So… you want to choose the best lighting but don’t know where to start. Hopefully I’ll be able to shed some light (excuse the pun!) on the subject. The truth, is lighting is an art in itself and there is good reason for people employing lighting designers to decide on lighting in their homes. Lighting can literally transform a space, the feeling, the perception of size and the overall comfort level. But does this mean we cannot achieve this at home without a fancy lighting designer? Absolutely not. There are many tips and tricks to help create the perfect environment. So, let’s dive in.
Choosing over head lighting
Right off the bat let’s talk about overhead lighting. Personally, this is of little importance. Choosing the right looking light is important, but overhead lighting should not be the ones you reach for to create a mood. To me they are the lights you put on when you can’t find an earring that you dropped, or need to remove a splinter from a distraught child’s finger. Why do I say this? Well, overhead lighting will flood a room. Even with a dimmer (a must) there are better, smarter ways to create a mood with lighting. Also, to this point, please steer clear of cold white lights. These should only show up at a dentist’s office. Brutal, but a little tough love will pay dividends in the long run and you will thank me.
Making lighting work for you
Ok, so if we have decided the overhead lights are not as important, what is? This is where things get interesting. The options of lighting are endless. A good place to start is to consider the layout and function of a room. Let’s give the example of a living room. Think of layering light. Floor lamps work well in the corner of a room, while table lamps are lovely on a console or desk. Diffused lighting is also an option worth considering as well as something softer, like recess lighting. This gives more of a glow than a harsh directional light. Lighting can create warmth and make a space feel inviting. If you want to make your space look more curated, invest a little more in lighting, and don’t be afraid to venture to antiques fairs to find hidden treasures. Very often antique lamps are made of metal and give off a great glow.
But what about chandeliers I hear you cry! Chandeliers are a very personal taste, but here my only two rules are: go vintage or go high end. High street stores are not the place to buy these lovelies. Barring a few exceptions, you’re better off finding a chandelier that is vintage and has character and a history to tell. Also consider how low your ceilings are, too low and it’s better to not fight it. Opt rather for a simple pocket spot and invest in beautiful sconces or lamps.
So, what if you can’t find what you want exactly? This is often overlooked when talking about lighting, but don’t be afraid of a spot of DIY. Found a great wall sconce but it’s in brass and you want it in black? A tin of spray paint will work a treat. The same is true for the perfect shape lamp purchased on the high street that is just lacking a little personality or style – have a lampshade made or covered in fabric of your choice. Making an interior personal to you is what ultimately makes your home yours, a curated space that you will love and enjoy for many years to come.
Now that we’ve spoken about the different lighting options, now we move on to perhaps the most important part of lighting…. layering. Gone are the days when we used ‘the big light’ in the middle of the room and that was that. When thinking about lighting now, consider adding dimmer switches to all overhead lighting where possible, and consider how your lighting works together. Recessed lighting can give a soft diffused glow, while table lamps offer a warm cosy feel to a space.
Above all, play and have fun with lighting, it can create atmosphere that is hard to rival. If you are still in a quandary give us a ring or pop in to the studio, we love talking all things lighting and we are here to help.
- Overhead lighting should look good and fit the space
- Create mood by layering lighting
- Consider customising pieces if you can’t find what you want
- Chandeliers are a no go in places with low ceilings
- Install dimmer switches where possible
- Have fun and experiment – And if all else fails give us a call, we are happy to help!
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