Breegan’s Signatures: Light Fixtures

Every designer has his or her own concentration and aptitude for creating beautiful things. For many of us, years of developing personal artistry yield a certain hallmark or stamp. It’s a particular feature which often distinguishes one designer’s style from anyone else’s. In this series, I hope to share with interested readers a few of the design elements that have become uniquely Breegan Jane.

The best interior design in the world is incomplete if spectacular lighting isn’t accounted for. As a designer, lighting is one of the first elements I consider and plan for when I’m formulating a plan for a space. Light fixtures should be thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing. They also need to very specifically fit the client’s needs and preferences. It sounds like a tall order, but a great designer can make it happen!

I find lighting fixtures very inspirational. When done well, they can become the focal point of a room, around which I build everything else. My first decision usually begins with whether or not I want a fixture to be a statement piece, or if it should be more demure and understated.

One of the best parts about light fixture selection is the cost. You can find great fixtures for bargain prices. Trust me, this is not the place to break the bank. You don’t need a brand name; you just need beautiful. You’re not going to be sitting on it or putting it through its paces. Think about it. It’s material hanging from your ceiling. Save your money and find something that calls out to you. Because of the price advantage, I have a lot of fun with fixtures. I’m not afraid to go bold and trendy, because they can very easily be changed out if you ever fall out of love with them.

As you know, there are several different types of lighting fixtures. We’ll talk about a few that I use frequently. It’s important to note that lighting is one of those very subjective areas that designers will undoubtedly disagree on. The opinions here are solely my own. My thoughts on fixtures come down to this: in a perfect world, chandeliers and pendant lights would be used for mood lighting only. Everything else would be recessed and functional. This is because on average, if you look for a chandelier that’s going to meet all your illuminating needs you end up having to sacrifice and make poor decisions. It isn’t impossible to find one that defies that opinion, but it sure is more of a challenge than necessary.

If possible, put all your lighting on dimmers. Do it and thank me later. Pay attention to the types of bulbs you purchase. My first time ever noticing lighting was when I traveled to Dubai in my 20s. I was in a beautiful hotel attempting to do my makeup, and failing miserably because the color of the lights was all wrong. This may be met with dissent from some, but I’m extremely partial to yellow bulbs as opposed to blue ones. Why, you ask? Think about candlelight and what it does to a space, to your features. It makes everything warm and soft; and because lighting subconsciously affects your mood, this is important. That warm orangey glow is inviting, while a stark, too white blue light mimics that of sterile hospitals and cold corporate buildings. I’d rather the former.

If you’re looking to add beauty and class to your space, go the chandelier route. They’re my favorite fixtures to add to a room. When I owned my retail store, I opted to hang five crystal chandeliers in a 900 square foot space. It was excessive. And gorgeous! I say don’t be afraid to go all out with a chandelier. They’re dreamy in a woman’s walk-in closet, and striking even in a casual space. I don’t think rules apply to the addition of a chandelier except one: stick to one color, and one to two materials.

My favorite style of chandelier right now is called the jewelry chain chandelier. I’m drawn to Moroccan-esque designs, and these are breathtaking.

If you’re trying to decide on a lighting fixture, my strongest advice is not to be talked into anything. Lighting fixtures are the red high heel of design; they’re the place you get to really spice it up and add polish. It has to speak to you, and you have to love it. Select the one that feels right without apology, and a skilled designer will work around it to make the space come together in a beautiful way.

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