Designer Snapshot: Spotlight on Talent

September 28, 2011

By Paula M. Bodah

If my husband and I made one mistake in building our house ten years ago, it was in not using a lighting designer. People like Doreen Le May Madden, who owns Lux Lighting Design in Belmont, Massachusetts, can save people like me from realizing too late that we lack the perfect spot for reading, or that the recessed lighting in the kitchen somehow missed the most-often-used counter area. Good lighting design, says Doreen, is integrated into the architecture for a timeless look and supplemented with carefully thought-out focal points. “Your eye should be led around the room easily,†she says, “and you do that by placing light appropriately.†Doreen designed the lighting for the Winthrop, Massachusetts, bedroom/bath suite in our September/October special feature on kitchen and bath design. Here are a few more examples of her work.

In a Lincoln, Massachusetts, LEED-certified house designed by architect Marcus Gleysteen, Doreen incorporated lighting in the steps of the stairway on the right for both ambience and safety. She used integrated lighting for ambient and task lighting throughout the high-ceilinged space; the only decorative lights are the pendants over the dining table. She chose halogen lamps for the recessed ceiling lights. “I wanted long-life halogens because you don’t want to have to change those high lamps too often,†she says.

Photo by Shelly Harrison

Lighting is just as important outdoors as indoors. “For landscape lighting you have to consider safety, Doreen notes. Any changes in the ground’s slopes, curbing, steps, etc need lighting that signals you to be aware. For a Nantucket pool area and guest house, a project designed by Nantucket’s BPC Architecture, Doreen kept the focus on the architecture, highlighting the house’s columns. Low-level lighting helps guests navigate the steps leading to the pool and house. A tree to the left gets subtle accent lighting. So often you see buildings lit too uniformly, Doreen says. Subtleties are very appealing and attractive.


Photo courtesy of BPC Architecture

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