Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tribune Article Reprint Part 1-Geno Petro

Put Spotlight on Lighting

By Annemarie Mannion
Special to the Tribune
Published November 26, 2004

There's no better--and inexpensive--way to create a sense of mood than through lighting, said Geno Petro, a real estate consultant with Chicago Home Estates in Chicago. Petro ought to know. Like doctor-turned-developer Mitch Newman, Petro is following a different career path than he had planned when in college.

Petro majored in theater with an emphasis on lighting design. In Newman's two-story condo in Bucktown, Petro advised Newman to consider not only the look of the light fixtures but how much light they cast when he shows his home.The dining room, for instance, has red pendant lights hanging over the table. It is next to the kitchen, which has under-cabinet lighting and overhead can lights.

Petro played with the dimmer switches to show how the pendant lights should cast a crimson glow. In the kitchen, the under-the-cabinet lights should be lit to create depth, and the overhead lights should be on, but not at their fullest level.

The idea, he said, "is to create a better mood, welcoming and warm as opposed institutional or cave-like," he said.Being able to control the level of lighting a room is important, he said."I think you should have dimmers in almost every room. Especially if you have (ceiling) can lights. When you turn those on, they are just blazing."

The good thing about lighting is that it is relatively inexpensive to add and can change a room's mood or look. "It doesn't cost a zillion dollars to add a dimmer or to get a cool-looking light fixture," he said.And sellers should not ignore natural light. "It's the most important source of light--the light that comes through your windows," he said.Lighting, whether from a lamp or window, can make even a run-of-the-mill room more appealing."It's the best way to make an average room stand out from other average-looking spaces (on the market)," he said.--

Annemarie Mannion
Chicago Tribune

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