It’s no secret that lighting can make or break the final design plan for any room. Lack of lighting, harsh lighting, or lighting that does not fit the overall aesthetic of the home, can turn a space into an unwelcoming hangout.

But, if you think of lighting as “jewelry” for the space, even in the most task-driven rooms, you’ll be able to create an environment that your family and friends will love.

Consider functionality

lighting 101 - interior design ideas gilbert arizona  How you use your space should be one of the first considerations of what type of lighting you will need. Lighting for a kitchen will be much different than what you would choose for a bedroom or family room. Plan adequately for the spaces where you’ll need extra light for working. The mood of the room should also be considered when drafting your lighting plan. Areas that are used for relaxing or just hanging out may need some task lighting but should mostly rely on ambient lighting to set the mood.

Layering is key

Fundamentally, there are three categories of lighting that homeowners should focus on; ambient, task, and accent lighting. Unfortunately, one of the biggest design mistakes we see are rooms that only provide one source of lighting. Ideally, each room should have multiple sources of lighting to accommodate how the space is being used. Can lights, combined with floor and table lamps are ideal for family rooms, offices, and living rooms. Pendant lights combined with can lights and cabinet lighting are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Again, think about how space will be used and plan accordingly so that you have several options to choose from when you are in that room.

Know your wattage

Total wattage/lumens and color of lighting are also very important considerations for any home. Task areas tend to require more wattage than relaxation rooms. The best way to determine how much lighting you need for a room is to take the total square footage of a room and multiply it by 1.5. So if your room is 12 x 15 (180 sq ft.) you would multiply 180 x 1.5 and get to 270 watts. The general lighting in the room will need to reach a minimum of the 270 watts mark to ensure there is plenty of overall light.

Style is everything

hanging lights gilbert interior design servicesRecent trends allow for just about any kind of lighting to be mixed with different design styles. The key is to not let your lighting get overlooked. When updating a space, think beyond the hard surfaces, paint, and furniture. Many builders will typically install entry-level fixtures in order to save on cost. As the home ages, those fixtures become dated… and hated. Big box stores have several stylish lighting options for those working on a budget. You can also work with your interior designer or contractor to create a new lighting package to match your current style. No matter what you choose, just make sure all of your lighting coordinates with the overall look and feel you are trying to create.

Mind the scale and size

From chandeliers to pendant lights and everything in between, nothing is worse than walking into a room and having a light fixture overpower the space. Or be so small it looks like it was a mistake. Thankfully, some simple math will help you determine which light fixtures will be the best for your home:


Measure your room's length and width in feet and add those two numbers together. Then use that number as the width in inches for your chandelier. For example, if your room is 12' x 16', your chandelier should be 28" wide.

However, if you are placing the chandelier above a table, the width of the chandelier should be 12" narrower than the width of the table so no one bumps into it while getting in and out of their seat. Additionally, chandeliers should be placed 30 – 34 inches above a table to prevent them from interfering with site lines.

Pendant Lights

The number and placement of pendants over a stationary object are best determined based on the size of the object being highlighted. It is best to use an odd number of pendants over a table, countertop, desk, or end table. This technique creates a focal point and allows an even balance on each side. When hanging multiple pendants, the spacing should be determined by the diameter of the pendant.

Ideally, you will want the space between each pendant to be the same as the width or diameter of each fixture. For example, if you have 16-inch pendants, the space between each fixture should be 16 inches. This rule of thumb is still true, even if the pendants are hung at staggering heights. To figure out the proper size of your kitchen island pendants, follow the steps below:


lamps and lighting gilbert interior design consultantLamps tend to come in three different categories: table, desk, and floor lamps. The height of the table lamp you pick is determined more by the room it sits in and the décor around the lamp. If you have a tall bedside table, then a shorter lamp will do and vice versa. The general norm here is to pick a lamp where the bottom of the shade is at your eye level when you are seated or resting. This works whether you are shopping for a table lamp that fits your reading nook, a bedside lamp, or even one that goes next to the couch in the living room.

Recessed lighting

As a general rule of thumb, you determine how many canned lights you need by measuring the length and width of a room, as well as how high it is. Again, consider how the room will be used. We highly recommend putting all of your recessed lights on a dimmer switch so that you can modify, as needed. Additionally, consider different shades on the recessed lighting to accent walls, artwork, and other features within the room.

Still wondering what type of lighting designs will work best for your home? Feel free to contact us for an interior design service consultation or complete lighting package at or via phone at 480-613-6537. We’d be honored to help you create your dream space.

