When selecting light fixtures for a home, there are two key components to consider: form and function. Start by asking yourself two questions: “What kind of aesthetic do I want?” and “What will the lighting’s usage be within the space?” Perhaps, you are seeking to create a dramatic focal point in a foyer; showcase a gallery of art; or simply add light to a shadowed corner of a living room or bedroom.
After assessing and becoming comfortable with the answers surrounding form and function, you can create a gorgeous arrangement of light fixtures with everything from chandeliers, wall lanterns and ceiling fixtures to sconces and table lamps.
We, at KingsHaven, design light fixtures in a wide range of types, styles, shapes, and sizes to address and fulfill any lighting need. Our product design team focuses upon creating lifestyle lighting fixtures that are practical in their scopes of use as well as serve as reflections of art for those who make KingsHaven lights a part of their homes or businesses.
We recommend selecting lighting options, in part, by the synergistic relationship of light and the space in which it will be used. A space must be lit in a way that its very essence will be enhanced by the illumination a pendant or wall sconce provides.
Not only this, the decision to install a specific light fixture can “make or break” a room or an outdoor space. This is the meaningful purpose behind KingsHaven’s assortment of lighting styles to include old world tradition inspired by yesteryear to contemporary modernity that satisfies trendsetting and even avant-garde stylistic choices.
There are three types of lighting for homes and the lifestyles of most of us: general, task and accent. For each, you will want to align beauty with purpose. General lighting illuminates most of a room’s area. Task lighting aids one in work or concentration, such as reading, or food prep. Accent lighting creates ambiance or style.
When designing a lighting plan, envision every situation for which a room’s lighting will be used. This will allow you to gather your ideas for functionality. Here are mood and function ideas for five different rooms:
Bedrooms: For this most sacrosanct of rooms, lighting should be cozy and warm. Two lamps on a dresser will create ambiance as well as task lighting for a nearby reading nook. A ceiling pendant is a must for general lighting; care should be taken so that it doesn’t shine too brightly. Naturally, nightstand lamps illuminate a variety of tasks, from reading to removing one’s glasses.
A tip we advise is to affix a ceiling pendant in a bedroom upon the room’s center focal point or perhaps the center of the space’s walkable area. Moreover, centering it above the bed creates ultimate balance and poise in the room.
Photo: Metrique Pendant
Bathrooms: A bathroom should be bright, so choose your general lighting accordingly. Flank the main mirror with a pair of sconces so the lighting is balanced for grooming tasks.
KingsHaven can customize sconces and other lighting selections to yield specific solutions for any bathroom, or any room for that matter. If your bathroom or powder room vanity and mirrors prevent the flanking of light fixtures due to architecture or space constraints, contact us with measurements and photos of the area, and we can discuss custom lighting creations to shed light upon not only your space but your preferences as well.
Photo: Charing Hexagon Straight Arm Sconce
Dining Rooms: A large pendant or chandelier should typically hang 30 to 36 inches above the table in a room with 8-foot ceilings; raise the fixture three inches for every foot of ceiling height above that. The diameter of a chandelier above a table could be estimated at about one-half to two-thirds the table’s width.
With a nearby fireplace, sconces above a mantel will create a chic sense of style, while grounding and highlighting art at the same time.
Photo: Chancellor Globe, Large and Charing Octagon Straight Arm Sconce
Photo: Luna Globe Pendant
Kitchens: The general lighting over kitchen islands is dependent on its width. With a wide island, three pendants fit nicely with one centered over each end and one in the middle.
Pendants with a clean or transitional-to-modern design are perfect for keeping the aesthetic light because they don’t carry as much visual weight. Kitchen lighting choices at KingsHaven abound, and this includes many finishes from which to choose. Artisan-crafted pendants carefully honed of various woods or metals can be considered.
Our staff often designs custom lights for our clients and customers based upon their kitchens’ interior design plans as much as the functions their spaces are intended to serve. In turn, we have ready-to-ship standard light fixtures, each handmade, to suit the look and use of kitchens from coast to coast.
Photo: Paris Prism Pendant in Gold
Stairwells: Our favorite lighting for a stairwell is a large chandelier because it creates a dazzling focal point that draws the eye upward and exudes zeal and interest for the entire space it lights. If you have a large, open stairwell, this is a must for maximizing impact.
We like to recommend stairwell lights that offer multiple bulbs, whereas, when fully illuminated, the staircase is well-lit and easily accessible. Yet, by use of a dimmer, the pendant’s or chandelier’s candelabras can be lowered to generate a soft glow, especially when no one is using the stairs at the time.
