When it comes to home décor decisions, lighting often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Experts, however, believe that the right lighting can make all the difference to your interiors. A strategically placed floor lamp, for instance, can be a statement piece in your living room; while a lighting grid over the dining table casts a pool of light that draws the family into its warmth at dinner time.
To transform the ambience of your home, lighting has to be both functional and aesthetic. We present you some tips to get it right.
Living and dining area
These rooms are very versatile and may be used in multiple ways. Layers of lighting that can be adapted to various functions are a good idea. Ceiling lamps or false ceiling lights can provide general ambient lighting in the room.
- Plan for focus lighting such as wall lights to highlight pictures or art pieces.
- A floor lamp could provide the task lighting you need if you want to curl up on a chair and do some reading.
- Never watch television in a completely dark room; a lamp above or to the side of the screen helps to avoid eye strain.
- A lighting grid above the dining table looks pretty and is functional, as well.
- A chandelier is always a lovely way to add character to your room.
Lighting in the bedroom must be soft and soothing; to create a space that you would love to relax in.
- Bedside lamps with warm lights are a must if you like to read in bed.
- If you have a false ceiling, plan for concealed cove lighting to create a soft night time glow.
- A dresser in the bedroom must be fitted with sidelights and mirror lights so that you will be able to put on your makeup perfectly.
- Dimmer switches in the bedroom will help to adjust the level of light to suit your mood.
Children need good, bright light for work and play. Try to maximise the natural light in your child’s room; keep the shades up and let the sunlight stream in. Children need as much vitamin D as they can get.
- Task lighting above the desk will help kids to focus while they study. A table lamp with a white light that does not throw shadows is good.
- Mood lighting helps to spark your little one’s imagination. A string of twinkling fairy lights draped around the window can add a touch of magic to your child’s world.
- If your child is scared of the dark, try creating a false ceiling that has hidden lighting behind star-shaped cutouts. Let them fall asleep dreaming of the spangled star sky.
- Children need a night light to help them find their way to the bathroom. A lamp shaped like a ladybird, a flower, or their favourite cartoon character would be just the thing.
Kitchen lighting needs to be planned well to provide the required illumination while cooking.
- Task lights below the overhead cabinets will throw light on the countertops when you are cooking.
- The chimney usually comes with lights that can be focused down on the hob.
- If your cabinets have glass shutters, they can be beautifully lit from within by using recessed spotlights.
- Pendant lamps are a lovely addition above the breakfast counter or an island kitchen counter.
Bathrooms must be well lit to be functional; however, if you want to soak in a hot tub and relax, harsh lighting is not the answer.
- A ceiling light will offer the bright illumination you need for a quick shower, but do install a dimmer so that the level of lighting can be toned down when you want to have a leisurely soak.
- Vanity lights or mirror lights with daylight-simulating bulbs will help you to do your makeup right.
- If there is a dressing area connected to the bathroom, it must be well lit. A ceiling lamp can provide even, flat illumination without shadows.
- Backlighting behind the mirror adds a lovely artistic touch to the décor.
Points to remember
- Take advantage of natural light as much as possible.
- White light is cool and best used for functional tasks, while yellow lighting adds warmth and creates the ambience you desire.
- Layers of lights will cast interesting shadows and add depth to the décor.
- LED and CFL lamps save energy and are more durable than traditional incandescent lamps.
- Mirrors and reflective surfaces can bounce around the light in the room and make it appear bigger and brighter.
- Aim to incorporate different light sources in each space, including generalised ambient lighting, functional lighting (for, say, reading) and accent lighting.
Always keep the lighting design in mind at the very beginning of your décor, even while you pick out those lovely pieces of furniture and artwork for your rooms. After all, the right lighting can make or break your home décor.