The last few years have seen an overwhelming trend toward open, barrier-free spaces in interior design and architecture. But one of the oft-overlooked consequences to knocking down a lot of walls and merging multiple rooms is that there isn’t much to distinguish between the different areas of the resulting space. There are plenty of tips and tricks for fixing this problem, but one of my favorites is to use your lighting fixtures to your advantage. Clever use of decorative lighting not only ensures your whole room is properly illuminated, but can also help delineate a barrier-free space and distinguish between different areas of an open greatroom.
Why It Works: More than in almost any other, smaller room, bold lighting choices can help anchor clusters of furniture in a barrier-free space. While most dining tables even in traditional dining rooms have a pendant light or chandelier mounted above them, when your dining table is adrift between your kitchen and living room, this fixture is doubly important. An eye-catching decorative lighting fixture placed above the center of a dining table creates a visual column, drawing a line from floor to ceiling to indicate the center of your “dining room” and creating a circle of light that further sets the space apart. Pendant lights that hang low over the table and have a distinctive design are particularly effective, filling a similar function to area rugs, but without the worry of fabric catching on the feet of your dining chairs or tripping people walking past. Having different types of decorative lighting in each “zone” of your greatroom will help keep each of them feeling distinct, but a showy pendant in particular can really add weight to a dining table and help make it look like it belongs in a space that’s very open.
Get The Look: When it comes to pairing a lighting fixture and a dining set, your imagination is the limit. But to copy this look, you’ll need a white Tulip Table, a pair of walnut Wishbone Chairs, and a spunky Starburst Pendant to match.
Keeping your brand new barrier-free space from feeling too wide-open can be a challenge, especially if you’re just getting use to it, but clever use of decorative lighting fixtures can really help make the individual parts of your greatroom pop.