Who is looking for something a little different from all of the white kitchens out there? Please tell me it’s not just me. When we built our house, my husband gave a hard “no” to dark kitchen cabinets. One of those marriage compromises, I guess. But I will be the first to admit that I have a mad crush on the matte black cabinets in this modern boho kitchen design. And the black and white cement tile – I don’t even have to sell you on that, it’s everywhere right now, and it’s beautiful. The cement tile combined with black wicker pendant lights above the kitchen island gives just a little taste of being in a trendy bar in a tropical locale, and who can resist that really?
One of the easiest ways to make your home look better is to upgrade your light fixtures. Maybe you are building a new house (lucky!) and have the daunting task of picking light fixtures for your home. Or maybe your current light fixtures are simply outdated. In any case, light fixtures give you the opportunity to add a TON of personality to your home. Our lights are hands down the number one thing people compliment us on in our house.
Pick a few areas where you want to make a statement with your lights. For most homes this could be above your entryway, dining table, stairwell, and/or kitchen island. I chose really trendy chandeliers for both my dining room and my stairwell, and went fairly conservative for the rest of the house. You can also do a fun fixture in the master bedroom for a luxe look.
sources from top image (clockwise from top left): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
If you have an open floor plan, choose one showy light to make a statement, and leave the rest of the area more simple.
Flush mount lighting, a (somewhat?) necessary evil
Choose a flush mount light to use in bedrooms where you don’t have a statement light or ceiling fan. Avoid the dreaded “boob lights” at all costs! My absolute favorite flush mount right now is this one from CB2. It is affordable and has a great modern minimalist look. We have this in several rooms of our house. It comes in a smaller size (almost 20″) and larger size (34″).
What about ceiling fans?
Let’s talk ceiling fans for a minute. They are a total necessity in some climates, but they often look downright terrible. I like to find fans that are as simple as possible – this isn’t an item you want to try and make a big design statement with. You can choose one with a light, or get one without and supplement with recessed LED lights around it.
Mix up the metals and materials when you are picking light fixtures for your home. Don’t mix two metals that are close in appearance to each other in the same room, like chrome with satin nickel. My favorite mix for a modern home is to do some fixtures with a dark or black matte metal, and the rest in chrome.
For a big space, using LED recessed lights will give a sleek, minimalist look. Plus, these babies don’t need to be replaced for years! I like to use these for places where you have a large space and need to supplement the light given off by a statement chandelier. Another great use for them is in basements that have a lower ceiling.
Remember what your lights are there for
This may seem like a “duh!” tip, but make sure your light bulbs are bright enough for the area you are putting them. It is really easy to screw this up when you are caught up in picking light fixtures for your home. The kitchen, bathrooms, and office are the most important areas of the house where you want bright lights for certain tasks. When in doubt, ask at the store you are buying the light bulbs from or the electrician who is installing them. You can also use recessed lighting in the ceiling to supplement your more decorative lights.
A final note – always, always put lights on dimmers! This is my favorite tip for easily controlling the ambiance and task lighting in your house. Many builders will do this for a small fee, otherwise word on the street is it is not hard to do yourself. I would probably electrocute myself by trying, but you, dear reader, are likely more capable.
You can also add in some mood lighting with a floor lamp here or there, or with sconces on either side of the bed.
This modern master bedroom design is inspired by the California coastline and this fabulous art print I found by Hamish Roberston. Big Sur, California is one of my absolute favorite places to visit, despite the fact that the wild drive along the Pacific Coast Highway gives me more than a little anxiety. The scenery is beyond amazing, but I also love the relaxed modern aesthetic that all the places along this area of the coast seem to have. I like to try and incorporate a little of that vibe into my house. Not pictured, but this furniture would pair well with a simple white duvet cover and dark grey sheets! If you’re on a budget (who isn’t, right?) you could blow up an image of Big Sur from unsplash to frame and hang above the bed.