Why Work with a Lighting Designer?
How many times a day do you flip a light switch?
Reading in bed? Applying makeup at the vanity? Working at the kitchen table? Entertaining friends in the dining room? We take for granted how often — and how seamlessly — we move between environments, adjusting the light with a flick of a finger.
Despite the critical role lighting plays in our daily lives, many homeowners put surprisingly little thought into how they illuminate their living spaces.
Designing a Home Lighting Plan with Todd Pearsall of Filament Lighting
Todd Pearsall of Filament Lighting and Home is out to change that by helping people discover the many possibilities of home lighting.
Spotlight on Filament Lighting and Home
With twenty years designing commercial and residential lighting, Pearsall is known for his striking and original ideas. He and his team of designers bring the best lighting fixtures to the Twin Cities, including signature collaborations with designers like Niermann Weeks and Kate Spade.
The Filament team has already earned a stellar reputation for their personalized service, guiding homeowners toward lighting solutions with the best form and function for their needs. At their new showroom at 7123 France Avenue in Edina, they get to take their design and consulting services to luminous new heights.
A Brilliant New Edina Showroom
Moving from their Miracle Mile location in St. Louis Park, Filament gained ample warehouse space and a stunning 5,400-square-foot showroom specially designed for their unique products and process.
“This is the first place that I’ve been able to build a showroom that I love and design it myself, instead of going into a space and just making do with what’s there,” says Pearsall. “For one, we have fifteen foot ceilings, so we got to go upwards and build the structure that we need to display the lights properly.”
The showroom also features custom workstations where the designers “get to work and meet with homeowners and clients” — the backbone of the Filament residential design process.
How a Lighting Designer Can Help You
Home lighting has come a long way from candles and oil lamps. From the first electric bulbs to today’s smart LED fixtures, lighting has become a central feature of residential design.
And just like interior paint colors or kitchen cabinets, there are an overwhelming number of lamps, pendants, and sconces to choose from. Not to mention countless ways you can arrange and layer your lights.
“It’s interesting because almost everybody comes in scared to death about lighting,” Pearsall observes. “They look online and it’s overwhelming; there’s so much to choose from.”
This is just one reason homeowners should consult a lighting designer for their remodel or new construction. Lighting design is not just about choosing an attractive finish to complement your home’s overall style, it’s also about thinking through how you use light every hour of the day.
The Filament Lighting Design Process
“At Filament, we spend time really getting to know our customers before we even start looking at lighting,” says Pearsall. “We ask lots of questions about how they use their space and make suggestions based on what we learn, rather than just going through catalogs and walking the showroom picking something because it’s pretty.”
Pearsall and his team use clients’ tastes and lifestyles as the starting point in a collaborative design process that leaves homeowners satisfied and confident in their lighting choices.
Forget about another trip to Home Depot where you’ll spend an hour staring blankly at a jumbled aisle of lighting fixtures. When a customer walks into the Filament showroom looking for help, ninety percent of the time a lighting designer will go to their home for a personal consultation.
“We can look at a blueprint all day long, but when you get in the space it looks different,” says Pearsall. “We always do a walkthrough with the client to make sure we get the right amount of light in a space.”
To prevent clients from becoming confused or overwhelmed by the thousands of lighting options, Pearsall aims to show them three items he is confident they’ll be happy with.
“When they go home they know they may not be getting exactly what they had in mind walking in, but they are getting the finishes, colors, and feel that they want,” explains Pearsall. “And once it’s installed they are surprised by how much they like the light that we found for them.”
Illuminating Questions to Ask When Lighting Your Home
Don’t make lighting an afterthought in your home remodel or new construction. Before installing that new pendant or recessed ceiling light, ask yourself how you and your loved ones spend time in each area of your home.
According to Pearsall, “The main point is how you use each room.”
A lighting designer can help you define the function of each room, raising questions you may not think of on your own, like is the kitchen counter bright enough for the kids to do homework?
To get started, here are some key questions to ask when deciding how to light the five main areas of your home.
Lighting Area #1: The Bedroom
Do you read in bed?” might be Pearsall’s first question. Why? “We’re going to light your room differently than someone who says I don’t have a TV in my room, I only sleep in my bedroom, and I just want a calm space.”
Do you prefer to wake to natural light? Need to brighten a dark closet? Like to get dressed at the bedroom mirror? Want to dim your lights when you’re winding down in the evening?
Bedroom lighting is highly personal and often requires layering multiple solutions to achieve your desired design. Combine the ambient light of recessed fixtures with individual bedside lamps, wall-mounted adjustable fixtures, multipurpose track lighting, and much more.
Lighting Area #2: The Bathroom
The right lighting can make a big impact even in a small bathroom. What is your biggest frustration when using your existing bathroom?
“Do you want to do your hair and makeup at a makeup mirror or the bathroom sink?” asks Pearsall, cutting right to the function of one of the most vital rooms of any home.
Be sure to ask questions that go beyond function as well. Do you want to accent a shelf or highlight a piece of art? Is there a decorative theme to your bathroom that your fixtures can enhance? A chandelier in the bathroom isn’t out of the question.
Lighting Area #3: The Kitchen & Dining Room
Kitchens are the real workhorses of most homes. We use them to cook, eat, work, and gather, making lighting design in these spaces particularly complex.
Do you love to cook? Well-lit prep spaces and bright pantries are a must. Do you sometimes bring work home or have kids who need to study at a table or counter? You may want focused task lighting at these work areas.
“Will the space be used for entertaining?” asks Pearsall, a reminder that even if you don’t have a formal dining room, friends and family tend to congregate around kitchen islands and tables.
From your hutch to your breakfast nook, the more questions you ask, the more obvious it becomes that a single overhead fixture won’t cut it.
Lighting Area #4: The Living Room
We demand a lot of living rooms. They tend to be our game rooms, meeting places, relaxation spaces, and where we display beloved art and photos. You want lighting that is versatile enough to suit these many moods.
After you’ve exhausted the list of ways you want to use your living room — from hosting movie marathons and holiday get-togethers to browsing magazines and stealing afternoon naps — consider the more cosmetic aspects of your design.
Does natural light stream into your living room or family room? How will it interact with your fixtures? What colors and shapes do you use throughout your decor? How can lighting complement (or even anchor) your overarching design?
Lighting Area #5: Halls & Passageways
Proper lighting in your walkways can keep you from fumbling for switches and tripping over discarded shoes. It can also and help you spot what you’re looking for in the linen closet.
Is it hard to grope your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Consider motion sensor hallway lighting or a smart light you can program to turn on when you open your bedroom door.
Choosing lights for a hallway or foyer also has a lot to do with the dimensions of the space. Do you have low ceilings? Opt for small, evenly spaced fixtures rather than one large piece you’ll have to duck under.
Finally, what decorative elements of your foyer or hallways do you want to spotlight? Light your family photos and artwork to add interest to these often-neglected areas.
Ready to Light Up Your Home Design?
Are you starting (or in the midst of) a home remodel? Stop by the new Filament Lighting and Home showroom where expert lighting designers can guide you to the best fixtures for your home.
At Purcell Quality, Inc., we love working with top rated Twin Cities designers like Todd Pearsall and his team. We can connect you with the best interior design specialists for each step of your remodel. Give us a call at (651) 748-1304 to begin the conversation.