Lighting to relax
Your bedroom needs to be a relaxing and rejuvenating place where you can retreat and recharge at the end of each day. When designing your bedroom lighting, think about creating ambience, atmosphere and mood. The bedroom needs to have a soft and soothing light scheme to prepare you for sleep at night. In the morning, the bedroom lighting needs to be brighter and task orientated to make sure you have adequate light to get ready for the day ahead.
Lamps are an ideal way to create a soft light within the room. Make sure your lamps have lightly coloured lampshades and low wattage bulbs. This helps create a soft warm background glow within the room. Lamps can be placed beside the bedside or on the dressing table and a floor lamp in the corner of the room can add variety and light up any dark corners in the bedroom.
Bedside table lamps are one of the best ways to achieve ambient lighting in your bedroom.
Your table lamps need to be high enough to provide sufficient light when reading but not be so high as to create glare from the bulb. Another bedside lighting option is to have pendant lights hanging above each bedside table. They should hang about 50cm above the bedside tables.
Hanging pendant lights create a soft warm atmosphere and offer great task light for reading. They also allow you to free up space on the bedside table.
Bedside wall lights
Another creative bedside lighting option is to place wall sconces or wall lights above each side of the bedhead. Wall lights can face upwards or downwards depending on your lighting preferences. Sconces and wall lights add a soft wash of light over the wall and come in many decorative designs, both traditional and modern. They can bring a touch of elegance and sophistication to the decor within your bedroom. As sconces and wall lights attach directly to the wall, they also help keep your bedside table clutter free. If you like to read in bed, a downward facing wall light is ideal. Alternatively, an adjustable wall mounted lamp can also be great for reading purposes as the adjustable arm offers you a lot of flexibility.
Bedroom task lighting
The bedroom is also the place where we get ourselves ready for each day. In the morning bedroom lighting needs to be of an adequate brightness at places like the dressing table and wardrobe so that we have sufficient brightness to start the day. Recessed ceiling lighting provides an unobtrusive general illumination around the room. A lamp on the dressing table can also provide specific task lighting and creates interesting mirror reflections. Wall lights can also be positioned either side of your dressing table for a more decorative approach. Make sure your wardrobe also has sufficient light by installing recessed lighting or a spotlight in the wardrobe.
Decorative and stylish lighting
Bedroom lighting also serves a decorative purpose. A bedroom chandelier is an elegant and stylish lighting addition to the bedroom; sophisticated yet homely. Depending of the size of your room the chandelier can be quite large so as to provide a centrepiece to the room. Painted chandeliers in soft white or cream are a great way to bring freshness to the room, while crystal chandeliers can add a touch of lightness and sparkle.
Clip-on chandelier shades are also a great addition to the bedroom chandelier. They soften the light and give the chandelier a homely and welcoming feel. When positioning lamps around the room, choose lamp bases with different heights so as to create variety. You can also harmonise lamp shade fabrics with other fabrics around your room such as those in cushions, bedspreads and armchairs.
Lighting in layers
Avoid having one source of lighting to light the whole living room. Since we use the living room for a variety of functions, layering the lighting gives you more lighting flexibility. Having different sources of lighting around the room which overlap also helps to eliminate shadows from corners of the room. It opens also up the room and creates warmth and variety. Layered lighting allows you to vary the lighting depending on how you are using the living room.
General lighting for the living room
For a balanced overall illumination in the living room, recessed ceiling lighting offers an excellent unobtrusive source of light throughout the room. Placing a number of table lamps around the room on side tables or console tables also helps to soften the light and create atmosphere. Choose lamps with varying heights so as to create variety. A floor lamp is also a great addition to the living room and can be moved around depending on your lighting needs. To create a Hamptons style look in your living room choose natural warm coloured shades and country-style brass pendant lights.
