“Light is the magical ingredient that makes or breaks a space; it’s one of the most important elements in all my interiors,” insists interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz. But just because you’re not trained in interior design doesn’t mean you can’t put lighting to work to improve your living space. To help you get started in creating a successful lighting plan of your own, we’ve rounded up the following five tips:
1. Lead with Lighting
Interior designer Aerin Lauder says, “Lighting brings warmth and life into a room and can animate and transform even the smallest potential.” With all of the amazing possibilities, it begs the question: Why do so many homeowners think of lighting as an afterthought? To take advantage of everything lighting has to offer, consider leading with it instead.
Keep in mind that good lighting isn’t just about bringing in a few decorative floor lamps to provide illumination. Rather, it considers a variety of factors, such as the activities that will take place in the room and key features you want to highlight.
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Natural Light
There are many benefits to taking advantage of natural light in a space. In addition to conserving energy, natural light from the sun is uniquely warm and inviting. Sunlight is essential to human survival and is also a glorious addition to any interior lighting plan. When combined with artificial lighting, such as indoor wall lighting fixtures, natural light can create an especially pleasing environment.
3. Layer it On
The best lighting plans incorporate three basic types of illumination: general ambient lighting, which provides a room’s primary source of light; task lighting, which supports specific tasks like working, reading, and cooking; and accent lighting, including picture lights. These can be used to add drama or highlight specific features of a room, such as art and other decorative details. Utilizing all three types of lighting creates a space that’s optimal in terms of both form and function.
4. Stick with Simple and Streamlined
Gone are the days when interior design schemes had to be matchy-matchy. However, this doesn’t mean that anything goes. If you’re worried about overdoing it when it comes to lighting, many designers follow a specific rule of thumb to create harmonious spaces. Incorporating many different types of illumination – including everything from ceiling-mounted fixtures like hanging chandeliers and light pendants to wall-mounted fixtures like wall sconces, hanging wall lights, and other indoor wall lights – adds dynamic visual appeal. Sticking with similar colors, materials, and styles across all lighting fixtures creates a sense of harmony and cohesion.
For example, choosing all modern lighting results in a clean, minimalist look, while homeowners leaning toward the farmhouse style may go for a more rustic lighting design aesthetic.
Another rule of thumb? Seek out lighting you truly love. This is the best way to ensure that you’ll enjoy it in your space for years to come.
5. Don’t Skimp on Your Budget
As mentioned earlier, lighting is often an afterthought for many homeowners. This also means that it’s typically at the bottom of the budget. Given the vast potential lighting holds to improve the look and livability of your home, however, designating an adequate portion of your budget towards the purchase of beautiful, high-end lighting, such as from a lighting industry leader like Robert Abbey Lighting, is a wise endeavor. Think of lighting design not as an expense but as an investment in the quality of life in your home.
Interior lighting design for homes is both an art and a science. By following these five tips, you can fuse the two to create a cohesive, well-designed result that truly elevates a space – not only in terms of how it looks but also how it feels.