1THING: Plug In Sparkle

Pine tree branches with holiday lights strung on them

‘Tis the season…for lots and lots of darkness in the upper Midwest. Today there are exactly nine hours between sunrise and sunset, leaving fifteen in the dark. This is the season, in other words, for plug-in solutions to add a little light to my life. And that makes for a fitting end to my 2022 […]

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A diagram showing how the earths tilt as it goes around the sun causes winter/summer seasons with the title "the lighting designer's holiday"

I have fallen into the habit of stating that while I personally celebrate Christmas, professionally I celebrate Winter Solstice. Winter Solstice, which for me in Wisconsin, USA, is December 21st, marks the point in the Earth’s annual orbit around the sun where we “tip” back towards longer days. As a lighting designer, that means that […]

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1THING: Plug In Media Rooms

An illustration of a living room with a lamp next to a chair in front of a TV with a word bubble saying "lampshade reflected on a glossy screen"

One of the unexpected joys of my 1THING: Plug In series is the discovery of new ideas and techniques that I can instantly apply to my own home- and the affirmation that some of the solutions that have evolved naturally over time in my home make some sense after all. This post has both. In […]

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THINK LIGHT: Quantity Versus Budget

An illustration labelled "The way it should not go:" A stick figure on the left is holding cash saying "Can you build me a new house?" with a label underneath that says "You. The expert of needs + bank account" A stick figure on the left is wearing a hardhat saying "Sure! it will take 3,127 2x4's and 6,246 nails." with a label underneath that says "the builder. the expert of construction methods + costs"

Budget conversations are my least favorite part of the lighting design process, though I have learned to dive right in rather than soft-pedal the costs and cause everyone bigger headaches down the road. The simple (unfortunate) truth is that really good lighting cannot be delivered for the same price as really bad lighting. Complicating the […]

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EXPOSURE: Designing Lighting

Cover for Designing Lighting magazine for August 2022

The first article in my series on residential lighting for Designing Lighting is out, and I am honored to be a part of this magazine! Getting the series together was not easy, however, and I have a long way to go before all six articles are complete. What makes this hard? Writing for a peer […]

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EXPOSURE: The Pretty Good House

Book cover of Pretty Good House: A Guide to Creating Better Homes

What makes a pretty good house? My first exposure to the Taunton Press was as an avid reader of Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big House books. Taunton is also responsible for Fine Homebuilding (to which I subscribe and for whom I have written) and Fine Woodworking, among others. Now Taunton has published a new […]

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