Lighting Chapter IV-Review House Beautiful’s 750 Designer Secrets

The Lighting section is the smallest chapter in the book. Likewise, I have less to review. The subchapters are Natural Light, Ambient, Task, and Accent Illumination, and Controlling Light. Most of the design ideas in this section, for some odd reason are just common sense tips, like; converting a solid wall into a wall of windows and/or french doors to add light, using a curtain hung from the ceiling as a divider and as a scrim to filter light, the use of mirrors to make a room feel larger and the use of dimmers to control light levels. There were very few innovative design ideas in this section, although, all the rooms are beautifully designed. The pictures and the elements that decorated the rooms, were key in this section: over-sized chandeliers used in a common living room setting, iridescent raw silk drapes to control sunlight in a tropical home, a nine-armed Royere lamp as a task light, wall-to-wall windows and doors for natural light in a cottage breakfast room, and sheer wool panels to filter light in a bedroom-all are examples of good design ideas tastefully applied.

The first design idea is #250-“Hang a grandly sized chandelier in a living room with a high ceiling for drama and sparkle.” Did you hear that? Chandeliers are not just for dining rooms! And this book shows a splendid example. Pictured is a living room with sofa and Chippendale seating that is set in front of a large window and an over-sized chandelier is suspended in the midst. This is grace and grandeur combined. The chandelier adds a beautiful touch, to what otherwise, would be an ordinary room. Like other design ideas in this book, simple tips are given that make or break a room. And this chandelier is the script on this living room. Also, there is another design idea recommending use of a chandelier in a bedroom, and, not doubt, this too, would be grand.

Idea #264-“In a massive room, suspend three chandeliers rather than just one for ambient illumination, include a variety of table and floor lamps for task light, and use plenty of candles for sparkle.”
This design idea incorporates layering the light in a room, i.e. having light at multiple levels, and of multiple varieties, to address different needs while combining them all in one design scheme. A well lit room is fundamental (even moreso for large areas) in a well designed room.

Next Week, Creating Family Friendly Spaces
Last Week, Shaping the Shell

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