"Whenever I'm designing a space, I always keep lighting on the forefront of my mind. It makes such an impact on the room.” –Erinn Valencich
When we think of “interior design,” sofas, coffee tables and vases tend to get top billing. But any good home stylist knows that lighting is the glue that holds a room together, accentuating its strong points, creating ambiance and serving important practical functions all at the same time.
Erinn Valencich is one of my favorite LA-based interior designers, and if her impressive portfolio is any indication, she knows a thing or two about a beautifully lit room. Valencich has designed countless upscale private residences (including those of A-listers Ashton Kutcher and Jaime Pressly) and commercial projects (including the remodeled interior of the Lady Luck Hotel in Vegas and the Hilton in Niagara Falls). She has also hosted several design-infused TV shows for networks like HGTV, Style and E! Entertainment, and has appeared on The View and ABC Morning News. Besides running a successful interior design business and online boutique, she also recently opened Erinn V Maison, a brick-and-mortar showroom in Beverly Hills that features her exclusive furniture designs as well as home décor and accessory picks from her favorite designers and artists.
Valencich recently took a moment to fill me in on her approach to lighting, which she employs in spaces large and small. “The quality of light in a room not only affects color, texture and mood, but it can add architectural interest, as well. Having three sources of light in every room is a good rule to go by: generally recessed, a ceiling pendant or chandelier and floor or table lamps.”
In some of her kitchen designs, Valencich employs LED strip lighting. While she’s a big fan of pendants or table lamps for creating mood, nothing goes as far in the function category as under cabinet lights, especially over a workspace like the kitchen counter. They also go a long way in highlighting the architectural lines of a space and creating ambiance. Just be sure to get dimmable LED strip lights, so you can turn them down when you’re hosting a party or dinner.
Another technique Valencich frequently employs is to blend pieces from different style genres or time periods. In her design of the interior of Mob Bar in Las Vegas, above, Valencich paired baroque chandeliers with mod, translucent panels backlit with LED lights. By combining a contemporary lighting application with an antique-looking fixture, she creates a one-of-a-kind look that feels classy and hip.
To see more of Erinn’s work visit ErinnV.com.