So I have been thinking on the subject of light a lot lately. I had some people over for dinner this weekend, and one of them was very complimentary of how my apartment looked, and I am convinced it is all owed to this little device above–the dimmer. They couldn’t be easier to install, and yet in my opinion they can change the tone of the room more than a change in paint color or new fabric ever will.
Most of us lacquered lifers are renters, and as renters there are many aspects of our homes or apartments that we are not in control of. Lighting does not have to be one of them. One of the first things I did when I moved into my apartment in Philadelphia was replace all the overhead lighting cheap, stylish fixtures from Ikea.
So first and foremost, ditch these. Secondly, make sure you install dimmers on all the light switches in your apartment. Typically I prefer to use lamplight, which feels warmer–but since most of us are stuck with overhead lighting, go to the hardware store and get some dimmers. No one looks good under the strong glare of an overhead light, unless you dim it within an inch of its life. It is also important to note that you should never use lightbulbs that are above 60 watts, and I often put 40 watt bulbs in the lamps in my apartment if they don’t have a dimming function built in.
Here is my kitchen–the fixture before and after. These miniature DIY projects are really easy to do, and you should not be afraid of unscrewing a fixture and seeing what your wiring looks like. Please, please make sure that you go to the breaker box first so that you don’t get a shock!
In both of these Albert Hadley designed rooms, he uses lamps as his primary source of light. I would highly recommend this as a first course of action, with low wattage bulbs of course. However, if you need to use your overhead lights, for everyone’s sake, get a dimmer switch.