In my residential styling business, I am big on the way in which a room functions. Part of that function includes placing lamps (click to see my post on beautiful lamps) where people will be sitting to read. And, another part of that function includes placing a table or other flat surface where people who are sitting can conveniently place a teacup (or a martini).
Below: The designer here really got it right. Notice the lamps which are placed behind the sofa on a long, high sofa table. Clean lines, beautiful carpet, upholstery and drapery, and perfectly functional:
Two images Below: While not unattractive, the designers whose rooms are pictured next, sadly didn’t think through the actual living in these rooms. Why are there no lamps in these rooms? Do you notice that there is nowhere to sit and read? Overhead lighting doesn’t count here. Overhead lighting is not proper task lighting. A little teeny sconce doesn’t count, either. Can you imagine how much warmer these rooms would feel if there were some pretty, well-placed lamp lighting? Where are you supposed to place your cup of coffee while watching the morning news? Where is your teenaged son going to put his feet up? Are you with me? These rooms don’t live. And, in the turquoise room, there is only one seat in the entire space angled for comfortable television viewing.
I don’t get the current trend of ‘no’ task lighting in the room, but I am seeing it everywhere. Don’t fall for this trend. This isn’t just about style, it is about function. Every main seating place should have a lamp for reading and a nearby surface for putting down a drink. Then, you can enjoy the look and feel of your family room, because it functions for a family. And, it can be done beautifully.