Sunday, 17 November 2013

Bright ideas for lighting

Soon our homes will be filled with sparkling, light-filled Christmas trees, soft candles and illuminated decorations. The additional light sources will give our homes a layered, cozy feeling that is easily missed once the holidays are over.

But what if we apply some of the principles of Christmas decorating, in particular those that pertain to lighting, also the rest of the year? Here are three ways to do exactly that:

1) Assess the light bulbs in your existing fixtures. Do they give off a cool white or a warm yellow light? You can drastically change the whole appearance and feeling of a room by replacing a whitish bulb with a warmer, yellower version. As clients of mine have experienced, it can save you from having to repaint the room, or having to change upholstery and area rugs.

2) A layered lighting scheme is based on variation in the height and direction of the light sources. You can achieve amazing improvements simply by replacing a floor lamp by a table lamp, or by using pendant lights as reading lamps next to the bed, instead of the more typical wall sconces. Whether it'll work or not, depends on the height of the surrounding furniture and on the other light sources in the room.

3) Christmas lights are all about low-intensity accent lighting. Get the same result the rest of the year by having dimmers on the main light sources; by using products such as LED strips for in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting; and by illuminating interesting features in your home. When buying light bulbs, make sure they are actually dimmable - not all of them are.

With these easy and affordable measures, our homes will feel warm and inviting all year round. Isn't that a bright idea?

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