Lighting is the most underestimated element of interior design out there. While we can spend not hours, but days searching for perfect furniture, even perfect details and ornaments, we often speed things up when it comes to lighting. After all, how hard it can be to find a light source?
If you really want your home to be warm, balanced in its expression, stylish and sophisticated, the way you choose and utilize lighting fixtures have to reflect that. Let’s mention something that is just an overlooked common sense statement – bright and sharp light make you feel more alert and awake, while dim and ambient solutions are relaxing and inviting you to sleep or just dream away the problems of the day. Now just imagine of all the variations that exist between these two extremes and you can begin to grasp the importance proper lighting has for an overall feel and aesthetic of your home.
Feel maybe a bit overwhelmed? No need to worry, because we’ve got you covered! Here you will find some simple but efficient tips and tricks that will help you illuminate your home in style!
Always make a lighting plan
When beginning with your redecorating efforts, take some time to create a mini-brief lighting plan that will cover all the essentials. Try to think about the activities that will take place in every room – eating, relaxing, working, socializing and other. Then try to think about the key features of the room that you would like to highlight. But don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you – always keep the architectural limits in mind and try to think how the layout of your home can limit your ideas.
With this in mind, you can begin considering the style, scale, output and color of the lights before rushing into big decisions (and hits on your valet!). After all, early planning always ensures less issues later on and when you’re doing something as important as redesigning your home, you certainly want to avoid those rushed last minute decisions.
Take a layered approach
Several light sources will almost always be better than just one and the reason is fairly simple – with light fixtures positioned across the room on different levels, the ambience and interest in the room are sure to follow. The best advice we can give you is to always try to use lighting in such a way to make the most out of a room’s size and shape. For example – upwards lights make the room feel bigger and add to spaciousness, while low hung pendants can create an illusion of height. While big lights can create a more formal atmosphere, clusters of small lights are prefect if you are looking for that warm, cozy vibe.
Never compromise on functionality
Are you now thinking about all the aesthetical possibilities before you? Well, we are glad, but don’t get carried away! All the aesthetic expression and character won’t do you much good if you choose the lighting solutions that are simply not right for what you need. For example, cooking will require direct and concentrated light, so downwards light with a bit of upwards refraction is certainly a better option than diffuse one. Similarly, for reading, you will need flexible and directional lighting that can be aimed away from you. Don’t forget that you can always install dimmers to easily change the atmosphere of your room gradually, while at the same time being very energy efficient.
Not all bulbs are the same
Too much thought put into lighting solutions will pay off only if you pay equal attention to the choice of bulbs. Some of the things you should definitely need to keep in mind include the brightness you need which is directly related to the power of the bulb, then the atmosphere you are going for which will be determined by the color temperature and whether a given fixture is a focal statement or an element of design.
Spotlights draw attention
If you have some décor elements that you would really like to stand out, you can easily use lighting to draw the attention. The element in question can be architectural, piece of furniture or something as simple as a collection of vintage photos on your accent wall. If you point the spotlights to the center of a dining table, you can create an inviting atmosphere, while symmetrical lights arranged on either side of a statement mirror or above the fireplace can add a completely new layer of warmth and elegance.
Consistency is the key to success
The general theme, color schemes and materials of your lamps should be more or less consistent throughout your home. Too many different styles can easily create a sense of clutter and uneasiness. Brighter light will open up a space, make it appear larger and add interest, while dimmer one will create a sense of luxury and coziness. However, mixing the two will simply create a sensation of imbalance, so always keep it simple and consistent.