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Hollywood lighting tips for your home

Maris Callahan is the author of "In Good Taste," and, as an avid self-taught home cook, is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping women on-the-go cook healthy, delicious meals and snack...

When remodeling or redecorating your home, remember that good lighting is essential for comfortable living. Not only does it become easier to perform everyday activities like reading and cooking, but some say that bright or natural lighting may have positive, mood boosting effects.

Hollywood lighting tips for your homeStart with a chandelier

A large chandelier strategically placed in your two-story entryway, large dining room, or grand living room will make any space feel spectacular. Channel mid-twentieth century France with a piece from Martha Stewart's Marais Collection for a vibe both elegant and whimsical. Its brushed finish is modern, but will still add a vintage touch to your overall décor.

Lighting as wall art

If you're working with a small place, you will likely want high performance lighting that doesn't come with bulky or oversized fixtures. Good lighting can make a room feel larger and more cheerful but, to avoid overcrowding, look for slim lamps or fixtures that can be easily attached to walls or ceilings so that they'll brighten your room—but stay out of your way. A simple sconce, such as the Ashbury Sconce from Williams-Sonoma Home, is another way you can combine elegant wall design with practical Hollywood lighting techniques.

It's time for recess!

If your living space is ultra-contemporary, or you have high ceilings or a large room to illuminate, think about using "can" or recessed lighting. They are called such because a metal recessed "can" is inserted into the ceiling and the light fixture fits inside. They also can be connected to dimmer switches to let you make your room as bright—or as softly lit—as the occasion warrants.

Exterior lighting counts

As important as the light inside your home is, a well designed exterior lighting plan will add function and value to your home while keeping your family safer and more secure. Consider the space before you purchase any lighting as smaller, intimate spaces call for more subtle lighting options than do larger properties with sprawling yards.

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