We wanted to give a quick shout-out to our very own Jennette Kollmann, who is the assistant manager in our Waltham lighting showroom.
Jennette has an MFA in Lighting Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and she puts her knowledge to good use in a bylined feature in the spring 2017 issue of Licensed Architect, a trade publication from the Association of Licensed Architects.
The article is called "Kitchen and Bath Lighting Design." Here are some of Jennette's tips:
- Use accent lighting to enhance the ambiance of your kitchen or bathroom.
- Layer your lighting by combining task, ambient, and accent lighting to create a specific feel and/or visual effect.
- Consider lighting controls, which allow you to program when your lights go on and off (and you can coordinate your lighting controls with your overall smart home technology).
We sat down with Jennette and asked her a few more questions about her approach to approaching a lighting project.
Question 1: In the article, you discuss layering lighting with task, accent and ambient lighting. When approaching a kitchen or bathroom design, what lighting layer or aspect do you begin with?
Jennette: You might assume I would start with ambient light, however I start where the conversation with the homeowner or designers leads me. In my first conversations there is a point where they mention a design concept or feature. They could start talking about a wonderful backsplash that they would like to highlight, or I hear them mention “my kitchen is too dark”, or “I found these beautiful pendants for my island”. I listen for those keywords, then I build a lighting design around that. Each of these responses lead me in a different direction. A dark kitchen would trigger me to ask about the ambient light in the room. The interior designer could bring samples or feature architectural pieces which could point me towards talking about accent lighting first. In the end, I will always make sure that I have asked about all the layers for the space.
Question 2: In the article, you also mention the Internet of Things and controls. What aspects do you like to consider when selecting a controls system?
Jennette: I think of everything in the space and how it is controlled. If the design leads to a system with many layers of individually controlled lights, I look to have a system that is more diverse. I think of options beyond just using switching. Phone and voice control come to mind. I also look to see if the end user is interested in controlling lighting in other parts of the home from a single location. Additionally, we discuss the integration of other things like thermostats, audio, and security systems. With so many devices in the home connected, it is important to consider how everything works together
Question 3: Do you have a go-to lighting fixture that you see or use often in a kitchen?
Jennette: LED tape light. It is so versatile. It is a slim piece of tape that fits in all of the odd spots in a kitchen. It is also available in a variety of size, color, and installation options. You can use it for under cabinet lighting, accent lighting above cabinets, or in the toe-kick. It works well in interior cabinets to accent dishes behind glass doors. To add some color you can even install color changing tape light for a little bit of whimsy.
Question 4: Do you have any other tips you like to share with customers considering lighting for their kitchen or bathroom project?
Jennette: With so many options out there, it is hard to know what is best by just looking at them on a screen. I suggest visiting a lighting showroom to see the fit and finish of the products in person.
You can always count on knowledgeable people like Jennette whenever you walk into one of our lighting showrooms. Make an appointment with one of our lighting experts today.
Edit: Jennette is now working with our friends at System 7-- but is around the Waltham showroom on weekends through the summer.