Lighting is the lifeblood of your home. It brings your living space to life, showcases your style and changes the mood and ambience of your rooms. It also affects how you look at colour, and how everything from your wallpaper to your carpets and curtains appears.
While the right floor, ceiling and table lights can take your living room, bedroom and kitchen to the next level. Poorly positioned or inadequate lighting can leave a carefully considered design scheme in the dark, and even make your home feel unwelcoming. To help you choose lighting that makes your style shine, we’ve created a short guide to lighting the three most important rooms in your home.
Whether you’re an avid film fan, an audiophile, a keen reader or just someone who loves to curl up with your favourite tipple, your living room has many uses. And that’s why your lighting needs the flexibility to match. To create a living area that suits every mood, it pays to consider three different kinds of lighting: ambient, task and accent.
Your living room should feel relaxing. Ambient lighting helps to make the space warm, cosy and inviting, creating a golden ‘glow’. While many people focus on finding a show piece ceiling light, it’s far better to have lights at different levels, and in different areas of the room. A subtle mix of decorative table lights and statement pendants, or wall lights, creates a sophisticated layered look and can give your living room a new lease of life when the sun goes down.
Placing lamps at the edges of your room and in corners is also a simple way to draw the eye outwards and make your living space seem larger. And if your living room doubles up as a home cinema, LED lighting around the perimeter of your ceiling can create a discrete downlight that doesn’t detract from your big screen viewing.
Floor standing lights are a great way to create a cosy reading corner within a room, spotlight your favourite armchair to add focussed brightness when you need it. A wow-factor floor light that arcs above your sitting area can also enhance the overall scheme of your living room, and double-up as an elegant reading light.
From art to family portraits and ceramics, accent lighting helps to showcase your favourite possessions, creating areas of focus within your room. The key with any living room accent lighting is to plan ahead and build in the lighting you need at the beginning. So, if you’re considering investing in bespoke bookshelves, or fitted living room furniture, talk to your designers first and add made-to-measure light boxes within the design. Integrating lighting into your living room design also helps to conceal messy cabling and keep wiring out of sight – creating a clean, contemporary look.
For the perfect bedroom sanctuary, subtle bedside lighting is a must. Buying a distinctive design in pairs, not only guarantees a balanced, symmetrical look but creates equal light on both sides of the room.
Uplighters like this sophisticated Bree Tripod light from MADE also add character and create a warm diffused light that brings the best out of your bedroom colour scheme. This kind of light is a simple way to make a feature of sloped ceilings and halo alcoves.
In a large, spacious bedroom, an elegant ceiling light like a crystal chandelier, can have a real impact. However, if low ceilings are an issue, opt for simple swivel spotlights that can be focused on different areas of your room, and make your bedroom space feel less cluttered. Whichever ceiling lighting you choose, it's always worth investing in a wall-mounted dimmer switch so you can change the light to suit your mood. This brings you all the practical benefits of dedicated task lighting and the option to dial down the brightness to create a soothing glow.
The most important task lighting in your bedroom is often around your dressing table, and adjustable wall lights can make a real difference to your morning routine. Alternatively, framing a mirror with lights is a playful way to create a stylish personal pampering zone.
Adding lighting to the interior of your wardrobes and incorporating lights into the design of fitted wardrobes can bring an ultra-luxurious, ultra-organised look and feel to your clothing. The discreet LED lights are cool to the touch, yet bright enough to light up the back of deep cupboards and cabinets. They're also an excellent way to make a feature of your collection and turn your favourite outfits and footwear into wearable works of art.
Your kitchen might be used for preparing food, cooking or reading the morning newspaper. Whatever your needs, break your kitchen into individual task areas and think about the specific requirements for each. Most tasks are on the counter top so reliable worktop lighting is essential. Under cabinet lighting as part of your fitted kitchen design can work really well here. Alternatively, if you have plenty of space, a row of pendant lights can create a distinctive design feature.
For many people, the kitchen truly is the heart of the home. At the end of the day, softer, ambient lighting can bring a completely different look and feel to the same space – making your kitchen the perfect place for entertaining.
Integrating LED lighting into kick panels or into cabinets and cupboards gives you the option to switch the mood and create background lighting quickly. While low-level lights above an island or dining room can effortlessly create a laid-back, late-night ambience.
Like the bedroom and living room, accent lighting dials up the design in your kitchen. Spotlight your artwork and photographs or add uplights to flooring to reveal high ceilings and unusual architectural features.
For more expert advice on designing your perfect space and lighting up your home, book a design visit