Lighting design isn’t rocket science, right? How hard can it be to stick in some bulbs and fill a room with light? That’s easy, of course. However, to achieve a lighting effect that makes the space feel just right – well, that’s much more difficult.
Don’t over-do the overhead
Many householders make the mistake of relying too heavily on overhead lighting to illuminate rooms. Whilst this is a useful element in lighting, it can often appear too stark and bright, washing out rooms. To escape the dominant glare of overhead lighting it’s a wise move to fit dimmer switches. This way, you achieve total lighting flexibility. When you have a group of children around for a birthday tea, you want the dining table well lit so you can capture all the crumbs and stray bits of food that scatter. Conversely, for an intimate dinner party, dim lighting and a softer mood is appropriate. Dimmers are the way forward for controllable interior lighting – changing over from a conventional switch plate to a dimmer switch is a relatively easy job for a competent DIY-er, or if in doubt, call in a professional electrician. Certain light bulbs aren’t suitable for dimmer switches, so check out what you need before making changes.
The trouble with overhead illumination is that it casts shadow and this blots out light. By layering the lighting in a room, that is, putting lights at different levels, we paint a far prettier lighting picture. Low level lamps on coffee tables or bed-stands, wall sconces at mid level, task lighting over work areas and hobby spaces, spotlights and suspended pendant lamps – all these combine to make interiors feel more cozy and relaxing. Nobody wants to be straining their eyes through lack of light, or shading them from an excess of it, getting the balance just right is key to the perfect mood. You can find online guides to measure for shutters and installing them is quite simple.
Natural is best
One of the best sources of light is the natural kind. Nothing rivals a sun-filled room for lifting the spirits and if it is possible to harness natural light in a room, try to maximize the benefits. Window treatments offering easy control of light levels, such as interior shutters, are effective for letting sun in on cool days or keeping it out when it’s sweltering. With lots of configurations such as tier on tier shutters, cafe styles and full height designs, shutters are the elegant solution to natural light management in stylish interiors.
You can maximize light levels with clever use of mirrors. Position them adjacent to or opposite natural light sources to reflect back into the room. A gallery wall arranged with a collection of different mirrors in varying frames and styles looks effective and makes dark spaces come alive. Mirrors in shadowy alcoves and at the end of long windowless corridors create the illusion of extra space and light. Make mirrors your friends and hang them at every opportunity in light starved rooms.
Light is a precious resource and one that directly affects mood and behavior. Exploit the benefits of good lighting by following these illuminating tips. Soon, you could be seeing the world in a completely different light…
Photo by Blakes London