Have you ever walked into a restaurant excited for a yummy dinner and was disappointed because the place lacked something you couldn’t put your finger on? Ambiance probably but, exactly what the problem is you don’t know? The menu is nice, waiters are friendly, wine is lovely- what is it that’s bothering you? I’m going to tell you- the lighting.
This happened to me recently while I was out with friends and to the complete mortification of my husband I asked the waitress to dim the dining room lights- bam! The whole place changed, we relaxed, began to laugh and ordered another round.
Lighting is paramount to a party- bad lighting kills even the most beautiful room. It can also be a very inexpensive way to decorate a room and to change the vibe of a space. Professional lighting, on the other hand, can be outrageously expensive especially in NYC. When I’m working on an event one of the first things I look at within a space is the lighting- how can I lower the lights and warm up the space without calling in a big lighting team?
Candles are a huge bang for your buck, they give a room so much warmth but you can’t just depend on them or your guests can’t see each other. Here are a few pictures of candles effecting the space and vibe of an event. These two looks were accomplished for a couple hundred dollars worth of candles.
Sometimes it’s a matter of a simple light bulb change. Recently I had an event were we needed to stage the cocktail hour in a brightly lit basement hallway- easer said than done. Then it struck me- lets just swap out the 100 watt flood lights for 40 watt opaque pink bulbs. I ran straight to Just Bulbs on 59th Street and voila! I can’t tell you it was not a basement hallway anymore but, it was so much improved that I don’t think anyone noticed!
If you have the budget to take the lighting to the next level, do! Here are a few shots of rooms with complete lighting packages. The first room is believe it or not a community room in a synagogue- the guests were so floored by the transformation several people exclaimed that it didn’t even seem like the same place.
This second photograph is from a party at the Helen Mills Theater and without amazing lighting the space is simply big white box. This event had it all, washed walls, gobo projected on the walls and full dance floor lighting! Knock you socks off!