The Best Advice on Residential Lighting

Over the years, I have run into some houses that have amazing lighting, but also some that weren’t so great or didn’t fit the space. I will go through many mistakes individuals have made with their lighting and how it can be fixed! These next few weeks are a great time to purchase lighting because of great sales. Before you go out and pick new fixtures lets go through theses steps first!

Do Not Over-Adorn Your Home

Have you heard the expression Less is More? It can be tempting when you find a light fixture you love so much that you want to buy it in every shape and size for every room of your house. Don’t do that!  

Look at the flooring and the ceiling and the walls as the base, and the lighting as the accessory or the jewelry.  It’s easy on the eyes when colours flow from room to room and when flooring is consistent but it actually disturbs the flow of the space if you go with what I call too “Matchy Matchy” with your light fixtures.  It takes more time to thoughtfully consider light fixtures that complement each other than fixtures that are an exact match, but the end result is one that just feels better, and it’s definitely more creative. 

Pick a Focal Point, Considering the Style of Your Home

The easiest way to not Over-Adorn your home is to figure out which light fixture is going to be your focal point.  Which one do you want to stand out? Figure out which part or parts of your house that should have a fixture that stands out.  

If you live in a home that is Open Concept and had a large kitchen that overlooks the Living/Dining Room, the focal point may be the pendant lights hanging over the Kitchen island.  There isn’t a one size fits all approach to selecting lighting, which is why many people decide to hire an interior decorator to create a customized lighting plan for them.

When considering what constitutes a focal point in your home, you can and should consider the style of the home and you can also make exceptions if it makes sense to do so.  


Find Something that Makes You Smile

Organizing Consultant Marie Kondo really had something when she challenged us to ask ourselves whether or not the item sparked joy.  Consider whether your light fixtures makes you smile when you look at them.  If not, maybe it’s time to replace them.  While you’re shopping, if you don’t smile when you see something, then why bother with the investment?  

But, that one thing that you would really love may cost $25,000.  You may not want to spend quite that much for one light fixture.  So, obviously, all decisions need to be made within reason considering your budget and application. 


Some Other Important Design Considerations

To keep yourself from Over-Adorning your home, keep in mind the following:

  • The Style (i.e., Contemporary, Traditional, Urban/Industrial, Country/Rustic, etc.)
  • The Material (i.e., Brass, Glass, Chrome, etc.)
  • The Finish (i.e., Polished, Brushed, Distressed, etc.)

In Closing…As a Realtor, I try to remind Buyers that changing out light fixtures will make a huge difference in turning a house into a home.  When I am representing Sellers, I try to make some suggestions to help them to show off their house in the best light.  


  • Don’t be afraid to stray away from builder basic lighting 
  • Once you’ve found what really speaks to you, build a plan around it.
  • A great light shop is The Lighting Shoppe on Hespeler Road in Cambridge. Their selection is unmatched.  
  • If you are feeling stuck or if you are worried that you’re going to be overwhelmed, call a professional first.  Don’t let anything stop you from lighting up your home and your life.