Lighting is a key element of any design, and although it is so crucial for creating a space you love, it can often be overlooked within residential applications. Intentional lighting can transition rooms superbly from day-to-night or create some well needed ambience to any space. Furthermore, studies show that poor lighting can also contribute to feeling dreary and even depressed. Today we share some tips on how to select lighting for your home, but, before we get started, let us preface to say there is no one lighting solution for a home. Different shape rooms, sizes, orientation, use of windows, skylights and furnishings all play a significant role in how to best light up a space.
When choosing lighting fixtures for your home, consider the following elements to ensure you have a holistic approach to lighting up your space.
When selecting lighting it is important to consider what the main task is of that space. Options such as downlights are generally for ‘task lighting’ meaning they are installed for functional purposes. Task lighting is essential for spaces such as kitchens where illumination is crucial, while bedrooms and living areas should aim to be a relaxing safehaven for you to rest and unwind, meaning ambient lighting such as lamps or pendants could be utilised.
Remember to have some fun with adding lighting to unexpected places. Underlights can be installed under kitchen cabinetry for a stunning yet minimalist aesthetic, while mirror backlights can create a subtle luxurious glow to bathrooms.
Dimmable lights add flexibility to any space. When looking to add dimmable lights throughout the home, prioritise in terms of non-task related areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and even hallways. By allowing these spaces to have transitional lighting options, you can create highly functional dual role spaces that support both general background lighting as well as ambient lighting. If that is not enough for you to say yes to installing these beauties, dimmed lights also decrease the amount of energy and heat each light puts out, lengthening the lifespan of your lights.
Most designers agree that a space should have multiple sources of light. When we refer to layered lighting, we mean a combination of overhead, accent, and task lighting. Examples could include the use of a decorative fixture in the center of a living room and softer options such as floor lamps to add warmth to the outer walls of the space.
According to New York based lighting designer Nathan Orsman, “The goal is to create contrast between the light at the center of the room and around the perimeter…Without the darker, quieter moments, everything is flat and boring. It’s the subtle interplay between light and dark that creates appeal.”
When looking to add decorative lighting to the centre of a room there are some formulas that can help you to determine what size to consider. If you are looking to add a chandelier above dining room tables, it should generally be 30cm smaller than the narrowest width of the table and might only require a 180 degree beam spread to brighten the table.
Materiality on pendants and lamp shades can alter the feel of a space entirely. For example, woven rattan shades can create a beautiful coastal feel. Paper and fabric materials can create a soft light that is much warmer than exposed lighting. Lamps offer a great opportunity to utilise tactiles that celebrate craftsmanship, whether it be a handmade fabric, or unique fabrication method.
Natural sunlight is the most important kind and while we are the first to suggest a well-needed skylight in bathrooms or hallways, or floor to ceiling windows, it is important to consider carefully how natural and artificial light work together in your home.
By utilising an intentional approach to lighting design, you can drastically reduce the need for artificial lighting. When building or renovating your home, aim to maximise the amount of daylight you receive – waking up to sunlight is a wonderful mood booster and gentle afternoon sun is relaxing. Artificial lighting should naturally compliment this relationship between day and night, also helping your body to relax and produce melatonin as natural light dims and you switch your warm subdued lighting on at the end of the day.
Construct Melbourne designs and builds luxury homes in Melbourne’s inner-south. We are dedicated to our craft and passionate about creating beautiful homes to enrich the lives of our clients.
To learn more about our Design & Build Process, or to discuss your project, click here.