“Design is defined by light and shade, and appropriate lighting is enormously important.”
–Albert Hadley, The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer
Sometimes we put light in the dark. We get preoccupied with carefully selecting the most suitable furniture and wall colours and leave this “enormously important” element for the end! Although a good couch or rug can dramatically change the vibe of a room, lighting will make the biggest difference at the end of the day (literally). Think about how you feel in a dimly lit coffee shop compared to a café with natural lighting. Where would you rather meet with a friend? Are you more productive with brighter lighting?
Whether you’re choosing lighting for the first time or looking for a cost-effective reno, light is enormously important! Here are a few tips to help you choose appropriate lighting for your taste and space!
When shopping for lighting, you essentially have 3 styles to choose from: contemporary/modern, traditional, and transitional. The style you choose is really a matter of personal preference. Each style can be manipulated to achieve the appropriate atmosphere for your room.
Contemporary/modern is characterized by clean, minimalistic design and draws from vintage elements.
Traditional lighting consists of lighting from a time period in the past (ie. Victorian or Colonial). These lights are often surrounded by extremely detailed wood or metal.
Transitional lighting is marked by very simple curved lines.
1.0 Contemporary Lighting
1.1 Modern Lighting
1.2 Traditional Lighting
1.3 Transitional Lighting
Once you’ve settled on a style, your next task is to decide the tone you would like to set: warm or cool.
Warm colours describes more saturated shades and often incorporates the colours of fire. If you’re looking for a space to unwind, cozy up, or entertain, warm colours are (usually) preferred.
Cool colours are associated with productivity, relaxation (lavender) and cooler temperatures. A cooler room is often created by maximizing natural light or staging it with fluorescent lights.
When it comes to lighting, warm colours are achieved by using less light. Choose shades with opaque (not entirely clear) glass or with wood-like shades to restrict the amount of light emitted.
To achieve cooler lighting, let more light through your fixtures. This can be done by using clear glass or lightly coloured, thin shades. More opaque fixtures can be used with brighter bulbs to achieve cooler lighting.
Lastly, don’t leave out lamps! Lamps can cozy up a cool warm in the evening, but they can also “cool down” a warmer coloured room to increase productivity! Large, bright lamps–like the floor lamps below–can really brighten up your room! While, smaller and darker lamps (shades or bulbs) can add a touch of heat!
I hope this helps you narrow down the appropriate lighting for your space. Let us know what type of lighting you prefer!