It’s time to brighten things up with a discussion on lighting. With minimal work, lighting can transform the atmosphere & warmth of a space. It can alter a cold or dark room into a perfectly accented area. Conversely, it doesn’t take much poor lighting to ruin an otherwise well-designed room. If it’s too harsh or too dim all the time & money you’ve spent to perfect your design can be made imperfect with a flick of a light.
The most important thing is an awareness of the impact of lighting. Once aware of the difference between good & poor lighting you won’t be able to look at a room without assessing the lighting. Location, intensity, & color are the 3 critical elements. If these elements are not designed & implemented correctly the space will always have that “not quite right” feeling to it. Different moods & different times of the day dictate variations of these elements.
Location. The placement of lighting should not be an after thought. A light’s location (where light originates really) should be contemplated just as when placing a favorite art piece. The light should be felt but not overbearing. It should cascade on walls but not understate its presence. Recessed lighting & free-standing lamps offer great freedom in locating lighting perfectly. Take time with the positioning.
Intensity is the second key aspect. There is a perfect intensity for every room, time of day & mood. The number of lights & the wattage of the bulbs are levers to adjust the intensity of the light. If too bright you & your guest will feel as if they are in a cold hospital atmosphere. If too dim, you may never feel cozy & the design elements of the home may be lost. Dimmer switches (in every room) & multiple sources of lighting will help manage the intensity.
Lastly, color is critical. In an age where going green is important, high efficiency bulbs often give off a white or blue light that is unappealing. But many newer high efficiency bulbs come in softer white & yellow hues ideal for creating the perfect lighting.
Lighting is perhaps the most important part of the design. It’s not good enough for it to be just “perfectly yours”, it must be Perfect.