Did you know that something as simple as color can add thousands to your house’s potential value? Zillow has found that homes can sell for more than 5k over asking... just by having a consistent, neutral, and synergistic color palette!

Your home should be your place of serenity where you can completely unwind after a long and busy day. The psychological role that colors play is so vital to design― it just can’t be overlooked!

Many people don’t realize how many simple elements that already exist in the home can elevate the tone and vibrancy of their spaces. Elements such as natural and mechanical lighting, furniture and flooring choices, and the size of the room all play a role in the impact and consistency of your color. Read on to learn the four simple considerations to perfecting your paint colors.

1.   Optimize your palette to compliment your space

The color you paint your walls will determine the mood, style, and utility of the room. Color has a substantial impact on both feeling and concentration level- that’s why many kitchens have light paint, and many bedrooms or basements are darker. In addition, the color of a room will change the perceived size of the room.


Concentration pertains to the concentration or intensity of the color. This can be an important consideration depending on the lighting choices in your room! It’s been proven that brightly lit areas engage the mind and improve concentration. In contrast, darker rooms typically encourage relaxation and are more commonly found in bedrooms or rest areas. Brightness isn’t the only “concentration factor” ― colors are also associated with feelings.


Paint color sets the mood of the room, influencing the feelings of your family and friends. Purple, blue, and green are often calming. However, while bright yellow and orange may light up the room, they also have been associated with anxiety or unrest. Red has been associated with hunger in some cases. So, make sure that the color paint you chose allows for either the alertness or restfulness of the room.


Wall color and sheen determine how light reflects, which determines how large or small a room feels. Light neutral colors typically reflect the most light, regardless of sheen, and therefore make a room feel large and airy-- that’s why it’s popular in many current home designs. However, dark rooms or accent walls are also trending, making a room feel cozy, dramatic, or artistic.

Accent walls are a fun way to get both an airy space with a dramatic, darker touch. In addition, it can supply a focal point in the room to highlight your decor, family photos, and light fixtures!

2.   Make your paint pop with natural lighting consideration

A moody room with great natural light. Photo: Sherwin-Williams

When choosing your paint color, natural lighting brings a variety of elements to consider. Your paint color can be influenced by ambient lighting and natural shadows, which can change the hue and the energy that your paint color brings to your room.

Natural lighting is likely affecting your space more than you think! For example, depending on where your windows face, you will get different warmth from the sun, affecting the perceived color of your paint. Eastern morning light introduces a blue tinge to the room, while the western evening light can bring a warm and yellow tone. When choosing a color, you should consider painting a few sample strokes onto the wall to evaluate what it looks like at different points in the day.

Lighting will change the perceived color in two main ways:

By doing an in-depth color analysis, you can capture the exact mood and tone you want to set in the room as you upgrade your space― automatically adding to resale value should you ever put it on the market.

3.   Tie your flooring choice into your room with vibrant paint colors

Your paint choice can be a powerful way to tie in the flooring options that your home already has, or compliment new flooring. The two design elements can work synergistically to bring a unique energy to the room. For example, natural wooden floors or laminate flooring can bring a warmer tone into the room and would do well with neutral, warmer colors.

In contrast, if you have concrete, stone, or marble elements in your floor choices, cooler colors may be a stronger possibility to minimize differences and potential clashing. While colors do not need to match explicitly, many homeowners prefer complementary colors from the same color family― don’t overlook your floors when choosing your perfect paint color!

It is also important to note that you should experiment with colors that will enhance the beauty that your flooring choices bring into the room― you’ll want each design element to work together in one cohesive flow of the design.

4.   Pair your colors with beautiful lighting options

Unique light fixtures and lamps can be like “jewelry” to your space and bring different hues in your room colors. Since color can look so different in natural and man-made light, make sure to consider your paint choices at different times of the day. Then you won’t be surprised once the entire room looks greener or bluer at night than you intended it to be.

While artificial light itself will impact the color of your paint, the color and style of the light fixtures will also affect how your wall paint will look. For example, you can pair a more neutral paint with pops of colorful light fixtures to pull a deeper color from the wall. Or you can balance a bold paint color with neutral light fixtures if you’re looking for a more dramatic look.

Still not sure how to pick the perfect paint colors?

Whether you’re looking to organize your space or completely re-design and refresh your home, the experts at Macy Lane Designs are here to help. Our team of experts offers various premier home services, including paint consultations, interior design services, lighting packages and organizing for one room (or your entire living space), and so much more! So, connect with us today to learn about how you can make your home your haven.

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