How to Choose the Best Lighting for your space is like picking out accessories for an outfit. It can be super fun with so many choices. When I renovated my own home I first went to places like Lowes and Home Depot because I didn’t really know anything about lighting. As I walked down the aisles, I was like, mmm.. I don’t like any of these lights. They all looked so plain and similar.  So, off I went to a specialty lighting store called Anzalone Lighting in Lockport, NY about 30 minutes from where I live.

I entered the store and I was overwhelmed to say the least! So many lights hanging everywhere. I had no idea what I was looking for and how to even pick out the right lights for each room.

I walked up to the counter and met the owner of the store, Linda Anzalone. She was so very helpful to me and she opened up my eyes to the world of lighting and how beautiful they can be and how much they can add to a space. There were so many more choices than I had realized. Once I saw that, I was like a kid in a candy store! Then, it was the conundrum of narrowing down the choices and of course, the budget! God, why does that little word always have to be considered? lol.

What are the steps in choosing lighting?

  • Lighting is both form and function. When picking out lighting one of the first things you must ask yourself is, what do I need this for?  Is the lighting needed for more task oriented things like cooking or reading? Or is it to simply light up a hallway so we can when going up the stairwell?
  • The second question to ask yourself, what amount of space do I need to cover? For example a larger family room can call for recessed lighting as well as floor lamps for reading and watching TV. Think of lighting in terms of layering, like a turtleneck under a sweater or a t-shirt under a blazer. The foundational pieces then, the additional layers.
  • The third question, do I have the electrical power needed and do I need to get into the ceiling and take down drywall or do I need to add an outlet somewhere to allow for floor lamps? And remember, sometimes outlets can go in flooring!  – What? yes.. that is a thing!

How to Choose Lighting when doing a full blown renovation is slightly different than simply redecorating a room.

Lighting when doing a major Renovation

When conducting a full blow renovation, where walls are being built for new rooms, it is imperative that you think about lighting BEFORE  the electrical is pulled through the walls and ceiling. You don’t necessarily have to choose the exact light for those spaces but you do need to have a very clear idea of what you want in the space.  Again, for example do you want recessed lighting in a living room and if it’s a kitchen, do you want pendants hanging from the ceiling over your island?

What work will be done in that space and where will you need to place critical lighting to get that work done? Task lighting in a kitchen is very important for food preparation and now,with so many folks working at home and kids loving to sit and do homework in the kitchen – remember to perhaps allow for lighting over the breakfast nook that you are building.

Lighting when Redecorating an Existing Space

When we are simple redecorating an existing space, we can tend to be somewhat limited in our choices based on what electrical is already there. However, i do challenge you to get creative here. For example, if you want those cute lights over a headboard for reading but don’t want to open up the walls to pull the electrical through – there is actually a solution! What? Yes!   …. you can buy …

Or if you have track lighting that is old and you want pendants as well in the kitchen. You can actually update the track and include pendants on the track! Who knew right? The following site has a great example of this: It’s a little modern for my taste but you get the idea. Here is another example as well:

So how do you pick out the perfect lighting for that space?

  • Don’t be afraid to mix metals! This can create interest and they can flow together despite the fact that they aren’t the same color.
  • Be mindful of picking out lighting collections that have a ceiling light, sconces and other lighting that “matches.” Sometimes these can appear matchy, matchy and be kind of dull and look kind of cheap. Just be aware of balance and synergy.
  • Mixing decorating styles together can be fun. For example: I have this awesome more, modern type light above my dining room table that is somewhat traditional, but it goes so well together.
  • Hold out for “The One!” I never settle when it comes to paint or lighting. I just can’t do it! So, if it takes a little more time and searching, to me , it’s worth it.
  • Measure, measure, measure. You might have picked out the most awesome light and guess what, it won’t ft the space you want it for. There are things to consider like canopy size, width, diameter. And the size of  your table, island etc.

I hope this is helpful for you. What else would you like to know about lighting? Please share in the comments. I am happy to talk more about this!