The Power Of Lighting
Although we don’t think about it, lighting is a fundamental part of interior design; it changes everything. With the proper lighting in your space, you can customize the vibe and the mood people will feel whenever they enter your space. However, just like furniture, where some can only go into certain places, this also applies to lighting. The placement, intensity, and color will all contribute to a well-balanced design. Because lighting can transform your home for better or for worse, here are some lighting design tips that will guide you in your light planning journey.
(Pictured above: Sleek styled kitchen with black marble kitchen island, black countertops, white brick walls and custom gold refrigerator.)
Starting strong, we have the kitchen. As a space, the kitchen is predominantly a functional space. It requires bright lighting for cooking and other tasks, but sometimes it gets forgotten that we may also associate the kitchen with relaxation. Getting your kitchen lighting right where you can create a space perfect for cooking and entertaining guests is key. Here are a couple of ways to create this atmosphere in your kitchen.
When it comes to lighting, it doesn’t have to be utilitarian; it can also be fashionable. Pendant lights are currently a popular choice and very versatile and provide enough light to create an atmosphere. The best place to put them is above the kitchen island in a set of 3 to keep the kitchen from feeling overwhelming or cluttered. However bigger the island, the more pendants you may add.
Although dimmable lights and kitchens are rarely considered together, they work well. While bright lights are needed in the kitchen for functional purposes, you can also transition to a cozier feel just by dimming the lights. With dimmable lights, you can alter the atmosphere instantly.
Adding lights to the bottom of your cabinets creates functionality and sleekness simultaneously for a more modern design. The lights will appropriately illuminate the counter surface and create an aesthetic appeal in your kitchen.
Hallway lights aren’t just used to help us navigate at night but also to turn the dark and eerie passageway into a beautiful and comforting one instead. Adding the right light fixture to your hallway creates an aura as well as serving a practical purpose. Here are a few light fixture ideas that will transform your hallways.
LED strips lights are one of the more affordable ways to light up your hallways and are easy installation. Not only that but putting strip lights on the edges of the ceiling gives a modern and sleek design.
For long and narrow hallways, ceiling lights may be the go; They will illuminate the hallways and come in different varieties. Just decide how many fixtures you’ll need to add and turn your hallway into a runway.
Wall lights or sconces are perfect when it comes to smaller hallways. Entry wall lights act like a lighting guide that leads you through the dark hallway. They are also very fashionable and one of my favorites because they come in many ways and work beautifully with any hallway.
It can be a glamorous entry to your home if you’re fortunate enough to have the space and height for a chandelier. The wow factor from the chandelier will make any hallway remarkable. However, finding the right chandelier may be a challenge. We advise you to carefully prepare and determine what spaces you have to work with.
(Image above: White bathtub with gold faucet, glossy gray tiles, Dimond pendant light, clear glass shower with also gold faucets)
Living in the Pacific Northwest, many enjoy the saturated colors of traditional Latin design and rustic feel of Mexican materials. Stucco exteriors, exposed concrete and wrought iron meet soft leathers and patinated metal finishes. Softly round corners rested in slender black metal frames accompanied by a live-edge table may help connect a space to its outdoor environment.
In designing a Mexican themed kitchen, a ceiling-high backsplash of hand-selected book-matched Arabescato marble pairs well with a quartzite island countertop balanced by teak barstools. Perhaps a hammered brass art piece hung above the breakfast table integrates with similar artwork found throughout the home.
For the main bedroom design and bedroom decor, soft linen bedding counters the chocolate-brown bed frame, and translucent window treatments hang softly which offer peeks of the landscape and drift in the breeze. The main bathroom adorned with marble completes the interior experience taking the homeowner back to their favorite coastal beach vacation destination.
Well thought out landscaping accents the grounds with an assortment of agave, along with other succulents and drought-tolerant plants, is based in Mexico. Outdoor furniture that is interchangeable with the indoor furniture contributes to a seamless feel.
The dining table is usually one of if not the largest tables in the house; the room can serve many purposes. A dining area to have a meal with family and friends, a productive space to get work done and work on projects, or simply an area to socialize.
