For the January 2015 Home & Garden special publication of the Register-Guard.
Light and Bright
Custom lighting and lights in the right places turn a house into a home.
By Vanessa Salvia
Adding light and warmth are two of the fastest ways to turn a house into a home, and the designs of local builder Jordan Iverson have both things covered.
Iverson is owner and designer of Iverson Signature Homes, and lighting is a functional and artistic aspect of his design philosophy.
Above his dining table is a striking light feature of his own design made of red fabric-wrapped electrical cord draped around a steel bar attached to the ceiling. At the end of each cord are tear-dropped shaped Edison bulbs (called Marconi-style) with exposed filaments. The steel echoes other steel elements inside and outside his industrial modern home, such as steel railings surrounding the outdoor patio.
“I always try to find a way to use materials inside and outside,” Iverson says. “I wanted something really artistic for this light. I knew I wanted red because you can see pops of red throughout the house, and I wanted it to look interesting against this barn wood wall.”
Behind the light is a rustic wall made from salvaged barn wood, a theme which also repeats in a shelf near his fireplace made from barn wood and pipes from BRING. On each side of his fireplace are industrial cage lights, also featuring exposed filament Edison bulbs and fabric-wrapped cord in black.
“They’re also on dimmers,” says Iverson. “I like being able to dim lights so it’s not just, click, full bright and then off.”
When Iverson designed his dining table light four years ago, the fabric-wrapped cord was hard to find, but is now more available. His website, www.remarque.co, has items for sale, including completely portable, stand-alone fireplaces using clean-burning bioethanol fuel. He offers the lightbulb cages in black, white, red or gold along with black or white cord. A new feature on the website will soon allow people to choose from more options.
Iverson says he grew up fascinated by design, and though he has never studied design, his awareness of construction and materials led him to continually explore possibilities. His father is also a homebuilder, so Iverson grew up with the notion that ideas could become real things. “It’s about continually trying,” he says. His natural talent has made him a sought-after designer both near and far—In late December, HGTV awarded Iverson the top award for most family friendly space in their Fresh Faces of Design contest.
“If you’re trying to decide what lighting you need, make sure you think about what the home’s going to be like in winter, in the dark,” Iverson says. “My philosophy is really just thinking about how you’re going to live in the home.”
Putting lights on a dimmer switch is an easy fix for mood lighting that nearly anyone can do. Adding an LED strip for under-cabinet lighting is also a useful touch. In Iverson’s kitchen, under-cabinet lighting is recessed, on a dimmer and also on a switch. So as not to disrupt the tile, his sockets are also placed under the cabinets.
Iverson’s signature lighting feature is under-sink lighting on a motion sensor in the master bath. “So you’re not blinded when you’re trying to find the toilet!” he says. “I did it in the first house I ever built and it’s become a trademark I do on every house, almost always in the master bath and also in the closets and laundry room, so if you’re carrying your clothes you just walk in and the light comes on.”