Decorative living room lighting
A chandelier in the living room offers an elegant and stylish centrepiece to the room. It also supplies overall general illumination. The chandelier should be placed in the middle of the room, above the coffee table or above the main seating area. For a casual yet sophisticated Hamptons style look to your living room use a metal or rustic country style chandelier above the coffee table and balance this out by placing a number of table lamps around the room and a floor lamp beside the lounge.
An alternative to a chandelier is to have double or triple hanging pendant lights above your sitting area. Hanging pendants come in rustic, traditional and modern designs. Picture lights can be used to illuminate artworks around the living room and placing small recessed lights or downlights inside your display cabinet can help illuminate your collection or porcelain.
Accent lighting is essential to creating mood and atmosphere in your living room. Twin sconces or matching wall lights provide soft accent lighting. They are a great way to create variation and texture within the room. These wall lights come in many different decorative styles. They can provide a decorative feature in themselves by offering elegance and style to the living room. Wall lights and sconces can be placed above the mantlepiece, beside the fireplace or bookshelf. Sconce wall lights wash light over a wall and help to eliminate dark areas within the living room.
A portable floor lamp is a great addition to the living room as it can moved around the room depending on your lighting needs. Floor lamps come in both traditional and modern styles. Since they create light at a different height to table lamps, a mixture of floor lamps and table lamps helps to create variety and mood within the room.
When choosing lighting for the kitchen it is important to choose a style of lighting that matches the style of your kitchen. If your kitchen is French country choose lighting that is more traditional like brass pendants, hanging lanterns or a rustic chandelier. If your kitchen is more modern go for recessed lighting, modern ceiling light designs and modern finishes like a chrome pendant light.
Lighting in layers
No matter what style of kitchen you have it is always important to set up your lighting in layers. This allows the lighting scheme in our kitchen to be flexible because the kitchen is an area where we perform a variety of tasks. Most importantly lighting in your kitchen needs to be practical. Sufficient lighting is required so that you can prepare meals and chop food safely.
Open plan kitchen lighting
If you have an open plan kitchen, during the day your kitchen will need lighting that is bright and comfortable. At night your kitchen lighting will need to be softer for sitting down for meals and entertaining. Recessed lighting around the perimeter of the kitchen is a great way to create general illumination throughout the room. Then add other sources of lighting for specific tasks. The aim with your kitchen lighting is to create a shadow-free space which comfortable, inviting and safe.
Kitchen task lighting
In the kitchen task lighting is essential. You need adequate light to prepare meals efficiently and safely. There are a number of ways to create task lighting in the kitchen. A mixture is best so that the light sources overlap and so that you have lighting options. Track lighting or spot lights are perfect for directing light at specific points in the kitchen where light is required, for instance on bench tops and stovetops. These lights provide you with a great deal of flexibility when lighting the kitchen space.
Kitchen island lighting
If you have a kitchen island, double or triple island pendants are a functional and decorative way to provide adequate task lighting. Recessed lighting under your cupboards is also another great way to ensure your bench tops are bright and safe areas to work. For a more traditional look a brass pot chandelier adds charm to a kitchen and also doubles up as a storage area for pots and pans. Hanging lanterns above the kitchen island are also a more traditional option. These provide good task lighting plus charm and character.
Accent lighting in the kitchen
It is also important to make sure your kitchen has a warm and homely atmosphere so that people feel welcome in the kitchen. Accent lighting around the room can help to create depth and dimension. Recessed lighting in cabinets for example is the perfect way to light up your china and glassware. It also helps create a focal point and decorative feature in the room. If you have an open plan kitchen a large chandelier, double hanging lanterns or low hanging pendant lights are ideal ways to light up the dining area while creating mood and atmosphere. The right lighting can transform your kitchen from a practical space to a welcoming entertaining area. Adding a dimmer switch is also essential so that you can control the lighting levels in the kitchen.
General bathroom lighting
In the bathroom lighting should be designed with function in mind. It is important to have adequate task lighting around the vanity mirror so that there is sufficient light when you are applying makeup or shaving. Choosing the right light bulbs is also important. Lighting in the bathroom shouldn’t be too strong or too dim. The bathroom needs comfortable levels of light overall. This is so we can move around the area safely if it is slippery. Also ensure all the light fixtures and bulbs you use in the bathroom lighting scheme are specifically designed for the wet bathroom spaces. Safety comes first.
