Bringing the comfort of materials from nature into your home is not to denied! Collecting shells, beautiful river stone, and even sea glass, well, we can all relate. In the last few years, artisans have begun to craft home décor of materials found in nature and we find these items fly off our showroom floor. In 2017, lighting design has brought this craft to a new level with a trend riding a tidal wave, Organic Glam. It’s earth inspired with a modern chic. Designs incorporate textures and... Read More
Modern Farmhouse? Like that’s a trend! A crazy oxymoron? Not at all. This trend is big from coast to coast. The Farmhouse is all about Americana, from a screen door that snaps shut to galvanized steel light fixtures. Some our first social media photos at Madison Lighting were taken in a fabulous barn rehab with soaring ceilings and skylights, deep country upholstery and rag rugs.
Now, here comes the clash of modern with farmhouse, a spring breeze blowing away the tchotchkes. Like a... Read More
A customer told me last week that she was done with the baked potato look. I looked puzzled so she continued. “I love a neutral room but I’m restless, kind of thirsty for color!” She came to the right place. Our showroom is brimming with gorgeous home décor from framed art to interesting objects, and of course, pillows. We’ve infused color because, well frankly, Madison could be the greyest town on the planet this time of year. And the rest of the year, too. Take a beautiful family room with... Read More
If you love discovering new places, and the fabric of their everyday life, chances are you’ve thought of a trip to Stockholm. I know I have. The beauty of a modern city, that looks like a classical painting from some vantage points, is simply intriguing. It’s that confluence of old and new, mid-century modern and old European luxury, that is just intriguing. Pickled floors, silvery soft-colored walls, elegant woodwork, and stunning lighting. How do they brighten up at home? After all, living... Read More
Gathering family together? It’s what we do. Family suppers, in the kitchen on a weeknight, after soccer and before homework, we talk about our day. Sometimes the kids are bubbling with chatter and sometimes I wonder if they’ll conk out before we clear the dishes. But one thing is constant; even the littlest family member looks forward to our family suppers. I think it’s because we are all equal at that table- an old farm table that came from Grandma’s house. The chairs are kinda comfy, and... Read More
I love fall, but losing light like this makes me feel sad. When I get home from work at night I turn on every light in the house. Just because I work with light doesn’t mean I crave it any more than my clients. And where do we all seem to feel it the most? In the kitchen, hands down. Madison Lighting is unique because we can make your kitchen light-filled all year round. How? Well there are a few... Read More
We spend a lot of time with customers talking CFM’s and airflow. Because getting it right means that you can turn up your thermostat and be every bit as comfortable in the hottest days of summer, to say nothing of warmer floors in winter with the flip of a switch. But what most customers are surprised by is the cool effect a ceiling fan adds to a room.
How do we suggest a fan that fits the room’s style? We leaf through... Read More
I love summer and I also love to sleep. Based on my hundreds and hundreds of conversations with ceiling fan customers at Madison Lighting I know I’m not alone. As much as we love sleeping on summer nights there is something about it that makes our days not quite as refreshed as they could be. Customers tell me it goes something like this: A cool shower and you pop into bed. The sheets feel cool and crisp. You read for a few... Read More
What is the deal with this weather? A couple of days ago it failed to hit 69 degrees in Madison WI and now, whew! Hot. Humid. And as one client told me, “mama wants something that moves the air and our big box store fan is not doing it.” I think of a ceiling fan as part of our summer survival gear in south central Wisconsin. Right up there with flip-flops and icy cold lemonade.
