The right lighting for a room

When it comes to recessed lighting, designer David Mitchell says less is more. "People tend to put too many recessed lights in a room, and it gets overwhelming," he says, "... and there are so many great hanging fixtures out there."

To help homeowners, the designer offers his formula for the most beautiful way to light a standard-size room:

  • Install four recessed lights, one in each corner of the room, placing them 24 inches from the wall (not the molding) for an overall warm glow.
  • Hang a fixture in the center for ambient lighting and to provide a focal point.
  • Use a table or floor lamp for accent and task lighting.
  • Watch your wattage. If your lamp has a single bulb, use a 60-watt. If your lamp has two bulbs, use two 40-watts.
  • Have all lights on dimmers, even lamps.

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