When completing a kitchen or bathroom design, lights can almost become an afterthought. So often taken for granted, that it’s nearly a given that lights will always be there. Learning to place these lights in strategic areas will show off the room’s design to the best advantage, and provide the illumination needed to make the most of the space.
Under Cabinets and Over Islands
When considering lighting for kitchen design, overall brightness, such as track lighting or recessed lights, should not be the only lights used. While these lights will brighten the entire space, they can cast shadows and add little in the way of visual appeal.
Consider using under cabinet lighting above the kitchen counters. This will eliminate shadows over a frequently used work area and can also serve to showoff backsplash designs. Be sure to consider this when ordering the cabinets to leave enough clearance for them.
For extra visual appeal, try adding pendant lights or chandeliers over islands and eating areas. This will help highlight the spaces and visually single them out for the rest of the room.
For modern kitchens, consider abstract glass pendants, or sleek, minimalist stainless steel pendants. For more traditional kitchens, consider using different metals, such as bronze or copper, with textured shades.
If there are desk or bar sink areas in the kitchen, try highlighting them with matching wall sconces to complete the look.
Light up Mirrors and Showers
While there should be a source of overhead light in a bathroom for even lighting, enhance the bathroom design by providing extra lighting near any mirrors and in the shower area. Add extra ventilation, including a light combined with a vent or just outside the shower.
Try adding wall sconces to either side of the mirror or medicine cabinet for a way to tie the accessories together while lighting up the workspace. If there is enough room above the mirror, install a double sconce directly overhead for more focused light.
Many faucet and bathroom accessories manufacturer also produces matching sconces to complete the look of the bathroom. Ask at the plumbing showroom to see potential choices. If it’s not possible to match the design completely, try to keep metal finishes consistent throughout the room.
Go Green to Stay Bright
Many lighting manufacturers, particularly those of kitchen and bathroom lighting, are beginning to provide eco-friendly fluorescent options in their designs. Many sconces and pendants are available in either eco-friendly or traditional format. It will come with a fluorescent bulb provided at no extra charge, so be sure to ask when considering options.
Remember that the lighting should enhance the rest of the room and the design, not overpower it. There can be too much of a good thing, so check with an electrician when planning a layout. Look for designs that complement the rest of the room, and finish off the project with flair.