led us to a stunning fixture that was, in a word, perfection. We feel bold, and big fixtures are always a yes.

    Stephanie Blackford
    Stephanie BlackfordOwner, The Neighbor's House

    Chandelier Adds Warmth to Minimalist Space

    I was remodeling my living room. I had chosen a contemporary and minimalist theme for the space, with clean lines and neutral colors. However, I noticed that the room lacked warmth and character despite all the furniture and decor pieces. That's when I realized the importance of lighting in interior design.

    To add warmth and character to my living room, I decided to install a statement chandelier as the focal point of the space. The chandelier not only provided ample light but also added a touch of elegance and drama to the room. It created a beautiful play of light and shadows, highlighting the clean lines and textures of the room.

    The addition of the chandelier completely transformed the look and feel of my living room. It not only provided functional lighting but also served as a stunning design element. The warm glow from the chandelier created a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making the space more comfortable for both relaxing and entertaining.

    Jonathan Carcone
    Jonathan CarconePrincipal, 4 Brothers Buy Houses

    Natural Light and Rustic Fixture Create Ambiance

    I have had the opportunity to work with clients from various backgrounds and witness different design styles. In one particular instance, I worked with a couple who were passionate about incorporating natural elements into their home's interior design. They wanted their home to feel like a peaceful retreat, surrounded by nature.

    In order to achieve this vision, we knew that lighting would play a crucial role in creating the desired ambiance. We wanted to bring in as much natural light as possible, without compromising on privacy and comfort. To do so, we incorporated large windows throughout the house, strategically placed to allow natural light to flood in while also providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

    In addition, we installed skylights in key areas of the home, such as the kitchen and living room, to further enhance the natural light. But the most impactful lighting feature we used was a unique light fixture made from driftwood and Edison bulbs. We placed this fixture in the center of the living room, creating a focal point that not only provided functional lighting but also added an organic and rustic touch to the space.

    John Swann
    John SwannFounder & CEO, John Buys Your House

    Festoon Lights Transform Rustic Restaurant

    As the owner of Festoon House, I've had many opportunities to see how lighting can transform a space. One instance that stands out was when we were working on a restaurant redesign project.

    The restaurant had a beautiful rustic theme, but the existing lighting didn't do justice to the interior design. It was too harsh and didn't create the warm, inviting atmosphere the owner wanted. That's when we decided to introduce our festoon lights.

    Festoon lights are string lights with large bulbs evenly spaced along the length. They're versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. For this project, we used them to create a canopy of lights across the ceiling. The warm glow from the bulbs highlighted the wooden beams and brick walls, enhancing the rustic charm of the restaurant.

    What made this lighting feature unique was the use of dimmable LED bulbs. This allowed the restaurant staff to adjust the brightness throughout the day, creating the perfect ambiance for their customers. Here's how it works: During the day, they could reduce the brightness to let natural light take center stage. In the evening, they could increase it to create a cozy and intimate setting.

    This project was a great example of how the right lighting can play a crucial role in interior design. It's not just about illuminating a space; it's about enhancing its aesthetic appeal and creating the right mood.

    Matt Little
    Matt LittleFounder & Managing Director, Festoon House

    Art Deco Sconces Modernize Bedroom

    My most recent interior design project was modernizing my bedroom to an Art Deco style—I’ve always been enamored with the theme. The best lighting that fits and enhances an Art Deco-styled area includes lamps, chandeliers, and sconces. I made sure to update my lighting as part of my design because it is one of the most important stylistic elements of the genre.

    Since it was a smaller bedroom, I did not want a huge chandelier, which is one way to go about a gaudy, Art Deco feel. Instead, I opted for a more subtle and ambient lighting feature—sconces. I purchased and implemented these lighting features throughout the room, two on both sides of the bed frame and one next to my desk area to provide ambient lighting. This lighting element played a crucial role in the overall design and complemented the aesthetic of the new space.

    Andrea Cuevas
    Andrea CuevasMarketing Coordinator, Achievable