Lighting is an underestimated hero in interior design. A great lighting system can transform a room into a haven of comfort or create a dramatic backdrop for your beautiful furnishings. Think of lighting in a creative way to show off every aspect of your home from shelves and stairwells to the garden beds and outdoor areas.
Focus On Function
Before choosing your lamps and pendants, it’s a good idea to consider which areas of the house need strong illumination and those nooks and alcoves that only really require decorative light. For example, your kitchen, study or bathroom may need strong illumination considering the functionality of these areas. Rooms where softer, more ambient lighting work effectively may be the bedroom and lounge, with additional lamps for reading or other activities that require extra illumination.
And don’t forget to factor in cords and switches when choosing the areas to be lit. It sometimes can’t be avoided, but unsightly cords and power points can undo the impact of a stunning light fixture. Be resourceful and find ways to keep cords and power points concealed if you are opting for a minimal look. Or perhaps you prefer to incorporate the cords into the lighting design? There are some fabulous pendant styles with looping cords hooked into the ceiling for a truly industrial feel. If getting lighting systems installed, be sure to hire an accredited electrician to do the work for you.
Know Your Style
Trust your personal style and choose light fittings that complement your existing décor. If your home is sleek and modern, lights fitted into the ceiling and shades with minimal decorative elements will work beautifully. Alternatively, metal pendant lights or older style lamps will suit a rustic or industrial home. Or something like a strong spotlight could be a dynamic choice for a warehouse style abode.
Accentuate the Positives
Used creatively, lighting can become a work of art itself. There is a huge variety of lighting systems that can fit into every nook in your home: strip lighting for bookshelves and stairs; small concealed spotlights for splashbacks in kitchens and arched wall lamps to highlight favourite paintings and prints. And colour can change the mood of a room, too. Experiment with coloured bulbs to enhance cosiness in a quiet space or activity in the hub of the home.
Lighting in the garden or in any outdoor space such as a deck or balcony can illuminate points of interest in the garden such as a fountain or feature wall; or it can be used to highlight functional aspects of the garden like paths, stairs and the barbecue area. If you love entertaining outdoors then garden lighting is a must! Think romantic lanterns and fairy lights dotted throughout the garden beds. Solar powered lights are cheaper to run and are a great option for gardens, so don’t forget to check out the wide range of solar products available.
Get the look…
• Consider the areas of your home where you work and the areas where you relax, and light your rooms accordingly. Allow extra lighting for activities such as reading by adding lamps and spotlights.
• Stick with a style you love. Choose designs that complement the décor in your house and your personal taste.
• Experiment with various lighting systems to accentuate points of interest in your home – bookshelves, stairs and artwork can all be lit for dramatic effect.
• Don’t forget the garden! Your outdoor space is the perfect canvas for lighting.
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Katie Evans - Milan Direct