We’re out the door now that it’s finally spring. After a freezing cold rainy week the sun is shining. Is your chaise lounge calling? You see it in your mind’s eye: a party at your house. You’re on the patio, candles flickering, and slushy drinks at the ready. You hear the cars arrive in the driveway and out front of the house. You hear voices laughing. It’s going to be a great night. Because you, the host of every thoughtful gesture, has, well, thought of pleasing gestures to set the tone:... Read More
Here comes the sun. We’re gaining daylight. I love putting the kids to bed in the twilight, and then heading out on the deck for a glass of wine and a catch-up from our day. I know my husband has not forgotten his promise to me: I want more light outside. That long winter was dark, icy, cold. I worried about family and guests arriving for one of our Sunday night family suppers, our driveway is too dark. And the sidewalk that circles the house from the driveway to the door isn’t lit for... Read More
A customer recently shared a revelation: for the first time in her life she would have a master bathroom! No kid’s toothpaste in her sink or damp and overstuffed hamper to empty before she could slip into the tub. We high-fived and then she said this: “I want to start with the lighting. I want the light to set the tone.” Start-with-the-lighting are not words we hear every day at Madison Lighting, I nearly swooned. This master bath would have lights where they should be at the vanity. Light... Read More
Living in a house with teenage boys? With fingerprints over the doorways from ‘dunking’ as they hustle through, to laundry baskets of dirty athletic-wear, your bathroom remodel is all about “the essentials.” You need cabinets that can take it, a shower built for their 6’3” frames and size 12 feet, bins for the (endless) laundry, and light. Light over the mirror, over the shower, and yes, over the toilet. Your teenagers are the light of your life, and the hole in your wallet.... Read More
Funny the things you notice. On the set of the hit TV show Empire, the character Jamal has this incredible loft. The kitchen is earthy and sleek, with a Carrera marble-topped island, high-gloss cabinets, and appliances from Sub-Zero and Wolf. But it was the kitchen’s copper pendants that caught my eye. They’re orb-like. They captivated us and now we’re seeing orbs everywhere. “The Orb.” It earned a spot on our 5 Trends to Try this year.
We see the orb in the base of an unpolished... Read More
We’re following the trends this spring and one trend that continues to dominate is the all-white room. Especially the all-white kitchen. Thinking about it now here in Madison, Wisconsin, as our early spring is suddenly snowy and the trees still bare it sounds cold and stark. But a white kitchen can be warm and inviting. The secret? Great lighting techniques that bring each kitchen’s soul to light. As certified lighting specialists, our crew at Madison Lighting is trained to work with... Read More
We love it when a lighting project comes together. It can be putting light was there is none. It can be swapping out existing fixtures for something you love. It can be a mini-reno or a full-blown teardown. It can even be a brand new home. The client is always at the center of the process here at Madison Lighting and we love being part of it. So when Ginger Martin from Magic 98 told us she wanted to refresh her screening room we were eager to jump in.
Ginger’s house is a lovely thing... Read More
Ginger Martin and I shopped together at Madison Lighting this weekend. We had so much fun and I think she was surprised at all the ways she could take her screening room project. Ok, a quick update: Ginger lives in a wonderful old home and loves the trend Rustic Luxe. She and her pup, Truman, share a busy life filled with friends, work and play. She asked us to help with a new project: how do you light a room where friends gather to screen a film, play board games, and sometimes... Read More
When our friend Ginger Martin called and asked us to help with a new project we jumped at the chance. Ginger is that cool girl that could be your new BFF. When she’s not on the air at Magic 98, she’s out in the community, often with her little buddy Truman the Austrian Cattle Dog. She rescued Truman and he’ll never let her forget it. He adores her. So when we popped by their house to help with Ginger’s project Truman welcomed us and showed us around.
