Design Recipes: Try these lighting tips in any space

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service
A pendant placed over a kitchen table helps add functionality.

Lighting can greatly enhance or diminish a space. Poor lighting can make a home feel dark and gloomy, while a well-lit home can feel bright and welcoming. Lighting can also be used as a stylized element to improve nearly any room of the home. From ceiling pendants to wall sconces and chandeliers, a number of traditional and innovative lighting solutions can help you enhance your space whether you are looking for elevated aesthetics or more functionality.

Looking for lighting ideas? Here are some top tips.

1. Go industrial. Industrial style fixtures are more popular than ever and can work well depending on the style of your space.

2. Think function. Whether it is a pendant to provide lighting over a sink or an island or a table to dine, be sure to pay attention to functionality.

3. Go for glam. In spaces like dining or entry areas, don’t be afraid to make a bold statement with your lighting fixtures.

4. Formal or casual? Whether you are looking to make a formal statement or prefer a fixture that is more understated, it is helpful to decide before making a lighting purchase.

5. Make a welcome statement. Homes that are poorly lit from the outside are not only unwelcoming but can potentially create a safety issue.

6. Consider adding wall sconces. Whether in a powder room, bathroom or bedroom, this additional lighting can help add to the design of a room as well as functionality.

7. Go energy efficient. From pendants to wall sconces, LED fixtures are more popular than ever. The lights typically burn for thousands of hours.

8. Try interesting light bulbs. Transparent bulbs and industrial-style bulbs can help add interest.

9. Add recessed lighting when possible. It is OK to add both recessed lights as well as fixtures in the same space.

10. When in doubt, more is better. You can never have too much light in a space.

A unique wall sconce can add interest to a space.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at