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Lighting Tips for Open Floor Plans

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified May 08, 2015 01:01 AM
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by ESLTeam last modified May 07, 2015

Open floor plans are getting more popular every day.  This floor plan does present some challenges, such as how do I separate the kitchen from the dining area and the dining area from the living space?   The answer is lighting.  Different types of lighting help visually define separate spaces within the open plan. This can be accomplished by using different styles, shapes, finishes and scale of lighting fixtures. Another design tip is to play with physical lighting levels.   High-level lighting like chandeliers or other pendant lights and sconces are great for defining kitchen and dining areas.   in the above photo, a series of industrial-style pendants over a kitchen island create a visual dividing line between it and the rest of the space and the drum shade chandelier clearly defines the dining area. There are two other levels of lighting, mid-level and low-level.  Mid-level lighting includes floor lamps and desk or task lamps and low-level lighting includes table lamps and sconces mounted lower down on the wall.   Mid-level and low-level lighting work well to define seating or conversation areas.  A pendant light above the living area will help complete the look. In the picture above, the two zones are clearly defined by the two different chandeliers that are hung at different levels. The addition of floor and table lamps in the living area further distinguishes it from the dining space. As with most things in design, there are no hard and fast rules.  Take the above space for example. There are two different shaped pendants over the dining table, but it works because the pendants have the same finish.   The designer also decided to define the seating area with cove lighting Instead of using a pendant or ceiling light and other low- and mid-level lighting fixtures. Adding dimmers to all your fixtures is also key -- controlling light levels in a large open space will help you define the different areas even more. Layering different levels of light will not only define “zones” within open floor plans -- it also gives your home a finished look. Image Sources: 1st Image: P2 Design  2nd Image: House Tweaking  3rd Image:  Interior Design Magazine  4th Image: Ultralinx






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