• Abigail Shea

Light the (ASI) Way

My favorite lighting sources and tips for a cohesive, but fun, lighting scheme!


 

Lighting is without a doubt one of my favorite elements to select. Beautiful homes, and more importantly homes that feel personal and curated for their owners, are a critical mix of technical details, cohesive and streamlined choices, and an infusion of very individualized personality pieces. So much of that last piece -- the elements that make your home yours and not your neighbor's or your mom's or even your designer's--can come from lighting, for a few reasons.


1. Lighting is a very low-stakes design element--it almost couldn't be easier to swap a light fixture. In fact, it is one of the things I recommend as a first priority when budgets are tight. Because of that, you should feel liberated to get a little weird with it!


2. By nature light fixtures are physically small(ish), so it is an appropriate place to add something funky. If larger elements in your space are a bit more reserved (say, a beige sofa instead of a purple velvet one) your lighting can, and should, stand out a bit! You will probably get less sick of a small, funky light fixture than you would a purple velvet sofa.


3. The only functional part of a light fixture is the bulb. Other than that, it can be ANYTHING--any material (kind of), shape, size, profile, etc. Unlike furniture it doesn't have to be comfortable, cleanable, stain-resistant, etc. It can just be cool.


3. There are some amazing lighting brands doing some really cool things. I am not sure I have found more talented small businesses and craftspeople in any other field than lighting. Here are my favorites!


 

If you're feeling like a splurge - $$$


1 - Allied Maker - Amazing, high-quality handcrafted artisan pieces



2 - RTO Lighting - Possibly my favorite lighting brand. Creative, inspired, funky, and still always classic.


3 - Gallery L7 - Incredible custom and vintage lighting, as well as furniture and decor.




4 - Pinch - Beautiful soft linen fixtures (and amazing furniture too!)

5 - Hector Finch - High quality pieces with some fun twists on a very traditional style.



 

If you're looking for some minor investment pieces - $$


6 - Objekte (Etsy) - The most incredible selection of vintage lighting.



7 - Lostine - Beautiful pieces with unique materials like wood and leather.

8 - VintageInModeDelux (Etsy) - Incredible vintage lighting with a great selection of linen pieces.


9- DeVOL - A stunning British kitchen company with the most amazing handmade ceramic lighting.





10 - Human Home - Modern sculptural pieces with interesting materials


 

If budget is a top priority - $


11 - Mullan Lighting - Super cool somewhat industrial pieces (try to bundle orders, these ship from Ireland and it's not cheap!)


12 - ClayCafe (Etsy) - Drool-worthy ceramic pieces--a great dupe for DeVOL!





13 - Ranor Lighting - One of my true favorites! Classic but fun pieces from an incredibly sweet team.




14 - Cedar and Moss- Funky, geometric ceramic pieces (slightly pricier than other options, but worth it!)







15 - 360 Volt (1st Dibs) - Amazing vintage industrial pieces that fit in most styles!



 

A few tips!


1. When putting together a lighting plan, start with the largest pieces. And budget more for those ones! In your living room, for example, start with the chandelier, move to wall sconces, and then to task lighting like a floor or table lamp.


2. Vary materials a lot and styles a little. If you choose a metal chandelier, try some ceramic sconces and then a table lamp with a linen shade. Too much of one material feels one note and uninteresting. You also want to vary your styles a little, but make sure you have a core style(s) to check every piece against. If it doesn't fit at least one of the core elements of your space, try again.


3. Pick one or two "hero" pieces per floor. This is a great rule for most design elements. If every piece stands out, nothing will. Pick a couple really fun, really funky lighting fixtures and let the rest fade away. You want them to be considered and beautiful, but not competitive with your favorite piece. (Hint: sources 9, 10, 11, and 14 are great filler options!)




Xoxo, thanks for reading!