With the days getting shorter, the rooms in your home may look less bright in early morning or late afternoon than they did a few weeks ago. What can you do to restore the glow?
|Chandeliere , sconces and can lighting in the ceiling make this large dining area glow!|
Here are some tips from lighting professionals. Illuminate a room proportionately to its size. Lighting designers figure the square footage, and then multiply by 1.5 to determine the approximate (incandescent-lamp) wattage needed. For example, a 15-by-20-foot room has 300 square feet of space; when you multiply by 1.5, you find 450 is the optimum level of wattage, counting all the lamps, ceiling fixtures, task lighting, etc. For work spaces and other specialized areas needing more illumination, multiply by 2.5.
To create great accents -- in a hallway, at either side of a fireplace or flanking a dining hutch -- consider wall sconces, placed about 60 inches above the floor and 8 to 10 feet apart.
Near each end of a fireplace mantel, or on the console behind a couch or on a hallway table, consider using a 20-inch-tall candelabra lamp with a dark shade to add an a elegant glow. If brown, black or mahogany, the shade will project a sense of masculinity.
When adding a chandelier to a room, math again can help you calculate what size works best. This time, start by adding add the room's width and depth together. For example, if the space measures 12-by-16-feet, add 12 to 16 for a total of 28. That tells you a 28-inch-diameter chandelier should do the job. For a chandelier above a dining table, divide the table width in half. For example, with a table 48 inches wide, a 24-inch-diameter fixture should work nicely.
In a dining room with 8-foot ceilings, the bottom of the fixture should fall 30 inches above the tabletop. Add 3 inches for each additional foot of ceiling height.
Another trick for freshening up a room: Buy small silk shades in alternating colors that work with the room's overall color scheme to freshen up an old 1970s brass chandelier. After you snap a shade right onto each small bulb, it will look as if you've replaced the fixture. You also can redo the yellow brass finish by spraying on metal paint in shades of gold, silver, bronze, white or black to change the whole ambience of the room.
Toni Berry: Tips for improving and updating interior lighting