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The One Light Bulb You Should Never Use, and Five More Essential Design Rules for your Home

Updated

Matthew Williams

Domino magazine’s long-awaited second decorating book, Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, out now, features useful design rules (and how to break them), recipes for different room styles and a wealth of information about choosing pieces, materials and surfaces that fit your lifestyle.

It also highlights some of the tastemakers shaping the interiors world right now, including Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith of Workstead, a celeb favoriting lighting company who shares their guide to illuminating your home — from the best light bulbs to how to the best temporary lighting for renters or the hardwiring-averse.

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Matthew Williams

The pair’s first lighting fixture was created for an older brownstone in Brooklyn. Highsmith explains, “There was a lot of woodwork, and all the electrical boxes were in strange places. The dining table needed to be in the middle of the room, but the junction box was weirdly off-center.” So they created a unique chandelier that had the utility of an industrial light fixture but the flexibility of a sculpture in that it could be easily moved.

See their easy to follow lighting advice in this excerpt from the new book:

Matthew Williams

 

1. Always, always have all your light switches on a dimmer, no matter what.
2. A great floor lamp is a perfect solution for a dark corner. If you find a good one, it will bring a quality of warmth and coziness to the room.
3. Avoid clear bulbs. Instead, use soft, frosted bulbs for shaded fixtures as well as pendants, which give off a much prettier light.

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Matthew Williams

4. A cheap and cheerful way to replace canned, recessed lighting is to use little porcelain sockets with oversize, 6-inch, frosted bulbs. (And don’t forget to have them on a dimmer!)
5. Rooms should be lit in layers. A person should never walk into a room, flip a switch, and have five lights blasting down from cans. Instead, start with overall ambient ceiling light and then add an accent pendant or a chandelier. Try a floor lamp in the corner, a tiny lamp on a bookshelf, and perhaps an artistic glowing light in a corner. This combination will create an interesting mood in the room.
6. If you’re renting, don’t forget about plug-in sconces. They’re easily installed at eye level and they bring so much to a room.