It’s something that many of us take for granted when we’re decorating our homes, but installing the right kind of lighting in the right kind of areas will have a huge impact of the mood and feel of a room. It’s also important to get this correct for practical reasons so well worth learning a little about what works and researching the different types of lighting available.
To help you along the way, there are several types of lighting that can be layered up together to create your final scheme – natural, ambient, accent and task, and using them in the right places will enhance your space and create the right feel for you.
I’ve talked before about making the most of natural light in your home and it’s well worth doing. For one thing it can help the space feel bigger and more open. Natural light makes us feel good too, raising hormone levels so think about how to maximise it.
- Hang a mirror opposite the window
- Use sheer blinds instead of heavy curtains
- Use light reflecting paint where you can
- Trim outside trees and bushes to make the most of the available light
Ambient, or general lighting is the kind of light we need in the background in place of natural light. There are various different ways to achieve this but mainly we tend to use overhead ceiling lights, wall lights, standard lamps and uplighters. They fill the space with light allowing us to go about our daily lives, but the light can be harsh and flat and often is softened if we layer with other types of lighting.
Accent lighting gives depth and shade to flat general light and adds texture enhancing the space. This is the light that we can play with the most to create all kinds of effects and moods. Think about table lamps creating shadows in the corner, use halogen lighting, downlighters and uplighters fill a corner with light and create shade too. Don’t forget to use low energy light bulbs, which are much more advanced now and can be used to create soft, mood enhancing accent lighting all over the home.
Desk lamps and anglepoise lamps are the obvious examples for task lighting but again, give some thought to the style and type before you buy. I’m quite happy with the lighting I chose for my desk makeover as it’s working really well. This is the kind of light you need to help you achieve a task whether that’s working on the computer, writing, drawing, cooking or sewing, it needs to be able to focus on the correct area. Adjustable lamps are often the best type for this job. Try and afford the best one you can, preferably with a separate stalk to allow adjustment. Clip on spotlights for bedtime reading are always a good idea as they can be moved if you need them to.
And so there we have it, some ideas to help you along the way with lighting your home. And don’t forget to keep it stylish as well as practical! I’m a big fan of handmade lampshades and love the materials used by companies such as Quincy lampshades as well as buying direct off the shelf on the high street.
Have fun with your lighting and let me know how you get on!