Great interior decor depends on great furniture, the right wall coverings, perfect window treatments, statement flooring and just the right lighting design to bring it all together, provide atmosphere and set the appropriate tone from room to room. But lighting the interior of your home isn’t as simple as just buying a couple of lamps at the antique store and slapping up a few track lights. For your interior lighting scheme to really click you’ll need to consider everything from accent lights for your prized art works to mosaic lamps to add a sense of warmth and coziness. Below we’re going to shine a light on 7 keys to interior lighting that will allow you to master the medium.
The 7 Essentials of Interior Lighting
When considering lighting for your home you need to consider the purpose of each space and how light can be an asset in fostering that purpose. Here then are the 7 essentials to mastering interior lighting.
- Make a plan – Interior lighting that comes together in an ad hoc fashion will only create confusion. You’ll wind up with a jumble of competing moods, hot and cool lights jousting with one another and all the ambiance of a college dorm room. As we stated above you need to consider the purpose of each space – eating, working, relaxing, socializing – and how the lights can aid in that purpose. The look and placement of each light is crucial but so is each lights’ sphere of influence, as well as the color and temperature of the light produced.
- Light in layers – Take a close look at a Rembrandt and you’ll discover he achieved his amazing effects by applying layer upon layer of transparent glazes that work together to create the final result. Interior lighting works the same way. Use uplights to define the perimeter in a subtle, tasteful fashion, table lamps to create private spaces, Turkish mosaic lampsto create warm cozy nooks, low hung pendants to make the ceiling feel like it soars and track lighting to create focal points. Just remember not to position your layers in a way that they cancel each other out.
- Set the tone in the foyer – The foyer is the first space guests see and experience when they arrive in your home. It’s important to set the proper mood. The foyer should be warm and welcoming with a large(ish) chandelier to anchor the space along with mosaic lamps for color and perhaps a directional light bringing a particularly cheerful piece of artwork into focus.
- Don’t forget the color – Lights should be functional of course but they are also a great way to introduce color to a space without beating your guests over the head with it. Turkish mosaic lamps and pendants introduce a splash of color that’s typically all a kitchen needs to activate it. They also do yeoman’s work setting a welcoming tone in the foyer and having one on the desk in the study adds color and warmth without distracting from the purpose of the room.
- Use recessed lights with high ceilings – Recessed lights are a great way to establish scale and set the tone. They can be directional and also fixed to a dimmer so the ambiance can become progressively more subdued as the evening wears on. In the kitchen they’re a great way to fill in corners that natural light doesn’t reach during the day and they’ll make sure that your food preparation is always conducted in a safe, evenly lit environment. Once the cooking is done you can dim them down and switch the focus to the pendants over the island.
- Bathroom light should be both helpful and attractive – While it’s important from a decor perspective that the bathroom lighting work with the color scheme, textures and scale of the space it’s also crucial that there be adequate light for things like shaving, applying makeup, ensuring safety when getting into and out of the shower and so on. For this reason there should be a combination of downlights and sidelights each with their own dimmer to bring the light when it’s needed or scale it back when it’s not.
- Don’t forget the hallways – In the upper part of the home heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night can be an adventure. But it shouldn’t be. Wall sconces on dimmer switches that are strategically placed throughout the hall can ensure a safe trip every time. A table lamp in the hall that’s kept on at night is also a great way to create atmosphere while also ensuring safe navigation and it can be augmented by the aforementioned wall sconces to dazzling effect.
In addition, make sure to choose your bulbs carefully keeping in mind how bright you need a particular space, the atmosphere you’re trying to create, whether or not you are using a light to create a focal point or highlight a work of art and, of course, energy efficiency. Light color and temperature as well as whether you need directional or diffuse light are other considerations when choosing bulbs.
The lighting scheme in your home is often the determining factor as to whether your decor clicks or clunks. Take the above tips to heart and you’ll be well on your way to creating the interior decor of your dreams. And don’t forget to check out our full line of beautiful Turkish lamps, pendants and chandeliers.