Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Importance Of Lighting In Interior Design

Everyone knows how important paint color, furniture choices and artwork are to interior design. One aspect of design that is often overlooked, however, is lighting. Lighting not only affects the brightness of the room, but it can also change the way a paint color looks, cast shadows in ways that make the room seem smaller and have an impact on the presentation of art work.

There is no light like natural light. If you are buying, building or remodeling, opt for as much natural light as possible. Oversized windows and skylights are two ways to get the most natural light. Of course, not everyone is in the position to be able to do that, so you’ll have to work with what you have.

How much natural light do you get in your room? If the room in question faces north, you won’t get as much natural sunlight as you would in a southern facing room. Rooms that face south get bright, natural light throughout the day. Rooms that face east will only have good natural light in the morning hours and western facing rooms will have the most light during the afternoon.

Once you are familiar with how much natural light is in each room, you’ll be able to make informed choices about what additional lighting may be necessary. Keep in mind that rooms with little or no natural light will need artificial lighting – even during the day – in order to look their best.

Here are some types of lighting to consider.

1. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is perfect when you want to showcase a piece of art or a special piece of furniture or other item. Since light draws the eye, it will bring attention to the features in your room that you wish to highlight.

2. Hanging Light Features

Chandeliers and smaller hanging lamps can be beautiful as well as functional. A trip to the local home improvement store will quickly show you how overwhelming the choices can be. You’ll want to select lighting that blends in with your existing d├ęcor. For example, a crystal chandelier in a country themed dining room probably isn’t the best option. If you don’t choose carefully, your lighting may stick out like a sore thumb and become more of an eyesore than a lovely accent.

3. Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a good choice for a room that needs extra light throughout the day. Because the lighting won’t interfere with the existing decor, it can work in almost any room. It provides abundant light without taking up a lot of space or interfering with other aspects of the room.

4. Lamps

Using lamps are a way to add not only additional lighting, but also punches of color. If possible, see how much light the lamp gives off before leaving the store. Many lamps serve as decoration more than as a light source and give off very little light. If you love the lamp, but it doesn’t give off quite enough light, consider changing the shade which will usually solve the problem.

When decorating your home, remember how important lighting is, and give it the same thought and attention you give to the other details of decorating your home.


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