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Lighten Up: Four Lighting Ideas That Work in Any Interior

September 10, 2014 Interior Design, General 0 Comments

Lighting is an often overlooked aspect of interior design, but when executed right, it can take a room from so-so to amazing. Don't be in the dark about good lighting — learn how to illuminate and enhance a space in ways only a trained lighting designer can. Here are just a few bright lighting ideas for both large and small interiors.

Lighten Up: Four Lighting Ideas That Work in Any InteriorMaximize Natural Light

A concept designers should take advantage of whenever they can is natural lighting. Also called daylighting, it's softer than incandescent and fluorescent lighting and casts the perfect glow on everything in your space. During the day, sunlight also makes your space feel cheerier and saves on energy costs.

Arrange seating near windows; if the room has plenty of them, your job is easier. Consider doing this with a living room sofa or set of accent chairs, where you'll typically spend your time during the day. You can also make some permanent changes by adding a skylight to brighten up a dark room or replace smaller windows with larger ones to stream in even more light.

Reflect Light

The thoughtful placement of mirrors in your home can help amplify the effect of natural and artificial lights that, by themselves, only light certain sections of larger spaces. To do this, place mirrors or mirrored accents opposite a window that receives plenty of sunshine. Reflecting an open flame on the back wall of a fireplace or a burning candle can do the same thing.

Similarly, use mirrored objects to reflect attractive lighting fixtures to accentuate their effect. This technique can also draw the eye toward unique elements that are in otherwise insignificant positions of a house.

Create General Lighting

Lighting is not only functional; it's also aesthetic. Not having enough general or ambient lighting in a space could affect how the room looks and makes you feel. In other words, be careful how you arrange your lights; if it's too dark or casts shadows in certain spots, it may feel uncomfortable, failing to emphasize great pieces of furniture or artwork as much as they should be.

Adequate general lighting helps you find your way around, as well. Put lamps and light fixtures where you'll need them: Hang pendants above a dining table, place table lamps on top of a console behind the sofa, station floor lamps near conversation areas or add recessed lights in a hallway ceiling. Anywhere that sees frequent seating or foot traffic can likely use more general lighting.

Add Stylish Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is just that: used as an accent. But it also serves a purpose in spotlighting certain design details to which you want to call attention. With spotlights, you can show off a special piece of wall art or highlight a wall with a bold color. You can also find unique and sculptural lighting fixtures that double as a piece of art in and of itself (think modern pendants). The best lighting designers can use accent lights in a way that pulls together a design that is otherwise incomplete. Give it a try and see if you're hiding a skill that deserves your attention.

Incorporating a combination of these lighting ideas will brighten up your space functionally and cast your interior in its best light.

Photo credit: FreeImages

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