It seems Ginger loves films. She... Read More
Just like fashion, mixed metals are making it into our lives at home. And, just like fashion, it can be tricky mixing metals. We are seeing more and more lighting that mixes metal finishes and clients are often quite taken with them. For years we banned brass thinking it looked dated. So unfair. I think it was just that shiny finish that dated the bright brass chandeliers found in most homes during the 70’s and 80’s. We are seeing stunning brass in fixtures now, unpolished with beautiful... Read More
From the palest of pinks to warm tangerine pink and rich rose, pink has taken the design showrooms by storm. I love working with pink and not in an ultra-feminine way. Pink is sophisticated, the passion and power of red embracing the completeness of white. It’s friendly, refined, and calming even when you use a big pop of it. When we first saw it appear a few months ago in the fall home décor shows it was electric! And, yes, the guys seem to appreciate its power, too. Where to start? Create... Read More
This trend is cool: the modern cabin is rustic luxe, masculine and stripped of the stuff. Easy on the eyes. A massive repurposed wood table would handle dining, family board games, and the occasional poker tournament. The lighting? Elegant in it’s simplicity. The bedroom could shimmer with dark pewter walls and a vintage-look chandelier over the bed. The bar is another story with an oversized bar cart of rustic wood with rope style décor and lighting. When you live in Wisconsin a cabin is... Read More
A couple of weeks ago when a couple told us, “We want to make a beautiful space to create a bountiful buffet, and (the wife added) I want it to look like a magazine,” you can imagine the excitement. Out came the photos of her space, her Pinterest pics, paint colors, and her wishes for the drama of lighting this holiday season. As we explored her ideas we discovered that this couple eats their supper off trays in front of the TV most evenings. We came to know that food has become an... Read More
Dressing the house for the holidays is so much fun. It could be because so many of the decorations are collected over time, arranged in a new way each year. And adding something special to the collection is part of the fun.
You’d think December might be a quiet time at Madison Lighting but we’re hopping. What’s trending today? Chandeliers! Drum shades, crystal, hand wrought or full of sparkle, everyone has their own version of what the perfect chandelier looks like. And let me say... Read More
It’s not actually, not new at all. It’s the same beautiful kitchen we photographed several weeks ago when we grabbed a “before” shot of the kitchen fixture Lanette had come to despise. She called it “the blaster” because of the blinding light it cast. OK, truth, it really was ugly. Hey, we’ve all been there. You buy a beautiful house but there are few things that are so lame you really can’t figure out how anybody would pick them out? So when she and her husband, Mark, agreed it had to go... Read More
Our interpretation of Daylight Saving is pretty different from most people. You may think that darkness is part of winter in Wisconsin. We think not! Darkness is part of a poorly lit house and we can fix that!
- Start with areas that impact you the most. For many that’s the kitchen.
- Identify the existing layers of light. In the kitchen that includes recessed lighting in the ceiling over the edge of your kitchen counters, under-cabinet... Read More
Homecoming. Don’t you love that word? Chill the wine, polish up the good wineglasses, make a new music mix “tape,” and get ready. Company is coming for the weekend. It’s weekends like this we live for. Laughter. Sharing photos on your phone. Tall stories and great memories. Weekends like these are why you bought this house. It’s got a great kitchen like the one featured here by our friends at Liebl Building &... Read More
You get up early to get to the farmer’s market and pick out the best peppers and shallots for fall salads, and pears that you’ll savor with your favorite pork tenderloin recipe. You head for the kitchen when you get home and get the $5 bouquet into water. The morning’s bounty is covering the counter and fills the sink. You grab the iPad and look for some new recipes that fit this beautiful season. If you’re like we are you could spend the whole day in the kitchen cooking up seasonal fresh... Read More
It’s fun for us to get together because Lanette works fulltime at Magic 98, is raising two boys with her husband Mark, has home projects, family gatherings, charities, and, well you get the picture. So, the other day in she comes with her phone, loaded with photos, and full of ideas. In less than 1 hour we had caught up on the boys, her mom, and the project at hand. The kitchen “blaster” has to go. You may remember this light fixture from a prior blog post, a flush mount in her kitchen,... Read More
We spent days at the Parade of Homes in June this year, soaking up all the beautiful homes, inventive décor, new colors (love the orange!) and helping install lighting and ceiling fans. We were lucky enough to work with some really terrific builders like JG Development’s BRIO Design Homes, Hart DeNoble Builders, TimberLane Builders, Alterra Design Homes, Premier Builders, Schwingle Builders, Encore Construction, JM Frederick Custom Homes, and Liebl Building & Design. Their homes were all... Read More
The other day our friend Lanette Hansen called to talk about lighting for her kitchen. The house is pretty new but the lighting (or lack there of) took her by surprise. What did she and Mark inherit when they bought the house? Inexpensive lighting (“it’s got great style but it NEVER hangs straight it’s so cheaply made!”) or outdated (“How can it look so old? The house isn’t that old!”) or lacking entirely (“It’s such a great kitchen but it’s dark at the counters but it has a blaster over the... Read More
Low voltage lighting is a simple way to guide family and friends to your door. How can you create a welcoming path? Here’s my step by step with tips nobody tells you.
