As with most design questions related to matching anything, the short answer is usually no, don’t match. The same answer can be applied to lighting – don’t match your fixtures, but be aware of how your lighting selections relate to each other. Matching isn’t necessarily a bad thing and repetition (close cousin of matching) has its place in design and in lighting and can be an effective tool – the hallway above is a great example.
Most of us though are faced with a typical open concept home and selecting lighting fixtures can be a challenge. Whether it’s a foyer that opens to the dining room or an open concept kitchen-family room, the space, including the lighting, needs to flow.
While the fixtures don’t need to match, continuity in the space can be achieved in other ways:
- Tie the fixtures together with finish. Using the same fixture finish in all areas that share a sight line (areas that can be viewed from each other) can be a unifying element and allow you the freedom to select from a wider variety of options which can add interest.
- Keep the scale of the fixtures similar. Avoiding anything radically smaller or larger than the other fixture visible in the space provides continuity.
- Keep the styles similar. If you are selecting a more traditional or a more contemporary fixture, stick with it. Big style departures in the same space as it relates to lighting is often more confusing than interesting.
Lighting is a great way to inject personality into your interiors. Being mindful of finish, scale and style will help you create an open and beautifully illuminated space.