Another area that I think is often overlooked is attention to detail in lighting or with light fixtures. Most new homes don’t give any extra attention to lighting, beyond where light needs to be and how much of it needs to be there. Similarly, I am always fascinated at the choices that restauranteurs make on the lighting in the bathrooms. Granted, they aren’t the most important or highly-trafficked areas of a restaurant, but they are where patrons come to examine themselves mid-date, reapply makeup, wash their face or critique their outfit, and bad lighting makes those tasks much less enjoyable.
Naturally, high-quality light is expensive, so my guess would be that the frequent oversight in lighting detail is more of a practical oversight than a stylistic one. In any case, I’m a big fan of soft lighting, indirect lighting, table lamps as opposed to overhead lighting and anything that casts more of a soft glow than a direct beam. Oh, and dimmer switches are oxygen when it comes to creating the right tone.
I suppose in the future I could take the time to iphone-picture any lighting that I find that I like (an idea!). I will however say that my favorite overhead light fixture to date is one at a friend’s house in Tampa. She was in New York, in the Lower East Side, walked into a junk/treasure/lighting/vintage store that specialized in Middle Eastern items, and found an amazing chandelier-type fixture made of cast iron, metal chains and lavendar-tinted glass teardrops (about 40, each about the size of a finger). It’s hard to describe in any more specific detail than that, but it is pure perfection to see lit up. She uses a halogen (i think) mini-bulb that is super-powerful, but that shines directly down from the ceiling…similar to the bulbs used in track lighting. The effect is halo-esque, and the lavendar looks so…medina/hookah/very expensive restaurant. I LOVE it.
Lighting is very particular and it is something I enjoy critiquing.