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How to design the perfect interior lighting plan for my home

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


November 28, 2019 - Karl Yeh

What's the best way to light up your home's interior? How about for every room? In this episode, we discuss how to choose lighting for your home, lighting maintenance, as well as how to light each room of your home. We also explore different lighting design ideas. 

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What we discussed:

Hi, everyone. I'm Karl. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from experts to help you with your home buying journey.

Now remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below. Hit [00:00:30] the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Karl Yeh:              So today I'm joined by Rebecca Hotchkiss, interior designer with Brookfield Residential, and we're going to talk about

lighting design for your new home. So, Rebecca,

How do you choose lighting for your home?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:             

I would say it starts with style and it starts with the type of light.

So you have lots of different types of lights throughout your home, whether that be pendants, flush mount lights, recessed light.

Then the second thing would be style, so kind of having a main theme and then carrying that throughout the rest of your home.

Karl Yeh:             

You're not talking about having the exact [00:01:00] same type of lighting throughout your house, right?

Rebecca Hotchkiss: 

No, for sure not. I mean, I would say pick a color, pick a style, but it will vary depending on your fixture.

So your pendant light will likely look different than your flush mount light, even though they can be sort of from the same family.

Karl Yeh:              So when you talk about style, what do you mean?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:             I mean color, shape, size, that kind of thing. They all come into play with style.

Karl Yeh:              Okay. How much lighting do you need in a home?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:             I always say, go for more.

Karl Yeh:              Okay.

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Rebecca Hotchkiss [00:01:30]:            

It's really a pain down the road to have to try and add more light in. It's better at the beginning when you wire your home to make sure that you have enough.

Karl Yeh:             

You can always add a dimmer to make sure it's ... changes the different mood or the different lighting type, right?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:            

Absolutely, and you can have different circuits, too. So, I mean, you can put your pendant lights on, you can put one row of your living room on, all at different times.

Home lighting maintenance and replacement

Karl Yeh:             

So, Rebecca, when you install lighting in your home or develop a lighting plan, do you think about replacement or maintenance as part of that plan?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:          

I mean, you should.

There are some areas in your home, like a stairwell or a high vaulted ceiling, that [00:02:00] are going to be a little bit harder to get to.

So think about a fixture that's going to make it easier on you down the road when you either have to change that light bulb or dust the fixture, that kind of thing.

I mean, generally speaking, an average ladder is okay to hop on to change a bulb in an eight-foot, 10-foot ceiling, but anything higher than that, maybe take into consideration.

Bathroom Lighting

Karl Yeh:             

Okay, and how about, let's go through the rooms, especially the rooms that are used frequently, right.

So what kind of light would you think about using for a bathroom?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:            

Bathroom, I mean, you have vanity lights, you have overhead [00:02:30] lights. Generally, we say three light sources would be ideal, whether that's natural light, like a spotlight or a task light, ambience light, overhead light.

Each room will be a little bit different, but balancing different types of light really helps out.

Bedroom lighting

Karl Yeh:              How about a bedroom?

Rebecca:              A bedroom, I mean, you have your overhead light and natural light. Lots people have bedside lights, so that would check off your three boxes there.

Livingroom lighting

Karl Yeh:              How about a living room? I guess that's the one where you can have a lot of different types of light, right?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:             

For sure. You can have floor lamps, [00:03:00] you can have table lamps, you can have overhead lights.

I mean, even if you've got an open concept in your kitchen, sometimes you have under cabinet lighting. It just depends. It depends on your home, but making sure you've got a wide variation really helps.

Kitchen Lighting

Karl Yeh:              How about the kitchen?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:            

Kitchen, I mean, you've got pendants for sure.

That's a big one.

Generally some overhead lights. Some people have track lighting. Like I said, you can have cabinet lighting, you can either ...

Karl Yeh:              What is a cabinet light, by the way?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:            

It's kind of a focal point under your cabinet. You can have either a strip of lights [00:03:30] or you can have a few puck lights.  It just adds another dimension.

Karl Yeh:             

So, Rebecca, what happens if, at the end of your light design, you found out that say one or two of the rooms is not as well lit as you thought.

What would you do then?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:            In that case, I'd probably add floor lamps.

I would add table lamps. You can get larger scale ones, smaller scale, so depending on how much like you really need.

Maybe there's multiple bulbs in one of those lights that will add to that.

So it kind of just depends on the space, but I would definitely think your best route is to add lighting fixtures that you can plug [00:04:00] into receptacles yourself.

Lighting design

Karl Yeh:              In terms of design, do you also install or think about lighting in terms of the design?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:           

For sure. I mean, if you've got a country style home, going with country style lights, modern with modern lights.

There are different finishes with lights as well. You can do chrome, you can do a brushed stainless finish, you could do bronze, you can do black, all sorts.

So it's definitely important to tie that in with the look of your home. People sometimes say that lighting is the jewelry of the home.

Karl Yeh:             

So, Rebecca, do you have anything else to add in terms of lighting [00:04:30] design for a new home?

Rebecca Hotchkiss:          

I really think it should be something that compliments the rest of your home, whether that's in style, color, functionality. I really think it's important to add that to your whole picture, so make sure it all works together.

Question of the Day    

Karl Yeh:              Perfect, and the question of the day I have for you is, what kind of lighting design did you have for your home and were there any structural challenges that you actually encountered with your home that maybe prevented a certain lighting style? Let us know in the description below.

Karl Yeh:              If you want to know more about interior design for your home, check out these great playlists here, [00:05:00] and I'll catch you in our next video.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home design or home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts. 

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