The children have gone back to school and, whilst we are all hoping for an Indian Summer, in reality it means that the days are becoming shorter and your time spent indoors is on the up. However, let us embrace the change of season and the way we use our homes.
With the darker days we want to hunker down and relish feeling cosy, cosseted and our rooms to feel inviting. Clever lighting can help achieve this and is on of the major – but often overlooked – elements of interior design, transforming space and atmosphere both inside and out.
So how do we achieve this? Interior lighting has the ability to change the mood of a room. Designing the best form of lighting and ensuring the perfect placement can be difficult, however, when all the elements come together the design can be effortless. Lighting needs to work in harmony with the entire design concept – with the colours, the furniture, the fabric, the features or the special pieces and treasures – whilst being discreet.
Ambient Lighting is the overall effect we look for, generally what you need to carry out day to day living safely, so you’re not groping around in the dark. You can accomplish ambient lighting with down lights, chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted lights. These can make wonderful statements or can be as discreet as you like, it really depends on the design story you’re trying to achieve. There are so many stunning centerpieces that can be chosen to make a focal talking point whilst providing a necessity. Alternatively cleverly thought out, perfectly positioned down lights may be all that you need.
Accent Lighting creates visual interest and drama. You can use it to draw the eye to your paintings or sculptures and also to grab ones attention to a wall texture or rustic beam or both! In our Wiltshire project we were able to focus on the striking fireplace emphasizing not only the mantel but the stone surround too; the result only elevates an already beautiful feature.
Accent lights can be placed on a wall, in recesses, tracks or as picture lights. In our Marylebone project we used accent lighting to highlight the ceiling in the hallway as one aspect and literally underlined the funky cabinetry in the kitchen in the other or even have incredible feature lighting on a glass staircase!
Task Lighting helps one perform specific tasks such as cooking, reading, home-work and of course is essential in a home office – it can present itself as portable lighting such as desk lamps or pendants or under cabinetry lighting to brighten up the counter tops. We all need task lighting, however, we need it to be cleverly positioned so that it isn’t distracting and doesn’t create shadows or glare. As designers we ask questions to better understand exactly what specific areas of the home are going to be used to enable us to use our expertise to ensure the perfect lighting solutions for you.
Exterior Lighting – There are so many wonderful ideas that can be installed outside to create beautiful, striking effects to bring the exterior in, accentuate water features and capture different moods and shapes. Why not leave those curtains open at night and appreciate your garden when it’s dark just as much as you do during the day?
It is so vital that we talk about lighting from the start of any project, it really enhances the home and is the cornerstone of creating a home which is both practical and subtly atmospheric. Lighting effects our own mood too, just like the weather; if the sun is shining your spirits are lifted and it works exactly the same way in the home.