They Will Come
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

My lighting lobotomy is now complete. You won me over some time ago, but I didn’t realize what a geek I’d turned into until I became a first-time homeowner last month, and the mania struck: The lighting has to go—ASAP.

 As a renter, I had no choice but to live with the landlord’s bad taste. But the minute I moved into my very own condo, the snobbery surfaced. You should see the brass/chrome combo sneering above my bathroom mirror. Yikes.

 Friends and family tell me to repaint a wall, put up new curtains—that’ll do the trick. No way. Until I replace the lighting, it just won’t be home. Of course, this illumination fixation mostly stems from my involvement in the industry. But I know that in today’s customization-obsessed society, all brand new homeowners—brimming with pride over their accomplishment—must feel a passion to immediately personalize their surroundings and make them truly theirs. And why shouldn’t we try to convince them that lighting is a critical ingredient?

 During his keynote address at the ALA Conference in September, Robert Stevenson complained that he had just moved into an unfamiliar area and decided to change the lighting but didn’t know where to look. You need to get your showroom’s name in front of new homeowners—especially eager first-timers. Obtain a local real estate mailing list or add

a coupon to the packets sent to area newbies. I received welcome notes with discount offers from several big boxes when I moved in. Fortunately, I’m in the know enough not to look in that direction for my lighting needs. But general consumers will already be there, using that discount to buy hardware and the like. In good conscience, we can’t let them buy their lighting at the one-stop shop, can we?

Chandra Palermo

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