Lighting Matters When Decorating

A friend and I are picking items for her new kitchen, and we were reminded again today to use the one criteria most taken for granted-lighting, anywhere and everywhere.

Outside lighting on a kitchen backsplash

My friend, I’ll call her Celia, did a great job of picking seven different floor samples to take home to try out. On her way out of the store, she spotted the perfect, to die for, colorful tumbled stone backsplash (see photo above). I cautioned Celia that she was seeing her picks in a huge warehouse store with terrible fluorescent lighting, and they were picking up colors of samples around them, not the colors they will be picking up in her kitchen.

The minute we walked out of the store, we saw all of the samples turn shades. Eew. Some of the items went pink, some went orange, some of them lost their color altogether.

A few hours later, I got an interesting email from Celia. Her colorful stone backsplash went drab at home. The darkest floor tile sample that was sure to be rejected in her light-starved kitchen turned out to be her most favorite and most colorful.

Was this shopping trip a failure? Not at all. We have options to improve the lighting that will restore the shine and color to the backsplash, and we both agree that it still reflects her style. And by spending that time in the warehouse store looking at all available samples, Celia has also zeroed in on qualities for the floor tile that previously knocked out several contenders.

So next time you are shopping for decorating choices, watch out for big spaces, bad lighting, and snappy judgements. Take samples home and see what they say to you in the lighting where they will live. Let me know how it goes.