Details | Lighting

By Kayla Craig

Whether you’re going for a soft glow in the bedroom or dreaming of a bright kitchen, lighting plays a star role in illuminating your home.

To get the look you long for, Lynne Bier, lead designer at Home on the Range Interiors in Steamboat Springs, suggests surveying your space. “Ask yourself what you want to do and where you’re going to do it,” Bier says. Next, enhance the room with four main lighting elements: task, general, ambient and accent.

“In every room, you need to have a mix of lighting,” she says. Many fixtures are multifaceted—a stunning chandelier set on a dimmer switch over a kitchen island provides all four elements. For a functional and fashionable kitchen, consider under-cabinet task lighting to brighten countertops, and recessed lights on a dimmer to enhance ambiance.

The levels of light provided by dimmers are essential in bedrooms too. “You want to make sure your socks match when you’re getting ready in the morning, but also have ambiance at night,” Bier says.

When it comes to a well-lit reading area, consider your lamp’s height and shade. “Swing-arm lamps mounted on the wall can work too, as well as recessed lighting above the bed,” she says.

When planning, factor in frequently forgotten features, such as ceiling height and finish. “If your ceilings are really high, you want a little bit more light,” Bier says. “Remember that a wood ceiling will soak up light a lot more than a light plaster ceiling, and dark colors on your walls will absorb light.”

“Lighting creates a mood, and we’ve all been in a room where it’s dark and you can’t appreciate the space,” says Bruce Caplowe, interior designer at Rumor Design + reDesign in Steamboat Springs. “The beauty of it is that you don’t have to tear up walls or rewire your house to get it done. You can use high-frequency censors controlled by a remote, or even your iPad.”

Don’t miss opportunities to make your space shine, Caplowe says. “If you have a long hallway, sconces down the hall can become an art element.”

Caplowe adds, “It’s a mistake not to design lighting to show off your house or apartment. It’s great to hit the switch and see the house sparkle.”