Lighting in layers
As a variety of tasks are performed in the bathroom layered lighting is important so that you can adjust the lighting to suit each task. A ceiling light helps to provide general light around the room. Recessed lighting is also good way to light up the shower, bath or toilet area. The lighting aim in the bathroom is to produce bright, comfortable unshadowed light. Lighting finishes such as nickel, brushed chrome and stainless steel are also more suited to the bathroom as they won’t corrode.
At the bathroom vanity a crisp white light is best for producing an even skin tone. It is also best to avoid placing any kind of light above the mirror, as this will only cast light onto the forehead and cast shadows under your eyes. Instead place wall lights on each side of the mirror; this creates a more flattering effect.
Wall lights mounted at eye level are an elegant option. Wall sconces are also a great way to bring tradition and style the bathroom space. Wall lights come with single or double bulbs and they can be facing upward or downwards depending on your lighting preferences. Shades on your bathroom wall lights can help to soften the light. But don’t use fabric shades in the bathroom, instead use alabaster, glass or metal light shades. Sconces or wall lights can also be placed directly onto the mirror itself. This creates interesting reflective light effects and it is especially helpful if you have a small bathroom without much wall space.
A swing arm light is another good option for lighting the bathroom mirror as it provides you with a lot of flexibility in terms of where the lights faces. Track lighting is another versatile option often placed above the mirror. Another option is to hang pendant lights either side of the vanity mirror or use a pendant light to light up a dark corner of the bathroom.
Accent lighting in the bathroom
It is important to use lighting to decorate your bathroom as well. Wall sconces are an ideal way to add elegant features to your bathroom. To create different lighting moods be sure to plan your lighting in a series of layers. A ceiling light provides good overall illumination. Choose a bathroom chandelier to add a touch of luxury. Wall-mounted light fittings help to provide task lighting and accent lighting creating interest in the room. If there is a dark corner or bare wall within your bathroom, dress it up with a wall sconce.
Bathroom lighting needs to combine general ambient lighting for practical safety, accent lighting for atmosphere and task lighting for the vanity. If you also wish to decorate your bathroom with artwork or decorative features, a spotlight is another essential lighting option. Finally, don’t forget to install a dimmer switch in the bathroom. This is essential for creating mood and atmospheric. The bathroom is increasingly a place where we can go to relax and rejuvenate. Soft bathroom lighting helps you to relax when taking a bath or when brushing your teeth before bed.
As the centre of the dining room is the dining table, it makes sense to pick a dining room light that ties in with your dining table. For example, if your dining table is a round table in antique white, a more curved flowing painted finish chandelier could be suitable. If, however, the dining table is rectangular or square with a timber finish. you can go for more angular and linear style lights like pendants or kitchen lanterns. The dining table is the centrepiece so it should be the brightest point in the room, but avoid making you top light too bright as this can detract from the romantic feel the dining room should have.
The dining room light is about creating a low level of light in order to create atmosphere. Installing a dimmer is helpful to create the perfect ambience and mood for a dinner party. Rather than rely on one light source above the dining table, illuminate the room from various points with some decorative wall scones. This helps gives you more freedom when choosing the right level of illumination for different social occasions and also creates a more romantic look throughout the room. You can also use some small decorative table lamps on top of a side server to add to the layered lighting within the room.
There are some amazing modern pendant designs that can bring a strong decorative and dramatic element to your room. The lights above the dining table can drop lower than usual as this is not an area you will be walking under. The dining room is a great space to have a bit of fun; it’s about creating a sparkle and an adornment to the room. It’s a piece you can choose to embellish the room that is both functional but beautiful.
