Creating the correct lighting scheme is essential both in terms of practicality and aesthetics, and can dramatically alter the mood and atmosphere of a room. Statement lights, task lighting, lamps, ambient light…there is a plethora of choices. Enlisting the professional advice of an interior designer can be integral to ensuring you have the exact functionality and flexibility you need to achieve a scheme that is effortlessly glamorous.
The starting point when considering lighting should be how each space is affected by natural light and how this changes during the day. A north-facing room has a cold, harsh, indirect light – this is the preferred choice for artists as it gives a truer colour rendition and is more consistent during the day. For east-facing rooms, bright sunlight in the morning can be followed by long shadows. The opposite is true of those that face west – as well as sunlight at midday, which can cause glare. Rooms that face south generally have warm light all day, but this can be very bright, making them the perfect choice for kitchens and living areas.
The second consideration is how you utilise each room, and which spaces are used for specific purposes – a quiet corner for reading, a task area such as a kitchen surface that needs strong illumination, or valuable artwork that deserves highlighting.
Finally, mood and atmosphere are the all-important themes when it comes to planning your scheme. A stunning Murano glass chandelier in a hall or dining area, or a beautifully crafted table lamp with an eloquent shade will help create the ambience you want. But knowing how to blend your lighting concept successfully can make the difference between creating a room that evokes luxury interior design and sophistication…or a room more reminiscent of a soulless airport lounge.
Similarly, a statement pendant light can make an impressive feature, particularly in a dining room. But the addition of a dimmer switch will elevate this elegant product into something that actively enhances your guests’ dining experience, creating a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, which is practical yet full of sparkle, and with a little hint of magic.
A luxury interior designer will be able to guide you through the process of selecting the best options for specific rooms depending on the use and atmosphere desired. Once you have suggested how you want to use your spaces, they will suggest specific products, and also offer advice on areas that you might have not yet considered. These could include suggesting a different level at which lighting should be positioned, advising on how a statement piece can create that all important focal point, and how to ensure that the lighting complements the rest of a room’s scheme.
They will also be able to advise on more tricky areas such as dark stairwells or corners, low ceilings, staircases, narrow hallways or bathrooms, which can be difficult to deal with successfully and effectively. Tricks of the trade such as knowing where to mount lights near a mirror to avoid shadows on a face, or that a crisp white light renders skin tones most accurately, are invaluable when planning bathroom lighting. Meanwhile, carefully positioned floor lights, or fibre optic ceiling star lights will help convey a relaxing and meditative mood. Downlighters, uplighters, spotlights, sconces and table lamps, are all the staples of creative and successful lighting schemes, but the next layer of skill that an interior designer can provide will give a room that all important polish and finish. Options such as bespoke cabinet shelving with a track carved out for a run of lights, directional staircase lighting, or RGB LED lights that change colour according to the mood you want to create – a particular on-trend favourite for contemporary hotels – can transform a scheme from cosily comfortable to simply stunning. Getting your lighting correct is essential, creating a lighting scheme that makes your home achingly stylish, is priceless.