Luxury Lighting Design Styles for 2023
Updated: Jun 21
Light brings life to the home. And no one knows this better than award-winning lighting designer Marilyn Abrams from Lighting EFX. In her 24 years of industry experience, Abrams has been at the forefront of lighting design in luxury homes, notably as a lighting designer in Homearama events. She has seen lighting trends rise and fall, and sometimes return.
“Lighting is the jewelry of the house,” Abrams says. “It’s like fashion. It changes from year to year.”
In 2023, some lighting trends have made a comeback, while others have started fresh. Here’s what the pros have to say about this year’s lighting styles.
Black and Brass Finishes
With its classic look and bold contrast, black lighting finishes remain on trend moving into 2023. It gives a clean, timeless look to any room in the house, eliminating the overpowering shine of some other finishes.
“People like clean and simple,” Abrams says. “The trend today is black lights. And black with aged brass is very popular.”
Whether it’s paired with black or standing on its own, aged brass continues to rise in popularity. Its matte or muted finish brings warm tones into any space without the distracting glimmer of a polished metal.
While some homeowners prefer a consistent theme throughout their custom home, others gravitate toward mixed metals, allowing their designers to tailor certain finishes to certain rooms. Like polished nickel.
“Polished nickel has been around forever,” Abrams says. “I typically don’t use it in the main part of the house, but it’s a beautiful color in kitchens or bathrooms.”
Regardless of the lighting finish, each piece of lighting needs to fit the space that it’s in. Room used for social gathering might need a different level of light than a room used for watching movies. During the custom home planning process, lighting designers can even tailor specific volumes of light to each room based on its purpose.
Some lighting fixtures, no matter how stylish, might not work for a certain space. And certain measurements need to be adjusted depending on the size and use of the room.
“It’s not just picking out a fixture. It’s also sizing it correctly,” Abrams says. “It’s picking a style and making sure that it’s going to work in that location and that size of room.”
While grandiose chandeliers have diminished in popularity, oversized pendant lights have seen a revival. Typically, they’re found over a dining room table, but designers are beginning to use them over other spaces in the home that deserve a highlight, like a side table or reading corner.
Pendant lights can serve as an eye-catching statement, but the design also frees up valuable table and floor space where bulky lamps once stood.
Simple Design and Clean Lines
Luxury homeowners want trends that will last. And clean lines have remained a strong trend when others have faded. Building on minimalist aesthetics, many lighting designers focus their vision on simplicity, choosing lighting pieces that provide simplicity.
“People today like less. They don’t want the big, gaudy fixtures that we saw back in the early 2000s, when everything was ornate with a lot of glass,” Abrams says. “Now, everything is more simple. People like cleaner, simpler lines. Streamlined.”
As more custom homeowners spend time in their outdoor living spaces, experts have designed their lighting arrangements like they would an interior room. Set a summer mood by including soft wall lights, table lamps, or string lights to distinguish the space. And weatherproof lighting technology has come a long way, making outdoor lighting options almost endless.
As Abrams noted, fashion always comes back around. And lighting design is no different. Many designers are seeing styles from bygone eras make a comeback. Some homeowners want an antique piece of lighting that brings a personal touch to a certain room. Others have infused the bold lines of the 1920s, even using a piece of lighting as its own artwork.
Whether you know your lighting style or you need some guidance, involving an experienced lighting designer can make the process much more efficient. During the custom home building process, Abrams recommends bringing in a lighting designer as soon as plans are drawn. That way, electricians know how to wire each room in the most effective way possible, maximizing style and efficiency.
So, as you create your luxury home, get a lighting designer involved in the building process. After all, lighting is the jewelry of the house.