Common Interior Design Dimmensions

We love all things interior design!

While we are experts in the lighting world, we also love watching and participating in helping our clients plan out the space in their new homes or in remodeling existing spaces.

Even in the design world, there are some rules that should be followed, if not considered. Planning out spaces needs careful consideration and knowing the sizing of certain common items or spaces isn’t something most of us have memorized.

These cheat sheets can be helpful for common spaces, furniture items and activity areas:

Infographics courtesy of: Decoratour

Bring your latest project in to our lighting store in Seattle. Our staff loves a good blueprint, even if it’s written on a napkin ūüėČ

Layout Guide for the Living Room

Are you planning on making some changes to the layout of your living room? Choosing the right layout for what you want to achieve can be pretty difficult. Knowing where to start is typically the problem most homeowners encounter.

We’ve got a few tips for you, depending on what your overall goals are. Are you looking to make it more kid friendly or are you trying to emphasize a certain feature or create a focal point? Figuring out what you want to do most in this room is your first step. Once you know what you want the purpose of the living room to be, you can start arranging your furniture and lighting to create the right vibe.

Check out this infographic that we found. It helps break down common living room overall goals, and what you’ll need to do to achieve them. So wether you’re trying to create a room that’s more conducive to entertaining and conversation, or make it more of a chill zone / TV room, this guide has some great tips for you!

Living Room Layout Infographic

Commercial Lighting Solutions

We talk a lot about lighting tips for your home, most of which can be applied to commercial lighting as well. Harold’s Lighting in Seattle and Bellevue has a Commercial Lighting Division that is available to help designers, architects, contractors, hotels, restaurants, department stores and everyday offices find lighting options that work for their needs.

Our Commercial Lighting Division can design and manufacture custom lighting fixtures for business across the country. We help companies illuminate their spaces with a unique and inviting atmosphere. Our designers work one-on-one with our clients to make sure all objectives are met.

Find out more about our Commercial Lighting Solutions on our website here, call us, or stop on by one of our locations in the Seattle area.

Lighting Mistakes To Avoid

pendant2Many interior designers are called upon to “fix” an area or room in a home, and many times all they really need to do is change up the client’s existing lighting situation. Sometimes knowing what¬†not¬†to do when redoing your lighting can help your home look like an experienced designer was there to help out. Below are some common mistakes you can use when planning out your next lighting adventure:

Putting Reccessed Lighting Everywhere.
Recessed lights can be a great tool to bring light in a more subtle way to a large area. It is very common, however, to go a little overboard and install too many of them. Recessed lights don’t typically cast much light on vertical surfaces (walls), which is how our eyes perceive most light. If we install too many recessed lights we may be wasting wattage that could be used by other sources providing more “visible” light. Using recessed lighting with a blend of other sources is how designers achieve the right look.

pendantForgetting Task Lighting in Kitchens and bathrooms.
Task lighting is very important in the kitchen and bathrooms as many dangerous activities are performed there. Adding under cabinetry lighting to illuminate the counter workspace below is a great option. Adjustable wall mounted fixtures or lamps can also make a huge difference.

Forgetting to use a combination of lighting types.
Many people forget to incorporate a combination of different lighting styles in a room. Ambient, task and accent lighting should be used together to create a balance. Being able to control the different fixtures individually is also important with different switches and dimmers.

Keep these common mistakes in mind when adding or changing the light fixtures in your home.

Interior Design with Lighting

Custom Shades and Fixtures at Harold's LightingLighting is a major component for every properly designed interior. It can change the mood of a space and even make a room look larger. Interior designers use different fixture types with proper placement to achieve the perfect balance.

Lighting can change the color of a room by enhancing existing features or highlighting pieces of furniture. Darker colors can make the room appear smaller while light colors can open up a space. Light can also be reflected off walls or surfaces and change the color of the paint on the walls. Playing around with different light fixtures, shades and bulbs can change up the look and feel of a room quite a bit. Expert lighting specialists and interior designers know which bulbs and shades work with certain paint colors and shades to create a harmonious space.

For most, lighting needs to serve a purpose, or else it’s just wasting electricity. Light is a major tool for increasing the functionality of a room. Task and ambient lighting can help illuminate areas where activities are performed and can help increase the efficiency and productivity of the activity. Placing the light fixtures in the right location without distracting from the other main elements of the room is very important.

If you’re looking to change up the look and feel of a room in your house you could start playing around with your lighting options. Ask an expert lighting specialist at Harold’s Lighting to help you choose the right lamp shade or light fixture for your home.

Using Mirrors to Balance Light in a Room

Mirrors and LightLight plays a major role in any size room. ¬†A lot times it’s hard to balance out the light distribution in a room because there aren’t enough sources or locations to install light fixtures. ¬†This is where mirrors can come in. ¬†Mirrors not only provide a great decorating touch to a room, they can actually distribute light around a room and make it feel more open.

Mirrors at Harolds LightingMirrors can help make a room feel brighter and larger if they are placed in the right place. Make sure you don’t place a mirror directly in front of a light fixture or it can cause a blinding effect. Place the mirror near the source but not where a glare is present from the bulb. Another great idea is to hang a mirror near a natural source of light, or across from it. ¬†If placed correctly it can create the illusion of another window in a room and open up the space greatly.

