Want to make your friends ooh and ahh over your beautiful living room? Don’t forget the recessed lighting. A good plan for recessed lighting is they key to creating a room that perfectly lights the room and adds some drama and romance. Take a look at a quick recessed lighting plan I designed.
The grey dots represents the recessed lights, or “downlighting” as we sometimes call then in the interior design trade. The first thing that might strike you is that they’re not placed in a grid pattern. You don’t need one because you want to highlight different areas of the room.
First, you must have proper ambient light. That means enough light so you can see. I’ve accomplished that pretty much with the lamps (in blue). Recessed lighting, set to their own switch, can add more if you need it.
Now for the most important part of your overall design of the room – the placement of your recessed lighting. You want to create drama! You may want brighter light on a rainy day. But you definitely want a romantic feel for parties and… well, use your imagination. Do this by putting you recessed lights on dimmers. This is essential! It might be the art, or it might be the seating.
Next, spot different areas you want to highlight. These can be things like artwork and separate seating areas, as I’ve done here. Set your switches so you can control what you want to highlight. Let’s take a look a few essentials.
On the left, I’ve installed three adjustable recessed lights to frame a large piece of art (in green). Lighting art obviously, brings more attention to it. The same goes for another adjustable recessed light over the mantle. By adjustable, I mean you can aim the lens at whatever you want. They’re not facing straight down.
Now, think of walking into a gently lit room for a party. The recessed lighting is focused on the seating and, therefore, highlights the people. There, again, is focus. That’s really important to creating a romantic and dramatic feeling. (Please note that the placement of my recessed lights aren’t perfect. Have your interior designer or a lighting expert plan the placement)
Here are a few tips to think about
Don’t place the recessed lighting directly over your guests’ heads or they’ll look like Frankenstein. Use a professional to help with the placement.
Step away from the grid! I promise you, no one will notice the recessed lights. They’ll be looking at that hot guy sitting on the love seat.
Use small, 4-inch recessed lights. The giant 6-inch “cans” are so last century.
Note that there a variety of adjustable recessed lights. You want the ones that don’t fall below the ceiling height. Halo makes a good product.
Don’t buy your recessed lights from the big box stores. They’re not the quality you want and a few dollars more will be money well spent. Go to a local electrical supply house. Or have your electrician buy them for you.
Have any questions, comments, photos you’d like to share? Ask away, comment away, and email your photos to me at designholeonline [at] gmail..com. Caio for now!
Many homes don’t have a proper entrance area. What to do? Some creative genius built one. I love this British phone booth-inspired vestibule. You don’t have to create one this large, but you do need about 3-1/2′ – 4′ of width and depth to allow for proper ingress and egress. Or, create the Read More…
I had the opportunity to speak with the designers of Freestyle yesterday. Freestyle is a new software application designed by the makers of AutoCad. they set up an online meeting so they could demonstrate how it works in real time. I was really impressed with what I saw. Read More…
I received an email from Christina, a faithful Design Hole reader asking for a vintage door knob resource. She needs several to match the existing style in her home. That’s a tough one! I searched the net and found several good resources for reproduction door knobs, but no vintage. Read More…
I received a couple of emails from readers who have seen my portfolio over at Houzz asking me how I did a couple of things. I thought I’d answer them here and share the wealth.
How did you paint that armoire?
Ann wants to know what paint I used for this armoire. Originally, it was plain pine. Here are the steps to do this yourself.
- First, primed the furniture with a low VOC primer. Or, you can use Kilz. Have the paint shop tint the primer for you.
- Painted the furniture with Benjamin Moore’s Chili Pepper (#2004-20). You can use latex, but an oil-based paint will show fewer brush marks. Alternatively, you can use a sponge roller, but I can’t vouch for the results since I’ve never done it this way.
- Yet another idea is to ask an auto body shop if they can do it for you. I’ve had furniture painted there, but I used Bondo and car paint. I don’t know if they can set up latex.
- Expect to use 4 coats to cover; that’s typical with red paint. The warmer the red, the fewer the coats.
- Please remember that colors vary widely from monitor to monitor. The red you see might not be the exact red you want. Any deep-based red you like will work fine.
How did you make that metal wall?
I created this metal-clad, magnetic wall using perforated, galvanized steel from McNichols. I ordered the sheets online and had them cut for me. Here’s how to do it.
- First, choose the perforated style you like. If you want a magnetic wall, you must use galvanized steel. Stainless won’t work.To see the selection, follow this link.
- Make sure you choose a perf size with holes large enough for your mounting screws to fit through the holes.
- Measure your wall carefully to create a template. McNichols cut the sheets to fit my template. For example, I bought 3 sheets. Two were flat. The third was cut to fit over the wall and then over the door.
- Paint your wall the color of your choice.
- If you live in a humid climate, the steel might rust, so you’ll need to prep it by spraying it with a clear coat of Rustoleum.
- Mount your sheets you will need flat metal pieces I bought at the hardware store. I used those to frame out the edges of each sheet. Then, I used flat screws, up the middle, to attach the panels to the wall more securely.
Now, have fun buying all kinds of magnets. You can use hooks for hanging calendars and hats. I like this idea because your child (or you) can change out the decor easily. My son is not longer interested in space and ships. He’s 16, so what do you think he has on the wall now?
By the way, if you’re wondering why my portfolio isn’t on my site, it’s coming soon! I’m planning a redesign to launch in January.
Do you have a DIY project you’d like to share? Have you seen something somewhere and need ideas on how to make it yourself? Contact me and I’ll create a plan.