Every year, we routinely work with hundreds of Hammerton customers on various residential and commercial design projects. And along the way, we’ve seen it all — the good, the bad and the ugly. Our attention to the details of decorative lighting plans have helped many clients avert potential lighting disasters — e.g. fixtures that don’t fit through doorways, ceilings that aren’t properly blocked to withstand the weight of a large chandelier, sconces hung in the swing path of a door… you name it.
But here’s the good news — with proper planning, all lighting mistakes are avoidable. Based on our extensive experience working with homeowners and our reputation as a leading custom lighting manufacturer, we’ve developed a list of five basic decorative lighting mistakes to avoid during your next home design project.
- Not Properly Scaling Light Fixtures: Decorative lights should be scaled in proportion to the space it occupies - think room dimensions, ceiling height, furniture plan and flooring configuration, etc. For example, overhead fixtures can be stunning focal points if scaled and styled correctly, but the vast majority of ‘off the shelf’ products are often sized too small for today’s larger homes. Voluminous rooms need appropriately scaled fixtures both to provide the right amount of lighting and to create visual balance with other objects in the room.
- Choosing the Wrong Style of Light Fixture: Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a light fixture within the context of an entire room before it’s been installed. However, not considering a room’s style when choosing a decorative fixture is a common mistake. Make sure the fixture provides a thoughtful complement to your interiors. For example, if you have a modern or transitional style home, consider installing a contemporary drum pendant over a traditional multi-armed chandelier. And avoid the temptation of selecting those trendy kitchen pendants unless you are prepared to replace them in the near future…
- Overlooking the importance of Fixture Shape. Ever seen a round table with a large square fixture above it? Or a pair of long rectangular sconces awkwardly flanking a round bath mirror? Getting the fixture shape right can make the difference between a visual hit or a complete miss. Consider your furniture and wall accessory plans carefully before settling on a specific fixture.
- Ignoring Fixture Dimensions and Weight: Whether you’re simply remodeling or building from the ground up, it’s always important to carefully review your fixture’s physical specifications against your elevation and electrical plans before you buy them. This simple, common-sense step can save significant headaches and costs — think chandeliers positioned off-center in a room or over a dining table, sconces mounted too high or low on a wall, pendant rods or cords that are too long or too short, ceiling or wall fixtures that hang in the swing path of a door, and yes — even fixtures that are too large for your contractor to move into a space without yanking out a door or window. Make sure all j-boxes are correctly aligned with desired canopy and back plate locations and reinforced to accommodate heavier fixtures.
- Skipping the Planning Phase: Proper lighting planning not only saves you headaches, time and money – it will also ensure that your decorative fixtures beautifully enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your home design.
If you’d like to avoid these and other common lighting mistakes, contact Hammerton today for our expert advice. We can assist with selecting light fixtures and developing custom lighting solutions to fit your unique aesthetic and functional needs.