- Point A to Point B. Plan to move people from the driveway to the front or back door. A garage light is always helpful, one that fits the style of your house and says, “You’re here!” The sidewalk from the driveway to the door should be gently lit with path lighting. The door you want people to use also has a light,... Read More
Lighting the front door? It welcomes visitors and ensures you can see your property well enough to view incoming visitors, welcomed or not. A well-lit house is a more secure house; ask any single living in the city today. But style is not lost to security. This photo illustrates my point perfectly: Look at the size of the light by the front door. It replaced one half that size that looked like a postage stamp on a big brown envelope. The homeowner new she didn’t like the old fixture. I... Read More
Even the smallest yard becomes a garden, a terrace, a secret evening getaway when we incorporate light into the landscape. The secret? It’s not the light, it’s the shadows. Or perhaps I should say the contrast between light and dark. In the tiniest space outside of a small ranch home of one customer, we recently focused on a beautiful tree. Gently up-lighting it created the most beautiful highlights, and when sitting out there you couldn’t stop looking at it. The owners didn’t want to block... Read More
In the April issue of House Beautiful magazine there’s a bathroom remodel that took our breath away. The architect describes it as, “edited and uncluttered.” Well, that’s an understatement; the entire room is faced with marble, quietly veined in soft shades of grey. The walk-in shower, bathroom walls, vanity drawers and counter are all faced in the same marble and it’s anything but boring. It’s expansive and soothing. With “visual interruptions at a minimum,” the candlelit bronze sconces... Read More
The secret to a happy life? It could be a well-appointed vanity. Everyone’s in a rush in the morning. You need space at the mirror, your accouterments at your fingertips, and great light. We can help refresh your bathroom vanity with mirrors and lights at our Madison Lighting showroom here in Madison, Wisconsin. Many lighting manufacturers we work with also make mirrors. You can match the décor or you can mix it up a bit. One trend we really love is Mixed Metals. Your faucet may be chrome... Read More
In Wisconsin we seem to crave light. In our often-grey climate there simply isn’t enough. So at Madison Lighting we help people add useful, well-chosen lighting to transform spaces. And perhaps nothing transforms your life like a well-lit bathroom. That may sound funny but that could be because you’re still coping with a single light fixture and an old-school small mirror over the sink and are now thinking, “this could be better?” It can be so much better, and our lighting specialists can... Read More
It’s hard to believe but has it been a decade since you redecorated the bath? The towels are tired, the wall color is faded, and yes, you long for a bathroom that’s a bit more spa-like. (A spa-like bath might not have occurred to you 10 years ago even if your lav is on the small side compared to the glorious bathrooms featured in shelter magazines!) Well let’s get real. You have a regular house, a bit of a budget, and want something short of a total redo? We aren’t talking about a full “reno... Read More
One of Five Lighting Trends To Watch
The French have it all figured out. Beautiful objects in a simplified space with something super rustic that looks like it’s been loved and admired for generations. It’s a rustic vibe at home in a grand space so we call the trend Refined Rustics. Frankly, perhaps best said, it’s where rustic meets upscale. This trend is all about comfort and luxury. Antique and weathered finishes. And a sunbaked color palette not pastel but muted colors as though faded. We see Refined Rustics in vintage... Read More
One of Five Lighting Trends To Watch
We’re Spellbound all right. This fixture, perfectly named “Spellbound” is by Corbett Lighting. It’s inspired by 1950’s orbit chic and it captures the modern ethic. It has been used in a dozen ways among our customers already- In a foyer to add drama to the home of a fabulous designer we know. In a sunroom it acts like the sun itself drawing your eye upward as it gently moves on the air. In a dining room it’s surrounded by recessed lighting that showers the tabletop in soft light and lends... Read More
One Of Five Lighting Trends To Watch
Defunct factories housed galvanized steel, caged glass, porcelain, Edison bulbs and miles of wire, cord and rope. They gave us Industrial Vintage. Its a trend we saw takeoff in the 90’s when the owners of a beautiful barn home near Cross Plains selected pieces to contrast with their ultra modern furnishings and massive skylights. The look absolutely hummed and we began sourcing in earnest. As loft living became ever more popular, we realized this trend is a great bridge for modern and... Read More
One Of Five Lighting Trends To Watch
