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Lighting is the air that allows your interior design to breathe. You might want it to be a central feature or a neutral background but the presence of good lighting is what allows every other element of your room to be appreciated and valued.
Lights spotlight your favourite pieces, wall lamps can frame a certain spot, ceiling lights can bathe the room in brightness, low hanging pendant lights can signpost your living area in a larger space. Lights are how you make your little world visible. Lighting can be deliberately directed to suit your needs and you can single out aspects of the space that bring you particular joy or which define the character of your home.
A lamp that you can manoeuvre is an incredible asset because you can adjust the focus to vary where the eye is drawn. Think about whether you want your style to be eclectic, traditional Victorian inspired, industrial-chic or rustic. Your light choices, from the bulbs to the placement, to the fittings are crucial to getting it right. Your choices can have wonderful, illuminating benefits. Be playful with a large fringed lamp or a mirrored ceiling light fixture but keep an eye on the practicalities and make sure your choice fits the space and suits your taste. A wooden lamp is perfect for a living room or spotlights can be perfect to light up a work surface in a kitchen. You can choose the purpose of your lighting. Task lighting is a perfect choice for specific jobs like preparing food, a reading lamp to curl up in an armchair with a good book or a spotlight for where you put style your hair or apply makeup. Ambient lighting is what gives the overall tone of the light in your room. A bright white light gives you visibility but a softer glow can give a sense of cosiness. Accent lighting can be used on top of ambient lights to add interest and focus to your room.
If you’re making your entrance way a welcoming oasis that allows you to shed all your worldly cares, then you will want to invest in lighting with an energy-saving bulb so that the area can be bathed in bright, warm light for long periods of time. As for the fitting, you might want to choose wall lights or a ceiling fitting, to save space in a narrow hallway. Keep your floor space clear and shave valuable moments off your path to a cup of tea and a sit-down. Flights of stairs are another important area for lighting, for practical reasons as well as the aesthetic. A large fixture at the top of your stairs creates a visual beacon to climb towards and casts a defining edge of shadow on each step. You could also go for a graded set of wall lights with glass or metal sconces to guide your way. In a living room or a bedroom you could push the boat out and go for a chandelier fitting or a multi-bulb arrangement in a design feature. The ceiling might be the limit physically but in design terms, you can reach for the sky. Bathroom lights are a great opportunity for small space design to shine. Large amounts of fabric are undesirable in a humid space so the focus is on close-fitted circular lights, domes and clustered spotlights. There are hexagonal ceiling lights and chrome fixtures to give some shine to your bathroom. From garden lights, to the front door lamp which glows invitingly, all the way up to a beautiful stained glass bedside lamp to a post-modern wooden chandelier, let your lighting choices bring your home to life.