Our mission here at Lulu and Georgia is to bring beauty into your home. Your home is the crucial part of that statement. We're proud of our unique collections, the exclusive collaborations, and the stories and styling advice we provide to inspire you to create the space of your dreams. We also want to highlight the processes and teams that turn inspiration into an actual project for your home. For our new Design Focus series, we have partnered with our in-house Design and Trade teams to talk about all that goes into bringing a customer's project to life. Design Specialist Lindsay Weber and her team work with customers directly via our Design Services Questionnaire, while Trade Account Executive Kristina Buckner and her team collaborate with design professionals to streamline "the specifying, quote, purchasing, tracking, and delivery processes." Lindsay and Kristina serve as a bridge between Lulu and Georgia for our customers and trade partners and the homes and interiors our pieces get to live in. For the first installment of our series, we shine a spotlight on our lighting collection. Well-curated lighting creates depth, dimension, and height, draws attention to focal pieces, and sets the mood for cozier and more intimate areas. We note why lighting is so important to interior design and speak with Lindsay, Kristina, and lighting designer Marnie Keilholz on styling tips and lessons from recent lighting-focused projects. Read on below for more.
The Importance of Lighting
Lighting is a transformative element within interior design. As Kristina notes, "Lighting makes all the difference in a space. It can instantly evoke a feeling or mood. It seems like it should be pretty straightforward, but it's a lot more technical than I think most people realize." Ambient lighting helps illuminate a given area to bolster the feel of the space, task lighting is directed light with a specific purpose, and accent lighting is used to enhance the dimension of an area or draw attention to a focal point. Ceiling lighting—like chandeliers, pendants, and recessed lights—falls under ambient light, which provides the basic illumination of a space. Task lighting, which includes table lamps and floor lamps, is used for its practicality to help you complete specific tasks around your home. Accent lights, like sconces, are the third layer and are meant to provide a decorative touch and spotlight wall art and architectural details. However you decide to incorporate it into your space, lighting should always be carefully considered, and learning how to best balance light and shade allows you to add drama and an ambiance.
We like to call lighting the “jewelry” of a room. Meaning to say that these pieces serve as functional sources of light while also refining and redefining the look of the space. These pieces set the mood, which is necessary for any room but especially for open, multifunctional spaces where you want to delineate between different areas. In the living room, multidisciplinary designer Marnie loves the idea of styling the oil-rubbed bronze finished Regina Andrew Otto Floor Lamp, as it would be a striking industrial element. For a recent project with a customer (read more on it below), our Design Specialist Lindsay paired two Dewey Pendants over the Embrey Dining Table. In rooms where space is at a premium, our Senior Manager of Brand Creative and resident stylist, Kelley Mason, really loves the use of accent lighting. Think of the glamorous Eleir Sconce in a bathroom or the oversized and textural Paige Pendant Light in a dining nook.
Design Team Project Spotlight
The intention behind the Design Focus series is to get insight from the experts in our team and trade partners on bringing a customer's design project to life. For Lindsay, her process is entirely collaborative, and she and the customer "start by identifying must-haves and wishlists and then use those to create solutions for pain points and ways to highlight the best parts of their homes." Lindsay and the owner partnered to style the living room, dining room, primary bedroom, and guest rooms for this Marin County home. Read on for a few more specifics from this project below:
What made you choose this lighting project as your favorite to highlight? Was it down to the curation of the space, figuring out tricky specifications, or something else entirely?
It was definitely a combination of factors—the ceilings are pretty low, only allowing for recessed lighting in the living room, so we wanted to bring some ambient lighting into that space. She struggled with whether to bring in extra side tables for table lamps or find a good spot for a floor lamp. When I suggested flanking a bookcase with sconce lights on either side, she got super excited and mentioned she hadn't thought of that angle. The rest of the design took off from there!
When styling lighting for this project, was the brief to select styles that stuck with the aesthetic or provided a bit of contrast?
The owner really wanted a nice mix of transitional and organic for the decor in general, and lighting was no exception. The Henrietta Sconces provided that transitional touch, while the pendant lights and Edie Table Lamps pulled in a fun mix of materials to create that organic, built-over-time look.
Which other Lulu and Georgia furniture or accents did you recommend to complement the lighting, and was there a particular reason?
I loved pairing the Melissa Bookcase with the antique bronze sconces—the juxtaposition of the natural wood and cane finish of the bookcase next to the more classic look of the sconces created this moment of upscaled organic appeal that helped to define where the rest of the space should go.
Trade Team Project Spotlight
We similarly wanted to highlight a completed project for our Trade team, so Kristina reached out to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin-based lighting designer Marnie Keilholz. Marnie is a new trade partner and gives some background and styling tips about this Modern Timberframe remodel. As the designer mentions, she chose this project because "I could curate and make the majority of the design decisions, layout, and material selections for the home, not just lighting. Being able to tie all these elements together, from the high-vaulted ceiling to the timber framing to the heavy stonework details, was challenging yet exciting." Read on for more:
Each project is customized to fit the client's wants and needs, but are there any qualities you like to always be present in your designed spaces?
I like for each element to be able to stand on its own. Furniture and lighting should be friends, not family. I want to include something vintage on every project if possible. I like to play with scale and materials. People always say for proportions, they ''need to have X size for X item,'' but I like to flip that sometimes. I don't want it to look too decorated looking—I want it to look lived-in, which takes so much more work.
How did you integrate lighting fixtures within this home to complement its natural lighting?
I incorporated small dedicated LEDs in the space. You see a lot of recessed lighting that uses Type B LED Retrofit bulbs, but I find that it leaves a room feeling like something is missing. So if you use smaller dedicated LED bulbs, you can really paint with the light, create shadows, and highlight focal points. It looks more artful. Chandeliers, pendants, flush mounts, etc., are often thought to provide light for an entire space when they're not expected to do everything in reality. They're meant to be sculptural and need support.
Any tips for homeowners to keep in mind for lighting their homes or rooms?
Have fun with it, and play with the scale. And have more than one light source, create some layers! If possible, add a dimmer for overhead lighting. It gives you options to create the scene depending on what you're going for—whether morning vs. night or if you're having a party.
Which Lulu and Georgia styles would you recommend to a client in a similar future project, and could you say what draws you to them?
Love your products, especially from the Sarah Sherman Samuel collaboration. I would love to use the Irregular Checkerboard Rug or Irregular Grid Rug as an anchor in the great room. I'm obsessed with how Sarah has brought new life to the checkerboard motif. I would also love to do a series of the Orvieto Chandeliers because I love the Italian basketweave construction. I'd maybe style three of them at different heights. Using all of these pieces would create an entirely different vibe, a boho-style, Art deco-inspired type of feel with the patterning in the rugs and the lighting.Photography provided by House Blend Lighting