With the debate tonight and Election Day a month away, I’m in a presidential state of mind. No matter who we choose to run the country for the next 4 years, he’s going to live in a stunning, immaculately lit home.
While much of the White House décor would overpower a regular-sized home, we can take away concepts from its lighting scheme to make our own dwellings more beautiful. Here are a few universal lighting principles carried out Washington-style:
Layer those lights! See: The China Room
While I was scrolling through photos on WhiteHouse.gov, I noted that every room had two, three, four different light sources. For instance, in the China Room created by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917, there’s not only a beautiful chandelier for overhead lighting, but there are also wall sconces and even display lights in the china cabinets. This adds visual interest, eliminates unflattering shadows, and creates striking focal points.
Light layering is a flattering design strategy in any room in your house, but I chose The China Room so you could see how pretty it looks to have illuminated cabinets, hutches, shelves, and display cases. It might not be your first impulse to install a few linear or puck lights, but it’s really easy to do, and will make your cabinet’s contents and the entire room dazzle.
Know your color temperature. See: The State Dining Room
When we think of classic, traditional lighting, we often summon images of warm incandescent lights, as close to candle light as we can get. But, The State Dining Room shows us that cooler white light can be just as dignified. The daylight white light of the chandelier and sconces is unexpectedly cool, but it looks great! This color temperature is perfect to offset the clean white walls and crisp table cloths – a warmer light source may make things look too yellow.