Miss A Columnist

Denise Willard has over a decade of experience transforming the homes of clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Her work has been showcased on ABC Affiliate, News Channel 8 and published in The Washington Post, Home and Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, and Elan. She writes a regular design column for Viva Tysons, and has a blog where she shares her interior decorating insights, DreamDesignLive.com .

Denise specializes in creating simple, but elegant transitional interiors that are reflective of her clients' personalities and lifestyles. The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her personal design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the South with the flair of the big city.

Decorating With Lighting Fixtures

Lighting is SO important in design and hanging light fixtures at the wrong height can really detract from a room. If you are thinking about switching out a few of your fixtures this spring, here are a few tips for the light fixture novice:

1. Dining Room Chandelier: A good general rule for dining room light fixtures is that they should hang between 30-34″ from the top of the dining table. Also a good rule of thumb is to take the smallest table measurement and subtract 12, this gives you a ballpark size for the diameter of the fixture.  Make sure to center the fixture over the table to create a grounded, intimate setting for dining. If the fixture is not centered, try installing an anchor hook over the center to ‘swing’ the chandelier over (assuming you have some chain to work with). This is a very simple update if you think it through and plan accordingly.

Breaking out in blue! What a great surprise in this neutral dining room.

2. Sconces: Sconces have the ability to add great ambient lighting and style to a room. Consider adding sconces in a bedroom to replace lamps on a pair of nightstands, down a hallway, or even in the living room (they are often seen flanking a fireplace). You will have to hire an electrician if you don’t already have the wires in place, but this upgrade is worth it!

This bedroom channels 'glamour' with a dramatic tufted headboard and beautiful sconces that not only provide ambient lighting, but also give the bed a little more decorative "oomph!"

3. Track Lighting: Track lighting can sometimes have a connotation of being dated, but with all the latest decorative monorail systems, these fixtures are anything but old and stuffy.  There are multiple options for the track itself as well as a myriad of options for the lights–including decorative glass, pendants of varying lengths, unusual or whimsical shapes, pivoting heads, a gazillion color options and so much more! Today’s systems are not your mother’s track light!

Track lighting is no longer a bulky eyesore - it's a work of art!

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