One of the most important elements in the creation of quality interior design is lighting. Lighting is not something most people immediately think about when they are looking to set the tone, create mood and allow their design choices to be fully admired. However, it can make or break the space when it comes to highlighting art, décor, furniture or color selection. Getting it right doesn’t happen with the flick of a switch, time, effort, and a significant amount of thought is necessary to get the most out of what it is that you are aiming highlight or feature.

Colours and contrast

This might sound strange but the color you paint your walls will have an effect on creating the perfect lighting. Dark colors make rooms feel smaller than they actually are while light pastel hues make the room feel larger and much more spacious. You can learn more about the 14 most popular paint colors to virtually expand your square footage here. This concept of coloring can also be applied to the floors, taking into account that lighting can be directed in whatever direction you choose. Dark floors are very trendy and make a bold statement while bringing out the look and feel of the furniture. However, they also make the room dark and require higher maintenance. Aside from more cleaning they also show dust and scratches more than lighter floors.

The correct use of natural light

Natural light is the best, especially if the room you’re designing is going to see frequent use. Natural light is an uncomplicated way of setting the tone and changing the mood without it being too bold. You really can’t replicate the ambiance, it is also good for the mind, body and soul.

Our bodies absorb the best Vitamin D through sunlight, preventing diseases like osteoporosis. Utilizing natural lighting in your home will also save you money on your utility bill. By not using artificial lighting during the day you can cut your energy consumption anywhere from about 50% to 80%.

If you have the luxury of building your own home, make sure your design will place rooms that are most commonly used during the daytime (kitchen, laundry room and living room) along south-facing walls. Doing so will give you morning light in these rooms and evening light in the north-facing part of your home, where you can put bedrooms.

Window treatments are a great way to control natural lighting and privacy. These sheer HLC.ME curtain panels come in sets of 2 and a variety of colors and sizes. They will allow natural light to come inside but the inside of your home will not be visible to the outside world. If you would like to blackout natural light, NICETOWN Thermal Insulated blackout curtains also reduce noise pollution.

If the space does not have a lot of natural lighting, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate artificial lighting to get the look you desire without feeling like you just stepped into a light show.

How to use artificial lighting (lamps)

Lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers, add the perfect distribution of light from above creating a pleasing ambiance, while also bringing in character and style. This GDNS Chandelier is modern and elegant, it can be used in the dining room, bedroom or even in the entry way. If you want to spread lighting throughout the space, you can do so by hanging lights on the wall or ceiling.

Small pendants over the kitchen sink or in unexpected places like the laundry room can act as great statement pieces. You can also use pendants or sconces to create focal points such as over the kitchen island, showcasing artwork on the wall or in a cozy corner to create a reading nook. For those hard to decorate spaces like hallways and staircases you can use sconces to illuminate the path while also adding style. These Licperron Industrial Pendants add an industrial and sleek feeling into any room. You can carry this feeling though out your home with these wall scones from JackyLed.

Intensity of light is another important factor to keep in mind. Bedrooms usually have dim lighting to promote relaxation while work spaces generally have bright light for motivation. Ambient lighting involves up-lights and down-lights that fill spaces to create a warm mellow setting, ideal for bedrooms. Offices and other work spaces generally use task lighting which is at-least three times brighter than bulbs used in ambient settings. Soft white/warm white light bulbs provide a warm cozy feel making them the best choice for bedrooms and living rooms. Bright white/cool white bring a more energetic feeling, making them ideal for offices, bathrooms and kitchens.

Final thoughts

When decorating around the room, take note that mirrors will reflect light, brightening the interior space. You can use standing mirrors, hanging mirrors or try something a little different like lining the back of a book shelf. Studio McGee shows several ways you can use mirrors as décor, sure to light up any room with many different style options.

There are many different ways you can play around with lighting before committing to permanent and expensive fixtures. Most importantly, you do not have to adapt to the energy in a room. You are able to influence the energy in any room.