Lighting for your home can serve many purposes, including entertaining, relaxing and making sure you and your family are safe and secure. It is important to think of these functions when you are deciding upon fixtures that go with your decor, and there are ways to choosing lighting that is both stylish and useful. Here are five simple tips to keep in mind as you illuminate your decor with the right lights.
Before choosing lighting for your home, it is important to consider the overall decor that you’ve created. For traditional homes that are decorated with rich wood furniture, floral prints or subtle tones, uber-modern fixtures like recessed lighting or stainless steel fixtures can create a clash of styles. Likewise, some traditional light fixtures, like those designed from wrought iron or made to look like lanterns, won’t go well with a modern decor. In order to achieve lighting that is harmonious with the rest of your home, it is a good idea to make a decision about the overall tone you want to set with your fixtures before you go shopping.
Setting the mood
In common areas like the family room, you can achieve different dimensions of lighting by using a variety of fixtures and wattages. If it is a space that is used often for entertaining, you may want to include bright ceiling lights that can be alternated with softer bulbs in tall floor lamps. Another fun idea for common areas is to include spotlights from overhead that are focused on a single piece of decor, such as a painting.
Knowing when to keep it simple
While you may want several lighting options for the family room, the kitchen is a space where you’ll want bright light, and lots of it. Overhead lighting is almost always the way to go in the kitchen, preferably descending from the ceiling directly above the countertop or other cooking surfaces. (You can use this same room for dining room tables.) But this doesn’t mean that kitchen and dining light has to be boring; one of the most classic ways to add drama to dining room decor is by finding an elegant chandelier to hang above the dining table. And in the kitchen, you may consider a series of hanging lights in a set of three or four.
Just as lighting in the kitchen should be functional, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a variety of lighting options in your bathroom. For your daily routine, vanity lights surrounding the mirror or lining the top of it will help you see better while shaving or applying makeup, for example. But remember to choose overhead fixtures as well, making sure they distribute light evenly enough to reach the shower or bathtub.
While putting some thought into your interior lighting, don’t forget about outdoor fixtures. Mounting lights on the corners of your first floor roof can provide added security at night. And lining the pathway to your front door can set a soft glow that doesn’t look gaudy. Finally, if you have a garden, fixing a spotlight on your flower bed is a great idea for outdoor entertaining.