Sconces can provide additional illumination and visual interest along the stairway like no other wall fixture can. We suggest single-arm or double-arm sconces as well-appointed appendages to adorn otherwise plain walls that line the steps from one floor to the next.
Photo: Baker Street Chandelier, Large, and Essex Double Arm Sconce
In addition to size and placement of fixtures, the choice of bulb is key to creating artful rooms. Halogen, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs come in hues ranging from warm to cool.
You’ll want to use white, warm bulbs for bedrooms and living rooms because they impart a warm, cozy moody. For that bright, energetic feel needed in kitchens and bathrooms choose bright, cool white bulbs. Daylight bulbs also work in kitchens and bathrooms. For functional stairwells that are often used, consider bright bulbs.
View Lighting as Art:
Beautiful art is an ongoing or enduring experience, and lighting enhances that experience. There are many types of lighting that put art in a spotlight, but you don’t have to have lights that directly shine on the artwork.
A special and unique idea is to use sconces to create a wash of light across your paintings. Sconces placed near or on either or both sides of art accent watercolors, oils, chalk, and other artful pieces.
Photo: Essex Double Arm Sconce
Lighting itself is art and should harmonize with the look of a room. You want to choose amazing fixtures as though they are singular pieces of art, while creating harmony between the fixtures and furnishings.
To update or contrast the design of a traditional home, we use more transitional or modern light fixtures. This adds an unexpected edge to the space. Much in the same way, a traditional light in a contemporary room produces unique distinction and an unpredicted focal point.
KingsHaven designs some of its light fixtures to seamlessly correspond with specific periods of history. This is highly recommended when the objective is to align the components of residential settings or hotels with era-oriented interiors.
Though, for many of today’s transitional or modern design goals, lighting styles that are too period specific may clash with the popular choice of furniture eclecticism. Therefore, we create near-countless styles of lighting inspired by a union of old and new, further yet, historic to contemporary. Choosing a timeless design is very often the solution.
The same goes for the home’s exterior. The light fixture should harmonize with the materials and architecture, as does the handcrafted metal of this Agincourt Hanging Lantern against the natural building materials of brick, stone and wood.
Photo: Agincourt Hanging Lantern
It’s best to pick lighting with innate character built up through detail and craftsmanship. For added authenticity, select a fixture that has been hand-forged from natural materials, as with all KingsHaven lights.
In selecting light fixtures for an overall space, think of the style of light and its relationship to its surroundings. With a staircase, for example, consider the flood of natural light that trickles in via large windows nearby. Rather than a weighty chandelier, choose something spare and clean that will allow light to pass through it during daylight hours.
Photo: Bayswater Pendant
You can easily select hanging pendants or wall-mounted light fixtures to complement the architectural elements of a room or outdoor space. For one project, we chose KingsHaven’s Agincourt Lantern Sconce to install outside the home between two arched windows that required a specific look. This created a natural focal point and it also supplied gorgeous light around the home’s exterior.
Photo: Agincourt Lantern Sconce
Along with the foundation of your house, a wiring and lighting plan is a fundamental element, and you don’t want to skimp on it. This is the case whether building or renovating a home.
When looking for an electrician, know that there are two degrees of professional: master electrician and journeyman. If your job is complicated and requires a plan and design, not simply an installation, know that the master electrician has passed a standardized test that qualifies him to do this, whereas a journeyman cannot, by law, design systems, but can install wiring and fixtures. Above all, vet any installers you are considering attaining information regarding his or her background, experience, capabilities, references, and insurance.
Before you buy the first lightbulb, determine the best scale for your new light fixtures in each room, so they will have the proper ability to light every nook and cranny. You don’t want to wind up with dark hallways and corners because your lights don’t handle the proper wattage or are simply too small.
The sizes and overall scale of the room’s furnishings, architectural elements, art, windows, and doors are important considerations when deciding the width and height of a chandelier or ceiling pendant.
We recommend determining the scale and placement of a new light fixture by “mocking up the fixture” in its intended surroundings. Our founder and head product designer Lauren Wylonis suggests doing this by using a light fixture you already own. Hold the light fixture in place where you plan to affix a new light. If it seems to overwhelm the space, you’ll want to seek a new light that is smaller by height, width or possibly both. But, if your existing light fixture underwhelms the space, you’ll likely want to purchase a larger fixture.
Another way to gauge the needed scale for a new light is by using various household objects, such as a basketball, cardboard box or large glass jar, to gain a sense of how a light fixture of a similar size will look in the space.
