“People are much more willing to make a statement when it comes to lighting selections for their baths and kitchens than ever before. They don’t feel like they have to be understated. I often recommend lighting fixtures for bathrooms that – in the past – would probably have been reserved for what we’d consider a ‘special area.’ Now, lighting can really be considered the centerpiece of the bathroom.
“I’m also finding clients becoming more adventurous with lighting — especially in their bathrooms. While streamlined, cleaner fixtures are still a strong trend, we’re also seeing a gain in popularity among fixtures that are more dramatic, edgier, or funkier. There is a sense of freedom with bathroom lighting now because it is a more contained space than other rooms. They’re not trying to match a sofa, area rug, artwork etc.
“They’re also more willing to invest in good lighting pieces. They want a lot of lighting in their bathrooms so they have illumination options, such as recessed shower lighting. Whenever possible, I design baths with lighting on the sides of the mirrors, rather than above, because it provides a much better balance of light when people are performing close-to-the-mirror tasks. By using switch sets and dimmers, the lighting can be toned down for a relaxing bath and dialed up for detailed functions such as makeup application. Gone are the days of one control switch for a ceiling light. Today it’s much more about creating a holistic lighting experience in the bath.
“In kitchens, my clients are going with larger pendant lights over their islands and some sort of statement piece, usually over the breakfast table. Kitchen lighting is very interesting because it’s where you really see people’s [preferences] come out. There is such a breadth of styles available, and because kitchens are the gathering point of a home, people are expanding them, even adding a second island.
“I typically don’t mix lighting finishes within a room — but I do encourage using fixtures from different collections [or brands]. In the bathroom, I’m seeing more black or dark bronze finishes that have an edginess to them. In the kitchen, people are gravitating toward a warm – yet subdued – brushed brass or gold. Living Coral, the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year, goes beautifully with those warm tones, so it’s right on trend. I wouldn’t be surprised to see lighting fixtures being introduced that have a pop of coral on them.
“I like to show clients how pieces can work together and complement each other with similar lines and styling. Ultimately, kitchen and bath design is not a ‘one size fits all’ project. Every homeowner has to find the style that feels right for them.”