All glitz and glamour, or just a touch of bling. Your home can be your stage or you can simply add unexpected sparkle. This trend is here to stay. In our grey winter days and nights, a bit of bling really shines. This fixture, aptly named Party Girl, makes us smile. Want to try this look on? Think glamour. A gorgeous, light-filled space with daring colors, or all-white like this dressing room. Exotic wood in one-of-a-kind chair, or a crazy colored stool somehow works. In fact, custom or... Read More
One Of 5 Lighting Trends To Watch
Got a coastal spirit? Clean sophistication with a relaxed attitude. Inspired by the ocean… and we’ve got plenty of water right here. Never that overblown nautical look, Coastal Inspired is a trend for a fresh breezy style like a dream beach house. With it’s blurred lines of indoors and out it feels a little spa-like. Serene but never dull! We love the organic beach materials and bright diffused light and flowing fabrics. The color palette? Washed out neutrals, crisp whites and pale blues and... Read More
$1200? A whole house on $1200, and NOT from a big box store? I get that a lot and here is one example of it. This home was built by Cosgrove Construction in Edgerton, Wisconsin. They’re nice people, fun to work with, and insist on quality. So in this house I tapped Kichler. I selected lighting that would seamlessly flow from one room to the next because of the cool open floor plan. In the kitchen it’s all... Read More
It’s a trend that has been like a tidal wave. Oh, this is no holiday kick, a quick dash with silver candlesticks and Grandma’s sterling on the sideboard. This is a full-blown love affair with stunning metals, and the sheen of glass, a dash (or more!) of crystal, the polish of hand-rubbed finishes. And why shouldn’t we add some sparkle to the house? Winter arrived with a crash (again) and we may live in the grayest state in America. So when we add light, we want light that sparkles. We loved... Read More
Since starting work here at Madison Lighting I’ve been astounded at how a single lamp can be an inexpensive and impactful object in a room that is also useful. A lamp that matches its space can disappear, but a lamp with contrasting color can complement your room’s vibe. And don’t forget that the use of shapes and styles can also create that contrast. The shape can contrast with your furnishings or coordinate with them. Placing a traditional fixture in a modern space can create the right... Read More
I am known as the king of the dimmer at Madison Lighting. Putting in a light fixture… Is that on a dimmer? Swapping out a chandelier… It’s on a dimmer right? Adding recessed lighting to your kitchen? Don’t forget the dimmers! Dimmer switches add so much flexibility to lighting. I like to light the kitchen differently for breakfast (bright and upbeat) than in the late evening (soft, low light for a glass of wine while we’re planning our next football tailgate. You could make a case for... Read More
I love fall. I really do. I love winter actually and I know there are those in town that have trouble saying that after last winter. But I know the secret to living in south central Wisconsin. Light. We crave it. Especially in the kitchen. My kitchen is home to a passel of kids, a husband that loves to cook (therapy, I think) a large dog, homework that must be done, my little netbook that I look up recipes and write blog posts with. You get it we live in our kitchen. Truth be told, most... Read More
The sun is now setting before 7:30. Soon it’ll be dark when you get home from work. As your garden is headed for hibernation this is the perfect time to get landscape lighting and exterior lighting. Warm and welcoming, great landscape lighting gives a completely different look to your garden in winter with, bare branches and then snow-covered shrubs and trees. Landscape lighting is like other forms of lighting: to look really great you need layers. You probably think of the up-close lighting... Read More
Labor Day is in the rearview mirror and now we’re speeding into fall. There’s something about it that has me organizing closets, shifting into a new color palette, and needing just the right home accent to pull it all together. Forgive the screen grab, here; it’s a little washed out. But it expresses my mood perfectly. Vermilion. Call it Chinese Red. It brings energy and life and I adore it, especially this time of year. Vermilion has been around forever, it was used in art and decoration in... Read More
Even with the air conditioning running customers tell me they can’t get comfortable, are more wakeful, and just kind of miserable trying to sleep at night. It seems that a ceiling fan in the bedroom is a comfort a lot people just won’t do without. They don’t care about the energy savings as much when it’s this hot and humid. But we do. So we work through the savings for them, how to enjoy that fan every night this summer and this winter. Because this fan is going to be with you for a lot of... Read More
Suppers on the screen porch. Heaven! But when the breeze stops blowing you head for the house. Think about it, you could enjoy your porch just about everyday with a soft breeze, so add a ceiling fan for damp locations. This porch in Waunakee is outfitted with an Emerson fan made to take our Wisconsin winters and provide enjoyment all summer long. We need measurements of your porch, including ceiling height, to make a solid recommendation on the fan size for you. Take a few photos of your... Read More
