The Right Light: Gorgeous Fixtures & Great Design

The right lighting can change an entire room, from corner to corner. And OH y’all, we have been awaiting the time when we could go full fan-girl (and fella) on some light fixtures! There are many things we love here at #CFD, but the team has a particular knack for beautiful interior (and exterior) lighting placed in just the right way. Including just the right mixture of creativity and drama with your lighting plan can take a room straight from amazing to stunning. In addition to that much-loved follower favorite in the image above, we’re excited to round up a sampling of some of our favorite lighting installations from past projects. So as they say, let’s hit the lights! Join us as we dig into some design details on lighting scheme and scene.

The Good Kind of Scale

When we’re talking design, scale is an integral part of every project. And in our world, scale is a good thing! It’s all about proportion, dimension, and size- and- how it relates to the rest of the space. This can be one of the trickier parts of selecting the right lighting- even a beautiful lamp or fixture can be surprisingly cringe-worthy if the scale is off-base. Part of the design creation process that we go through with each custom design is gathering an extensive amount of technical data about the space itself. We use this along with the client’s dream/vision, needs, and our particular brand of CFD design-brain to generate a plan that begins well before so much as a lampshade is selected. Whether it’s a 3-tier chandelier, elegant sconces, or getting a pair of gorgeous but functional floor lamps that are *just* the right height- we work overtime to get the details perfect. Lighting is never an afterthought- it’s a foundational piece we’re thinking about right from the start.

UNC School of the Arts - Floor Lamps

Elegance and Ambiance

A key question that we want to answer is- what are we trying to illuminate? Good lighting will draw your eye not only to the source itself but can be used strategically to highlight the items you want to take center stage. The chandelier below is all funk, sass, and eye-catching glory (oh, how we love it!). But, it also gives us exactly what we want as far as line of sight. It draws the eye right down to the fabulous Andy Worhol while throwing all the beautiful beams on the dining set. Without overpowering the room, it brings an artistic, incredibly design-forward twist to the beautiful traditional elements in place, while complementing the unique modern accent chairs. Lighting has an unparalleled ability to set the tone in a room- the level of brightness, the composition of light + shadows, and the mood of the fixtures themselves- it can all be created strategically by choosing the perfect piece for the space.

Modern light fixture in Dining Room

Creating the Light Balance

Although we love some large-scale light fixture glamour (and you know we do!), that’s only part of the story. Great design and strategic space planning also means taking the time to think about the experience of a space, and looking closely at where the lighting will not only look beautiful but will make the most sense- adding to the functionality and the enjoyment of actually living and using that room. For this large screened-in outdoor space, there’s beautiful natural light a-plenty during the daytime hours. But certainly, we wanted this space to see just as much love in the evening or early morning, cozied-up in front of that amazing custom fireplace. Adding sconces to the sides of the mantle brought just the right warm, intimate lighting to the living area, while both maintaining the clean-lined aesthetic and enhancing the architectural detail of the room.

Patio Light Fixtures

Modern to the Traditional

One of the client needs we have seen carried throughout so many projects over the years is bringing together the old and the new. As is the case with a lot of places in the US, down here in the South we see our fair share of traditional architecture and historic charm. Even our clients who are building a brand new custom home will often times will come in with certain traditional pieces such as family heirlooms, which they want to make a meaningful part of their design plan. This is one of the areas where we love to dig in and get creative. The same is true for traditional lighting fixtures, like the blissful air-circulating ceiling fan, which is hugely functional and desirable (it’s really humid here, y’all!). This gorgeous, eclectic design of a traditional Chapel Hill home came together beautifully, with this fixture as an inventive, fresh take on a timeless standby. When coupled with great design, lighting is a fantastic way to seamlessly bridge modern to traditional in building a complete, customized aesthetic.

Modern bookshelf console with modern fan with light kit

We’re in process of cautiously and carefully getting back on schedule to photograph both recent and current designs, so look out for even more gorgeous fixtures and furnishings still to come. So many incredible spaces are coming together after the last few months of working steadily behind the scenes. Can’t wait? See more from past projects on the CFD Portfolio Page!

Looking for a bit more help with your light fixtures? You can always reach us at or call 919.537.8148. Keep up with all the happenings and goings-on of this busy team by following us on Instagram @Catfrenchdesign or on our Facebook Page!