Lighting – Make It Bold and Functional

in Small Space Ideas on by


When we move into a new apartment, we’re usually eager to scope out the amenities and the storage areas, the square footage for our furnishings, and the floor—to see what sort of covering we’ll need, if any. But the lighting? It barely rates a once-over…unless the fixtures are unique and REALLY make an impact.

For instance, if your new apartment’s previous dwellers had the foresight to hang a chandelier by the screen doors, where you’re thinking of placing your dining room table and, for whatever reason, your predecessors did NOT dismount and take the chandelier with them, you’ll be, well, happy is an understatement.

If you are moving into a new space, and that’s not the serendipitous scenario which greets you–oh, well!–we’ll give you a few brilliant lighting ideas. Or, if you’re looking to revamp your current lighting motif, we’ll do something about that, too.

A few ideas:

A Pendant Light – the design community always gives these fixtures a thumbs up. They remind one of pendant earrings, and are usually placed over a dining room area where they can dangle quite elegantly while providing anything-but subdued lighting (they’re bright!)

Purchase a pendant fixture in jewel-like colors—try aquamarine or magenta—and you’ll totally open up your eating space.

An Industrial Design – Lighting fixtures which are used in commerce or industry have their place inside an apartment. Can’t picture the style? Think of footlights in theater spaces or searchlights in Times Square.

An example of a cool industrial light which works well with butter-soft, cushy furniture – a copper cage with three light bulb sockets suspended from the ceiling.

Example two: A grouping of bronze naked light bulbs in alternating lengths.

Can’t get much bolder than that!

Where to use them, again? These industrial-style lights will lend a no-nonsense functionality to your apartment, and work particularly well when paired with “warm and inviting” furnishings. In addition to the afore-mentioned sofa style, pair the lighting with solid wood. The heaviness of the wood is needed to offset the rock-solid statement of the industrial lighting.

Attention Grabbers – Two glimmery suspended lights, perhaps in a crystal motif, will draw attention to drapes or wall coverings. Don’t make it more than a couple of lights, as you want the lights to attract attention, not overpower the room. Go for glittering grey or another subdued hue.

Brash Pieces – If you’re brazen with color and shape—if you’ve got a lot of reds and perhaps brassy geometric designs—bring home an unorthodox and out-of-the-ordinary lighting structure.

Perhaps a metal sculpture as an overhead lamp. Opt for a shape or texture that you’d normally not consider. If you have long sofa pieces/couches and rectangular wall coverings, go for a global shape for relief. Try intricate little designs which form one bigger light fixture.

Mix Traditional with Mod – You can add old-fashioned lighting to the space with the lovely sheepskin-draped Ikea work chair, as long as the lighting is open and doesn’t block the energy flow.

You might invest in a desk top light with an old-fashioned bronze and mica piano lamp (sometimes called a banker’s lamp). Those are the ones–originally in green—with the on-off pull chain. Or go for a Tiffany Banker’s Lamp, perhaps with a brazen brass harp design above the base.

Bold is Good…As Long As It Doesn’t Close Off Natural Light – Make sure you don’t intercept the light which comes in through your window. That light trumps all. If you place a lamp or light fixture in an area which has natural sunlight, make it airy, such as a fixture made from strips. Keep the design open, so it doesn’t overpower the surroundings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *