Reporting that customers are choosing to mix finishes and styles in interior lighting fixtures is Kelly Oakley of ReFresh Home. “You definitely see a good mix of pendants and chandeliers,” she says. “People aren’t afraid to stop out of ‘the rules.’ If a pendant is more size appropriate homeowners are open to that. Or using two pendants instead of one chandelier.”
Oakley says recessed lighting isn’t going to disappear. “We almost always use both recessed lighting with other fixtures. The in-ceiling lighting carries out most of the lighting function, which leaves the homeowner open to choose a chandelier or pendant that fits their design style.”
Commenting that for an industry that saw little change in over 100 years, the innovations today are happening every three to six months is Brad Dobson of Hermitage Lighting Gallery. “Lighting control has also changed, bringing sophisticated dimming, timing, and more to every home.”
Saying that lighting style is a tricky topic for her, Oakley reports that her design firm tries to never lock a design into a specific “style.” “There’s no need to be boxed in,” she says. “The best homes combine farmhouse, industrial, contemporary, traditional—everything—but in a flowing, cohesive way.
“We mix up a lot of beaded, feminine contemporary fixtures with other chandeliers that are more industrial with a blend of metals and woods. Our clients in middle Tennessee lean toward farmhouse elements, but more and more we’re finding they are open to something new and fun.”
The experts are all in favor of layered lighting, which generally includes recessed lighting and chandeliers.
“We like to use can lights for function,” says Oakley, “since a lot of our favorite chandeliers unfortunately don’t always provide much light.”
Bill Patterson of The Lamp Gallery agrees that recessed lighting has improved lighting in the home, and reports that an ‘average’ size room needs three or four lamps spaced evenly throughout the room for proper lighting. “Reading lamps can be a part of the plan, while accent or smaller lamps can enhance a room’s appearance and add light to balance the space. Taller floor lamps and taller table lamps are in greater demand today due in part to taller ceilings.”
“Layered lighting is one of the most important aspects of lighting,” says Dobson. “Educating homeowners is equally important so that the end result is such that they love the lighting experience in their homes.”
Agreeing that recessed lighting continues to grow in popularity, Dobson adds that pendants have become larger in scale but tend to be clean, open, and airy, as opposed to something visually heavy.
Reporting that clients are drawn to lighting as they are to jewelry, Deborah Hayden of DC 7 Designs says, “They want something that feels right for the space and reflects their taste. Lighting needs are paramount, so I look for fixtures that serve the homeowner’s needs in a beautiful way.” Recessed lights are being placed more deliberately and pendant and chandelier lighting are beginning to merge in terms of looks and function, she says.
Hayden adds, “We live so much of our lives indoors compared with past generations so we need to keep in mind that our eyes need extra care, especially as we age. Layers offer the ability to make choices in mood, task, and general lighting all within one space.”
Chip Balduf of Team One Electrical Services reports his company is installing a lot of LED recessed lighting, ceiling fans without light kits, and dimming control and zone lighting to enhance light layering.
“Task lighting is critical in kitchens and baths, laundry rooms, and storage areas,” Balduf says. “In kitchens, we usually see under counter lighting with two brightness settings so the light can serve as task lighting and night lights. Can lighting in kitchens works as both task lighting and, when dimmable, can set the mood for entertaining.”
Laura Graham of Remax Elite notes that she is seeing fewer pendants except over kitchen bars. “And there we are seeing large statement pendants instead of a string of smaller pendants.”
Regarding materials, industry watchers report two looks are quite hot at the moment—beaded fixtures and shade-on-shade, according to Stansell Dye of Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Showroom.
“We’re seeing a trend in every area of design toward gold and rose gold,” says Oakley, “but this definitely isn’t taking over in the way one might think. I think people are afraid of things that are too trendy. No one wants to invest in a home full of current styles only to find themselves starting over in a couple of years when those trends change.
“We’re mixing in a tasteful amount of gold in most designs, but supplementing that with more transitional styles using black and the always-popular oil rubbed bronze. I will say that polished nickel is taking a back seat for the time being,” Oakley reports.
Regarding design, Dobson reports that preferences are “all over the place. Some have already moved past the farmhouse and industrial looks, and some prefer modern designs. But the biggest change is multi-tone or contrasting finishes on the same fixture. This allows our customers to mix metals, hardware, and other finishes while coordinating and pulling together space.”
Hayden says her clients are interested in black and dark finishes, but she agrees that a mix of finishes is common and sought after. “My remodeling clientele is changing fans in the bedrooms, adding new fixtures in the bathrooms, adding canned lighting and pendants in the kitchen, as well as under- and over-cabinet lighting.”
“It’s a great time for designers,” says Jane Stinson of Crye-Leike Realty, “because the lighting for homes can really set the ambiance of the space. What is so great about most of the trends today is that they reflect back on history and will remain timeless.” She adds that “matchy-matchy” looks are not in fashion and that mixing finishes and materials is the way to create interest in a space.
Style still sets the tone for fixture selection, but today lighting of any style can deliver a sophisticated experience, save energy, and customize color temperature.”
Oakley suggests that with a little encouragement most of her clients are open to mixing finishes throughout the house. “I think people have begun to notice that by mixing finishes and blending styles—when done well—their home has a more personal and unique feeling of the exclusive.
“If you walk into a home and all of the light fixtures are coordinating—as well as cabinet hardware, plumbing fixtures, and so forth—it feels like someone chose a standard package. Homeowners today want a space that reflects who they are, not a cookie cutter setting,” Oakley concludes.
There are a number of sources for interior lighting in the Nashville area including:
Crye-Leike Realty Hendersonville 615/ 400-8141
DC 7 Designs Nashville 615/ 490=2637
Decorating Den Interiors Nashville, TN 615-469-7334
Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Clarksville 931/ 647-0276 Lebanon 615/ 444-2111 Murfreesboro 615/ 890-5599 Nashville 615/ 385-3054
Hermitage Lighting Gallery Nashville 615/ 843-3300
Kenny & Company Nashville 615/ 782-8000
Luminosity Lighting Gallery Hendersonville 615/ 431-2872
PDI Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Showroom Nashville 615/ 490-8316
ReFresh Home Franklin 615/ 472-1336
Remax Elite Brentwood
Team One Electrical Services Brentwood 615/ 323-9670
The Lamp Gallery Murfreesboro 615/ 893-8355