diverse design options for lighting

Diverse Design: When Mixing Up Your Lighting Makes Sense

diverse design options for lightingI’m reminded of a book that I once read to my children called “It’s OK to Be Different” by Todd Parr. In this colorful board book, the author takes us through a series of scenarios that often plague young and old alike. “It’s okay to be shy,” and “It’s okay to make mistakes,” he writes.  And though (understandably) he didn’t have a page dedicated to lighting, the message remains the same.  Read on for tips on how to successfully merge different layouts, styles & moods in lighting design, and when it really is “OK to be different.”

Break the Rules

how to install your path lighting
Avoid the runway effect by staggering path lights along the walkway.

Don’t feel the need to keep all of your lawn lights or patio lights perfectly spaced or perfectly matched (unless you’re OCD, because we totally get that…), but experiment with combining similar shapes & finishes within the same style family. When planning your outdoor lighting, avoid the runway effect by staggering your path lights on either side of the walkway.

Living Large

large pendant light in modern room
This modern living/dining area designed by Shaw Coates makes a dramatic statement with a large, interesting fixture yet doesn’t overwhelm or distract you from the polished atmosphere of the room. (Image via Houzz)

Living & Dining rooms are awesome places to show off your style. Open areas and high ceilings are the perfect canvas for large, interesting light fixtures.

Opposites Attract

echelon homes kitchen image
This award-winning kitchen designed by Echelon Custom Homes reveals the elegant effect that interspersing styles can have. Classic bronze pendants customized with crystal clear globes are stunning when joined with an almost industrial/warehouse fixture over the dining area. You might call this Cottage-Coastal-Industrial-Farmhouse-Transitional. We call it fabulous.

Eclectic home design can be described as borrowing a variety of elements from different styles.  Think “Rustic-Modern”, “Contemporary Farm House”, or “Mid-Century Cottage.” The key to eclectic style is that is has no particular style.  This is a perfect scenario where blending styles is totally appropriate.  By integrating different textures, colors, sizes & finishes, you add depth and character to your design.

When has it gone too far?

image of a lighting showroom
The last thing you want in home lighting design is for your house to look like you just stepped into the lighting aisle at Home Depot.

Honestly, there is no hard and fast rule about how much is too much.  Generally we’d say to be careful not to over-do it in open areas that flow into other rooms (like kitchen/dining/family rooms). Space the lights appropriately and alternate between recessed & pendant lighting. The last thing you want is for your home to look like a lighting store.

The bottom line is that there really is no one way to do lighting, and at the end of the day if it makes you happy, then it’s perfect.  Experiment with your style and create Pinterest boards to develop your look.

Do you find it effortless to incorporate a wide variety of styles into your home design or do you struggle with the need to keep it consistent?  We’d love to hear about it!


Renee Carlson

Renee specializes in digital marketing & content development for Pegasus Lighting. When she's not blogging about all-things-light, you’ll find her nestled in the ‘burbs of Raleigh with her husband & three active boys, getting lost in her Kindle, tackling a long list of home improvement projects, or cheering on the Carolina Panthers.

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