How to transform your home with the right lighting

by Greg on June 20, 2019

transform your home with lighting

Ever wondered what the number one secret ingredient of interior designers is? Here you go: it’s light.

Architects make the space. But it is up to interior designers to make what they will of it. Light is cheap (or free), beautiful, and comes in two equally valuable formats: eye-grabbing, or quietly transformative.

You can use light (and shade) to make a room look bigger, to hide an area you’d like to minimize, to warm it up or cool it down; to add style, energy, or calm. And the good news, if you’re on a budget, is that it has more to do with how you place the light than what you spend on fittings. Chandelier be gone!

Here are five ways to transform your home with lighting – click on the arrows to reveal a different piece of advice with each slide.

1. Go natural

Natural light is good for you. It regulates your internal clock, and catalyzes the functioning of vitamins and hormones in your body.

And it looks great – in many cases, far more interesting and beautiful than artificial lighting – just look through a book of art or fashion photography to see how the experts use it. But many of us consider natural light an afterthought. We’ll sit there with a lamp on all day because a room is gloomy – when mirrors and pale, glossy paint can add precious ‘wattage’ to the natural light of the darkest rooms.
maximize natural light

2. Make space

Dark rooms feel cramped and bright rooms feel more spacious, right? But there’s no need to leave it there. Where you put the sources of that bright light can change the dimensions of a room more precisely – for example, bring furniture out from the walls slightly and light them from behind to instantly add visual ‘echo’ to a room.
spacious home appearance

3. Look up

Part of the reason a room may feel small is a low ceiling. You can add a few imaginary inches to the height of a room by drawing the eye upwards with up-lighting, statement light fixtures on the ceiling, and transom windows above the doors.
make your home appear taller

4. Think: campfire
We’ve not been living in electrically-lit homes all that long. Our genes still seem to remember 100,000 years back, living in caves and gathering around the campfire for comfort and security.

The crackle of a campfire still makes us feel good today, but isn’t recommended for your living room. Thankfully, emulating the light temperature of real fire can create that cozy feel. You can achieve this by uncovering and making use of your fireplace if you have one – otherwise, candlelight, light diffusers, and warm-colored lampshades can all trigger the effect.
make a room appear cosier

5. Change the temperature

‘Fire’ is just one effect you can approximate using the power of bulbs. There’s a whole science of light temperature out there to help you create a different feel for different rooms, or the same room when used for different purposes.

For example, if your bedroom is also your office, blue-white light while you’re working will help you stay focused as it approximates daylight; but don’t forget to switch to warm 3,000 Kelvin light when it’s time to relax. Change the bulb, get one of those modern systems that you can adjust with a dimmer, or simply switch your lampshades.
change your room temperature

The secret ingredient is now public knowledge: it’s light! And it’s up to you what you do with it.

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