If you build high-end custom homes and money is no object, you can stop reading now. On the other hand, if you cater to the millions of middle-class Americans who want houses and products that mix high-style and affordability, this article is for you.
Today’s topic is lighting.
A well-designed house has good lighting in a combination that includes pendants, chandeliers, spot lighting, task lighting, and landscape and exterior illumination. You can pay a lot to get good fixtures from top brands, but there are also ways to save money.
Mix and match. You can use higher-quality products in the main public spaces such as dining rooms and living rooms, and spend less on the fixtures for private rooms.
Know when to splurge. Fixtures installed at eye-level or those that will be touched should be of higher quality than those higher up.
Hit the big box. Large supply stores are loaded with terrible-looking brass fixtures that cost $10. Avoid those! Instead, take your time and look for chrome, brushed stainless, or nickel products in a clean transitional style, which looks good in any space.
Surf the web. Sure, you can buy local and get a good deal, but sometimes that approach is not feasible. The Web, however, offers a world of low-cost, high-style offerings. Try Ikea, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Destination Lighting, Overstock.com, and LightingUniverse.
With that, here are 10 affordable examples that look good but won’t blow your budget.
Nigel F. Maynard is senior editor at Builder.