My Home Ideas: What new shapes/materials are you excited about in terms of your lamp bases?
Jamie Young: Updated antiques with new fresh finishing techniques, new shade styles and fabrics. Also organic materials or surface finishes, including jungle vines; bamboo; birch veneers; and raw, bleached woods with a simple wax finish.
MHI: What's influencing those trends?
JY: Certainly people are becoming more aware of sustainable materials, such as bamboo. Also, bringing natural materials into the home can warm up an environment and soften the sharp edges of modern sensibilities. And items that are handmade and hand-worked are becoming comfort food to the techno-centric culture.
MHI: What's the most common mistake people make in their lighting?
JY: Only going with white shades on the lamps or only having overhead lighting. If you add table lamps and floor lamps to a room and choose warm shade colors, then the entire environment will come to life.
MHI: We love the look of floor lamps. Where should they be used?
JY: At either end of your sofa, or if the seating creates a corner, you can use a floor lamp just behind the side table. They also help to light up a dark corner that can be a result of the seating arrangement. Floor lamps can look great as a sculptural statement in most rooms--if you pick the right floor lamp.
MHI: My lamps change the way my paint color looks. Should I have painted the room with the lamps already in it? How can I predict the effect my lighting will have on paint color?
JY: It’s important to remember that if you use a color or pattern in your lamp shade the look will change when the lamp is turned on or off. You need to strike a happy medium with that in conjunction with your wall color. It would certainly be helpful to paint several different swatches on your walls near the lighting source and observe them in different lighting conditions through the day to see how they change. Be sure to use the type of bulb and wattage that you will be using regularly. Again, I love warm-colored shades for what they do to the room and the people in the room.
MHI: We like those compact fluorescent bulbs for their low-energy appetite, but their light is so ugly. Any tips on countering the green effect?
JY: CFL (link) bulbs have gotten a deservedly bad rap in the past for their horror-movie lighting effects. However, the newest generation of CFL bulbs has been very effective at countering that effect. Improved phosphor formulations have improved the subjective color of the light emitted by CFLs so that the best "soft white" CFLs available are very similar in color to standard incandescent bulbs. Look for labeling stating "warm white light" or "soft white" light. They still will not have quite the yellow/ gold light of traditional incandescent bulbs, but they get pretty close.