It’s time to start thinking about your new home’s look and feel. What comes to your mind?
Furniture styles and arrangement, paint colors, window treatments, rugs … did you remember lighting? Lighting, in its many shapes, forms and purposes, is crucially important. Like windows, the type, number and placement of fixtures will dictate a room’s brightness and, in many ways, the “mood” of that room.
When deciding which lighting options are best for your space, it’s important to consider a few key factors: the color of the room, the amount of available natural light, the functionality of each fixture and the size of the room you’re lighting. Each piece of information will influence the end result.
As you begin thinking about which lighting options will work best for your new home, consider some of 2015’s biggest trends in lighting. Some are modern, some are retro, but they’re all beautifully stylish.
Brass and Glass Vintage Chandeliers
A new home can always use a hint of something from the past and a gorgeous, vintage lighting fixture might be just the thing.
“I’m loving the bold pieces from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s … lots of brass and glass,” says Phil Hudson, interior decorator with Martha Baxter Interior Design in Houston, Texas. “They’re beautiful and the combination of the warm metal and the glass creates the perfect light. Many of the best examples of this style are French or Italian. These are not inexpensive, but they are worth every penny!”
When form meets function, the end result can be extremely pleasing to the eye. And when it comes to LED lighting, it can be very pleasing to the wallet as well.
A true jack-of-all-trades, these tiny power houses can do what few lighting options have done before.
“LED fixtures are eons better than they were even just a year ago. Manufacturers have really honed in on providing better color temperature (how cool or warm a light appears) and lumen output (how much light is actually given off by the LEDs),” says Jen Sagar, an interior designer in San Diego, Calif. “LEDs give lighting designers a whole host of opportunities as they are small, can be configured in ways incandescent or fluorescent fixtures never could and give off no heat. The long life of the LED and the cost savings associated with reduced energy use are big incentives for both businesses and homeowners.”
While many of today’s lighting fixtures are designed to be sleek and modern, Sagar points out that the flexibility of LEDs can also be used in more traditional fixtures as well.
Though you may think metal home accents had their heyday back in the ’80s, they’re back in a major way. Updated and now more elegant, modern and refined, metals in the home are an amazing trend that adds a touch of glamour to your rooms.
“Warm metals are everywhere for 2015. Fixtures, door handles, knobs and pulls, and, of course, lighting,” says Hudson. “Brass and copper are hot and you’ll see them in pendants, sconces, chandeliers and lamps. Light reflecting off these surfaces gives the room a soft, golden glow.”
In the same way that fashion has classic staples — red lipstick, black pumps and trench coats — décor also has its go-to pieces that are so timeless they could never be called “trendy,” though they’re always on trend.
“While this is not the newest trend, it’s still one of the strongest trends of the past few years. I love the way blown glass globes refract light and give a fixture an artistic, craftsman-created edge,” says Hudson. “The use of these modern, sleek fixtures in a more traditional setting has become as stylish as modern art hanging amongst antique furnishings. It’s a trend that’s still going strong!”
Bringing the indoors out is a big trend this year, as creating welcoming outdoor living spaces has been on the rise.
“While people have always used lighting on the outsides of their homes, we are seeing more and more outdoor spaces being used as extensions of the home. Outdoor living rooms and dining spaces are becoming some of the most requested features of a home,” says Sagar. “Design and decoration typically used in the interior of homes are finding their way into these outdoor rooms. More and more chandelier-looking fixtures and even table lamps are being created for exterior use.”
Incorporating elements of nature into your home’s décor will always give your rooms a lived-in and well-loved feeling. When combined with more modern elements, it will also add a lovely contrast to your spaces.
“Stone, wood, metal, glass and leather … the elements of the natural world are once again very trendy in lighting,” says Hudson. “I love these elements when used in modern geometrical shapes. The clean lines let the actual beauty of the natural elements shine through.”
One of the most interesting parts of design and décor is creating something that’s unique just to you and your home. Taking a traditional element and giving it a twist will ensure you have something special that can’t be found in another home.
“Pendants and combinations of pendants are a big trend. I love to use several pendants hung at varying heights to create a one-of-a-kind chandelier,” says Hudson. “They come in every shape and size and I like to mix and match. I also love big bowl pendants over tables and kitchen islands.
Jennifer Segelke Jeffers is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist with more than a decade of editorial experience. She is the former editor of Austin Monthly Home and Centro Y Sur.