A passion for lighting was in the stars for Lucy Dearborn. Not only is she the co-owner of the exquisite (and BONS award-winning) 8,000-square-foot Luci?a Lighting & Design in Lynn, but her initials spell LED. She also met her husband when he burned his hand on a light bulb at the lighting store where she used to work years ago. So it only seemed natural that Northshore magazine would turn to Dearborn for advice about the latest lighting tips and trends.
First and foremost, Dearborn says, lighting should be layered. Just as a well-decorated room is layered and enhanced not only with furniture but also with art, rugs, pillows, and accessories, a well-lit room will have layers of light.
“You would never just put furniture in a room,” Dearborn says. “It’s the same philosophy with lighting.” And just like with other kinds of home de?cor, lighting should be beautiful as well as functional, with trends like industrial-style metal pendant lights for the kitchen, colorful blown glass fixtures, and over-sized drum shades that are embellished with fun and funky fabrics.
Here’s how to apply that philosophy to your house:
In the kitchen and bath The kitchen has a variety of uses. Not only will you be chopping vegetables on the counter and cooking at the stove, but your kids might be doing their homework at an island and your friends might be visiting for dinner and cocktails.
“You can set lots of different scenes for lots of different tasks,” Dearborn says of using proper varieties of lighting. For instance, recessed or task lighting can reflect off of cabinets and provide down lighting, but that’s not all that’s needed. Decorative ceiling lights or hanging pendant lights over an is- land provide a layer that Dearborn calls “eye-level happy.” She says clear glass hanging pendants and industrial-looking metal pendants are especially on trend for kitchens.
Dearborn adds that many people neglect under-cabinet lighting, which serves not only as task lighting but also to highlight a beautiful backsplash.
“People think it’s optional, but in my mind it shouldn’t be,” she says. LED lights are especially popular for under-cabinet lighting because they stay cool to the touch.
In addition, Dearborn encourages people to think about how they already use the space they have and add lighting accordingly. For instance, she points to one Marblehead client who mounted wall sconces on the sides of cabinets— instead of hanging lights over the sink—to preserve a beautiful ocean view out the window.
Additionally, people often mistakenly believe that they don’t need vanity lights in the bathroom. But Dearborn says that using only recessed lighting in the bathroom casts odd shadows, which can throw off makeup application or shaving. Having lights installed at different heights casts even light in a space where natural light is often limited or nonexistent.
In the living room
“You shouldn’t be trying to read by recessed lights in your living room,” Dearborn says. Like other rooms, lighting in the living room should be layered, too.
For instance, a transitional floor lamp with a delicate base and wide shade fits beautifully in a narrow space but still casts enough light for reading. Table lamps and wall sconces add more layers, too. Dearborn especially loves beautiful Vermont-made Hubbardton Forge brand wall sconces.
“I would forgo a piece of art for this on my wall in a heartbeat,” Dearborn says of the intricately crafted metal sconces. Where there is traditional art, there should also be light, in the form of small picture lights or recessed lights that angle toward the wall.
Decorative ceiling lights are often overlooked, too, because people sometimes think they’re too formal or old-fashioned. On the contrary, oversized fixtures can make small spaces look larger, and in any room, ceiling lights can be the centerpiece statement that ties all of the other de?cor together. Dearborn’s favorite trends are beautiful fixtures that suit any style, from a hanging semi-flush mount made from tiers of pillow glass to a semi-flush mount crafted from mouth-blown glass from California to an orange Murano glass ceiling light. There are also pieces with color, crystals, and interchangeable fabrics.
“You’re not using the ceiling for anything else,” Dearborn reasons. “A large ceiling [light] can be the focal piece. It doesn’t take up any extra space in the room, but it can be fun and fabulous.” lucialighting.com ?