Decorative vs Builder-Grade Lighting for Luxury Custom Home Projects

The beauty of decorative lighting is its ability to transform a room by setting the mood, manipulating the colors throughout the design, and highlighting the architectural features of a space. It might not always seem like it, but lighting is one of the most important elements of a home. A well-lit home draws attention to every detail and showcases the quality & craftsmanship in the design.


Builder-grade lighting that is typically provided by your builder is recessed lighting, also known as can lights, which are used throughout the home as standard, but impactful lighting components. Builders also provide all light switches, including three-way switches with different access points and dimmer switches throughout the project. Because builder-grade lighting does not provide a variety of lighting layers in a space, we as designers, take it a step further by incorporating “decorative lighting” into the lighting plan. These fixtures provide different layers of light that every luxury space craves, while also acting as statement pieces in the entire home.




We like to use large chandeliers in the center of our great room, dining room, and entryway designs to act as the focal point. Chandeliers are great options to use when balancing the scale of a room, just be sure to hang them high enough to not hit anyone in the head!


Kitchens need bright lighting, as well as task lighting, in order to utilize the space in the best way. Hanging a pair of pendants over a large kitchen island will create balance and functionality, and introduce a new element into the design.

Semi-Flush or Flush Mounts

These fixtures are a great option for a room with a lower ceiling by giving the room some edge and a point of view. Flush mounts can serve the function of a chandelier without using too much space.

bathroom flush mount lighting
CHANDLER REMODEL | Circa Lighting – Markos Large Handing Shades in White with Gold

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces really add to the ambiance of a space while serving decorative and task functions. Designing two identical wall sconces flanking a vanity can create accent lighting for such an already large focal point in a space.

bathroom sconces
CHANDLER REMODEL | Circa Lighting – Calliope Tall Bath Light Sconce

Picture Lights

Picture lights are typically placed above a specific element to provide the most direct light and make it a focal point. For example, picture lights placed above a stunning piece of artwork give the scene a three-dimensional feel and highlight the intended textures within the composition.

dining nook picture light
MODERN ELEGANCE | Visual Comfort – Dean 18″ Picture Light

Table & Floor Lamps

Table lamps are small but mighty lighting options that add color and symmetry to a space. When table space is limited, floor lamps are a good option to provide variation in layering within the lighting plan, while still being a source of sufficient illumination.

sitting room floor lamp
DC RANCH VILLA | Circa Lighting – Alander Floor Lamp

Led by owner and Scottsdale interior designer Alisha Taylor, our firm focuses on unique personalization. No two clients are the same, so no two homes are the same either. We strive to enhance our clients’ lives by not only creating beautiful interiors for them but by keeping the design process understandable and efficient through a systematic method that allows them to visualize and be excited about their designs.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation to begin your journey to creating your luxury dream home.

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