The size of the mirror should correlate to the rest of the room.  A larger mirror will reflect more light and open up a space, but if it is placed in a really small room, or in a crowded space, it can overwhelm the area. A small mirror can be placed with others in a group to create a beautiful art piece and give off enough light to brighten up the room.

Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes. ¬†They can be frameless or have large ornate frames. ¬†When choosing one for your space, consider the rest of the room and make sure it complements the rest of the features in the room. Many lighting stores as well as home decorating stores have many options to choose from and it’s a good idea to take the measurements back home with you before you make your purchase.

Our expert lighting staff at Harold’s Lighting in Seattle and Bellevue have many tricks up their sleeves. We can help you choose decor and mirrors that will work with your home or office.

Party Lighting!

Summer’s just right around the corner, and you know what that means – Parties!! ¬†More entertaining is done in the summer than other times during the year. ¬†So if you’ve got a party at your home coming up – don’t forget about the lighting! ¬†Most people focus on the food, music, and decorations, but they forget that good lighting can be essential to set the mood and provide the perfect ambience for a get-together.

Good lighting can bring people closer together and create a more comfortable atmosphere.  It can even make a small room look bigger. Keep these tips in mind when thinking about party preparations:

  • Keep the Lighting Low and Soft: Use 40 watt bulbs or lower in your fixtures around the rooms that guests will be congregating in. ¬†Replace the bulbs you currently have to create the “mood”. If you have a dimmer, set it at a lower level than you normally would.
  • Layer Lighting Sources:¬†Use indirect lighting to layer different sources. Lighter lamp shades (opaque) help redirect harsh light out of guest’s eyes.
  • Create a Focal Point:¬†If you have a special piece of art or architecture show it off! If you don’t you can use uplights behind different things like plants or furniture to create drama in a room. ¬†These uplights can cast cool shadows against the wall or ceiling.

These are just a few tips for lighting at parties.  Ask one of our expert lighting staff at our Seattle or Bellevue stores today for more tips or ideas!

Bathroom Lighting Tips

Excellent Options for Bathroom Lighting at our Seattle Store

Bathroom design has changed a lot over the years. They are now being designed more as living spaces. More attention to detail and comfort is important as many people spend a lot of time in the bathroom to relax, refresh and recharge.

Proper lighting is extremely important for a functional and relaxing atmosphere in a bathroom.  The lighting should be a blend of style and function as a lot of tasks depend on proper lighting.  Many people choose flexible lighting solutions or a variety of options so that they can choose the amount of illumination needed for their mood or time of day.

Task lighting should be centered around areas where “tasks” are performed. ¬†Typically this would be around the vanity area and mirrors in a bathroom. ¬†This will help you be able to see everything while daily grooming and tasks are done.

Depending on the size of the room, ambient lighting should also be used to illuminate the rest of the space. ¬†Many people also choose to have a separate light source for the shower or tub. ¬†These light sources need to be wet/shower-location rated to be sure that the moisture doesn’t effect the light source.

As always, lighting should be layered.  Using a combination of task, accent, ambient and decorative lighting can help you achieve a good balance.

Decorative Lighting

Photo Courtesy of:
Photo Courtesy of :

As the last installment of our Finding Your Lighting Solutions spotlight on our blog, Decorative Lighting is the step where you put your finishing touches to the overall lighting of a room or space.

Decorative Lighting gives you that chance to make a statement with a beautiful fixture or chandelier.

A Vintage Chandelier from our showroom in Seattle

Today there are so many different materials that lighting fixtures can be made out of and the sky is the limit on design.  The right decorative piece can add so much style to a room and give it a unique feel.  The whole overall feel of a room can be changed with one decorative piece.  A room can go from classic to modern just with one light fixture.


Decorative Lighting should always be used in combination with other lighting techniques.  Placement of decorative lighting is very important, and you must make sure there is enough room for it and that it is appropriate for the space.

Accent Lighting – Highlight Your Room’s Features

Accent Lighting (also called directional lighting) is used on top of other layers of lighting techniques to highlight features in a room.  It can be used to illuminate and spotlight certain objects or even special architectural areas of a room or space.

Photo Courtesy of:
Photo Courtesy of :

Many people use accent lighting to “accentuate” their favorite things in a room: a painting, plant, sculpture, custom woodwork, architectural features or decorative adornments. ¬†Accent lighting illuminates the area without standing out too much. ¬†Typically, it is meant to be 3 times brighter than the rest of the illuminated room, but shouldn’t be glaring or distracting to the eye.

Accent lighting is generally achieved with using track lighting,¬†dim-able¬†chandeliers, recessed ceiling lights, and sconces. ¬†The key to using accent lighting is to subtly draw the eye to the showcase area to spark interest. ¬†Accent lights shouldn’t be obvious or over powering and should be used sparingly.

Harold’s Lighting stores in Bellevue and Seattle, WA are your Accent Lighting specialists. ¬†We’ve been helping residents in the Northwest create amazing living spaces with light since 1957.