The Spring Cure: Light Therapy

The Spring Cure: Light Therapy

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 20, 2010
At BoBo Intriguing Objects at High Point this past weekend, I snapped this pic of how they displayed all of their antiques: lot's of overhead halogen lights pointed towards the walls with candles in between. See the "dark in the middle, bright on the side" effect. As Marc from BoBo said, merchandising is all about carefully revealing something to the eye, not creating a blaring showpiece. Much of this can be utilized in the home.

Cure_post_badge.jpg• Cure Clock: 3 weeks to go
• Assignment: Read Week 6: Light Therapy
• Members: 1,360 (closed now)

With week 6 you're rounding third base and heading for home. This is the week to dig deep, catch up and then plan to bring everything in for a landing in the two weeks after. If you've taken on too much, this is your chance to recalibrate and down shift a little bit. If your momentum is good and you're right on track, this is your chance to push hard and deepen your Cure. Either way, make sure you "tweet your week" and then let's chat about lighting.

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Along with paint and color, lighting is a powerful element of room design, AND one that needn't cost a lot of money. Good lighting requires only two main things:

1. Enough Light - At least three points of light in every room. You'd be amazed how many people don't have this OR have it but don't turn it on.

2. Good Placement - Lighting should always be indirect and never create a glare that makes you wince.

To illustrate this, take a look at some eye candy pictures. Each of them shows a good example of lighting and will help you to see what it is you want to achieve in your own home.


In my Bloomingdale's window in late January (pic where with Sara taking a closeup picture), I put three lights in each of the three sections of the room (left reading chair, middle chandelier, right table lamp for sofa reading) as well as using the overheads to bounce off of the back wall and to pin-point a few objects. In homes all of the above applies except the pin-pointing of objects in the middle of the room. Light that bounces off of things and then comes to you or is filtered in some way always feels better.

Good lighting makes a room and even Restoration Hardware has changed their whole direction to accommodate a new lighting style. With darker walls and many points of low light, the room is more active and your eye is led around from cozy spot to cozy spot. This is a pic I took in their new showroom last fall.


Here's a lovely living room Kim Salmela designed for her new Hotel Maison line at High Point. Two lamps, on on either side of the sofa not only add light, they also balance the room. The best light here, however, is the sunlight streaming in the window.

This very popular Small Cool entry has a great example of outdoor lighting. Lots of little lights (xmas lights?) work well overhead because they don't glare, while a candle on the table provides a lower, warm point of light.

>> Small Cool 2010: Matt & Jac's Live/Work Space for 2

Two downward facing bedside lights here provide plenty of light for reading while the glow through the shade illuminates the room.

>> Small Cool 2010: Allan's Danish Renovation

8 kate spade dining room.jpg

Here's a quick pic of Kate and Andy Spade's dining room with - count 'em - two table lamps, one chandelier (@ 6 lights) and ten candle sticks (most from Ted Muehling). Their home has tons of light fixtures that add light and character, as every fixture carries a strong, eclectic style.

>> Kate & Andy Spade's Home


This Week In The Book

In the deep treatment the overall theme is peacefulness. As you clean out your bathroom(s), I want you to get to a point where you are able to put some calming luxury back into them. If you don't have them already, there are some purchases to be made here that can change your bathroom experience.

In the One Room Remedy take a good look at the lighting in your home. I find that most homes are underlit and that most that seem drab or uninspired could be turned around simply by addressing the lighting alone. Get adventurous! Lighting can be very affordable and different kinds of lights will really make your home leap to life. Oh, and there's some painting to do this week for some. Enjoy our small tutorial on how to paint a room. It's basic, but we find that it always helps to remember it when we're painting a room.

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