Functional & Decorative Lighting Design

Contemporary homes are spaces. Open floorplans, large windows, and rounded lines create a canvas for interior decorators to maneuver, shape, and enrich.
Decorators bring shape and engagement to the space with color, furniture, accents, and lighting. Depending on your collaboration, the decorator will create an environment that is bold, soft, warm, cool, nostalgic, minimalist, elegant, or whatever your space, taste, and budget allow.

Functional lighting

Some tasks require direct lighting. You must have light where you read, work, or cook. You must have light for safe passage on stairways, in halls, and along outdoor paths. And, you must light your bathroom mirror, makeup table, and foyer.
But, even these functional tasks can add subtle value as recessed, track, or indirect lighting fixtures. Task lighting usually requires a more intense and focused light, so decorators must integrate their lighting area into their overall design picture.
To plan on function, you must consider what activities take place at what time of day. For example, a kitchen or living area with large windows has different lighting demands throughout the day. At the same time, activities will shift from one room to another and within the same room.

Decorative lighting

Designers will select lighting fixtures to establish a mood, make a statement, engage guests, and accent furniture, fabrics, and colors. Fixtures can blend with, match styles, or contrast for interest and fun.
Fixtures create a focal point or define a living and activity space. A chandelier or pendant over a dining room table will draw attention with its light and design.
The striking Cadenza, for example, hangs a ring of crystals. This delicate circle is only 24-inches across, so you can hang one where you want or pair it with another over the dining room table.
Cadenza hangs from thing cables that disappear when LED lights illuminate the crystal globes that circle the fixture. Lower other lighting in the room and Cadenza seems to float above your head. Purely contemporary in looks, engineering, and materials.


The Kal fixture makes a bolder statement, less delicate and fine than the Cadenza. Kal hangs 32-inches from the ceiling by thread-thin cables. A wide band of matted brass has a 23.5-inch diameter. But, it’s the crystal “teeth” that hang from the circle that catch your attention.
These crystals reflect and refract the LED lights hidden in the brass band. The soft golds and brilliant crystal create a contemporary feel with a touch of luxury, a match for an interior with dark walls and other metallics or a modern contrast among classic décor.

Thinking light

Light has direction, shape, and volume. So, an interior decorator will work those elements into any design. Light moves, and the quality of light changes throughout the day. So, the decorator must figure on how and where that light works.
It could be ambient light, focused light, or simply decorative. With or without a professional interior decorator, you can share your floor plan with well-trained retail lighting personnel for advice on fixtures, placement, and installation needs.
When you are thinking light, you visualize the cone or column of light from the fixture, the direction and target of refraction, and the importance of light to the functions of the room. You visualize the play of light across the furniture, your artwork, and wall treatments. The clearer you can imagine the light, the better able you are to buy right.