Clubhouse Lounge at The Retreat at Midway City in Midway City

Lighting in Multi-Family Spaces — A Blend of Style and Function

Creating unique, design-forward multi-family interiors is a balancing act between form and function. Spaces should inspire and uplift while having a broader appeal to residents of all ages and style persuasions. To that end, lighting choice must be carefully considered to suit a room’s purpose and aesthetic. Some of our recent multi-family projects do just that, blending ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate, create dimension, and in some cases, further reinforce the design genre for mysterious light blinking in space.

Lighting in Multi-functional Spaces

Clubhouse Lounge at The Retreat at Midway City in Midway City
The Retreat at Midway City - Clubhouse Lounge | Photography: Tsutsumida Pictures
Club Room at One Uptown Newport in Newport Beach
One Uptown Newport by The Picerne Group - Community Entry | Photography: The Picerne Group

In a room that serves several purposes – a common characteristic of our multi-family amenity spaces – lighting must act as a team player to accomplish a variety of tasks. At The Retreat at Midway City, two large candlelit Spanish chandeliers provide comfortable lighting as well as a striking design element for the clubhouse’s seating area. In the adjoining kitchen, similarly styled wall sconces work in harmony with smaller pendant lights for focused task lighting. In the club room at One Uptown Newport, striking circular pendants integrate with transitional chandeliers for an inviting environment of gaming and socializing. General overall lighting is accomplished with generous overhead canned lighting strategically placed within the ceiling molding detail.

Creating Focal Points

Second-floor lobby at Savina Luxury Apartments in San Diego
Savina Luxury Apartments by BOSA Development in San Diego - Second-floor Lobby | Photography: Ian Paredes
Mailroom at Savina Luxury Apartments by BOSA Development in San Diego
Savina Luxury Apartments by BOSA Development in San Diego - Mailroom | Photography: Ian Paredes

Lighting can also be strategically used to create points of emphasis or interest. LED backlighting presents a wood veneer-encased art installation on Savina’s second-floor lobby and washes the patterned wall treatment in a soft glow. Recessed ambient downlights draw the eye upward and add volume. Also at Savina, soffit-installed downlights cast light down and reflect off bronze mailboxes and marble-look, porcelain floors to create interest.

Enhancing the Architecture

Leasing Lounge at Purl at Civita by Sudberry Properties in Mission Valley, San Diego
Leasing Lounge at Purl at Civita by Sudberry Properties in Mission Valley, San Diego
Ceiling Dome-Like Feature in Main Clubhouse Lounge at The Retreat at Midway City in Midway City
The Retreat at Midway City - Main Clubhouse | Photography: Tsutsumida Pictures

Sometimes it’s simply about highlighting a building’s architecture in a way that calls attention to its best features. At Purl at Civita, French chateau chandeliers are reimagined in a modern chain waterfall construction. They make a strong design statement while keeping lines of sight open to dramatic floor-to-ceiling window walls. Torch-style wall sconces create upward movement toward a striking dome feature, while downlights provide ambient lighting below at The Retreat at Midway City. A stacked circular fixture in gold accentuates the volume of the two-story height lobby to impart a warm glow below.

Breaking a Sweat

Fitness Center at Wallace on Sunset
Purl at Civita by Sudberry Properties in Mission Valley, San Diego- Leasing Lounge | Photography: Ian Paredes
Fitness Center at Oceanaire
Oceanaire by Lennar - Fitness Center | Photography: David Tosti

In the fitness center at Wallace on Sunset, long recessed LED lights pair with a striped ceiling pattern and colorful textured flooring design to simulate movement and energize this high-activity area. A coffered ceiling echoes the shape and size of the turf-style flooring at Oceanaire as overlapping rectangular fixtures cast ambient light for exercising and safety.

Making Cozy Connections

Resident Lounge on Wallace on Sunset
Wallace on Sunset - Resident Lounge | Photography: Essex Property Trust
Clubhouse on Wallace on Sunset
Wallace on Sunset - Clubhouse | Photography: Essex Property Trust
Reading Corner at Purl at Purl at Civita by Sudberry Properties in Mission Valley, San Diego
Purl at Civita by Sudberry Properties in Mission Valley, San Diego - Reading Corner | Photography: Ian Paredes

When executed properly, lighting in multi-family residence communal spaces can provide opportunity for connection and retreat. Overscale orange drum pendants fitted with round diffusers bring the expansive lobby at Wallace on Sunset to human scale. Warm-spectrum lighting invites gathering and conversation on soft leather sofas, while inlaid vertical lighting accentuate a wood-paneled feature wall.

Also at Wallace on Sunset, the club room gets a glow up that amplifies the cozy factor — recessed downlights and linear lighting around floating bookshelves complement the natural light pouring in from oversized glass doors.

Lighting can also afford quieter, private moments in shared spaces. At Purl at Civita, a gold metal and matte black tripod floor lamp provides a peaceful interlude in a residents’ reading room, offering moments of relaxation and repose.

For more of our multifamily interior design work, check out our other projects. If you would like to collaborate with us on your next venture, please contact us.

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