When a home owner thinks of home décor the interior of the home is usually what springs to mind. Home décor pertains to not just picture frames, mirrors, window treatments and furniture, but lighting as well. What of the outside of the home?
The exterior of the home and yard should be treated as an extension of the home’s interior. Motifs can be wide ranging, but fortunately there are hundreds of lighting manufacturers which carry thousands of different light designs, materials and sizes. With all of these options the home owner would think that, in order to obtain that perfect design to complement the home’s decor, one would be able to stroll right in any specialty lighting store and pick up the desired model. Sadly, that is not the case.
Profit margins have become much thinner in the past 15 years as the big block home improvement centers have saturated the retail landscape. In response, there are fewer and fewer independent lighting boutiques. Now, the majority of home owners only need drive a few minutes to their local hardware store. Unfortunately these behemoths have focused on moving lights and lamps in volume and have very limited variety.
Often, quality has been sacrificed in favor of selling large quantities of mass produced lighting fixtures. Rarely will you be able to even order a good quality light fixture from the large hardware stores. The alternative is to visit a boutique which specializes in lamps, lighting and other fixtures.
Because of the fact that most of these independently owned specialty lighting shops can not match the financial strength of the large home improvement stores, they will not usually stock mass quantities of the same lighting fixture, but focus more on variety and range of styles and materials. Most of these stores rely on large catalogs which can take hours to leaf through. For this reason, many stores will have multiple copies to allow customers to “checkout” the catalogs.
On the off chance that the home owner is unable to find just the right style to complement the rest of the home, custom made orders are available. As expected, any custom made lighting will have a modest increase in price and most likely a deposit will be necessary. It is important to note that it is almost a universal policy of most shops that should the order be canceled or returned after the lighting fixture has been crafted a restocking fee will be assessed to cover the bare minimum of the stores cost. Sometimes the deposit will be non-refundable for this reason alone.