Lighting outdoor areas of your property can transform previously unused spaces into bustling summer entertaining and dining areas. The right lighting can completely transform the aesthetic appearance of your home at night. There are a great variety of outdoor lighting options for each area of your property.
Lighting the facade of your home can add to its aesthetic appearance from the street. Place small up lights at the base of the walls of your home to accent the texture of the wall and the form and structure of the house during the evening. Up lights are also a great way to light up columns and architectural features of your house.
Wall lanterns create a beautiful lighting effect at night. The bulb of the wall lantern is positioned within an elegantly shaped glass compartment which comes is a huge variety of shapes from diamond, to cylindrical to rectangular. Wall lanterns can be facing upward or downward depending on where you want the light to cast. They come in brass, black, gold or silver.
A wall lantern at your front door is one of the best things you can do to light up the entrance to your home. It makes your home inviting and welcoming and it adds a touch of charm and tradition. The wall lantern is also the most flexible and efficient way to light up your veranda or patio area. They can be easily positioned on the wall and they cast a good level of ambient light.
Step lights and path lights
Step lights are a great way to create interesting lighting effects at the front of your home. They make steps a lot safer for you and your guests. Path lights look great when placed evenly along the side of your front entrance pathway. Path lights emphasise the shape or curves of the path leading to the front door. They create atmosphere and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. A good design blends in during the day but casts effective light across the path at night.
Post lights and spot lights
Garden lighting is essential if you like entertaining outside. Outdoor garden lighting can glamourise the front appearance of your home or simply create visual interest when you look out of your window at night.
Garden lighting should be planned flexibly so that you can alter it depending on what is in flower or season. Small garden post lights come in dark colours so they blend in during the day but bring the garden to life at night. Position you post lamps so that they accent and follow the forms of your garden creating visual interest and a sense of space.
A spotlight can be used to accent various stand out features of your garden such as a beautiful tree, a manicured hedge, a large plant or a garden sculpture. Water features can be lit up with under water lights.
A traditional touch to your outdoor area is the outdoor post lamp. These lamps add a touch of class and sophistication to your outside space. They come in traditional and more modern designs and they can come in medium and tall post heights. Post lamps bring a flavour of history and Europe to your home. They add a great deal of charm and character to the front appearance of your home at night.
Entrance and façade
The outside of our home at night is just as important as inside.
When planning the outdoot lighting, create a lighting scheme that incorporates the front door, porch, garden area and driveway. Imagine how you want your place to look from the street. Also remember the importance of using darkness itself to create contrast and even hide areas that you do want to stand out.
For the front door, lanterns on either side that have a soft or dimmable light will create a soft impression. But if your front door is more modern, a more contemporary look is an up/down light on the wall beside the door. This look particularly good if you have a beautiful textured wall or the street numbers of your house displayed. Choose what you want to focus on then use concealed lights to highlight the architectural forms. Up lights are also good for a townhouse door and window sills, creating a welcoming effect. Or if your porch area is a central element you could use down lights to open it up with light.
It is always good to make sure your lights are directional, so you can position the focus and create interesting effects at night. Path lights or pedestal lights create a nice flowing line of sight up to the main entrance. Any decorative features like garden pots, water features, garden beds or even trees can be lit to create a focal point and draw attention. Garden lights can be used to create flowing contours to bring your garden to life at night.
Always remember safety when lighting the front of your home. Steps and paths should be easy to see for guests. Overall the lighting of your home front should be welcoming and even inspiring. It’s the small things that matter here, and attention to detail like lighting a beautiful plant you have will make your property stand apart from the next and be something you love coming home to of an evening.
The lighting in a hallway should be soft and inviting. As people walk through the hall they should see where they are going and light should be used to direct the focus down the hall and into each room.
Depending on the height of your ceiling pendants or chandelier lights are a great way to create a design impression and dress the space. If your ceiling height is more limited think about wall lights which come in many different finishes, styles and with different decorative elements.
Many homes use the hallway as a place to hang a painting or some family photos, so adding some picture lights is also worth considering to draw attention to these important family treasures.