How to Choose Lighting in an Open Concept
Today we’re sharing tips and inspiration to choose the perfect lighting for your home.
Lighting makes a HUGE impact in a room and is one of our favorite features to choose when making an update in a space! It’s truly the jewelry of the ceiling and finishes the design. We do understand that choosing light fixtures, especially in an open concept home, can get very overwhelming. How do you choose the right light? How do you choose light fixtures that coordinate well in view of each other?
MIX METALS AND MATERIALS
Mixing metals and materials of light fixtures in a home elevates the look and brings personality to each room. We want a curated look with variation in material while still having the same style.
People get nervous to mix metals or materials and so they end up choosing lights that look very similar or even from the same line. This doesn’t allow for the lighting to have the impact it could have! If this intimidates you don’t check out. We have tips on how to know that the lighting is cohesive throughout the blog.
My living room, breakfast nook, and kitchen are all open to each other, but every fixture is different. The living room has oil-rubbed bronze, the breakfast nook is beaded and the kitchen is gold. They all fit into the same style, Coastal Modern Farmhouse, but have variety.
One helpful tip when mixing metals in an open concept is to break up mixed metals with a change in materials like a beaded chandelier or fixture with a shade. You can see that the beaded chandelier softens the transition from oil-rubbed bronze to gold.
HOW TO MAKE SURE THEY MIX
CREATE A DESIGN BOARD
All you need is a common thread throughout the fixtures for them to be cohesive in an open concept. One way to see if your chosen lighting has a common thread is to make a design board. I use Canva.com to make my boards. It’s really as simple as pulling in images of the lights you’ve chosen to see them all together in one place. I normally screenshot them from the websites I’m purchasing them from. You can also use a collage app on your phone. Both will do the trick.
We’ve created 5 examples along with the lighting from mom’s home. Click the button below each board to shop the lights. You can also use these boards I made as templates on Canva if you’d like. Simply click the link here.
MOM’S LIGHTING MIX
LIGHTING MIX 1
LIGHTING MIX 2
LIGHTING MIX 3
LIGHTING MIX 4
LIGHTING MIX 5
CHOOSING THE SIZE OF YOUR LIGHTING
When choosing lighting for your home size can be tricky. If you’re dealing with a new build this can be extra challenging because you don’t have anything to go off of. Shelby and I both renovated so we were able to use the existing fixtures as a reference to what size the new lights should be. Almost always the light fixtures need to be larger. We live in Texas so we might be biased but bigger is better (almost always).
Sometimes when you can’t find the right size it’s better to go with two fixtures. We created a massive dining room from a formal living and dining room space by removing a half wall. We needed just the right lighting to hang above a 14-foot farm table. It would have been odd to hang a single chandelier, even a very long chandelier would have seemed a bit underwhelming in the space. I loved the idea of hanging 2 dome pendants over the table, but the price for the ones large enough to make an impact was out of my range. I found a very large shaded drum chandelier that would be perfect. They were still an investment but didn’t break the bank. Again, it was a timeless look so it was worth it.
If you watched our YouTube video about choosing lighting, you heard us share stories about when we opened lighting we ordered from the box and got nervous because it looked so large. I called Shelby in a panic when I opened these drum lights because they truly looked like they were going to take over the room. A word of warning: lights ALWAYS look bigger on the floor than they do from the ceiling.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN CHOOSING LIGHTING
IS THIS FIXTURE GOING TO PUT ENOUGH LIGHT OFF FOR THE ROOM?
A fixture with a shade or one that only has one bulb might night be able to put off the light that you need for a room. Mom’s breakfast nook light doesn’t put off a ton of light but she gets tons of light from the windows plus the lights from the surrounding areas in the open-concept space light the room well. Also added lamps to the buffet for additional light in the evenings. Again, these lamps have a coastal feel so they pair perfectly with the beaded chandelier and the overall feel of the home.
WILL THIS FIXTURE LAST OR IS IT A TREND? IS THIS WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
Lighting is expensive. We chose lighting that would be timeless if we decided to go another direction. The large bronze lantern in the living room will virtually go with any style. The white beaded chandelier also looks great in many styles. However, the gold pendants in the kitchen might be dated at some point. They were one of the bigger investments in lighting but I decided if I want to switch up the gold we will do a rub and buff treatment because the pendants themselves are in fact timeless.
I hope this blog post was helpful. We’d love to hear if you use our design boards to create your lighting mix for your own home. If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hello be sure to comment below. We love to hear from you!