Achieving the perfect lighting for a custom built dream home entails the collaboration and consideration of the entire group of professionals working on the home, including the owner, designer, architect and builder. Optimal lighting in each living space can be tricky to achieve under certain conditions, and it is one of the most important factors to address up front as it can greatly affect how a space is utilized in reality as opposed to intention. While oftentimes the established team can accomplish the desired goal, it is also common practice to enlist lighting specialists of which they have an established relationship with to perfect the project.
The beginning of any luxury custom built home starts with the owner’s inspiration. Architectural style, lifestyle and layout are usually the first concepts to consider, yet lighting should also be considered in the first steps of the project. The house’s orientation on the designated lot, relative to direction, proximity to large shaded trees or other obstructions, has equal bearing as the desired architecture (in terms of lines, roof style, window placement) in how to incorporate natural lighting. Once the potential for natural lighting is maximized, the designers and lighting specialists fill in the gaps to create the desired setting.
In terms of orientation, consider which rooms and living spaces would be most enhanced by the natural lighting provided throughout the day, or which rooms are most used during specific times of the day. Commonly the kitchen benefits from an eastern exposure; the start of the day and breakfast accented with a rising sun. Family evening gathering places, the great room, sitting room or dining room would alternately enjoy the westernmost exposure. Of course this needs to correspond with the property features. Lakefront property dictates its own set of rules in terms of creating a luxury home to maximize the views from the most utilized living spaces.
Once the supporting natural light is established, the process of complimentary lighting design can magically complete the process of setting the scene. The design and scale of artfully placed fixtures should be a reflection of not only the architectural style of the home, but of the preferred design palate within. They can accent the whimsy or personality of particular spaces or become an artistic focal point of an entertaining space. Fixtures in many rooms are appropriately relegated to the finishing touches, subtly complimenting the décor and interior lines of the masterful home. The balance of lighting as art and complimentary architecture, mixing artisan pieces that “belong to the house” with functional recessed accents to create the room, is the magic that finishes a dream home.