Lighting is jewelry for the home. It’s broaches and earrings; it’s quite literally what makes your home shine, throwing the most flattering light on the people and things you love best. Coco Chanel famously said that she removed at least one piece of jewelry before leaving her house as to not “overdo” it, but the same restraint doesn't need to be exercised when it comes to lighting. Feel free to go over the top.
Lighting serves many purposes and is a fine thing to invest in and obsess over. As the title of this post states: Lighting really is everything. First, you need it to live by, but beyond that lighting is a foolproof way to make a huge impact--and it can be surprisingly affordable. We generally use a lot of decorative lighting in our Bynum Design clients’ homes. It's all about versatility—to be able to dim things and switch things so you can, for instance, have your sconces on full brightness and your pendants on low and your can lights even lower than that. And don't forget about table and floor lamps. It’s all about creating moods with lighting. And how amazing is that? With lighting, you have the ability to change the way people feel when they’re in your home.
Lighting is also very telling, communicating the intended vibe of a home. Is the chandelier over the dining table made of a cluster of antlers? Dripping with crystals or capiz shells? Forged of wrought iron? From the scale of the lighting to the finish, a fixture can set the tone for everything else inside your home. Sure, you can put any fixture in any room, but just like you do with the materials, you want to tell a story with lighting.
Great lighting is also all about surprises. I love to do funny little things like placing a very small window somewhere in a nook, just to create a cozy feeling there--and then I might have a sconce next to that or an interior shutter.
One of my favorite things about having a retail store now (we opened D. Luxe Home in 2013) is that we’re able to carry lighting fixtures in-house—and display them from the beautiful old rafters at Marathon Village. (See a gallery of some of our available fixtures below.) It's proven so helpful for our clients and customers to be able to see the scale of a fixture in person, rather than just picking out something from a catalog or off a website. Speaking of scale, a lighting fixture can never be too big. Too bulky maybe, but as long as it’s relatively in proportion to its surroundings, you’ll find that bigger is normally always better.
We now source most all of our clients’ lighting fixtures directly from my shop. This isn’t just convenient for everyone involved, but it’s helped set our residential design firm apart from others building and designing houses around Nashville. I come by my lighting fixation naturally; I’m an interior designer first. From the very start, I approach a house in terms of the way it lives. Then we develop an exterior around that. Even though lighting separates us from the competition, that’s not why we're obsessed with it. We're obsessed because it contributes to the house. It’s a support role in our design, as important as the wood beams on the ceiling.
Do you have any lighting questions for us? Ask away in the comments.
Nashville, TN, licensed general contractor, interior designer, home designer and builder, collector, photographer, traveler