Festive lighting is such a big part of the holiday season! But the right lighting is also a very important factor in making your home beautiful and functional all year long. It’s the finishing touch: with the flip of a switch, the right lighting sets the mood, directs your attention, and can even reduce your monthly energy bill.
Four kinds of lighting to consider in a room design
Ambient lighting provides overall illumination and is best when it comes from several sources, including natural light from windows.
Task lighting is an extra light fixture focused on a specific area to make tasks easier.
Accent lighting is used to define spaces, focus attention on photos or artwork, or create dramatic effects by drawing attention to certain details within a room.
Decorative lighting is any lighting that adds style and aesthetic appeal in addition to functional light, with fixtures designed to enhance the personality and beauty of your room.
Lighting tips, room by room
Lighting your family room is about finding a balance and creating a lighting scheme that’s adaptable for the different activities that happen there. Your ambient lighting should be dimmable for when someone is watching a movie. Task lighting, such as a floor lamp or a table lamp is for reading or other detail-oriented activities. Accent lighting can highlight your favorite collection or artwork.
Most of the activity in the dining room is focused around the table, so you’ll want a chandelier or pendants there. Make sure it’s not so large that it overpowers the room or hangs so low that it interferes with conversation across the table. A dimmer is a great choice here, so you can adjust the lighting level depending on whether you’re having a romantic dinner or using the table for the kids’ homework.
The kitchen requires a more complicated and flexible lighting plan. Overhead lighting, whether a hanging fixture or recessed lights, will help when doing general clean-up and is also nice when you’re entertaining or have helpers in the kitchen. Task lighting, such as under-cabinet fixtures, is great for detail-oriented chores, like food preparation. A grouping of pendant lights provides accent lighting as well as task lighting for working at an island or dining at a breakfast bar.
The bedroom often uses overhead lighting, sometimes on a ceiling fan, as the main source of light. Consider a dimmer switch so you can choose to have the lighting soft or bright. Task lighting is the small reading lamp on your bedside table. Use accent lighting to show off special mementos or to set off a corner for late-night reading or early morning coffee.
The bathroom should be a well-lit space. A pair of sconces generally give appropriate light for most tasks such as shaving and applying make-up. Chandeliers are being used more often and add an extra touch of elegance. Lights on a dimmer can create a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere in the evening, while also giving you brighter lights on dark winter mornings.
No matter how much time or how many resources you devote to making your home beautiful, if you don’t take lighting into consideration, you’re missing an important element. If you’re remodeling, think about it early in the process and talk to us about how you can have the perfect lighting plan for every room!