Expert Insight on The Latest Lighting Trends from Jeff Dross, Kichler Lighting
For the latest looks in lighting, I recently spoke with Lighting Trends Expert, Jeffrey R Dross, Kichler Corporate Director, Education and Industry Trends. Here is his take on light styles in 2018 and beyond.
What are the latest lighting styles/designs/materials resonating with consumers in the home?
“Consumers today are still gravitating toward Vintage Industrial styles, but the style is taking on a softer, less industrial look. Some of the unkempt finishes and roughhewn edges are being polished away. This lighter industrial feel works nicely in the more relaxed residence consumers are now creating.”
Running parallel to Vintage Industrial in our “red-state / blue-state” world is Contemporary. More and more consumers, typically younger Millennials or Baby Boomers setting up a new home are seeking out this alternative. Chrome, Polished Nickel and White finishes are king here. Designs are simpler and the look is crisp and new.
In the bathroom, clear glass still dominates, but there is some desire to shift from the preponderance of Chrome. Black is emerging as a strong alternative, Natural Brass is showing signs of adoption and the addition of wood (real or faux) has become immediately popular.
What are the latest lighting techniques gaining traction in interior design?
Expect to see more and more lighting effects in the home of the future. Light will be used, but you may not always see the source of the light. Lighting over cabinets, under toe kicks, under counters and behind room objects will deliver comfortable indirect light from an invisible source.
The decorative lighting used will also serve as an aesthetic element in the space. Chandeliers, pendants and ceiling lighting will be more curated, less utilitarian. This will then become an opportunity to feature some magnificent lighting fixtures that magnify the design of the space.
Any unique, fresh ideas for lighting installation and configuration?
We are now in an era where outdoor lighting is coming indoors and indoor lighting is shifting locations, up to and including the exterior. Any preconceived notion of propriety has been set aside and the new norm is no norm at all!
Bath sconces are being replaced with mini-pendants. Mini-pendants in the kitchen have grown in height and width to better blend with the tall ceilings and expanded square footage of the room.
The dining room chandelier has shifted to an over-scale pendant and if that is not enough, two chandeliers and two or three pendants are the alternatives.
Rather than bed lamps in a bedroom, pendants are used at each side of the bed, or why not mini-chandeliers!
Chandeliers have found their way into the bedroom and Master Bath suite and even outside! The disappearance of multi-story foyers means exaggerated semi-flush lighting is used, or a chandelier hung with no chain or stems nicely fills this space. Finally, aesthetic excess is now on display in Powder Rooms.
Their small size allows for the use of extravagant products that will wow family and friends, the primary users of these rooms.
Once these unconventional pieces have found their way into an unfamiliar place, additional creativity can be employed in placement. We are in the midst of a topsy-turvy time for lighting employment!
Any thoughts that you would like to share about emerging trends in lighting?
For the near future, I would keep my eye on Art Deco styling. While this may never be totally mainstream, it will have a sizable impact for a handful of years; much like the Mid-Century trend we now see winding-down. In addition, the Matte Black finish is perhaps the hottest color in lighting right now.
As Oil Rubbed Bronze declines in importance, this, along with the already popular Natural Brass (a lighter, brushed version of brass) will begin to dominate. In that same vein, expect the return of Polished Brass, albeit in a denser, deeper coloration then we used for Williamsburg-style lighting twenty-five years ago.
Unrelated to aesthetics is the growing understanding of how our bodies respond and react to lighting. Science is quickly gaining knowledge about this interaction. Expect to hear more about what our bodies need and how good lighting can help us lead healthier lives. Commensurate products are certain to right behind.
Any other thoughts that you would like to share about lighting for today’s lifestyle?
In the past, most homes and rooms were simply lit with a single luminaire in the center of the room. It was light, but not very good light. Our understanding of what we need has matured and our expectation of design has never been higher. One lighting product does not complete the task. A good lighting solution addresses the “Task” needs of the space, includes overall general or “Ambient” light, then add “Accent” or decorative lighting to add sparkle. The concept of Light Layering will ultimately drive lighting design to new heights.
Expect these three design stories to continue evolving as we create spaces that reflect our personalities and promote healthier lifestyles. For more on what’s new and next in design, subscribe to The Design Tourist Channel and sign up for the blog email.