I love my home and garden, and as the days begin to get shorter the results of years of careful planning, tweaking and cultivating begin to take center stage—and show up as if by magic. Every evening, as dusk falls, Rosebrook Gardens becomes the main event as low halogen lighting accents the beauty from afar. Whether it be the dead of winter or a late summer night, you can be sure that each spotlight is dedicated to a specific element to highlight. The architectural design details of the home emerge larger than life when lit late into the night. The gardens become the lush green curtains that frame the shot. Outdoor lighting, for me, has become about both function and beauty.
When I first purchased my home back in 1996, one of the first projects (besides paining the house from its original pink to my custom shade of taupe) was outdoor lighting. With the winters so long here in Connecticut I never wanted to come home to a dark home. I took a leap of faith back then, hoping I would be able to install outdoor lighting system myself after I received a quote of $10,000.00 for the project. I dashed off to Home Desperate (my pet name for Home Depot—as half the shoppers there, often me included, look a little bit desperate to find something in order to finish a project—and thank goodness Home Depot is there!). Flash forward to 2011, and the same 20 watt cast metal flood lighting system by Malibu is still working like a charm. Over the years I've replaced a bulb from time to time and perhaps a flood light here and there, but for the most part when I did have to swap something out it was easy to do.
Last night, as I came home from a well-deserved dinner out (after a full day of shooting segments), I walked to the front door but this time I paused. I took a moment to appreciate the Pee Gee Hydrangea lit from below, the gables on the potting shed indirectly highlighted, and the fact that I could still see my way up the steps without resorting to floodlights.
Back then, lighting up my walkways, pergolas, trees and home was more about creating night time enjoyment and focal points when the sun went down than function. Last light, many years later, I realized how that simple core idea (and the magic of planning) now simply lights up my life!