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This was because, I recently received a few comments on my How to Brighten a Dark Room post that suggested I was somehow trying to trick people into buying lamps. Now that the days are getting longer, you won’t notice the lack of lighting in your home as much as you do in the winter. Yet even if you have a dresser or sideboard in your house with a lamp on it that you NEVER turn on, it’s still considered a decor item.

So then, a few of my followers asked about recessed lighting since I mentioned it on my stories and here’s my take on them from years of being in this business: When two of my sisters, along with my Mom arrived in India last year for a 3 week trip, Elizabeth (who has heard my lamp rant many times) reported, “You wouldn’t like it here, this hotel only has cheese lights.” You can see that in this great room (below) there’s an enormous amount of recessed lighting but only one lamp with an opaque shade (which doesn’t really count).

Notice how these lights cast harsh, unflattering downward shadows on this room? Flattering light is always on eye level (with lamps) and filtered (with shades).

Have you ever seen a professional photographer set up lights directly overhead to highlight your imperfections?

When I wrote this post last year in Finland after helping one of my relatives add some more lamps to her home, I received an email from a reader who shared that when her husband had his hunting lodge built (she stayed out of it) the builder said, “Don’t worry, I’ll put in enough pot lights so you won’t need a single lamp.” She laughed as she declared she would not be spending any time there.

Ever wondered why the master bedroom in most apartments or homes often don’t even come with an overhead light smack in the middle of the ceiling? And because our master is in the North corner of the home (which is also typical) I have the lamp in the sitting area on all day long.

Doesn’t matter whether I’m home or not because when I walk in at any time, there’s always an inviting glow. Every room needs a combination of sconces and lamps, as well as the occasional well-placed recessed light to fill in dark corners. The point is, aside from dimmers, relying solely on overhead recessed light gives you little control over the mood or ambiance of a room in the evening.

I get that the point is to create a pared down look, but skipping mood lighting is a mistake. If you look for it, you’ll notice that many trendy rooms that are popular on Pinterest lack lighting. They are fresh and appealing in blown out daylight, but what happens in those rooms in the evening when you want to cozy up to a conversation or a good book?

It’s arguable that good lighting is even more important than having something to sit on because there is always the floor, haha. And, whenever someone asks me truly what they should do to brighten up a dark interior, I still direct them to the honeymoon cottage in the twilight series.

It’s full of perfectly placed wall sconces (with a shade–not bare bulbs that hurt your eyeballs) and lamps. Speaking of movies, (I know I’ve said this before too but I can’t leave it out in THIS post) you’ll notice that in most shows, there is so OFTEN a sconce light in the background of any scene.

Ever notice how beautiful everything looks at “the golden hour” when the sun is heavily filtered and low to the horizon in the evening and casts this charming glow on everything? Consider the effect and how it compares to the overhead sunlight of noon harshly beating down.

It’s pretty much the same difference with overhead pot lights and shaded lamps. But if you suspect I have some self serving interest in selling you lamps don’t take my word for it, haha. I received this comment recently from one of my Instagram followers on the subject of my devotion to lamps: Yes, I still need to paint my cabinets, but boy that was a way cheaper short term fix that made a huge impact.

Count your lamps and get some more, and I promise you, your evenings will suddenly feel happier.

Sideboard Styling | Vignettes | Dining Room Art | Decorating with Blue & Green
Sideboard Styling | Vignettes | Dining Room Art | Decorating with Blue & Green
White kitchen design | Decorating with green | Interior Design by Maria Killam | Timeless and Classic Kitchen Design | White Shaker Cabinets
White kitchen design | Decorating with green | Interior Design by Maria Killam | Timeless and Classic Kitchen Design | White Shaker Cabinets

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