Lighting is a fundamental factor in creating ambiance and atmosphere in your home, and one which has evolved throughout the ages. From maximising space, to creating a cosy feel and enhancing your home decor, the right lighting can make a big impact.So, whether you want to create the perfect lighting scheme in your new home, or you’re looking to refresh an existing space, we’ve put together our top tips to provide some home lighting inspiration.
Our top tips for fabulous home lighting:
1. Have plenty of lighting sources
When it comes to designing the perfect lighting for a room, the more options you have, the better; from lampshades to spotlights, a range of light sources is essential for creating your desired atmosphere.
Think of lighting in terms of the purpose that it serves in a room. Once you understand the three main different types of lighting and the functions that they serve, you can begin layering them in a room to your desired effect.
- Task lighting is aimed at helping you to achieve a task such as reading, cooking or working. Task lighting needs to be bright enough to help you focus, but not overly harsh which could cause eye strain. Examples of task lighting include a reading lamp by your bed or desk, or illuminating lights above kitchen work tops.
- Ambient or general lighting is what provides an overall glow to a room. As well as being practical, ambient lighting is the main element of your home lighting that sets the tone for a room. Examples of ambient lighting include ceiling lights or floor lamps.
- Accent lighting builds on ambient lighting and creates a focal point in a space. It can be used to draw attention to your favourite piece of homeware, or illuminate an under-used space. Examples of accent lighting could be a well positioned spotlight or lamp, or LED strip lighting.
2. Use layering
A common interior design mistake is not layering your lighting, and just relying on one source, such as an overhead light.
The secret to great lighting design is layering light sources, which can help you to instantly create a strikingly different mood in your room, and allow the space to be much more versatile depending on your needs. Layering means using sources of different ambient light in various combinations, to create a range of moods, rather than just relying on your main overhead light. Some examples of lighting sources that could be layered in a room are pendant lights, table and floor lamps and wall lights.
3. Consider the colour temperature
Have you ever entered a room only to be met with lighting that is too cool and harsh? Equally, you probably wouldn’t want to cook in a kitchen or study in an office that isn’t sufficiently well-lit.
We all know from experience that the wrong type of lighting can make a room feel instantly off-kilter.
When you are choosing your lighting, the colour of the light should be an important consideration. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins - the higher the number the colder or brighter the colour of light. You can also think about lighting in terms of how it makes you feel, warmer light promotes relaxation, whereas cooler light wakes us up.
For most of the rooms in the house, we recommend using white warm light, which has the benefit of illumination whilst also not being overly bright.
4. Make a statement with a chandelier
One of the great things about lighting is its ability to accentuate and draw attention to beautiful features in your home. If you are lucky enough to have a period property with stunning high ceilings, a statement piece such as a chandelier can deliver the ‘wow’ factor to a living room or entrance hall.
Depending on the decor of your home, you could opt for a classic crystal chandelier, or a more contemporary version.
5. Lamps, glorious lamps
Lamps are undoubtedly home essentials; as well as being a great source of ambient, accent or task lighting, they can double as decor in a room.
A set of table lamps positioned on either side next to a sofa can draw attention to the furniture, whilst also creating a more cosy feel when used instead of a main light.
Choose lamps with shades that compliment the colour scheme and decor of your room, or opt for bold, contrasting pieces to make a statement. We love a velvet lampshade in a rich jewel tone to create a luxury feel, whereas a lamp with metal accents provides an industrial look for a more modern home.
6. Use lighting to create zones in your kitchen
The kitchen needs to be one of the most versatile rooms in your house, as it is used for an array of activities, from cooking to entertaining guests.
Although brighter task lighting may be useful when you are using the space for practical tasks such as cooking, softer lighting is more suitable for your dining space.
We recommend using lighting to illuminate your functional spaces such as cabinets and food prepping stations, whilst opting for pendant lighting above your dining table to create a relaxed and welcoming vibe.
7. Make a statement with wall lights
The design of the light fixtures you choose can be a great way to add personality to your home. Wall lights are also great in smaller spaces as they don’t take up vital floor space and they can quickly add a new dimension to any room, serving a dual purpose of adding warm, diffused light across your room while also being an interesting decor feature on your wall.
We love art deco style wall lamps that instantly brighten your walls whilst also doubling as a piece of wall art.
8. Cosy up by candlelight
There is something about the soft, warm glow of candlelight that is instantly soothing and creates a lovely atmosphere in any room.
Although the real thing can be great, candles can be a safety hazard if knocked over, and also can only be burned for a few hours at a time. If you want to keep that cosy candle lit vibe going all night long, we recommend opting for some electric candles.
9. Transform under-used spaces
Many homes, especially period properties, have slightly awkward spaces that you may not know what to do with. In this case, lighting is your best friend, as it can help you add interest and depth to these spaces as well as the room as a whole.
LED strip lighting or ceiling lights are a great accent lighting option to help illuminate spaces such as bookshelves or reading nooks where there isn’t space to add a lamp.
10. Turn your bathroom into a sanctuary
To make your bathroom feel like a spa-like sanctuary, avoid harsh lighting at all costs. You may need more task lighting in areas such as the vanity and shower, but keep it ambient in other areas.
A dimmer switch will allow you to tone down the lighting in your bathroom to promote relaxation at the end of a day, whilst also giving you the option to dial it up when needed.
Position lighting sources either behind or next to your bathroom mirror, rather than above, to provide more flattering light with less shadows.
Ultimately, the lighting that you choose for your home is a personal choice, and depends on factors such as your existing home decor, interior design tastes and how you use spaces. Remember that lighting isn’t just practical, it’s also a way to make a statement and add atmosphere in your home, and have fun trying different combinations until you find what works for you.
At Maison Plan, we offer unlimited home repairs - on subscription - to London homeowners. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you to create your ideal home.