A proportionate mock up like this can present a real-life physical assessment of the needed scale, as opposed to measurement alone.
Find an artistic ally: Show our KingsHaven team photos or sketches of your ideas and discuss them with us in person or by phone. We pride ourselves in serving as a champion of your vision. Whether or not you know exactly what you would like to achieve with your new lighting selections and installations, we can assist you in creating a look and lifestyle you love through lighting.
Designer-to-Designer: Two Interior Lighting Tips for Our Designer and Architect Clients
Consider Edison light bulbs for their touch of modernity and curiosity. These light bulbs are a modernized version of original bulbs manufactured at the turn of the 20th century by Edison Electric Light Company. Back in the day, the vintage-style exposed filaments were all the rage in dining establishments and speak easies. In later years, domestic light bulb trends took a sharp turn toward white-frosted light bulbs which hid the filaments as well as florescent bulbs and basic u-shaped wire filaments and strands.
The intricate and exposed filament design had a comeback in the 1980s when reproductions flooded the market for commercial space lighting needs. During the last several years, the modernized Edison bulbs became exceedingly popular for restaurants and hotels in Paris, Rome and other European cities. Their newest designs offer elaborate filament configurations in beautiful, mindboggling zig-zag shapes to the much-adored “ST” long-pear bulb silhouette.
Edison bulbs are good choices for transitional-to-modern residential and commercial settings with their long, wound filaments displayed in creative formations. Best of all, we like them because they are available in LED, a more environmentally friendly option than incandescent bulbs.
Tinted versions of the Edison bulb are a nice touch, though it is wise to avoid the clear bulbs with very high Kelvin ratings, as they appear to give off a blueish light. It is important to look for bulbs under 2700 Kelvins to achieve the optimal, warm color. Beehive shapes, candelabra bulbs and even the standard Edison bulbs are lovely options.
Lauren also recommends retrofitting an antique chandelier with LED filament bulbs to produce an edgy look that is a little more art deco in design.
Notwithstanding, the demand for energy-efficient lighting today has given rise to the development of LED filament bulbs, and they are fast becoming the must-have bulb in the U.S. We love their winding and often curving or curling interior filaments. Their extraordinary design, combined with the fact they come with the LED filaments, make them a designer’s special little touch their clients will love!
Photo: A Few Examples of Edison Bulbs
Every designer and architect who specifies lighting has experienced a project for which they knew “not just any light fixture” would do.
Our own KingsHaven founder Lauren Wylonis has been in those shoes. For numerous past home and estate renovation projects she has done through one of her other businesses, KingsHaven Properties, Lauren found that a grand foyer, double-height ceiling or other space simply had to have customized light fixtures.
Lighting options found in the retail marketplace did not satisfy all of the needs associated with her home renovation and restoration projects. So, she found herself designing tailored light fixtures to fit the styles and spaces of the residential projects on which she worked.
Many of these custom lights were requested by those who saw them. With more and more requests for the hand-crafted lights, Lauren realized she wanted to create a new lighting brand that would provide designers and architects with fully custom options for their hard-to-light design and design-build jobs. Today, KingsHaven designs, handmakes and ships personalized lights for custom orders from coast to coast.
For your unique or difficult space design projects, consider lighting customization. For expansive spaces such as two-story open ceilings or large exposed staircases, the creation of a custom light fixture in scalable proportion can produce the striking focal effect you are seeking to achieve.
Then, there are those interior spaces where a ceiling pendant light is not preferred due to inhibitive elements that render the desire or need for wall fixtures. For jobs of this nature, wall sconces are often called into play. The problem can be that sconce options are limited to some of the more common designs and finishes.
Photo: Essex Double Arm Sconce
Our designer and architect clients have told us that sconces anticipated with very specific dimensions, colors or finishes can be tough to find. What’s more, how many times have you attempted to order a large quantity of sconces for a major project just to find out the manufacturer only had a few in stock? These scenarios are the root of why we have conceptualized a range of original sconces and also customize them upon request.
We recommend thinking as far outside the box in terms of creative lighting as necessary. Do not be stifled by a lack of specialized light fixtures, creative approaches to custom lighting, or needed quantities among your usual vendors. When designing projects where customization is a key element, share your design plans with us, and we will be glad to offer one-of-kind lighting concepts to support your desired outcome.
Contact KingsHaven to acquire any light fixture you see on our blog or website. Or, email or call us to create one or many artful light fixtures and a lighting plan unique to your personalized space- wherever you or your clients call home.
(Title quote by Ruby Ross Wood)