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10 Ways to Light Up Your Home

Designer Lighting

Similar to mood lighting, the use of designer lighting can change the feel of a room. But whereas mood lighting changes the feel of a room -- from, say, energetic to romantic -- designer lighting changes the personality or style of a room. A good example is the newly popular "man cave," a room for the man of the house that's typically filled with sports and drinking memorabilia, a huge TV and perhaps a foosball table, pool table or dartboard. Add to the personality of this room with designer lighting such as sports lamps and, if the room includes a bar, a neon sign. Baby on the way? Prepare the nursery by installing colorful gumdrop pendant lights over the changing table and perhaps a bunny table lamp. For the nightlight? Maybe a smiling moon.

But designer lighting doesn't have to be quite so specific. If you have a modern home with sleek, contemporary lines, seek out the same in your lighting to carry through the same style. Install a saucer bubble pendant light over the kitchen table, for example, or a curving monorail lighting system over your island. Fixtures with geometric shapes and natural materials are what you're seeking. Not surprisingly, it's the opposite for those who favor a traditionally styled home. Look for pieces such as ornate chandeliers, fixtures with painted, bronze or brushed pewter finishes and overall elegance [source: Kichler].