Lighting Tips for Making Your Home Look Brilliant
If you walk into any well-designed room, you’ll notice that the room looks beautiful. You can see the impact of beautiful color on the walls, drapes with luxurious fabrics, and so on, but there’s one elusive — and often overlooked –design
element that can really pull a room together and make it look fantastic: Lighting. Lighting is the one part of decorating that’s most neglected. Yet, a thoughtfully-designed room would rarely overlook lighting.
More than just useful, good lighting creates drama in a room. A mood can be set by turning down the lights to a golden glow, all by installing a five dollar dimmer switch. Different types of lights (general, task, and accent) can be added so that a room will glow with a variety of lighting that makes it appealing, makes it easy to find something, or that shows off the room to its best effect.
Layer lighting for the best results
Most rooms require different kinds of lighting, such as general lighting. This can be served by a standard overhead light such as a chandelier, ceiling fan light, or ceiling fixture. You may also want to consider adding perimeter lighting or accent lighting to bring a glow to the whole room instead of just the center. This kind of lighting will help bring light to the corners of the room, and can even make a small room seem larger. Lighting should be all around the room, at the center, and at places where you will be working or reading. Layered in this way, you won’t be searching in the dark again.
Boost your design with light
Besides overhead lighting and lamps, what other kinds of lighting will make your room look terrific? Plenty. Lighting enhancements such as dimmer switches create soft glow and romance aplenty. Wall sconces are another source of light at the perimeter that can create both light and drama. Lighting artwork is yet another way to bring more attention and focus to different parts of the room. If you have original art pieces – and even if you don’t – lighted artwork brings your eye to the outer walls of the room and makes your art seem more important. It’s also a great way, again, to make a room seem larger, draw you into it, and make you want to stay there.
Move over 70’s
In the 70’s, a common lighting feature were light boxes installed around the room. These boxes were installed close to the ceiling of a room and had fluorescent lights installed behind, casting that unearthly office glow. Fortunately those days are behind us. Now we have rope lighting.
You can create a beautiful lighted ceiling accent by installing crown moulding around the perimeter of the room, and lowering it about four or five inches from the corner where the wall meets the ceiling. Then, place rope lighting inside the crown moulding. Of course, you’ll need an electrician to place an outlet close to the ceiling, but it’ll hidden by the crown moulding. When the rope lighting is turned on, your room will have an incredible warm glow.
More lighting ideas
When you want to create drama in a room, consider replacing white lampshades with black ones that are lined in gold. This will give the room great presence and drama, not to mention how they will transform your lamps. Don’t forget uplights for the corners of a room — another great drama-maker. At about $7 a light, they can be placed in plant baskets or behind a folding screen, providing tons of design for a small price.
If you have kitchen cabinets without lighting do consider adding it because it’s great task – and accent — light. Have interesting architectural features such as columns or stone walls in your home? Light them with uplights and they become more important and beautiful. If dark hallways are a problem, install wall sconces. They can completely transform hallways, making them look beautiful and interesting.
Make lighting convenient
Consider having an electrician wire an outlet so that when you walk into a room, you can flip a wall switch to turn on lamps in the room. Ceiling fixture lights are usually produce a glare-filled light that’s neither attractive nor enjoyable, and the wall switch will make turning lamps on and off more convenient for you. This is a terrific tip if you are thinking of building a home.
Lastly, don’t forget about all-important natural light. Make sure drapes can be pulled to the sides of windows so that the whole window is exposed. Curtains are often hung so that the rod ends just outside the window moulding. Then, when the curtains are pulled back it only leaves a small slit of window. Make rods larger and you’ll let in more natural light.
Light the way in your home by adding or enhancing your current light plan. You’ll see what a difference it can make in your rooms – and the way you feel in them.