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We talk with homeowners in Lakeway and the Bee Cave area that have been in their home for a while and don’t want to move. But the home has gotten dated through the years and needs a refreshed look. For some, there’s one room that looks outdated compared with the rest of the home, but the renovation budget ran out. For these folks, there could be an alternative to doing a full-scale renovation. Spare the expense but still get a look you love by starting first with the lighting. 

Professional designers know that you can change the look and feel of any space using lighting and hardware. In fact, for customers on a budget, that’s usually the first place to start. 

Amanda Ish is head designer and owner of Amanda Ish Designs. She says, “Lighting should be the focal point of the room and an expression of your style. Lighting can affect the mood of the room, making it cozy, sterile, a room you want to hang out in or walk out of. A lighting revamp can be the biggest bang for your buck, and I feel that lighting is an enhancement to your investment in your home. I encourage all my clients to consider an update and it’s my personal favorite decor change.”

Change the size of the room. You can make the room look and feel larger by doing smart things with your lighting. Natural window light makes any room feel larger than it is. If you don’t have large windows in your space, or perhaps very small windows, you might consider upgrading your windows to a larger size. It’s actually less labor-intensive and costly than a lot of people think and can make a big difference for years to come. If upgrading your windows isn’t an option there’re still great solutions. One effective trick to expand a room’s perceived size is to use lighting and fixtures to draw the eye upward. When your eyes move upward instead of from side to side, the room feels bigger. Place light fixtures higher up on your walls. Hang lights from your ceiling or add “can” lights (recessed lights) in your ceiling. But maybe a larger feeling room isn’t what you’re going for. To make a room feel more cozy and intimate, move the eye line down with lamps, under-cabinet accent lighting, and toe kick lighting. 


Fixtures are also an easy way to update the look and feel of your home and lighting fixtures come in many eye-catching, space-enhancing varieties. These are simple to change out and make a big difference! Just make sure your new fixtures can accomplish the desired level of light intensity that you need for the area. Chandeliers don’t have to be used in fine dining rooms anymore! They can be used to enhance a casual, modern or elegant space and always pack a style punch. You don’t always have to buy brand new fixtures either. Yours might look different in a new color. Think about ways you could craftily update your own existing fixtures for a new fresh look. Second-hand thrift stores have been known to house gently used and awesome light fixtures which might fit your space as-is, or might be an excellent starting point to refurbish the way you like. 

Even homeowners of new homes, say in Rough Hollow or Spicewood, can bring their own personal style to the home by changing the lighting. Who knows, maybe the light fixtures you don’t love are ideal for someone else in the area. Time to put them on Lakeway Swap or Spicewood Swap! So before you think there’s no hope for your home’s refresh unless you do full-scale renovation or re-design, try a few simple lighting changes. You could be surprised by how much you love your new old space.