So, if you are thinking about selling your home, here's exercise number 1. Walk through your house with a critical eye, and determine if the ceiling and hanging lights are appropriate for the potential price tag of your home, and if they set a mood/tone.... or are they a distraction. Ask the same of any sconces. If you don't trust your own taste parameters, ask a friend who does or someone in the decorating business.
Here's a quick test to see if you "get" the lighting thing. Which of the homes below have lighting that is complementary to the house?
If you said "Neither" , you are correct. The top photo would be better off having no ceiling lights as the ceilings appear to be low. High hats (recessed lights) would be the right answer. And by the way, it would be best to have the furniture taken out of the top room if possible as it is really dating the place.
The lower photo lighting just makes me feel sad. The lights aren't bad in and of themselves but they aren't made to hang on a wall with cords hanging down (which also make me feel like they are a safety hazard. A young child could easily get caught in it). This room would be better off having one center ceiling light or have recessed lights.
Once you take stock of what lights need to be changed out completely because of their outdated style or condition, the best approach is to chose fixtures that are unobtrusive and innocuous, blending in with the walls and ceilings. Unless you have a modern home or are speaking about a bathroom or kitchen, think about fixtures that have brass trim. The rule of thumb I use is to take the lead from the hardware, knobs and general colors of a room. Cool colors such as greys and blues usually call for nickel or chrome finish fixtures; warm colors are most likely going to favor brass trims.
One company that I like alot for moderate priced, classic fixtures is Visual Comfort.
|A nice looking ceiling fixture, great for a hallway or small entry|
|Classic kitchen island light from Restoration Hardware|
|One of my favorite Waterwork's sconces, especially for a small bathroom|
For lighting fixtures that you are not replacing, be sure that they are cleaned, in good condition, work and are not missing any bulbs. Lights that have multiple bulbs need to have all bulbs of the same wattage and type in the fixture. There is nothing worse than fixtures with burned out bulbs, missing bulbs, mismatched bulbs or that are dusty and dirty.
One last note: Why wait until you are thinking about listing your house to take stock of your lighting? Doing a bulb check and light review annually is good home maintenance.