Lights, Camera, Action

July 14, 2020

Lighting Design

Lighting is the jewelry in a space. I am not going to lie, I happen to LOVE jewelry, which means I also happen to LOVE lighting. You should love it too- a room without it is like a naked wrist without a bracelet, and we can’t have that!

Your foyer, living room, kitchen island and dining spaces are crying for those complimentary accents that bring the WOW factor to life, but also allow you to mix metals, sizes and textures without many strict rules. If your sizes are proportionate to your space, you have free reign with what you choose. Please, do not think that all of your lighting needs to match! There is so such thing as matching collections anymore, or if you are working with a designer for that matter. My job is to help you create your OWN package, with decisions that are outside of the box, allowing you to look up with a smile or give your guests conversation pieces. Your conversation should start at the front door.

Add layers through your lighting! You should have ambient and decorative lighting in each of your main spaces. Remember that different heights, sizes and temperatures are effective in creating ambiance and a functional space. I always recommend adding dimmers to all light so that you can control the lights instead of them controlling you! Everyone likes different amounts of lighting and of course that varies with time of day and weather, so prepare to have that flexibility now!

Lighting Tips

• A kitchen island can have mini pendants or oversized pendants depending on the scale of the island, ceiling height and the size of the surrounding spaces. If you want to use mini pendants, those range from 7”-11.” Anything from 12”-18” is considered an oversized pendant, where you may only use 3 instead of 4. If you really want to make a statement with your pendants, you can absolutely go bigger too! Sometimes scale isn’t about the diameter- is the fixture open or closed in by glass/metal? Open fixtures may feel lighter and smaller, so keep in mind that bigger doesn’t always feel bigger.

• If your foyer is long, go for a linear fixture. If it’s tall, go for a tall fixture. If you have a ceiling feature that is round, it is nice to mimic those shapes into your lights!

• Dining table lighting also has a lot of flexibility! Think about using several fixtures instead of one fixture, but please make sure the scale, look and quantity are different from your kitchen island. If you have a long table, multiples or linear fixtures are great.

• Living room lights are usually the only spaces that can handle tiered fixtures. You can use taller fixtures that are double or triple tiered. Usually a centrally hung fixture works best in living areas, but you definitely want to compliment the space with lower task lighting, creating layers of lighting through ambient recessed cans, your central decorative fixture, floor lamps and table lamps.

• Bathroom lights don’t always have to be vanity fixtures! Think about mini chandeliers, tub chandeliers, pendants over your decorative mirrors and wall sconces as additional and complimentary light.

Time to sparkle!

xo dsv


Written by Danielle Saintard Valiente

Danielle Saintard Valiente is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and community advocate in the Cape Fear region. As owner of Port City Design Group, Danielle is living her passion by collaborating with her clients and subcontractors in order to execute one-of-a-kind, life changing designs, while making lifelong relationships. Having lived in Wilmington since 2010, Danielle plans to contribute to the area's growth and continue to make an impact through design.

About Port City Design Group

Port City Design Group is an interior design firm that creates experiences through the turnkey presentation of luxury residential and commercial interiors. PCDG brings communication and organization to the jobsite, while taking the stress off of the client, with an efficient and enjoyable process. With a facility over 4000 square feet, PCDG operates with an office and warehouse all in house, with the ability to take all projects from start to finish, with a BIG REVEAL at the end!