Prior to the 1950s, the housing industry had a very basic view of the styles and décor which was made available to the average family. Very minimal thought was placed in the lighting décor of a building. The exceptions were hotels, government buildings, wealthy estates and the like. As more and more individuals and families were able to realize the American dream; the average family's ability to put customized personal touches into the home began to become more common.
Fast forward to today and the options a home owner has available to them is truly astounding. Researching different styles and materials with respects to lighting and decorating can take several weeks or more, when building a custom designed home. Even if the home owner is just having a remodel done or replacing some lighting fixtures, the task of sifting through hundreds of different lamps and then selecting complementary shades for those light fixtures can be daunting.
Big block home improvement stores have streamlined this process, but will usually have a limited selection of cookie cutter styled lamps and lighting fixtures. The quality of these samples can often be average to mediocre due to mass production and very limited quality control overseas. There is an excellent alternative.
There are well over a hundred different and distinct lighting manufacturers throughout the country and much more throughout the world. While no one lighting store can possibly stock every style and model, these shops will have a remarkable variety. It is quite probable that these specialty lighting stores will have catalogs which the home owner may “checkout” or even keep.
One avenue the home owner may want to explore is whether the lighting shop has any returned special orders which have been discounted. An individual may find that perfect designer light fixture at a fraction of the original cost. Another method for receiving deeper discounts is to place a larger product order. The lighting shop is likely to be much more flexible with pricing if the number of lighting fixtures, lamps and decorative items ordered is of a sufficient quantity. These savings probably will not be as large if the home owner is purchasing just a few fixtures for a smaller remodeling project. One other good idea for the home owner to ask about other resources the lighting shop may be able to provide. Many shops will have an in-house lighting designer which can work closely with a builder or interior decorator.
Because of the overabundance of home improvement centers and the “push the product through” mentality, specialty lighting boutiques have enjoyed much success. With this added success, many of these shops have become major suppliers of fine lighting at regional levels. As the specialty store grows, wider selections and savings can be taken advantage of by every home owner while still receiving superior quality over the home improvement centers or hardware store.