Good lighting can elevate a space from drab to designer with the simple flick of a switch. Light creates the atmosphere in a room, and the wrong sort of light can leave a room cold, dingy or headache-inducing. By following some basic lighting and design principles, you can add depth, space, and personality to a lifeless room. If you’ve got any rooms that feel a bit lacking in style and design, then consider rethinking how you’ve lit up your space with these four lighting tips.
- Think about the kind of lighting you need
Not all lights are created equal. Spaces like living rooms and bedrooms work best with soft, warm glow, while high-work rooms like kitchens and offices need bright lights that will illuminate the task at hand and facilitate attention to detail. What kind of atmosphere do you want to project to guests and family members? Are these multipurpose rooms that would benefit from a dimmer switch or a range of different lighting options? Take all of this into consideration when you’re pinning down exactly the mood that you want a particular room to project.
- Mix it up
No room should rely solely on one source of light, particularly ceiling lights – it makes space look lifeless and flat, and can be harsh on the eyes after a long period of time. Different levels of lighting in one room will add texture and dimension. Wall sconces illuminate artworks with a soft glow; table lamps create soft downward light, and floor lamps will create atmosphere and throw corners into shadow. Allow for reading and working in key areas without blazing light, and if you’ve got a piece of art or a particularly striking chair you want to show off, then position it beneath a downward light that will illuminate a small space and shadow the rest.
- Have a statement light
One strong light in a room will draw people in and elevate the existing decor. Include a splash of color that features as a recurring theme in a room or house. Use pendant lights over kitchen and dining tables to draw focus to the center and make it the brightest spot in the room. In living rooms, use striking designer-made floor lamps that is both functional and an interesting art piece in its own right. Remember not to clutter a room – partner a statement light with simpler basic lighting to keep the attention drawn to the center.
- Go natural
No bulb can match the warming glow of morning sunlight, and many people aren’t actually getting enough. Maximize natural sunlight by positioning high-use furniture to fall in the sunlight through an open window, like dining tables, reading chairs, and desks. If you’re looking to remodel your home, consider roof-installed windows or skylights to really make the most of the daylight in your home. It’ll normalize your circadian rhythm too, which will help you get a better night’s sleep.