It’s a lot of fun, sitting on the front porch and watching the world go by. Play a game of cards with one of your kids out there. Read the paper, online of course. The single thing that makes it work in Wisconsin is a ceiling fan for damp locations. And in Wisconsin that’s a tall order. The fan would have to survive 40+ days that started below zero. Polar vortex winds. And that was just last winter. We’ve got ‘em and you’ll love ‘em. Keep cool with that soft breeze from a porch fan. It’s... Read More
If you think ceiling fans should be tucked up near the ceiling and unseen, think again! Today’s ceiling fans are all about décor. The blade style, the motor housing, the finishes, it can all add up to a beautiful statement that’s mesmerizing when you stare up at it. A ceiling fan can take your mission style, your deco style, your mid-century modern style, and add a slice of wow. Or, you can go with something neutral that blends into the ceiling and love it simply for delivering a cooling... Read More
Summer. It’s ceiling fan season (though we love ‘em in winter, too!) and we see so many customers that are ready to move up from a big-box-store ceiling fan to a quality fan. Why? Your fan can make your room feel up to 7 degrees cooler by creating a gentle “wind chill” effect. Set your thermostat higher and save up to 40% on your cooling bills, without feeling uncomfortable. In fact, most people find their rooms are more comfortable. And some days you can avoid the AC all together. It costs... Read More
The really hot stuff hasn’t hit us yet here in Wisconsin. Right about July 25th, that hot spell slips over us sometimes bringing with it a rather humid chaser. My favorite recommendation? A mini! Here we picture it over a desk, but wow, perfect for a bathroom, a walk-in closet, a pantry, any small space where there is air that needs moving, swap out your light fixture for a mini ceiling fan. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees and still be more comfortable. Sized correctly a ceiling fan... Read More
We’re talking about ceiling fans in our staff blog because that’s what our customers are talking about now. Energy saving, comfort making, beautiful looking ceiling fans. What makes the blades so important to a customer? Well, on the obvious side it’s what most people see when they look up. The color and the shape are vital to your décor. Then there is the noise to efficiency ratio: the fewer the blades the more air is moved. More blades mean the quieter the fan. 4-5 blades on a ceiling fan... Read More
We would know it’s summer even if it wasn’t glorious outside. It’s really ceiling fan season. Seems like every customer has a horror story about their old ceiling fan, and it’s always a tale from the big-box store. Noisy. Wobbly. The finish peeled off. Doesn’t move the air, anyway. Ugh. I never think they’ll believe me when I say a good ceiling fan changes your life because they have had a bad experience. And then we get to the part about the motors on our fans and, excuse the pun here, but... Read More
Screen porch living. A lovely breeze. Shelter from the mosquitos. A lazy afternoon listening to the birds. A late supper after dark. A fierce game of UNO with the kids before bed. We’ve been educating so many customers these past few weeks on lighting porches just like this: gentle lighting with exterior fixtures that can take the snow wind and rain, and the wildly swinging outdoor temps. This one might do with a ceiling fan, too. We’d select one that’s made for damp locations. And that rule... Read More
In Wisconsin, the exterior of our homes takes such a beating from the weather. Every day we help customers replace big-box store exterior light fixtures with something a bit more substantial because after just a season or 2 they look awful, and worse, they fail. So think of hand-forged iron, in “Centennial Rust” (cool name for a finish right?), with seeded glass and an opaque cylinder inside that masks the ugly but environmentally effective CFL light bulb you put in there. And here’s a... Read More
It’s a trend that’s here and hot. Mixing metals in lighting gives you so much variety, just like mixing gold and silver jewelry. One design trend known as Refined Rustic blends mixed metal lighting with vintage finds like a funky loveseat recovered with linen or a wallpaper style print. Picture French Countryside with chic Parisian touches and you’ve got Refined Rustic. We’re also fielding a lot of requests for mercury glass lamps that are then mixed with gold toned metals for a fresh look... Read More
Casual style with timeless appeal. I just read that in a cool guide to style by one of our vendors. And it’s the best definition, isn’t it? We all have touches of styles that move us: a contemporary fixture in a farmhouse filled with vintage finds. Craftsmen bronze fixtures in a 1960’s ranch. It’s an interesting space that’s created when the owner blends old and new with traditional and man-made materials, textured solids and over-sized prints. Transitional style. Make it what you will.
