We would like to take a moment to appreciate one of the fundamental building blocks of great interior design: light.
While it may not be front of mind, light is perhaps the most important aspect of any interior design. Simply put, you won’t see or appreciate anything in a space without that critical electromagnetic radiation bouncing off of every surface. Unfortunately, lighting is often considered last or near the bottom of design decisions. We’d like to see that change with a few simple tips:
1. Start any design with lighting in mind. And before any lamps are plugged in, evaluate the natural light you are working with. Are there windows, glass doors, or skylights? Do they get morning, mid-day, or afternoon sun? Aim to take advantage of what you already have, and use it to inform critical placements. Don’t forget to consider light at different times of day- you may not want a sofa to get afternoon sun at eye level.
2. Balance lighting by spreading it around. Place lamps in key locations around a room without inundating one area. Lighting should be welcoming and diffused, not a spotlight. Similarly, multiple sources of light are better than one or two. A variety of large and small lamps adds variability to strike the perfect balance, and makes it easier to adjust in the moment.
3. Contrast creates dimensions. Use the right combination of placements, dimmers, curtains, and lampshades to add multiple layers to your lighting. You will want to have some subtle highlights and shadows, and to avoid the stereotypical office fluorescent effect.
4. Get smart! Bulbs have come a long way from the simple incandescent options of the past. Phillips Hue, Lifx, Sylvania and numerous other offerings allow you to control the brightness, temperature, and color right from your phone. These tools add a new level of dynamic lighting that prior technology couldn’t achieve and are worth the investment.
Remember that proper lighting makes all the difference whether you’re designing a new space or refreshing an old one. Treat it as one of the most important tools in your belt and it will reward you with welcoming, attractive rooms.
For any of your interior design and lighting needs, we’re here to help at Tinsel House. Please contact us if you need assistance with lighting solutions or styling tips.