It’s hard to beat the great natural light of spring and summer, but fall and winter do not have to be dark and gloomy. Take the opportunity to add interest, comfort and function to a room with lighting.
A lot of rooms are really a blank canvas when it comes to lighting. You may have recessed lights already installed, but not much more. The multitude of styles of lamps and fixtures give you the chance to set a specific tone for the room, in addition to helping tie together existing chairs and furniture. And bulb choice makes a big difference as well.
Lighting can be classified into three types:
- Ambient lighting creates a base layer to establish the tone of the whole room.
- Task lighting illuminates a certain area to address the room’s specific function.
- Accent lighting draws attention to the decorative features that you love most.
Here are some ideas to help give you a little illumination inspiration for each room of your home.
For a room that is truly a blank slate with no lighting, recessed ceiling lights are an excellent addition for filling the room with light without taking up what is sometimes precious floor space. The number of lights, their direction and a dimmer switch make it easy to customize the amount and intensity of light.
Pendant lighting comes in many different shapes and sizes and is a great way to create ambient light with fixtures that make a statement. You can suspend multiple light fixtures from the ceiling at varying heights, which adds dimension and visual interest to a dining area, kitchen island or hallway.
Task lighting might include a table lamp as a focal point to establish an inviting conversation area. Or you may want a source of strong, white light over your office table to give you full view of your latest project. A floor lamp next to a comfy chair is just the thing for curling up with a magazine or book.
You can also use energy-efficient LED light strips to softly illuminate rooms from hidden sources. By placing an LED light strip under each overhead cabinet in your kitchen, you can brighten up the countertops where you chop vegetables or make a sandwich, or use it as a way to keep the room gently aglow after your big meal prep for the day is done.
Use accent lighting to draw focus to details in a room, or attract attention to the lighting fixtures themselves. A chandelier can be a classy and fun addition to a room, and these days they come in a wide variety of price points and styles from funky to retro to ultra-modern.
Don’t forget there are also ways to update or give a fresh look to existing fixtures and lamps, either with a new shade or globe, or perhaps by removing the covering altogether and using a lower intensity, industrial style-light bulb for that old-timey feel.
With lighting alone, you can transform your space and spark new use and interest in the rooms of your home. Maybe they’ll inspire some other changes as well, such as an antique furniture piece or reupholstering a chair.
But do take care to install any fixtures properly, both to ensure safety and also to ensure they look their very best. For a local lighting provider, visit the AHBA Member Directory.