It might be dark and cold outside but you can create magic in your home with imaginative use of lighting. Soft diffused light works best in creating a cosy warm atmosphere. At Grandad's Shed and through my interior design service, Vicki Kress Interiors, I often get asked for tips on how to get the lighting right in a space.
Lighting can often be an afterthought or left til the absolute very last minute. I believe this to be a mistake because once it's installed you have to live with it day in, day out.
If you plan well, the right lighting can instantly lift a room and create that cosy inviting setting. It pays to do your research and to treat each room as a unique space.
I'm here to help and today I'm sharing with you my guide to get the right light for the right space.
You may need additional focused lighting such as ceiling downlights, under cabinet lights or spots around your worktops to brighten the area for food prep. Or your Large open kitchen diner will need multiple sources of light for different moods throughout the day – for the cooking relaxing or entertaining on an evening.
Directional light is a good option and a desk lamp on your work surface can work just as wells as any fancy scheme.
Living and Dining
Your living space or dining room will require softer accent lighting such as floor or table lamps. I always aim for a minimum of three or four light sources in a room to create a layered effect. It's all about adding in light at different heights, intensities and for a variety of purposes.
Your main ceiling pendant will create a broad spread of light so try and create a focal point in the room by choosing a beautiful pendant or chandelier to make an impact.
Then determine if you require more focused lighting for reading in your armchair or applying makeup in the mirror of your dressing table in your bedroom.
A single pendant looks good. However, several grouped together creates real impact, especially in a larger room or over a dining table. Take the leaf our of our client's book (pictured above, right) and choose the same or similar designs and hang at different heights to form a decorative cluster.
One of my pet hates is when you walk into a room and theres too many bright lights with strong glare. So its always a good idea to install dimmers so you can adjust the intensity of the bulbs to suit your moods.
Then bring in some accent lighting using up-lighters or lamps such as the Tami Lamp which will create shadows against your walls or highlight certain features such as paintings or sculptures on your walls.
The use of table and floor lamps will create zones for your lighting and create interest and create levels and tones throughout the space. By using different styles you will give shape and interest to a lifeless room and it will help draw your eye to the cosy corners to make a real feature of them.
Switch over to LED light bulbs. They have a 50,000 hour lifetime which, put simply, means around 10-15 year lifespan and last up to 20 times longer than normal bulbs. They consume less energy, and help reduce your electricity bills. Equally they come on straight away and have a stunning array of different tones and hues.
Candlelight and garland lighting
There's nothing more inviting than cosy candlelights. And that's never more true than during the autumn and winter months. Once we’ve drawn the curtains, flicked off the ‘big light’, turned on the side lamps and lit the candles this immediately helps you relax and unwind.
Whilst we love to light up a space with real candles, they can be difficult to maintain and shouldn't be left unattended. We have the perfect alternative in the shape of our Luminara Remote Controlled Candles. With their real flame effect, this battery operated candles are the perfect alternative to the real deal. I love watching the flame dancing around.
Use the timer or optional remote to turn on your candle from across the room. No running over to relight your candle if it goes out. You can control these with your feet firmly up on your favourite footstool!
Lighting really is a powerful tool in your interior design toolkit. It has the power to be beautiful, functional and set the mood of the room.