You can decorate your home using all tricks and hacks from the interior design book, but if you don’t get this one thing right, everything falls to water. You may not understand the value of lighting over the furniture and paint colors, but this “small detail” can make or break the design. Lighting helps every room meet its function, but it also sets the mood and creates the atmosphere inside the house. It is vital for the appearance of colors and the final look of the interior. So, if you now realize why the interior lighting should be on point, here are some tips that will help you illuminate your home perfectly.
Understand the three layers of light
Lighting shouldn’t come exclusively from the ceiling fixture. This concept will result in poor visibility and even worse atmosphere, causing washes of light and unflattering shadows. There are three major lighting layers you should know about before designing a lighting concept:
- Ambient or general lighting layer provides overall illumination and adequate visibility of the entire space. Typically, it is created by ceiling fixtures, such as chandeliers, pendants, troffers, and recessed lights. While essential, this layer is pretty uniform, and the next two are the ones giving character to the interior design.
- Accent lighting is mostly decorative because it highlights the points of interest in your home. Those features can be bookshelves, architectural features, artwork, or anything else you want to make more prominent by illuminating it. Types of fixtures usually used for this layer are track lighting, wall sconces, uplighting, and LED tape lighting.
- Task lighting illuminates specific areas where you carry out certain tasks. The type and power of the lights will depend on the activity that is done in the area. Commonly used fixtures for task illumination are desk lamps, table lamps, floor lamps, bathroom vanity lights, under-cabinet lighting, and pendant lights.
Design, decide, delegate
When doing any type of remodeling project in your home, a pen and a paper are your best friends. They will help you establish a budget, draw a sketch of your home, and determine the position of light fixtures. You should also pick a theme and style to follow (e.g. Scandinavian, Mediterranean, etc.). Your plan should also include considerations for the contractor, as you shouldn’t tamper with electricity on your own. In some countries, such as Australia, doing your own electrical work is illegal. That’s why Aussies have a professional emergency electrician on their speed dial when they’re doing these types of works.
Create a concept based on the room’s function
To make things even more complicated, you can’t use the same lighting plan for your kitchen and your bedroom. Every room has its own function, and therefore, its own appropriate illumination. Here are some tips to get you through this process:
- Treat your hallway with a statement fixture, such as a large chandelier, and place one table or floor lamp near the mirror.
- Set the stage in your living room with a talking-point ceiling fixture, illuminate the bookshelves and artwork, and use floor and table lamps for reading spots.
- The dining room light should be the centerpiece of the room, and unless your dining room is huge or you have artwork displayed on the walls, you can get away with nothing but a general lighting fixture.
- As the area of all functions, the kitchen deserves adequate lighting. Use a light layering method by including all layers of lighting, but focusing the most on tasks, to improve your room’s versatility.
- The bathroom has several important points to illuminate: the mirror, the vanity, and the shower/bath area.
- The bedroom lighting concept has four must-haves: ceiling lights with dimmer switches, reading lights on both sides of the bed, night lighting for the en-suite or on the undersides of the bed, and personal style to truly make it your sanctuary.
In the end, there are two more things to consider. Wherever you can, go with energy-efficient options and hues that are close to natural light. Don’t make style compromises, unless you have to. Your home should be the reflection of your personality, and this must be visible in its every aspect, even the lighting, so feel free to unleash your creativity.
About the author:
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”