FEBRUARY 2013: Form + Function = Fabulous

Oct 30th 2015 Staff

Issue No. 36

Decorative elements consist of various textures, shapes and forms that can be combined to create a space that's both comfortable and beautiful.

Dual Purpose

You don't have to give up functionality to have appealing design. For example, the right fixture can provide the light you need, as well as shape the design of your room. Completing your design is the way you mix the various shapes and forms of all your furnishings. Additionally, the light cast from each light fixture creates its own shape and form.
This makes choosing the right light fixtures even more critical to your design, because the fixture itself, as well as the light cast from it, combine to create your interior design. While there are many shapes and forms of fixtures from which to choose, one of the most popular is the chandelier.

Some chandeliers are designed with downlights to provide task lighting for homework, table games or to accent table settings. Others are available with fabric or glass shades, which reduce glare and provide an artistic element. Adding a dimmer is like adding another design element that you can change to suit the mood or activity in the room.

Perfect Pendants

Pendants are a good example of form and function working together. They can provide both task and ambient lighting, and are extremely popular and available in an unlimited range of styles, shapes and colors. Pendants hang individually from the ceiling over kitchen counters, breakfast areas, dining tables, game tables or other work areas. When used over bedside tables, they provide good task lighting and also free up the space occupied by table lamps. Their variety of sizes, styles, materials and textures make pendants a great way to show your unique and personalized style. The use of a dimmer provides you with the flexibility to vary the light to suit the occasion.

Expert Advice

We are building a lake home with a vaulted ceiling and cross beams in the family room. What is the most effective and attractive way to illuminate the ceiling for ambient light?

One good option for your room is to install linear LED tape or LED strips to the top of the beams. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have a useful life of 50,000 hours or more. Based on a six-hour per day usage, the expected life would be over 16 years. This type of system would effectively illuminate the ceiling, and would provide virtually maintenance-free service. There are many of these systems on the market and they all differ slightly in their intended use. A lighting professional at an ALA-member showroom in your area can show you the best options and demonstrate how they work.

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