When it comes to interior design, there is one aspect that is often overlooked. However, this tool has the potential to completely transform a room and greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal.
That tool is lighting. No matter how much careful consideration is put into the selection of furnishings, wall decoration and the type of floor in place, the correct choice of lighting can make the difference between a room that simply looks nice and one that looks spectacular. By following some of the simple lighting tips presented below, you can create an interior that any professional designer would be proud of.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Living within the temperate climate of the United Kingdom, it is not always easy to embrace the properties of natural light effectively. However, the addition of mirrored furniture such as coffee tables will have the effect of bouncing any natural light around the room. Subsequently, your energy consumption is reduced as less artificial light is required.
Plan Your Room's Interior First
Lighting is at its best when it complements the furnishings and decor of a room. It is important to decide on exactly what kind of furniture you are looking to add to your space in order to be able to install the perfect lighting to enhance it.
Know the Difference Between Task Lighting and Mood Lighting
Task lighting and mood lighting are two very different things, with each having its own purpose to serve in an interior design scheme. Task lighting is more functional and used in work areas such as studies. This type of lighting can sometimes appear harsh so should only be used for its intended purpose.
In contrast, mood lighting works on an altogether more aesthetic level and helps to set the overall tone and atmosphere in a room.
Mains-Voltage Lamps Create Atmosphere
Even after all this time, with many advances in lighting technology, mains-voltage lamps remain firm favourites when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere in a living space. For an air of cosiness and calm, nothing can beat a mains-voltage lamp.
A number of lamps spread strategically around a large living space create pockets of cosiness which look truly delightful.
Position LED Lights Carefully
Although they cost a little more to purchase initially, LED lights are extremely energy-efficient, have a long shelf life and require virtually no maintenance. However, the correct placement of LED lights within a design scheme is crucial, as this type of light does not have the ambient qualities as the mains- or low-voltage variety.
LED spots are ideal for lighting specific items such as artwork or ornaments.
Use Shadows to Your Advantage
When to comes to effectively lighting a room, many people hate the idea of there being too many shadows present. However, shadows provide depth, variation, texture and, above all, atmosphere. Positioning lighting to create small pockets of shadow can greatly enhance the look and feel of a space, although you need to be careful that the shadow is not excessive as the room can then appear smaller.
Pierced lampshades are very effective in creating wall shadows.
Use Light to Create the Illusion of Space
Human eyes are automatically drawn to the brightest point in a room. By carefully positioning recessed spot lights to shine against a wall, the resulting reflected light will create the illusion of more space.
Create Focal Points
By lighting any recessed points in a room which contain ornaments or artwork, you are creating a focal point. Plug-in compact uplights or strategically placed led downlights can be very effective for switching the attention to much larger focal points, such as an ornamental fireplace.
Use Dimmers for Flexibility
Installing dimmers gives you instant control over your lighting scheme. The ability to be able to control a domestic lighting system is very important, as it gives you the opportunity to change the mood of a room to suit your own feelings at any given time.
For additional flexibility, each type of lighting within a scheme should have the ability to be controlled separately.
Layer Light Sources
All rooms in a house are three-dimensional, so any lighting scheme needs to reflect this as effectively as possible. Before installing any lighting, look at all the different possibilities open to you, such as wall-mounted lights, recessed lighting, standing floor lamps and uplights.
Think about how these various elements can be brought together to create a more cohesive overall scheme.
Be Prepared to Spend
It may be an over-used phrase, but it remains true that you only get what you pay for. Try to spend as much as you can reasonably afford on your lighting schemes. Remember that good lighting can make or break a room, even with the presence of expensive fittings and furnishings.
Image by eliaschirino and used under creative commons licence.