3 powerhouses of Madison design
Madison Lighting, FLOOR360 and Hallman Lindsay have helped bring hundreds of local projects to life.
Floors, paint and lighting are three bedrocks from which an interior design vision is built. Madison is home to three companies with local roots that have helped bring hundreds of projects to life. Get to know more about these three businesses:
The Light That Never Goes Out | Madison Lighting
Thousands of gleaming, glowing fixtures offer a light show at the Madison Lighting showroom on Watts Road. Your eyes bounce from show-stopping chandeliers to stand-alone starburst pendants to chic Edison bulbs shining through sculptured glass. A staple of the Madison design community since the 1960s, Madison Lighting has ensured that local homes are not only well-lit, but beautifully so, for more than half a century.
Back in the day, not much thought was put into lighting beyond its utilitarian purpose, says Tom Woodward, the owner of Madison Lighting. “Now, they’re really integral to the design of the whole house and it’s a very important design element,” he says. “Lighting is really the jewelry of the house.” And while every jewel is made to sparkle, lighting’s main goal is to bring harmony to all elements in a room. “When you walk into a room, a good lighting job doesn’t really direct attention to itself,” Woodward says. “It’s drawing attention to everything else.”
To accommodate both energy efficiency and a wide range of design possibilities, much of the lighting being sold today is powered by LED bulbs. “With LED lights, there is an unending spectrum of color, of light temperatures that we can provide in the house,” Woodward explains. “It’s infinitely controllable, not only in intensity but also in its color temperature.” With LED-powered lighting, homeowners can set the exact ambiance they’d like for any colored room in the house. And while the lighting industry itself continues to evolve, so do the trends that surround it. Dark finishes like brushed nickel and pewter, which reigned supreme for years, are now being pushed out by black accents, currently all the rage.
Even with his years of experience, Woodward knows how intimidating and complicated lighting an entire home can be. Professionals can help evaluate each room to maximize functionality and feel, he says. “It’s important that we all understand how the decorative lighting and the recess lighting are going to interact with each other and help each other.” In keeping their services within about an hour away from their Madison storefront, he says their company can help with any adjustments clients might need. “That is a convenience, I suppose. I don’t know if people think about that when they make a purchase,” he says. “We’re right here, we’re local. So if something does go wrong … we’ll go fix it.”
Great Foundations | FLOOR360
A well-designed, well-functioning floor can make or break the success of a room. With the power to transform the mood and function of any space, the right texture and design holds a lot of weight — literally and metaphorically.
Originally The Wisconsin Flooring Center, FLOOR360 has served the greater Madison area since 1998 working with homeowners, builders, and general contractors. For residential and commercial projects, FLOOR360 is responsible for the designs found in the Summit Credit Union headquarters in Madison and the Bradley Symphony Center in downtown Milwaukee.
In 2020, the company reimagined its original showroom and transformed it into a design studio where customers can meet with designers and envision their dream spaces, whether they be grounded in carpeting, tile, vinyl, laminate or hardwood. “A well-designed floor sets the tone for the space and … ties everything together, from light fixtures to furniture,” explains Autumn Stankovsky, one of FLOOR360’s interior designers. “All design decisions can flow from that choice.”
Stankovsky says choosing flooring is about striking a balance between all elements in the room to ensure cohesion rather than competition. “If other finishes in the space will be the showstopper, then you may want to choose a floor that’s more subtle and doesn’t detract from the other details and features in the room,” she says. Color also plays an important role in setting the tone of a room. “Light flooring and light walls will create an open look, but darker colors will create a more cozy feel,” Stankovsky says.
Lately, homeowners are opting for soft neutral colors like light oak hardwood or luxury vinyl flooring as a canvas on which to add clear and soft lines. Stankovsky has also noticed trends turning toward polished Scandinavian looks and away from the homey modern farmhouse style. Buyers are also livening up smaller spaces like mud, powder and laundry rooms with graphic design tiles.
Since joining Design for a Difference in 2015 — the community based, design-driven project dedicated to beautifying local charities in the U.S. and Canada — FLOOR360 has collectively donated more than $2 million worth of materials, time and talent to the cause. “These makeovers have a long-lasting effect,” Stankovsky says. “[They allow] the recipient nonprofits to focus their operating budgets on their mission, while executing that mission in a safe, functional and comfortable space.”
Shades of Home | Hallman Lindsay Paints
Hallman Lindsay Quality Paints has provided paint color to communities statewide since it was founded in Madison in 1991, the result of a merger between two paint companies — Hallman Paints and Lindsay Finishes, both of which served the Madison area starting in the 1950s.
Together with his wife Beth and son Matt, president Tim Mielcarek oversees Hallman Lindsay’s 26 stores scattered across the state. Like many family-owned businesses, the Sun Prairie-based company has primarily relied on a network of loyal customers to get the word out about the quality and value of their goods. From sourcing raw materials to paint formulation, Hallman Lindsay’s entire production process is done in-state, Mielcarek says. “We’re the only paint factory in Wisconsin … that has our factory in Wisconsin and own stores in Wisconsin,” he says.
Hallman Lindsay has 2,000 colors to choose from and in-house designers. Most paints are named after Wisconsin landmarks and colors as well as places and people that have made the company’s success possible. While customers’ preferences in finish and gloss vary, in recent years, Mielcarek has noticed customers gravitating toward bolder colors. Homeowners are opting for painted trims for cabinets as opposed to natural-colored wood. “It’s nice to be aware of the color trends, but in the end you’re the one who lives in those four walls and the colors should please you,” he says.
Most recently, Hallman Lindsay has been working closely with food pantries in the Madison area on various painting projects to give their spaces welcoming and friendly atmospheres. “It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to the state that’s given us so much,” Mielcarek says. “The real thing we value is our people and [they] try to help others. We try to love, serve and care for people.”
Rodlyn-mae Banting is a Madison-based writer.
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