Embrace Winter Dark With These Lighting Design Trends
As Scandinavian folks know, the trick to enjoying winter is embracing the darkness rather than simply enduring it. And those living in the northern countries should know. Take Tromsö, for example—a town in the northern tip of Norway, where, currently, the sun is down all day, leaving residents in perpetual darkness, and making Seattle’s 4 p.m. winter sunsets look like the brightest summer days.
Despite the long winters, Norwegians are some of the happiest people in the world. One of their strategies to embrace the cold season is to increase coziness through candles and fireplaces. Norwegian homes are also typically designed to maximize light, with bright whites and sheer or translucent window treatments.
According to Bruce Renneke, Seattle’s lead National Weather Service forecaster, the Pacific Northwest’s weak daylight is due to both cloud cover and latitude. Renneke explains that “the cloud-caused lightlessness is compounded by the Northwest’s latitude, which combines with the winter tilt of the earth to thicken the atmospheric filter the sunlight has to penetrate.”
So, how to maximize and embrace the soft, muted grey light of Pacific Northwest winters? First, reach out to the Pickett Street team (firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 502-5397) to find a home with the right lighting. Next, check out the list below of 2019 lighting trends for Pacific Northwest homes.
Colorful Furnishings and Textiles
According to Brio Interior Design firm founder Kenna Stout, Pacific Northwest residents who can’t complete a full renovation or give their walls a fresh coat of paint can incorporate light in other ways. “Furnishings, textiles and rugs that inject color and pattern can give a space energy in the absence of natural light,” she says, adding that vintage kilim area rugs and vibrant throw pillows are some of her go-to decorative choices.
As Swedish lifestyle YouTuber Jenny Mustard says, “Ceiling lighting is where hygge goes to die.” In other words, traditional overhead light tends to drain the coziness and joy from a space.
Perhaps, then, our cravings for warm, inviting spaces are connected to the renewed interest in vintage lighting for our homes. Sconces, lanterns, pendants, and chandeliers, as well as real brass fixtures, have all increased in popularity in the past two years. Many homeowners are also investing in a statement fixture, like these lanterns, or this glorious chandelier.
Seattle based designer Julie Conway creates art glass lighting and custom architectural installations for her clients’ homes. Check out her amazing wall sconces.
Conway appreciates the environmental benefits of LEDs but prefers other types of environmentally-friendly lighting. “LED has its place, as a one-directional diode,” Conway says. “But when you want to illuminate beautiful glass from within and eat dinner, the dimension, warmth, feeling, our souls are built around the flame….Do the garage in LED. I would suggest beautiful, warm light where you eat, take a bath, in the living room.” She suggests looking for ecosmart halogen bulbs at Home Depot.