When a homeowner goes years without updating décor, even the most classic and timeless choices can feel stale and outdated. Guests notice the lack of change, families grow out of certain tastes, and eye-catching interior design trends can make you feel overwhelmed. If that sounds familiar, don't settle for a home that has lost its edge. You deserve to have a stimulating and highly personal environment, and it's all too easy to lose sight of that when you're raising a family or juggling a hectic career and fulfilling hobbies.
When my clients say they feel restless and need to refresh the way their home looks and feels, I tell them to get creative with existing elements and add a few new different light fixtures. But it can be easier said than done, especially when you're used to making changes for practical, not aesthetic, reasons. These tips will help you curate a whole new space without spending too much or trying too hard.
1. Picture Your Dream Remodel, then Downsize It
It can be tempting to imagine an entirely transformed space, complete with new colors and styles that render it unrecognizable. However, real-life remodels aren't as easy (or affordable) as HGTV would have you believe. It's perfectly possible to borrow inspiration from online trends, emulate your favorite store's showcase displays, and stun your repeat guests without dipping into your retirement funds (or even making a dent in your household expenses).
Instead of wasting your time re-painting a whole room - or hiking your budget to spring for new furnishings and flooring - think about the overall effect that you think these changes would create. A room's aesthetic truly revolves around the details, and when you're trying to change the ambiance of a well-worn space, there's no detail more significant than lighting. It's a visual illusion that can change the shape, size, and mood of a room, and some fixtures and bulbs can even change the color and texture of your upholstery, furniture, and flooring. Once you know which changes would make you the happiest, you can work with The Lighting Gallery to find lighting that achieves the same effect.
2. Expand Your Options: How Many Different Light Fixtures?
Designers have long relied on the art of the mix-and-match. To get an idea of the potential that already exists in your current space, make some easy and temporary changes. For example: if your family room is the area in question, rearrange the sofas, tables, and rugs several times. Take pictures of each layout, walk between the furniture, and ask a friend or family member to do the same. Even if you decide that your original arrangement is the best possible choice for practical purposes, this experiment can help you re-imagine the room and look at it from a new perspective for the first time in years.
Now apply that refreshed mentality to the light fixtures. Move your favorite floor lamp to another corner, and swap the reading lamp in your bedroom with the table lamp next to your couch. Decide how many light fixtures you need to keep in order to properly illuminate the space, and then decide which ones can trade places without creating clashes. This gives each fixture brand new life and helps you figure out which ones you should actually replace.
3. Consider New Combinations of Style and Size
If you truly want to give your room a new edge, you'll need to step outside your comfort zone. You probably already want to try new finishes; for example, replacing brass with stainless steel is a great way to instantly update a space. However, if you just look for new versions of your current fixtures, you'll limit your design potential. Take your most boring or outdated fixtures, and look for completely different styles and sizes.
If there's a small porcelain lamp in the center of each side-table, you can revitalize the whole room by replacing them with oversize glass vases. These will fill the entire surface area of each table, and if you run LED strips along the bottom, this softer, more cost-effective lighting will spread farther and pack a bigger punch.
4. Find the Right Spot for New Fixtures: What Goes Where?
This is the easiest part of mixing and matching light fixtures. After you've settled on a few fantastic new fixtures, don't just install them; use them to see old fixtures in new ways. Try replacing your family room ceiling fan with your dining room chandelier, and then dangle a new lamp from the bare space left behind. Or run accent rope lighting behind your TV, and then bring that nearby floor lamp into the guest room instead.
You might be surprised at the impact that just a few new fixtures can make. To get started, schedule a consultation with one of our friendly, expert Lighting Designers!