Lighting is often one of the last and most over-looked jobs when people are decorating their homes, and yet it is also one of the most important for setting the right ambience in a room and bringing everything together. Here are some of our top tips for helping you light up your home in the most aesthetically pleasing and practical way.
Our first, and some would argue most important tip, is to light your home for everyday use. Most people choose just their overhead lights and forget about their low-level lighting. Under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, a soft bedside lamp, or the perfect reading lamp next to your favourite armchair can all help to make your home feel cosier and more welcoming to anyone who steps through its doors.
Only consider overhead lighting, but you need to think about how you will use and live in the space at different times. Will you want to be reading on the sofa, or writing at a desk? Will under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen help illuminate work surfaces and help with food preparation? As well as the purely practical, you might want to feel cozy in bed in a way that only the right choice of bedside lamps can accommodate, or highlight key area or items in your living room. Think carefully about placement, and give special consideration to lampshades as these will affect the type and quality of light.
The right choice of lamp can be used to save or maximise space even in the smallest of rooms. If you don’t have a lot of space to play with consider wall lights. There are many stylish options out there that can not only save space, but also transform the feeling of a room. You could also opt for a floor lamp to further maximise space. This can be tucked in a corner if needed, and as a bonus, many floor lamps can be adjusted in order to direct light in a certain direction to help the room feel bigger.
When choosing a light for a given space, it is important that you think about size. A huge chandelier might fit well inside a lofty entrance hall but might look disproportionate and overpowering over a small dining table. Likewise, a delicate wall lamp might be perfect for a small bathroom but might struggle to cast enough light in a large living room. Choose your lighting carefully and consider both the size of the fixture itself and the amount of light it produces.
Many people often forget to think about where the shadows from their new lights will fall. A poorly-positioned light can cause a piece of furniture – or even you yourself – to cast a shadow exactly where you need the light. Adjustable lamps are a great solution as the light can be redirected as needed, or simply pointed permanently in a direction that is not dictated solely by its location. Whatever lighting solutions you go for, don’t’ forget to think about how shadows can impact the room and the time you spend in it.
The final tip we can give is to consider the overall theme of your room when choosing a lamp. For example, there’s no point picking a very contemporary lighting fixture if you’ve gone for a traditional feel and your home is filled with antique furniture. You should also keep your room’s colour scheme in mind. A room decorated in very dark colours will require more light than one decorated in neutrals.
Keep all these tips in mind next time you have a room to decorate. They should help you choose lighting solutions that are cohesive with your design choices and that facilitate the way you want to live, work and play in the space.
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