We all spend hours – and dollars! – choosing the right fabrics or statement paintings, but how many of us actually take time to think about the lighting in our homes. Getting the lights right can help to make any room feel more spacious and welcoming.
The key to good lighting is to make it flexible and to make it work with you and your family. A stunning French chandelier might look amazing over a dining table but if it’s too bright to create the perfect dinner party ambience, what’s the point? At the flick of a switch you should be able to transform a living room from a bright family space to the setting for a romantic meal for two.
Start by making a plan of your room – where your furniture is and what you use each area for – and then work from there to get lighting that works for you. If you’re blessed with natural light then make some changes to maximise that factor. So, place hanging mirrors directly opposite windows, use other reflective surfaces such as pale carpets or furnishings, and let light shine through inner doors by adding glazed panels.
If you have a dark space, brighten things up with your choice of paint colour and light fixtures. To make your room appear larger, use uplighters to bounce light onto the ceiling and walls – and remember to light all four corners of a room if it is one that’s starved of space and light.
Once you have the basics in place, you can turn your attention to accent lighting whether that be highlighting a particular architectural feature, painting or treasured possession.
The key to successful lighting is to add depth and shade: shadows in some corners, pools of light in others. The end results of a bit of thought and effort could well be life-changing!