Let there be light
Lighting is one of the most overlooked yet imperative elements of good interior design. It creates the mood and ambience of a room and should be carefully considered when designing and decorating any space. After all, there is little point in creating luxurious surroundings if they’re not properly showcased with sufficient lighting.
When it comes to lighting, it seems to be artificial light that first springs to mind. People tend to underestimate the effect of natural light, not only aesthetically but also physically, emotionally and the environmental benefits such as lowering energy consumption.
Embrace natural light
Designing a new home is the perfect opportunity to embrace natural light. Generous use of glass is the most obvious way to introduce light into a home but rather than cramming in as many skylights and windows as possible, it’s essential to balance light’s benefits with its side effects – heat gain, loss and glare. A few other key points to keep in mind are the orientation and how the windows relate to the sun’s movement and balancing the amount of light you are creating (light coming from one direction creates glare and casts shadows).
Right choice for the right room
These days we are spoilt for choice with an abundance of artificial lighting choices for our interiors. All rooms need lighting whether it be ambient or background lighting, task lighting or feature lighting. It’s an element that unfortunately can easily be disregarded and nothing makes a space feel dated or even more unpleasant than with unconsidered lighting.
Ambience and atmosphere
Whatever your style or aesthetic, whether it is contemporary or a little more classic, the ambience and atmosphere the light creates really is the key factor in any dining space. You may opt for seamless matte black or copper pendant lights, a chandelier, or even a playful lighting solution like lightbulbs draping from a plank of wood. It should be subtle, yet sparkling.
Set the mood
Besides chandeliers, bright overhead lights are inappropriate for dining areas as it conflicts with the mood trying to be created – which is a relaxed eating space. Control your level of light by adding dimmers to your main source of light.
Different levels of lighting in the bedroom
In a bedroom, you should opt for achieving different levels of lighting. This is where table and floor lamps, task lighting for reading and LED feature lighting comes in. Like a dining space, ambient lighting is imperative. This is the space for rest, sleep, romance and relaxation so utilise other alternatives as well, rather than relying on ceiling lights for your main light source.
Bedside lighting is the most flexible and the easiest to change. Wall mounted lighting and ceiling pendants can create a feature and statement in your bedroom.
Go for a 'hero' light for your living space
When it comes to lighting up your living space, people usually opt for a copious amount of downlights. Over lighting a space as popular as the living room is a common mistake. Commit to a ‘hero’ light source for the room, whether it be a cluster of pendants above a coffee table or a statement floor lamp in the corner of the space. Play with different levels of light in your living space too. Whether it be a floor lamp, a table lamp, and a statement pendant light.
Create a calming aesthetic
Downlights can still be integrated into your lighting scheme, but be careful with how you utilise them. Wall lights, up lights and downlights positioned close to walls create a softer combination, compared to having downlights positioned in the centre of the room. Overall you want to create a calming aesthetic, with your task lighting being a minor element.
Add impact with lighting
An entry way is the first space you see and experience when walking into a home – so make it have impact. Firstly, focus on what’s in the room. This space usually houses art, photography, sculptures and maybe a console. Be attentive with how you can enhance these pieces, rather than opt for a cluster of 5 or 6 downlights above them.
Opting for wall lights in an entry way
With artwork, try some wall lighting where the frames are located. This gives the artwork a little more depth and allows them to stand out more. Wall lights create so much more of an atmosphere than a plain downlight and, placed correctly, even a boring ceiling can have an up light to make it more interesting.