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Choosing lighting for any room is a major consideration when undertaking any renovation or interior decorating project. Lighting can make or break a room and with so many different options available, the choice can be overwhelming. In this blog article, I look at some of the things to consider when selecting lighting for your home.
The lighting function
The most obvious consideration is the purpose of the lighting and the answer to this question will be different depending upon the room. The kitchen has evolved from a small room where dinner was cooked and later the dishes were washed. These days the kitchen is a living space, where we eat, read, complete homework, watch television, socialise and even run a kitchen table business. Likewise, the lighting must also be multi functional, my own kitchen lighting includes ceiling spotlights, copper pendant lights and table lamps, creating kitchen counter lighting, overhead kitchen lighting and a relaxed lamp light by which to read and relax later in the evening. Deciding the function of the room ahead of making decisions on lighting, ensures you have the correct level of lighting for how you use the room and if you're renovating or building from scratch this is an important factor when deciding the location of sockets, switches and wall lighting.
Lamp light colour
The desired light colour emitted from the ceiling light or table lamp will be different for different rooms. The lamp shade and more specifically the shade lining will have a strong bearing on the light colour as will the type of light bulb used.
Over head lighting can be very stark, think back to the big light in your grandparents living room! A chandelier type ceiling fitting with multiple low wattage bulbs will give a softer subtler light. Or for a kitchen ceiling light, selecting an Edison bulb will give both a warmer softer light and will also complete the retro lighting look. Again, it depends what you require of the light source, if you're chopping veg at the kitchen island, you will most likely require a sharper light to save your fingers!
Lamp shades have a requirement to look the part whether lit or unlit. Consider the lining and how the light will bounce off the surface. In recent years there has been a return to gold lampshade linings which create a warmer light. Nowhere is this effect more obvious than with our pendant shades, the antique copper pendant shade shines a warm light, and the white enamel lining of our 360mm rusted iron shade will give off a brighter light.
The overall style of the room has a bearing on the make up of the lighting. I personally like the subtlety of natural fibres and for this reason rope features in quite a lot of our lighting range. We also offer terracotta and concrete lamp bases, concrete would suggest a contemporary style lighting but it is a material that sits easily with all types of decor. Metal factory style pendant shades are ideal for kitchen lighting but also create great hall lighting. The answer isn't always obvious and using an unusual material can create impact.
Lighting at different levels
Creating different levels of light in a room extends the options available as the night draws in. Consider incorporating a main ceiling light, a floor lamp, table lamps and wall lighting if possible. The different levels enable you to create a softer light and strategically light different parts of the room for say reading.
Consider the lighting feature
Is the lighting the star of the room or the supporting act? You may wish to light a specific aspect of the room such as a gallery wall, Or, you may opt for a statement central light fitting in an austere pared back room . A pair of over sized table lamps on a console table draws the eye in an otherwise unfurnished hallway. It's all about balance.
Symmetry is pleasing to the eye.
When merchandising our stores, I always display table lamps as a pair. Our brains are wired to appreciate symmetry and there is something pleasing to the eye about a matching pair. Wall lights fitted as bedside table lighting creates the same effect, as does a pair of pendant lights used as kitchen table lighting.
Lighting by day
Finally remember, it isn't always dark at four o'clock! Lighting needs to look good unlit. I have a sneaking admiration for the Hamptons style interiors, the large white washed living room, that works around an over sized coffee table and the large wooden table lamps with big linen shades. These massive table lamps are something like an art installation and add to the overall look by day and by night. When choosing lighting, give thought to its daylight appeal too.