Murano pale gold lamps with gold inclusions, c. 1950 Ivory ceramic lamp, c.1930
LIGHTING a room is an art---I absolutely love working with lighting designers on design projects because lighting can make or break a room.
OVERHEAD LIGHTING is necessary, but it was overdone in the ‘90’s. Too many holes in the ceiling are unnecessary and look dated. Overhead lighting is used in Hollywood to age actors! In the mid 80’s, Shirley McLaine came to Dallas as she was being honored by the USA Film Festival that year. She had just won the Oscar for Terms of Endearment.
I was shocked when I saw her because she looked so much younger in person, so I asked her how they aged her for the film---it clearly had not been with lots of makeup. Her answer was “Lighting, my dear…..we should all walk around with light on our faces!” In Hollywood, it is called the key light.
This is why I insist that there is adequate eye level lighting in all of the houses we design. We work with the lighting designer so that there will be plenty of “fill” where eye level lighting is not present. Don’t we all want to look great in our own rooms, especially if it’s that easy?
LAMPSHADES make such a difference. A lacquered lampshade with gold or silver lining can be dramatic and provide some eye level lighting. Silk, linen or oiled parchment shades provide wonderful ambient light.
JSC Miles Lamp with lacquered shade JSC Lemon Drop Lamp with silk shade
PHOTOGRAPHY---Lighting is also important in photography. There is nothing worse than over lit rooms in magazine photography. The best photographers use natural light whenever possible. Seeing rooms in magazines with lots of artificial lighting is as dated as seeing karate chopped pillows, while seeing a room filled with as much natural light as possible is wonderful.
JSC Rothschild Club Chair & Portofino Table
DINING---I like to use lamps in dining rooms so that there is a warm glow surrounding people in the room. Candles on the table are wonderful as well.
Vintage Murano lamps
JSC Venetian Series #1
DRESSING AREAS require overhead lighting as well as eye level lighting. If there is enough space on the vanity in a bathroom or dressing table, we use lamps---preferable with shades that provide ambient lighting. If not, sconces either installed on the mirror or flanking an antique mirror are used.
READING---I also believe that every chair should have a table and a lamp for reading---Nothing worse than being stuck in a chair with no lamp to read by, and no place to put a drink or a cup.
JSC Daniele Tete a Tete & Como Table
LIGHTING ART presents its own requirements---I strongly advise using an art consultant and/or lighting designer as art lighting can be tricky and there are so many choices.
REMEMBER---you may have the greatest antiques and art, and, you may look fabulous, but if the lighting is not correct, it simply doesn’t matter!
Always look your best,