Begin your design with a fun theme

By Cathy Lee Posted in: Celebrate StyleImprove
August 13, 2017

PHOTOS BY ANDY LANDGRAFF

Some of you have been asking when I’ll get back to sharing photos and tips from the redesign of my own home. I thought this week would be a good opportunity.

The ceilings in my formal dining room are 20 feet high (see below). I knew I wanted to fill this space with suspended lights in an eclectic design that would serve as a focal point, unify the upstairs and downstairs, and tie in with other elements. Since I wanted an airy effect, I wanted basket fixtures.

But then what?

My solution? Create a theme for the space and start from there. When you’re building or designing, your options can seem limitless. A theme helps you focus. Of course, you can design a beautiful home without one, but a theme adds interest, personality and tells a story. So I decided to design lights reminiscent of fishing baskets to suspend from the ceiling, cascading down at various heights, shapes and sizes. These bold, airy fixtures would add depth and dimension, bring in eclectic flair and provide light above the dining table.

With a large, open space, you need to go big and bold. If you don’t want to go with one or two large pieces, try a cluster. Find some inexpensive paper lanterns or make your own mock-ups out of construction paper in the same size, then string them up with tape to see how your idea will look and feel. I’ve done this for clients. Most times, people realize their initial ideas are not big enough and add more. These lights are the first things you see as you walk in, a fun focal point for the dining room. You’ll have to wait to see how my theme helped shape the finished look.