We all want to spruce up our dining area for the holidays, right? For entertaining, creating memories, and just reveling in life and the festive season at hand… Everybody’s got their take on how to create the perfect holiday atmosphere, and you don’t need one more blog on decorating your table or how to pull your dining room together. There is one thing, though, that makes a holiday setting festive and memorable, above all others, and that is lighting. I like to think of it as creating a holiday lightscape. And the foundation of any lightscape in a room is what we at Innovative Openings do best- window treatments.
Whether you are hosting, or just enjoying your own space for the holidays, your lightscape helps create an atmosphere where friends and family want to linger and relax. You’ll talk and laugh… you’ll trade stories and memories, passing along the history and culture of your family to the next generation.
Window treatments establish the baseline for a room’s lighting, transforming the available light into atmosphere. Shades, blinds and shutters set the initial tone, with color, texture and opacity, and can diffuse light to bathe your room in a soft glow, or block light for high drama. They provide the canvas on which you will paint the rest of your light picture, with accent lighting, candles, reflective surfaces and voila! Lightscape!
Here are a few examples of how window treatments can provide the basis for your holiday dining room lightscape… enjoy!
Skyline Gliding Window Panels in this dining room are closed, for a cozy, intimate setting. Look at the effect created by the track lighting washing down over the panels! Candlelight and a handsome fixture complete the lightscape.
Silhouette or Nantucket Window Shadings diffuse light, creating a gentle glow with a softened view. The horizontal aspect of Silhouette creates angled light lines when the sun moves in the sky, which naturally lead the eye and create texture and interest. Since many people enjoy holiday dinners earlier int he day, a sheer treatment can make for the perfect dining experience.
Rich details and elegant finishes partner perfectly with warm-toned Heritance Hardwood Shutters in this graceful dining room. Louvers let you take control of the afternoon light to keep your guests comfortable. Controlling light with rich hardwood shutters lets the chandelier play a starring role in this lightscape, without seeming brash. The whole room feels relaxing yet polished.
This sophisticated dining room features Pirouette window shadings paired with drapery panels in deep, rich tones. With the perfect atmosphere for candlelight, this room envelops its dining guests in rich, warm comfort. The partially opened Pirouette vanes make an almost architectural statement, accented by recessed lighting. The deep red drum shade brings even more drama, with the little bauble beneath catching and reflecting its light.
Insolroll Solar Screen Shades create visual comfort when the sun is bright, controlling glare. Guests in this room during a midday holiday feast will not have to shield their eyes, and the clean, simple lines of a solar roller shade complement the geometric architectural details of this space. Glass cabinet door inserts and the glossy finish of the dining table reflect the tamed light, and the softened light of the large pendant fixture brings the high ceiling down a bit at the table. Along with the tall, soft chairs, this creates a more intimate dining space in this large room.
Now finish strong with the details!
It’s the fun part! Complete your atmospheric design with finishes and accessories. Permanent choices included mirrors, wallpaper, light fixtures, glassware and flatware. Seasonal touches can included candles, centerpieces, serving pieces and all manner of holiday decorations. Just follow some basics as you build your lightscape:
- Remember balance- use light colors to balance dark colors, and vice versa
- Surfaces reflect- shiny surfaces bring more sparkle, but frosty or pearly finishes provide soft, glowing reflected light. This includes paint and wallpaper- flat finishes absorb light, adding coziness, and glossier surfaces reflect, making a space seem larger and brighter.
- Clear reflective surfaces float… glassware, chandelier crystals, etc. seem weightless. If you are short on space, these can add the sparkle you desire without making your space feel cramped.
- Solid or opaque reflective surfaces can anchor a space, like the vignette on your sideboard
- It’s okay to mix materials: mercury glass and metal, for instance. Both will provide light play and add dimension and interest.
- Add light sources as well as reflective accessories- candles, lanterns, accent lighting- let these twinkle light off of your reflective items
- Use some restraint (you’ve probably heard a little glitter goes a long way- it’s the same with shiny things), and remember to spread reflective surfaces around the room to move the eye. Don’t concentrate too many things in one limited area. Balance again!
What kind of lightscape will you create?
No matter what your style choices, window treatments are the first step in creating beautiful ambience… And new window treatments for the holidays are a gift to yourself the whole year long. When we’re in the depths of winter, beautiful windows bring warmth and light to your soul as well as your home.