Lighting your home’s interiors is easy – lighting them correctly can be a different story entirely. The problem is that for most people, lighting represents nothing more than a means by which to illuminate what would otherwise be a dark interior. Which is of course an important faculty of lighting, but it’s far from its only purpose.
Approached strategically, quality contemporary lighting can dramatically transform the interiors of your home like almost nothing else imaginable. It’s simply a case of avoiding a few common mistakes, of which it’s likely you are already making one or more this very moment:
1. You don’t think in layers
For example, rather than thinking of light as something of a blanket to bathe an entire room in, you should get into the habit of thinking in layers. In the living room for example, it can be so much more atmospheric to replace one overly-bright central fixture with a series of table lamps and uplighters. Bring a little additional feature lighting into the equation and chances are your interiors will have never looked so good.
2. You overlook dimmer switches
They might come across as a little retro, but there isn’t an interior designer in the world that doesn’t swear by dimmer switches. Regardless of the interior styling of your home or your own personal tastes, dimmer switches can and will make all the difference around the entire home. The simple fact of the matter is that an elegant dinner party or casual evening in front of the TV will always be more enjoyable with dimmed, atmospheric lighting than a room brighter than a floodlit stadium. And given the fact that they cost next to nothing, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
3. You don’t consider where shadows might fall
You don’t have to be an interior design genius to get to grips with the importance of considering shadows. All around the home, the type, positioning and strength of lighting fixtures you use will create various shadows all over the place. Some of which can be flattering for both you and your home, others can be inconvenient, irritating or downright depressing. So rather than just thinking about the areas of your home that are illuminated, it’s also worth considering those that are cast into shadows.
4. You get the proportions wrong
Personal tastes may vary, but it’s nonetheless a good idea to take into account proportions when selecting home lighting fixtures. For example, if you have an extremely large dining table, and absolutely tiny chandelier mounted above it is probably going to look a little pathetic. Likewise, a tiny bedside table paired with an enormous lamp is unlikely to achieve a sense of balance and sophistication. It’s not like you have to plan things down to the last millimetre, but instead simply be aware of the fact the proportion really does make a difference when it comes to lighting. The best advice therefore being to err on the side of caution and choose fixtures of a medium size, if unsure.
5. You don’t use independent controls
Very little frustrates interior designers more that coming across a living space that features potentially outstanding lighting fixtures, which are all controlled by a single switch. Usually, without there being a dimmer switch in sight. When you install various lighting fixtures for your walls, ceilings, floors and so on, the whole point should be that you are able to create the precise mood and atmosphere of your choosing through careful control. As such, if you simply have one switch that operates them all at the same time, this isn’t going to happen. An investment in independent lighting controls is one investment you are not going to regret making.
6. You don’t consider colour or warmth
Last but not least, there is a quite literally endless array of colour and warmth varieties to choose from these days, when it comes to the bulbs and lighting devices you install. Depending on the room in question, its size, the lighting fixture types and the primary colours used in the room, the choice you make in terms of colour or warmth could make an enormous difference. The idea being that rather than simply choosing lighting fixtures and devices at random, you instead first consider the dominating colours in the room in question and tailor your decisions accordingly.