Share “At Home: Go to the dark side when...”

At Home: Go to the dark side when designing lighting

Marni Jameson and David Martin share tips and principles of lighting.
By Marni Jameson Published: October 1, 2012

Living rooms. Often a home's largest room, living rooms benefit most from lighting that creates spaces in places. Break up uniform light with a decorative fixture in the center of the room. Install a chandelier or a pendant light if the room has high ceilings. Add table lamps to light spaces for conversation or reading, and then install spots or track lighting to highlight the hearth.

Kitchens: Sink and stove areas benefit from having not only direct lighting from above, but also light from the sides. “You can eliminate shadows by including at least two sources of light,” Martin said.

Bathrooms: Sconces placed on either side of the vanity mirror give the best lighting for applying makeup and shaving. If you can't fit side sconces, and have only a single light over the vanity, add more light sources to balance shadows — and erase eye bags!

Bedrooms. Instead of bedside table lamps, Martin prefers wall-mounted fixtures with swing arms on either side of the bed. They can move to shine light where you want it, while freeing up room on nightstands.

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her via