Light up a Room: Lighting That Shows Your Personality

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Images: (Left) Design*Sponge, (Right) Darcy Hemley for Dwell

Let’s try a little experiment. If I say “mid-century modern lighting,” what’s the first thing you think of? Is it the sparkly and vivacious Sputnik lamp? Or is it one of the cerebral and understated Nelson bubble lamps? Maybe it’s neither and you’ve gone off to somewhere I haven’t thought of (if that’s the case, please leave a comment and let me know!). No matter what leapt to mind, you’ve just successfully figured out how to show your personality through lighting.

The Free Spirit

Unique Light
Image: Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

Let’s say you’re a Free Spirit who is blending your household together with New Love. New Love has an amazing dining set and some great dinnerware; in fact, with a rug, art, and glossy walls, there’s not much else to do with this dining room. But you need to put your Free Spirit stamp on the space, and what better way to do that then to fashion the lighting embodiment of what a Free Spirit is all about? Branches wrapped in yarn and adorned with flexible tube lighting should do it.


Creative Light Bulb
Image: Matthew Millman for Remodelista

Playful doesn’t go as far as Free Spirit—perhaps because Playful has been there, done that—but it does still like to bring a smile to anyone and everyone. Playful loves lighting like the Plumen light. It’s a simple no-frills fixture that won’t fight with the pleasant glow provided by the Plumen bulb.

The (Steampunk) Professor

Creative Lighting
Images: (Left) Marcia Prentice for Apartment Therapy, (Right) Alexis Birkmeyer for Anthology

This personality has a brass swing-arm wall lamp next to the bed and a brass gallery light hanging from the wall, but what it really wants is to cover the ceiling with copper pipes and ceramic sockets to let it’s inner Steampunk out. I say “do it;” lighting is one of the best ways to fly the flag of personality—no matter what that might be.

How do you use lighting to show your personality?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.