When steps are used to access the home, a wonderful technique called step lighting can be used. First and foremost step lighting is used for safety, especially in our climate when ice can be lurking on every tread. Second, step lighting can be really artistically done to enhance the exterior of your home. Often the lights are built into the risers, with a guard that casts light downward to avoid blinding us. Best when light is gently scattered on the tread, we find too much light causes an... Read More
This Middleton Hills, Middleton WI home boasts an amazing location, totally walk-able, with a neighborly lifestyle. That being said, because the homes are situated so close together this home has clerestory windows. They let in light without opening the rooms to the neighbors. The owner uses the found space below the windows for their art collection. Then she illuminates the spaces with terrific light fixtures that combine the natural light with her own. Equally challenging for some do-it-... Read More
Who came up with the idea of outdoor rooms and blurring the line between indoors and out? Genius. Here in south central Wisconsin we spend a lot of time outdoors in winter tramping in snowshoes, cross country skiing through parks and skating on local ponds like Tenney Park in Madison. But there are long stretches of darkness, and inclement weather, and well, you get the picture. In marches springtime and we’re ready to throw open the windows, air out the house, and light the grill at... Read More
In a recent TV ad we said that we carry “all the major brands and the best of the rest.” A customer asked me about that, “what are the rest?” Our team continues to ferret out a slew of wonderful smaller manufacturers and we carry many of their most stylish pieces like BINGO by Progress Lighting pictured here. A few of my favorites well worth exploring include Progress, Troy and Corbett. Progress is a 100-year-old company that’s... Read More
Recently a customer invited us in to see what she’s been doing with some of our lighting in her Middleton Hills, Middleton WI home. Wendy has the most enviable eclectic way of combining vintage, tribal, Asian and Mission pieces gathered from travels with her husband as well as “secret shopping sources” into this warm cocoon of a house. She infuses their daily life with beauty and art, and together they enjoy the simplest pleasures of a life well lived. This fixture, called Vertigo by Corbett... Read More
Ever wonder how to get that mix of contemporary and traditional just right? I see it in magazines all the time, perfectly executed. A wonderful vintage leather sofa straight out of a Ralph Lauren ad with a chunk of glass for a coffee table piled with art books, a piece of pottery and a bowl holding white peonies in all their blowsy confection… and it all works somehow. One thing that really pulls it all together? The lighting. This photo is a favorite of mine for it’s bird-in-flight light... Read More
Do you have exterior lighting on the house? Carriage lights at the door, and perhaps on the garage? What about the front yard? Walk up to your front door in the dark and what do you see? Probably not much. Silhouetting is a great technique to bring a beautiful tree into view at night. Place a spotlight between the house and the tree, and aim the spot at the house. The light instantly throws the tree into relief. This technique differs from landscape lighting the tree where multiple up-lights... Read More
Making your bathroom really special is pretty personal. I love this photo because it illustrates something that’s key: one perfect fixture can make an entire room. Painting your toes on the side of the tub is a time-honored tradition. How about making a long, hot soak in a tub with the twinkling light of a chandelier overhead another? The rustic nature of this bathroom is downplayed with whitewashed walls. The fixture, by Hinkley, uses candle bulbs and graceful curves in a vintage style that... Read More
Our customers are my best source of inspiration. They come with amazing, inventive, funny, and even endearing ideas. We’re all watching our customers dive into the new MadisonLighting.com to learn, to discover, and to “try things on!” The funniest thing so far was a customer that told me that after reading up on our website about the changes happening in light bulbs she now understands lumens! and do we have LED bulbs she can use in her recessed lights in the great room? Wow! Way to go Katie... Read More
New Trends From the Lighting Shows
We spend long days scouring the shows sourcing new ideas, new vendors, and exciting trends for our customers. A trend that has really taken the industry by storm is Rustic Luxe. Mix distressed woods and other casual materials with luxurious metals and soft materials to create a space that balances comfort and chic. It started in tourism by linking the rustic experience of eco-tourism with luxury. And it’s spreading like wildfire into fashion and home décor.
