By Gary Eisner
Lighting can have a huge impact on a space and as in most things design there are many ways to approach it. Typical New York construction doesn’t leave you a lot of lighting options for living rooms or bedrooms since in most cases you have a concrete or structural ceiling that you can’t easily chop into for wiring.
Fortunately, you can pull off some very nice intimate lighting effects with floor lamps and sconces. Pendants work well in small spaces especially those with lower ceilings, but you’ll need a solution for the cord. You could simply swag the wire. As an alternative to swagging, look for a pendant lamp that plugs in to a standard wall outlet. In the image shown here, we chose a black drum shade pendant lamp that easily plugs into a nearby wall outlet. You can also make use of standing floor lamps. Either of these is a great way to create intimate space within a large tall space.
In the accompanying image, you’ll notice that the ceiling mounted pendants over the kitchen counter have been installed with dimmers. These offer functional task lighting without overwhelming the space with glaring overhead lighting. If possible, everything should be installed on dimmers – just make sure the fixture is compatible with the dimmer function. A light that can dim is especially important in spaces that serve multiple functions, for example a kitchen counter which can be used both for prep as well as a bar seating style dining area. If installing a light in the ceiling is not possible and a floor lamp does not fit your style you can also light a space by installing scones along the walls. These create an atmospheric effect that can wash light up, down and out from walls. They’re also a smart way to spotlight specific art.