Let There Be Light!
Lighting is arguably the most important element in interior design. It is an essential ingredient and not an afterthought as many consider it to be. If you’re tempted to spend more time picking out furnishings or puzzling over layouts, remember that lighting can completely transform a space – not just by brightening dark corners, but by affecting your emotions. (1)
Lighting creates mood and sets tone. It can affect the perceived size of a room, add dimension, draw attention and create depth and balance.
In order to achieve the true power of lighting, designers consider lighting placement, amongst a myriad of other things. Standard lighting layouts with symmetrical cans, chandeliers and pendants (peppered with table, floor and task lamps) are a great starting point. After all, you need more than one source of light in a room (think layered illumination). (1) But, when you get creative on where and how to place lighting, “wow-factors” can be born.
Here are a few creative lighting placement ideas that take lighting to the next level.
Forgotten Corners: Light ‘em up
The goal is to create contrast between the light at the center of a room, the light around the perimeter, and the darker spaces in between: Without the darker, quieter moments, everything is flat and boring. It’s the subtle interplay between light and dark that creates the appeal. (1)
One way to incorporate this idea of lighting contrast is to hang a chandelier or pendant in the corner of your room. It’s a statement piece, hung an unexpected place, that brightens a portion of the perimeter and not just the center of the room. It’s a new take on a “reading lamp.” I love this idea.
Perfectly Imperfect: Offsetting for effect
Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to house-plants, paintings, sculptures and other prized possessions.
To be effective, accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights. But how about a strategically placed pendant light that also performs as task lighting? Not all lighting needs to be centered and it’s very effective on this buffet cabinet. Smart! (2)
Strength in Numbers: The Power of Multiples
If you are looking to make a statement in your space, you’ll find strength in numbers. A clever, on-trend solution I love is finding a fabulous fixture—and pairing it with several more. A cluster of a few fixtures you really love could certainly make the case that more is more.
While any one pendant or chandelier can stand alone just fine as a single light fixture, pulling the various styles together creates a stunning effect; assorted shapes play perfectly in sync. You create your own work of art that will have a strong effect on your room’s look. (3) It’s unexpected and a great way to put on your creative thinking cap.
Architectural Lighting: Think outside the box
Lighting can help bring value to the function of architecture. It draws attention to textures, colors and forms of space, helping architecture achieve its true purpose. That’s a deep sentiment but its significance cannot be overstated. Illuminating walls and edges creates a huge impact and transforms the feeling of a space. (4)
For example, use lighting to add dimension to shelving, cabinetry, archways, staircases, ceilings and other architectural elements worth highlighting. Be creative with ways to add a subtle glow or a bold spotlight.
For creative lighting help in your home, call Talie Jane Interiors at 855-TALIE JANE (855-825-4352).
1. [Lighting a Room, Simplified – The New York Times (nytimes.com)](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/realestate/lighting-a-room-simplified.html)
2. [The importance of lighting within interior design | The Interior Studio](https://theinteriorstudio.co.uk/importance-lighting-interior-design/)
3. [Try This: Designing with Multiple Pendant Lights | YLighting Ideas](https://www.ylighting.com/blog/strength-numbers-designing-multiple-pendant-lights/)
4. [The Importance of Architectural Lighting | TCP Lighting Solutions (tcpi.com)](https://www.tcpi.com/importance-architectural-lighting/)
Article by Kimberly Moore and Talie Jane.