Having just talked about 2008 kitchen trends, I received a little booklet in the mail from Better Homes & Gardens, just for kitchen and bath professionals, all about 2008 kitchen trends. Allow me to give you their predictions, and my comments. Actually, I think I'll do one trend per post, otherwise this post will be way too long! First up:
BH&G says forget about lighting for the sake of function alone. Done, boring, over. The trend is for highly decorative (and functional) lighting anywhere and everywhere. Accent lighting, and decorative lighting fixtures, whether for task or general lighting purposes, will be designed into kitchens with more frequency this year.
My Take: I do agree. I'm seeing my clients paying more attention to my lighting ideas and suggestions (I almost always do a lighting plan) and being receptive to more and varied types of lighting in general. They seem to now get that lighting creates moods, it can change functional areas into more dressed up areas, and can create a variety of looks.
My Recommendation: When doing a lighting plan, let the type of lighting guide the type of fixture. Under cabinet lighting can easily be done with "green" LED fixtures, for example, as well as accent lighting, inside cabinets, as another example. Recessed lighting is a good foundation for general lighting and can be installed using flourescent lamps. Use dimmers, too, to save energy and create effects. Be aware of how much lighting you really need and where/how the lighting should be switched to conserve energy.
To get started, understand that there are/can be three types of lighting in the kitchen: general (often, ceiling mounted lighting), task lighting (under wall cabinets, over an island, under a hood, over a sink), and accent lighting (lighting to feature a hutch, artwork or other decorative area.)
And, yes, have some fun with interesting lighting fixtures:
- Hang several together at different heights
- Use bright colors
- Use interesting shapes
- Hang pendants closer together than usual to have several appear as "one"
- Be aware of lighting in stores, hotels, restaurants, other public places for fresh ideas
- Add sconces that you would normally put in other rooms...they look great surrounding windows
- Mix styles (carefully) and finishes
- Ask yourself if you want the lighting fixture to stand out or blend in?
- Be green and seek out antique lighting fixtures
Trend Or Good Idea? It may be a trend, but it's also a good idea in general. The principles of this 2008 trend have been present in professionally designed electrical plans for years. It is a trend in which eco friendly fixtures can play a part too. One can also follow a general design trend if desired and later, change a fixture in favor of another look. Here is an example of a preliminary lighting plan I did (below.) Let there be light!