Getting the right amount of the right lighting for your home is really important for mood and function. But how much is the right amount and what is the ideal mix? Read on for some great suggestions to help you achieve a designer look for your home.
Natural lighting is important for the way our brains function and can have a huge impact on mood and ability to sleep. It also simply looks fabulous! There’s nothing more lovely than letting in an abundance of natural light and of course, if there are beautiful windows AND a lovely view, then you’re laughing.
Photo credit: Sartorial Interiors
A couple of things about light streaming into our homes. Firstly, it can also bring the heat. You’ll need window treatments of one sort or another. If you’re after some inspo, check out this board.
Secondly, the sun (especially here in Australia) can be quite harsh. To soften its impact on your eyes – AND for increased privacy – consider adding sheers. They have a lovely way of filtering sunlight and are very effective in maintaining your privacy. They’re also super contemporary and add a softness to space. But, I digress. Back to lighting….
A room’s use will determine how much task lighting you’ll need. For example, you’ll need more strong, clear lighting for a kitchen or an office than a bedroom. And on the flip side, you’ll need more soft dimmable lighting in a bedroom than a kitchen. Although, you’ll need both in both.
Photo credit: Alexandra McMillan
To state the obvious, task lighting needs to go in a work area in an unimpeded way, usually this is above and slightly in front of where a person will sit or stand. Warm white LED downlights are perfect for this, or track lighting that can be pointed to a specific spot.
This is the fun stuff! Think beautiful pendants and lamps and cleverly placed LED strips. You will have by now seen stunning pendants via Pinterest or Instagram. Place them over dining tables, besides beds or vanities or in foyers or stairwells. Make them a feature and use dimmable or Edison globes to ensure soft lighting when you’re kicking back. Another ongoing trend is to have a series of them (usually three or four) over a kitchen island. Like rugs, they can help ‘zone’ spaces – especially in open plan rooms.
Photo credit: Sartorial Interiors
There’s an English designer, Abigail Ahearn, who suggest that each room should have at least eight sources of artificial light. Think about that for a moment. Eight! If you have downlights and a pendant, you still need six lamps to hit the quota. Of course, I love the idea and am dedicated to spreading the word, but five or six would probably suffice in most rooms!
Another great option for mood lighting are wall lights or sconces. Again these look fab on either side of a vanity or in hallways. They also look stunning over shelving and artworks.
Strip LED lighting can be used to enhance architectural detail to a great extent. Use it to outline stairs, hallways, cabinetry or to emphasise textured walls or ceilings.
Photo credit: @atelier_di_spera
Once you start exploring the wonderful world of lighting, you’ll start to think about your own home. Will you stick with what you’ve got or start adding more to hit Abigail Ahern’s eight sources per room?
Monique Sartor is a Sydney based interior designer, blogger, and podcaster. You could say she’s somewhat obsessed with all things relating to interiors!! Monique is a guest writer for Houzz and loves providing her award-winning service to fabulous clients! For more visit www.sartorialinteriors.com.au