Get That Air Moving
Screen porches are a pleasure in Wisconsin. The only thing better is a screen porch with a ceiling fan. Moving the summer air makes porch living a breeze, literally! Not sure where to start? Here are a few things to consider. We recommend ceiling fans for damp or wet locations when installing on a porch. Heavy humidity and crazy temperature swings affect a ceiling fan, so choose wisely. And size matters. The span of the blades should be proportionate... Read More
We can help you create environments with lighting throughout your new home. Blending natural light with manmade, setting the mood in each space, functional lighting that makes everyday tasks a pleasure; we’ve done that and a lot more for thousands of customers. Here’s our how to.
- Make an appointment with a Madison Lighting consultant at least 10 weeks before you need your lights. They’re more than a sales person, they specialize in creating effects with lighting,... Read More
Professionally designed lighting will enhance the beauty, comfort and security of your home. It can make a small room seem open and airy, or a large room feel warm and cozy. It is the quickest and most cost-effective way to change the mood in your home from quiet relaxation, to casual entertainment, or to intimate romance. Here are just a few tips we recommend:
- One single light fixture will almost never perform all the lighting needs in any given room and yet that’s what most of... Read More
Add a Conversation Piece to Your Kitchen
It’s a big trend in kitchen lighting at Madison Lighting, non-traditional fixtures that illuminate you and your kitchen’s personality. A chandelier over a kitchen table, or a pair of chandeliers over a breakfast bar? Why not? The trend here in Wisconsin is called Rustic Luxe and it’s inspired by trends in ec0-tourism for that combination of rustic nature and luxury travel that so many people enjoy. It combines beautiful rustic woods with elegant fabrics and uniquely... Read More
Get That Air Moving!
Cool and quiet, bedrooms should be soothing spaces. And a ceiling fan can make hot, sticky summer nights so much more comfortable. When shopping for a bedroom ceiling fan you’ll find they differ so much in price that it’s easy to get caught up in price versus power. Think of it this way, pay a little more for a fan with enough power to move the air, and while your rooms are even more comfortable, you’ll save a whole lot more on your air conditioning bill. So compare motors first. Then move... Read More
Illuminating Every Step
Sometimes a contemporary or modern stairway can be especially difficult to navigate. Ebony treads, curved steps, unusually wide treads, they may be an art form but they can also be a bit scary for some people. Layering the light makes that art form of a stairway look beautiful and be comfortable to use. Consider lighting every step with LED lights that differentiate each step. In Wisconsin we have embraced LED bulbs as cost effective and long lasting light bulbs in many applications. Or... Read More
Functionally, a chandelier adds "ambient light" – indirect, evenly spread light that illuminates the room. Ambient light adds comfort to the room and makes it easy to see in the illuminated space. In a bedroom, lighting is often focused on task light -- bedside lamps and maybe a desk lamp -- so a chandelier can offer full-room lighting when natural light is limited. Ambient light adds comfort to the room and makes it easier to see in the illuminated space.