Skip to Content — Access Key: c


  • Tip Tuesday: Let there be Light

    Tip Tuesday: Let there be Light

    Whether it’s transitioning from summer to fall or balancing patterns and textures, designers are revealing their best style secrets on Go Design Go’s Tip Tuesday. This week, designers Denise McGaha, Campion Platt and Laura Umansky and architect Richard Sammons shared their favorite ways to light up interiors.

    “I approach lighting first with function—what are you going to DO in this room?—then design. Distinctive style is important when choosing a chandelier or lamp, and while lamps can match, they don’t have to… at all. In kitchens function is key. We add layers of light and can lights; over and under cabinet task lighting; and lastly, decorative lighting with pendants and chandeliers. Use color and shape to complement your kitchen design, as I did in this great yellow kitchen. Also, these great pendants have a metallic lining to the shade casting warm light over the entire space and keeping the kitchen from feeling too cold.”—Denise McGaha (interior shown above)

    “A lot of people consider furniture and decoration paramount in design; however, correct lighting plays a crucial role in creating the spirit of an interior or exterior, for that matter. What is important for an inviting warm interior is the source of light, but also its temperature. Many more designers are using LED and energy-saving lighting now because the color rendering is very close to that of typical incandescent bulbs. As the technology progresses, almost any surface can be a light source. My favorites are warm LED light coves that cast an indirect romantic glow on entire walls and create an intimate mood in any room.”—Campion Platt

    “Rooms are best lit from lamps, sconces and picture lights. Hanging fixtures are for halls, dining rooms, living rooms (only if tall enough) and never bedrooms. Baths and utility rooms are excluded. Keep the wattage low. Remember that a watt is the equivalent of the light from five candles, so a room with two 100-watt light bulbs is like have a thousand candles going. Keep the color warm. We are biologically hardwired to prefer the warm colors of a campfire and the yellow light of our sun.”—Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons

    “I always try to bring daylight into every space. Turns out that the most common windowless room in the home is the powder room. Every homeowner wants their powder room to be a gorgeous ‘jewel box.’ The more light we can bounce around a windowless room, the better. I love decorative, framed, mirrors and plate mirrors equally. Sconces on side walls or flanking the mirror are perfect. We never, ever install a recessed fixture directly above the vanity. It casts terrible shadows and makes even the freshest face appear haggard.”—Laura Umansky