Lighting – The Tool Interior Designs Master

Do you want to know the easiest tool that you can add to your room to make it look like a designer helped you when they didn’t?

The tool that many of us overlook when we’re decorating our rooms is lighting. It’s one of the most important things you can put in your room. In fact, it’s so important that designers do a separate plan when they’re helping clients, called a lighting plan. Here’s an example.

The only thing on this plan is the lights that are going into your room.

Three Types of Lighting For Every Room

That’s because you really need three types of light in every room. And those three types are ambient light, accent light, and task lights. I’m talking about every room, including your bathroom.

You should aim to use all three AND also aim to have at least three lights in every room.

First, I want to explore what the different types of lights are and what they do.

neutral lving room

One of the reasons why this gets overlooked is because a lot of the pictures that we see in magazines, the lights are off. There’s natural light that’s enhanced with Photoshop, or there’s artificial light that’s coming into the image that you don’t see.

The lights that are in the room are shut off. But in your real home, the lights add real warmth and character to your space.

Ambient Light

Ambient lights are the lights that come in from overhead, that give you sort of the general light in your room. These include can lights, chandeliers, flush mount lights, “boob” lights, etc.

ambient light

Task Lighting

Task lights are just like what they sound. They’re, they light up a specific task, chopping, putting on your makeup, reading.

living room light

Accent Lights

And accent lights are where the real difference can be made, because these lights add mood to your room.

Lighting Every Room

I’m going to explain how you can use those three types of light in each and every room in your house. Let’s start in the living room. In the living room, most of us have some kind of can light, which almost cannot be avoided.

You can add pendant lighting, and you can add chandeliers, even if you don’t want to hire an electrician. For task lights, you can use lamps to light up chairs or your couch. You can use floor lamps or table lamps.

lamps on a credenza

For task lighting. For accent lighting, you can use fixtures above artwork fixtures above bookshelves. You can use sconces next to a piece of art or next to your fireplace. You can also use floor lights, which you don’t see commonly used, but they do add a lot of interest to a space.

Let’s move on to the bedroom. So in the bedroom you can also have a chandelier or a pendant. You can have sconces next to the bed for your task lights for reading, and the accent lights.

bedroom lighting

Sconces can be in front of bookshelves, next to artwork. You can have lamps on dressers.

For a dining room, definitely want ambient light over the table. And if you have a chandelier that hangs low enough, it can also be a task light that lights up your food. You also want to use a lot of accent lighting.

dining room lighting

You can use sconces next to a buffet, you can use lamps on a buffet, you can even use floor lamps. You can use floor lights. You can light up artwork. You can light up bookshelves.

bathroom lighting

Let’s talk about bathroom. Everybody has an overhead light pretty much in their bathroom, but you can also add lights next to the mirror.

You can add lights behind the mirror. You can add lights over the mirror.

You’re going to see what a difference this makes if you just add a few of these lights throughout your home. You just want to make sure you have three types of light in every room.

And if you want to get more tricks that designers know that you don’t, check out 4 color secrets to that interior designers use.

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