Whether you’re embarking on a remodel or seeking an interior refresh, the lighting in your home is not to be overlooked. The world of lighting can be complicated to navigate, from sconces and chandeliers to kelvins versus lumens, and calling on a professional can make a big difference in how you experience your space. Read on for advice from our scouted experts and prepare to see your home in a whole new light.

Interior design by A Custom House. Photography by Claire Crenshaw.

Make a statement. Gone are the days of nondescript accent lighting. All of our experts reported that this is the year for lighting that makes a statement. Emily Mason, designer of contract sales and marketing at Krell Lighting in Park Ridge, New Jersey, urges clients to embrace oversized fixtures. “An oversized lamp or chandelier enhances the look of a space, adding a halo of drama and luxury,” she explains. “Nothing detracts more from a room than a light fixture that feels too small.”

Spotlight the heart of your home. If the kitchen is a key gathering space, lighting it should be of the utmost importance. Kristie Spino, owner of Christie’s Lighting in Fletcher, North Carolina, explains that successful kitchen lighting should come from multiple sources. “I always recommend under cabinet task lighting, overhead lighting such as pendants, as well as recessed ceiling lights,” she says. Good kitchen lighting is essential; whether you’re crafting an eight-course meal or making sure not to burn leftovers on the stove.

Be adventurous with your living space. The living room is the perfect place to experiment when it comes to lighting. “Lots of chic, indirect fixtures are being used to provide extra illumination in common rooms, like a gallery light over a piece of art,” Andy Cardwell, showroom manager at A Custom House in Austin, Texas, explains. “We’re also loving a printed and pleated lamp shade to make a lamp feel more custom.”

Interior design by Anne Buresh. Photography by Tuck Fauntleroy.

Illuminating the loo. The bathroom is often thought of as a space of pure utility. And while being able to see well enough to put in your contacts is essential, there’s no need to skip out on aesthetics. Anne Buresh, owner of Anne Buresh Interior Design in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Charlotte, North Carolina, is partial to hand blown glass chandeliers in bathrooms and powder rooms to provide visual impact.

Smaller spaces matter, too. Providing proper lighting in small spaces—think closets, attics, crawl spaces, laundry rooms, and mechanical rooms— can be an afterthought. For some of these trickier spaces, Mason recommends mounting a light fixture on the header over the door and either using a motion sensor or a jamb switch so the light comes on upon opening. “Be sure to provide a high level of illumination in areas with home appliances, like the laundry room and any mechanical rooms,” she urges. “This is especially important if someone needs to come in to service equipment.”

Interior design by Anne Buresh. Photography by Michael Blevins, MB Productions of NC.

Dial up the dining ambiance. When planning the lighting for your dining room, channel your favorite restaurant dining experiences where you’ll find multiple light levels—a chandelier, sconces, and flickering candles on the table. To replicate the look in your home, Buresh notes that dimmers are essential to create ambiance and instant mood for a space. Add them to every light source in the room, from statement chandeliers to buffet lamps. “Everyone always looks better in low light because it imparts such a beautiful glow,” she explains. Added bonus:  subdued lighting sets the perfect mood for a lovely and memorable meal. 

Incorporate layers of light. According to Mason, it’s important to incorporate multiple sources of light in each room—not just the dining room—to create visual interest and ambience. “You should always include accent lighting, task lighting, as well as general illumination,” she explains. Additionally, like almost all of our experts, Mason touts the usefulness of the almighty dimmer switch. “A dimmer is the key to setting the tone in your space, and allowing you the flexibility to change that tone based on what activity you are currently using that area for.”

TSG Tip 449 from Emily Mason, designer contract sales and marketing at Krell Lighting in Park Ridge, New Jersey; Kristie Spino, owner of Christie’s Lighting in Fletcher, North Carolina; Andy Cardwell, showroom manager at A Custom House in Austin, Texas; Anne Buresh, owner of Anne Buresh Interior Design in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Krell Lighting appears in The Scout Guide Bergen County. Christie’s Lighting appears in The Scout Guide Asheville. A Custom House appears in The Scout Guide Austin. Anne Buresh Interior Design appears in The Scout Guide Jackson Hole.