Pendant lights are the popular option; where a chandelier might not be correct, pendant lights can provide more balanced lighting. They can fit into themes easier and are less intrusive than larger light fixtures.
A centerpiece lighting fixture is standard in many dining rooms; from chandeliers to statement pieces, they can (and probably will) be all you need to get the most out of the room while being unique and attention-grabbing.
[dining room with a chandelier or other large statement light fixture]
The lighting here depends on your theme; due to these lights functioning similarly, all that matters is how they look.
(Pictured above: A modern designed living room with tan tile walls, natural wood floors, lots of windows and minimalistic furniture.)
The living room is the centerpiece of many homes where people come together. Lots of thought will go into making the best space to entertain guests and relax with your family, and that intention can only shine through if the area is well-lit. Here are some things to consider when thinking about living room lighting.
This centerpiece room should be warm and inviting; you shouldn’t feel like you fell into a cold lake when you walk through. Typically done through layered lighting, a centerpiece light fixture with lamps and wall mounts around the room, ambient lighting plays a significant role in augmenting the atmosphere.
Task and accent lighting also have so much to do with elevating this space. You’ll need light if you use your living room to read or get some work done. This is where table lamps work well; they illuminate a small area and can be turned off separately from the rest of the room.
Accent lighting focuses lighting on a specific area to draw attention to them. Spotlights are a perfect example of an accent lighting fixture that could showcase other design features.
Natural lighting is a significant consideration. If the room faces south, optimal for the most sunlight, then windows can provide comfortable, cool light during the day.
Lighting has a noticeable effect on productivity, so if you want a home office where things get done, it is important to get the proper lighting.
Softer ambient lighting is necessary to prevent harsh contrast while lighting up the room, as shadows and dark spots can make it harder to remain focused. Ceiling lights with diffusers should be paired with wall lights so that you avoid shadows and keep softer light. Make sure to avoid brighter lighting around your computer to reduce glare.
Task lighting is a priority, and it can help hone focus. Desk lamps are perfect due to their adjustability and versatility while being bright enough to contrast with the soft light around the room and provide focus.
The temperature of light plays a role in productivity. Warmer lights signify to our brain that the sun is setting, and the day is ending, which has a relaxing effect, while cooler lights represent daytime and a risen sun bearing light down on us, making us more alert and active. In an office space, cooler lighting, 3100K to 4500K (measured in kelvin), will increase productivity.
(Image above: Rustic style outdoor patio with a touch of modern, photo credit: Lightology)
Lighting for heavy traffic areas, like stairs to a deck, needs light in order not to be a safety risk. Flush and surface-mounted lights are favored for steps, while post cap and rail lights can be used to brighten up the railing.
String lights are popular, striving for light from above in a place that may not have a ceiling; they are an excellent way to make an outdoor space cozy. Various lighting also helps create a space more inviting; candles and torches can blur the line between your yard and lounge area.
Your garden can be transformed in the absence of the sun. Typically, it will be subtle lighting, making your garden all the more mystical. Scattered lighting throughout is a great way to illuminate, but you may want to have some focal lighting to draw attention toward a significant spot.
Flower beds are a hot spot for stake lights; small and obscure, they allow you to take in all the vivid color of a flower bed undisrupted.
If you have a multi-level garden, retainer wall lights are a good option to incorporate light – although it may be more noticeable compared to other lighting fixtures.
As has been said, lighting is necessary to use walkways throughout the night. Lighting at the path’s edges allows you to see where you are going and what you are traversing over. Many walkway lights try to conform to the environment, so they stick out less, giving a light but trying to remain out of focus. These lights need to survive the climate, whether hot and dry, rainy and muddy or snow and frost.
Overall, the key is subtlety in lighting, with a focus on a garden being the exemption. The more lighting you can add without removing the outdoor setting, the better. The variety of outdoor lights can be overwhelming, but there is a purpose for each one, and if used correctly, they can dramatically improve your outdoor areas during the night.
Ariana Adireh is an award-winning interior designer with extensive experience in residential, commercial, and architectural design projects. Thanks to her cosmopolitan training, she breaks the boundaries of design and space to help clients step outside their comfort zone. She enjoys going the extra mile to bring design ideas to life.