Let There Be Light(s)

Designers illuminate with unique chandeliers, sconces, lamps, and more.

Credit Doug Warner for Communications Assoc.WHO: Owner and principal designer Shannon Truesdell, ASID, above, of Royal Oak’s interior design firm Kirkshire Design Group, graduated from Wayne State University in 2002. Over the past 15 years, she has been honored with a number of Detroit Home Design Awards. Her passion for remodeling and new construction started when she was just 5 years old. 

We used LED bulbs in the recessed cans that, at full brightness, will provide excellent light while reading.”

— Shannon Truesdell

Shannon TruesdellDESIGNER’S GOAL: Truesdell was enthusiastic when she was approached by Cranbrook Custom Homes to provide interior architecture and design for their newest Restoration Hardware model, based in The Heights neighborhood of Rochester. “I knew that introducing cleaner lines with Cranbrook Custom Homes’ signature reclaimed wood would be fun,” she says. When drawing up the design for this great room, opposite page, Truesdell wanted to create something memorable with the ceiling, to compete with the huge windows and fireplace. “Once we designed the angled beams, it was apparent that any regular light fixture would get lost,” she says. So she brought in a light fixture that had been on her radar. “I’ve wanted to use the ‘branch’ fixture ever since Lindsay at Pine Tree Lighting showed it to me,” Truesdell says. The two determined three of the fixtures would result in a striking and creative design element. To add dimension to the space, Truesdell layered the room with lighting. The center ceiling fixtures and floor lamps provide ambient light, while recessed can fixtures offer general lighting. “We used LED bulbs in the recessed cans that, at full brightness, will provide excellent light while reading, or can be dimmed while relaxing by the fire,” she says. Modern furniture from RH was selected to balance the textures of the limestone fireplace, antique mirrors, and carpeting.

INFORMATION: (248) 762-3121, kirkshiredesign.com

Lighting Tips
  1. The use of the room requires different levels of lighting. Floor lamps are used for accent lighting. The center decorative fixtures are more of an ambient light, while the four recessed lights provide task lighting when at full brightness and can easily be dimmed.
  2. There are many innovative products today. LED fixtures are fully dimmable, energy-efficient, and have low wattage. Full-spectrum, tunable light is making a mark in the lighting field. Ketra is the leader in this technology, and provides fully personalized lighting.
  3. Lighting artwork is a layer of illumination that’s typically overlooked. Be sure to discuss any special artwork with your interior designer. Working with a lighting designer will provide a positive outcome and make your investment worthwhile.

Elk Group International Viviana 10 light chandelier in polished chromeElk Group International Viviana 10-light chandelier in polished chrome, price upon request, Pine Tree Lighting, Lake Orion.

Fortuny Studio 63 floor lamp in black silver-leaf

Fortuny Studio 63 floor lamp in black/silver leaf, $4,295, RH, Troy, restorationhardware.com

Miles leather chair in polished stainless steelMiles leather chair in polished stainless steel, $2,795-$3,295, RH, Troy, restorationhardware.com

Langley Street Dangelo silver ring decorative bowls

Langley Street Dangelo silver ring decorative bowls, large and small, $124.45-$231.10, wayfair.com

JF Fabrics Drapery FabricJF Fabrics Whisper drapery fabric in color number 97J5371, to the trade, Decoroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Richard Ross by Beth SingerWHO: Self-taught interior designer Richard Ross, above, began his career more than 20 years ago at a large design firm where he made his way up through the ranks to become a partner. In 2003, Ross ventured out on his own to create Richard Ross Designs, based in Birmingham. His projects include everything from 15,000-square-foot homes to high-rises in Palm Beach and New York — many of which have garnered him several Detroit Home Design Awards.

” I love (torches) for their dramatic qualities. ”

— Richard Ross

Richard Ross - Photographed by Boswell HardwickDESIGNER’S GOAL: Ross began his design process with a floor plan of this Franklin home. “It’s important to lay out the space to scale and determine what I feel the space needs to do,” he says. Because this space is a foyer, opposite page, the designer says he believed it needed to set the tone for the rest of the home. “I wanted it to feel dramatic, yet inviting,” Ross says. The focal points of the area are the Powell & Bonnell pinup torches. “These are my signature sconces,” he says. “I love them for their dramatic qualities as well as their timeless design.” When visitors arrive, their eyes will be drawn to the beautiful chandelier overhead, which the designer says he selected for its dramatic, modern statement. Cove lighting was added to illuminate the edges of the ceiling. The design elements and soft lighting merge to create an inviting atmosphere.

INFORMATION: (248) 544-9975, richardrossdesigns.com

Lighting Tips
  1. When lighting a foyer or any space, it’s important to have multiple light sources. A single light source makes it difficult to create the kind of subtle glow that allows the different areas to be intimate.
  2. In order to create a layered lighting effect, start at the ceiling. A primary source might be can and art lighting, followed by a chandelier for ambience. Then, move down the wall with sconces or lamps. This allows different layers of light to fill the room, resulting in different vignettes.
  3. Lighting made with brushed brass materials is an interesting trend and, when done properly, can be very timeless.


Powell & Bonnell

Powell & Bonnell Swedge Pinup Torche, Richard Ross Designs powellandbonnell.com

Benjamin Moore’s Steel WoolSteel Wool, Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com

Dallas medium chandelierDallas medium chandelier in brown nickel and smoked glass, to the trade, Arteriors, arteriorshome.com 

Phillip Jeffries TinseltownPhillip Jeffries Tinseltown in Marilyn’s Mink, to the trade, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Hand Sculpture upward hand and open handHand sculptures, Upward Hand and Open Hand, to the trade, Global Views, globalviews.com