If you’re completely remodeling or just updating a light fixture in your home, the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams tour of new houses at two Happy Valley developments through Aug. 22 has rooms full of ideas.
With a $20 ticket, Street of Dreams tour goers will see projects by the area’s top builders and interior designers at the gated Heritage Crest community of custom houses, at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., and Pleasant Valley Villages, a master-planned community with new production houses by Holt Homes at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place.
In all the homes, designers use chandeliers and sconces, table and floor lamps, and recessed lights to illuminate spaces and set moods.
A sculptural pendant light created and hand made by Wood Lighting Design in Bend ($348-$1,254) was selected by Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors for the great room in Anlon Custom Homes’ Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse at Heritage Crest.
Designer-style fixtures once reserved for lighting showrooms, however, are now widely available in a range of prices, says Whitney Hicks, an interior designer and Holt Homes project manager. She and her team selected finishes and furnishings for the three different model houses staged for the Street of Dreams at Pleasant Valley Villages.
As the Street of Dreams home tour shows, industrial-style fixtures with filament-visible Edison bulbs remain popular, as do a mix of modern, classic, rustic and traditional looks.
Hicks cautions not to overdo a style. “An exposed Edison bulb works best when it’s in an overhead light fixture, but not as well if it’s at eye level or lower like in a table lamp behind clear glass where the bright bulb keeps catching your eye,” she says.
In the model homes, Hicks showcases a variety of lighting styles, but she adheres to these guidelines:
Shine a light on dark walls and corners: Look around a room at night with the current lighting plan turned on to notice where light is needed. Then decide on the best way to provide that illumination based on the space’s needs.
Lighting works best in layers to allow for flexibility and room coverage. Complement functional overhead lighting with lamps to create a cozy, ambient atmosphere. “I love adding glowing light sources, like crystal selenite lamps or flameless candles, for a sense of warmth in darker areas that don’t require heavy light,” says Hicks.
Balance light for better screen viewing: So much of people’s entertainment is centered around screens. For a better viewing experience, balance out the blue light emitted from screens with warm, ambient light. Install dimmers so light levels can be adjusted to cut down on eye strain.
Consider how a light fixture interacts with nearby fixtures: In the Pacific Peak model home, Hicks and her team installed two black pendant barn lights over the kitchen island adjacent to the dining nook.
“In this case, the island pendants are bold in size and have a mass feeling because they’re black, but they work because they’re anchored by the generously sized island,” with a white counter on top of stained black cabinets, she says. “This same lighting scale would have felt overwhelming in the dining nook, so that chandelier is smaller, but it is still in harmony with the kitchen pendants in color and shape.”
Mix and match light fixtures: A room shouldn’t look like a furniture showroom vignette of a single brand’s collection. Chose lights that express your taste. “Trust your gut. Lighting fixtures are one of the most sculptural items we have in our homes. I like to view lighting selection through the same lens as selecting art,” says Hicks.
Prices let you experiment: Unlike built-in cabinetry and large surfaces, light fixtures can be changed out quickly and inexpensively, delivering a new look to a room. “Floor lamps are a great way to add height and personality to a space. With designer-inspired fixtures and lamps being more accessible, it’s never been easier to let lighting deliver design impact in a space while on a budget,” says Hicks.
Design Within Reach has light fixtures and other furnishings that people know by name:
Ylighting offers midcentury modern masterpieces and modern and contemporary fixtures and has up to 40% off during its summer sale. Highlights include:
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072