I love hearing from readers who think their room is the special snowflake – you know, where my decorating advice simply won’t work – and then finding a solution for them. 😉
Sometimes we are simply too used to our own spaces, and it’s hard to envision another way to decorate. Here are two magical lighting solutions for creating atmosphere in these reader-submitted kitchens.
But, Maria, my ceiling light is too bright…
On last week’s post on lighting trends, I received this comment:
I have a clear glass bubble light in our dining area which I LOVE. However, I put in clear Edison style bulbs and they kill my eyes – I keep it dimmed which drives my husband crazy. Your comment above is so right! Can you give a good bulb alternative? With a clear bubble shade I’m not sure a plain frosted bulb would look right.
Someone else wondered how painful it would be to continually change the light bulbs in a bubble light.
On my Instagram stories, I commented that I essentially have the same kind of light with many bulbs but that my chandelier was more decorative than anything else. The only time it’s on, is if we have a project all laid out on the dining table.
For dinner parties, I have my wall sconces and buffet lamps including candles so they are NEVER on then.
I also received a few comments from followers who said, “That might work in a dining room, but certainly not in my kitchen dining area!”
So, I’m here to share two magical ways to add atmosphere to your kitchen dining area.
the dining area I styled in my sister’s kitchen
Kitchen lighting alternatives to the overhead light
I asked two of my followers to send me photos to see if I could help kill the overhead light.
Here’s the first one. Not much room below the artwork but I think we could fit a skinny 12″ console. Or if you really don’t have room, a skinny candlestick lamp could go in the corner beside the artwork. I installed one in my sister’s kitchen dining area above.
But look, there’s room for a console table here. Also, this follower already has a little lamp on the countertop which is great. But if we are going to decorate this area now and take it to the next level, I think we can do better.
The builder chandelier has to go. And, believe me, I get it. Lighting is hard to choose, so to make it easier. Don’t forget about the drum shade chandelier.
Truly, it should be the builder light fixture because it goes with any style dining room. Obviously you can choose looks that are more modern vs. traditional but the basic drum shade chandelier is pretty versatile.
And, you’ll get a pretty glow from it as well, which immediately gives you way more atmosphere than the bright, builder-light fixture in the image above.
This console is 12 inches, but the lamp shades are 14″. That’s fine, you’re not going to have the console table butted up directly beside the wall anyway. Suddenly the green lamps make the artwork look a lot better. And the shelves could have additional decor like cookbooks, baskets for random items, etc.
Here’s the next one.
Okay there is no excuse for this kitchen dining area to be missing a sideboard or buffet table, there’s plenty of room. And I’m assuming she has recessed lighting since I don’t see any hanging chandeliers.
All the more reason for two table lamps to be added ASAP.
I found the blue sideboard (which also comes in cream) perfect for a kitchen dining area. And I chose two lamps that were also distressed to coordinate with the dining set.
Sure, we could have a clock sitting in between two lamps but art always looks better, so I chose this coastal-themed piece.
If you really don’t have room for even a skinny console table in your kitchen eating area, you could install sconce lights with plug ins (that’s the search term by the way).
Then I asked for more photos on my Instagram stories on Sunday because the first two were too easy. And I received this photo where the kitchen dining area truly is tiny. She said she took this photo standing in her living room. No room for lamps.
Since the yellow cast in here was so predominant, I decided to add orange to the colour scheme.
If you don’t have room for standing lamps or table lamps on a buffet then your dining room chandelier needs to be more important. This one is from West Elm but they have lots of really great options similar to this one.
Also, give your chairs some room to breathe. They don’t need to be jammed up against your dining room table! Pull them out about 4-5 inches.
If your room is this small, then we need wall sconces. Preferably hard wired but we can plug them in too.
And yes it’s true I don’t like grommet curtains but I did this is so you get the idea. My photoshopping skills need help 🙂
Do we really need lamps in this room?
What about if you don’t need more storage or lighting. I do like the up light behind the lamps!
Do you still need a sideboard or buffet my next follower inquired (below):
And the answer is YES.
Ever seen a large primary bedroom in a mansion with a lonely bed sitting in it?
If there’s room for a living room area in that bedroom and it’s technically not needed, should they still have a sofa and two chairs in there?
If you want your home to look well decorated, it needs furniture.
That’s really the bottom line. If you’re committed to having a beautifully decorated home, and the space that is empty would look better with furniture there and lighting, whether you ever turn them on (and hello? Why wouldn’t you turn your lamps on 🙂 then the answer is, yes.
One more tip. If you have really high ceilings, you need lighting that’s more vertical. Like this pretty chandelier with shades that softly glow.
Skip the these lights
But please take note. At all costs, avoid the torchiere lamp. It illuminates the ceiling and adds zero atmosphere.
Also, the second lamp to avoid unless you already have lots of lamps with white shades is the opaque shaded lamp (top right) because it doesn’t create a pretty GLOW. They just add more spotlights to the room, which is almost the same as recessed lights, they’re just lower. That’s not the style of lighting that will create atmosphere in your home at night.
The third is the bare bulb/edison light (bottom right). While there are also many light fixtures with this light bulb that are pretty, in the end, they hurt your eyes and cast odd shadows all over the room.
None of these aforementioned lights glow in the evening, nor do they create atmosphere.
Take note my lovelies, when you have enough lamps in your home, you can NEVER and I mean NEVER go back.
I recently had a client who said she was in a friend’s home who ONLY had recessed lighting and she really noticed how much it affected her eyes. She’s used to lamps now because I’ve placed them everywhere in her home. Another client of mine arrived in their second home in Mexico and the husband immediately said, “We need to buy some lamps” because they were used to the ones I’d placed in their home.