When you walk into a beautifully designed room, you see the colors, windows and furniture, but you feel the lighting. It’s a little secret that interior decorators know; the right lighting scheme takes a room from attractive to captivating. So if you want to add charm and interest to your décor without a complete remodel, consider a lighting makeover. Just by making a few adjustments and adding fixtures where needed, you can give your rooms a completely new dimension.
Start with ambient lighting for an overall impression.
Most rooms have a general light source, such as an overhead light or chandelier. But downward-directed fixtures can make a room feel harsh and create shadows. So interior decorators usually add ambient or indirect light, which bounces off the ceiling or walls and diffuses around the room. It brightens your space without drawing your eye to a single light source. And with ambient light, you can create the overall atmosphere you want. For example, softer, yellower lights feel warm and cozy. Brighter, whiter lights feel open and lively.
You can introduce ambient light with torchiere floor lamps or track lights directed toward the walls. If you have natural light in the room, a mirror on the opposite wall will reflect and magnify it. You can also put florescent lights on top of cabinets to radiate off the ceiling. In bedrooms and bathrooms, wall sconces on either side of a dressing mirror provide good indirect light without unflattering shadows.
Add task lighting to support your activities.
Once you’ve taken care of ambient illumination, make sure you have dedicated lights to see whatever you may be doing in each room. For example, in a living room, you might want to read or play games. Adjustable table lamps or stylish boom floor lamps like those you can find at Barbara Cosgrove Lamps add focused light just for those activities.
In the kitchen, add under-cabinet lights for counters or pendant lamps over an island. Soffit lights traditionally brighten up the sink area. And don’t forget closets and cabinets. Recessed fixtures work well in these areas because they don’t take up needed space.
Spotlight your unique style.
Once you’ve determined your ambient and task lighting scheme, consider ways to highlight the most distinctive features of your room, like a brick wall, a fireplace, or a painting. You want people to notice these elements as soon as they enter, so draw their attention with dedicated fixtures. For example, you can point track lighting to an interesting hearth or arrangement of artwork. Upward-facing floor lights can illuminate a plant or sculpture from below, creating a spectacular effect. For fine art, select fixtures specially designed to accent your piece without causing glare or damaging the work.
Create interest with fascinating fixtures.
You can liven up any room with stylish and unusual lighting fixtures. Here’s a good opportunity to bend the rules and show off your creativity. Go for a collection of modern sphere pendants over the dining table instead of a chandelier. Make a luxurious statement by putting a chandelier in the bedroom. Or add energy to your living room with eye-catching sunburst sconces. Check out lighting specialists like Arteriors for some cool trends and ideas.
Pay attention to the details.
Lighting creates the mood in your home, so don’t go to the trouble of designing a lighting picture and forget to follow through on the details. If you have any outdated or worn fixtures, update them to align with your décor. Add dimmers wherever possible so you can control the amount of light you want.
And if you get a reflection off a large window, light something outside it. The light coming in will erase the reflection so people don’t see ghost versions of themselves when they look outside.
The best home lighting blends seamlessly with your room. Your family and guests don’t really notice the recessed lights, soffit fixtures or accent lamps. They just feel the overall impression, the comfort, and the unique details of your personal style. If you’d like to learn more about how you can makeover your home’s lighting scheme, visit us at The Guest Room Furniture and Design in Leesburg, VA for some refreshingly illuminating ideas.