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Lighting Can Define Your Style


The room is painted, the perfect accent color is in place and every piece of furniture carefully selected.  You sit down and lean back only to stare at the very tarnished vintage chandelier you vowed to change three months ago.

Lighting is just as much a part of the room as the furniture. It speaks volumes about you, reflects your style and mood.  A well-crafted piece with the right finish can be the icing on your interior design dreams.

So how do you pick a light fixture - what are the different styles and how can they help you finish your space?

Choosing a Style

Contemporary Style - The Modern/Contemporary Style has clean lines, little to no ornamentation, and single tone finishes.  Almost minimalist in nature this style features smooth curves and/or bold angles.  Contemporary fixtures often have a sculptural component and may incorporate geometric shapes in the design. Sleek and simplistic, common finishes for this style are black, silver, chrome, and white.

Many sub categories such as industrial and midcentury modern fall into this space.

Transitional Style – The Transitional Style classifies lights that aren’t quite traditional, yet not quite contemporary. They’re a blending of the new and the old; a fusion of classic elegance and the clean lines of contemporary. Transitional lights have the smooth design of a modern fixture, while often incorporating the ornate decoration of the traditional style.  Brushed nickel and stain brass are popular finishes in this design style.

Traditional Style - Traditional lights typically reflect historic time periods or have a majestic flair.  Their embellishments and ornamentation add an extra element of charm and sophistication to a home.  Detailed and ornate, they are warmer in tone and usually sport a brass, iron, or wood finish. 

Chandeliers are the most popular design of the traditional fixtures and are available many materials including crystal and acrylic.  Farmhouse design is frequently associated with traditional fixtures although many farmhouse style rooms can easily support a transitional fixture as well.

Choosing a Finish

The finish of a fixture is a key part of room design. Chrome and brushed nickel speak to a modern sophistication, while dark bronze offers warmth and richness to a space. 

While some swear by matching finishes in a space, more recent trends have embraced mixed finishes, textures and patterns.  There are plenty of choices—nickel, chrome, brass, bronze, to name a few—and many come in light and dark varieties as well as polished and brushed (also called satin) versions. A

A big trend is applying old-world finishes to modern lighting such as the Terra Chandelier, which marries coolness and warmth in the same fixture.

Finally, no matter what style is used, harmony is the key to pulling the look together.