Piedmont Triad Lighting Expert Illuminates The Latest Trends In Lights, Finishes And Styles

Posted on | June 5, 2015 | No Comments

If you have ever marveled at a sparkling, cascading chandelier or felt the tranquility of a softly lit room, you know the power lighting has to transform a space. However, many people don’t how complex and significant finding the right lighting fixture can be. Angie Brown, owner of Illuminations of the Triad in Kernersville, has been helping designers and homeowners add light, life and artistry to their homes for almost nine years. North Carolina Design spoke to Angie, who told us more about her unique store, her take on what’s new, and why we should never take lighting for granted.

Images Courtesy of Illuminations of the Triad ©

“We started out as a stock warehouse, doing shipping and receiving. I knew there was a demand for more decorative lighting, so we created a boutique-style lighting décor showroom.” Open to the public, Angie’s showroom offers homeowners and designers alike an array of lighting options. They can also browse other decorative items, like custom mirrors and vanity vessel sinks.

Angie’s instincts were spot on – the showroom was a hit. “Everyone loves it,” she says. “They feel good when they come in. It’s a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. We even offer a complimentary coffee bar.” Angie notes that the showroom is well-equipped to meet homeowners’ needs. “There’s a lot here. We have numerous options from a wide variety of companies. We also have design consultants on-hand who can help people find the perfect items for their home.”

Consultants do come in handy, as there is more to lighting than most homeowners imagine. “Of course, you want something that’s pretty and makes you smile,” she concedes. “But you also have to think practically. Do you have enough lighting to achieve function? There are four main types of lighting – ambient, task, accent, and decorative – and you need some combination of each in every space. Then you have about 10 or 11 lighting categories to think about. It’s a lot, but we can help you sort through it.”

Working closely with clients gives Angie an insider’s view into what’s new in lighting. “Right now more people are choosing a transitional look, with simpler, cleaner lines,” she observes. “That’s probably why drum shades and orbs are the most popular choices. Drums offer a clean and simple look. Orbs are really versatile – you have everything from huge, open-cage styles with tiers and crystals on the inside, to very simple, plain round pendants.”

While today’s homeowners are definitely looking for a more contemporary feel, Angie notes that there is more to the story. “Contemporary items like linear chandeliers and polished nickel fixtures are very popular right now,” she says. “But you also have a lot of people wanting to add a rustic or nostalgic element to their homes. So wooden fixtures are coming back in: linear wooden bars with candles, wooden orbs, chandeliers with wooden beads. We’re also seeing a lot of old schoolhouse globes, which are especially popular in farm house kitchens.”

When it comes to function, the word of the day is efficiency. “People are increasingly looking for one piece that serves two purposes, like a drum shade that provides light from both the top and the bottom,” Angie explains. “It’s to the point where we actually are encouraging manufacturers to produce more multi-purpose lighting.”

Angie notes that the biggest mistake a homeowner can make is assuming that lighting is just lighting. “It seems like a small thing, but lighting is actually so complex and so important,” she stresses. “You’re not just buying lights; you’re adding functional art or jewelry to your home. That takes thought and planning. If you’re building a home, you have to budget for it as a priority. It’s worth it, I promise. The right lighting really can make all the difference in how your home looks, feels and functions.”

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