With the clocks changing this weekend (Sunday) I thought it would be a good idea to start talking about lighting. If you didn’t know already, the clocks are going forward this time, which means we will get one hour less sleep (eeek!) but will enjoy more daylight in the evenings.

This switch in timings can have an impact on your own lighting at home. I am absolutely obsessed with lighting, it’s my own personal design crusade. I didn’t realise the importance of lighting until I converted to the dark side but now I’m fanatical about it! It has magical powers, highlighting, adding depth and intrigue, drawing the eye, making a space look bigger, cosier you name it. If you’re wondering why your room doesn’t feel right, I would say the number one all time mistake, which I see all the time is recessed down lights. Too harsh and soulless by far, which is why they rank a big fat zero on the design-ometer. I have a huge mixture of lighting in my own home – take a look at the pictures below.
Bedford Brown interiors

Photo: My work space
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Photo: Love my Shaggy Palm lamp light

Take a walk around your home and think about how the room makes you feel. You should feel different in your kitchen to your bedroom. In the kitchen you will have more task lighting, where your bedroom will have accent lighting to give a relaxed atmosphere to the space.

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Photo: Use lighting to highlight what you love in your home

Lighting is the second most transformative thing you can do to a space – colour is the first. Lighting can add depth, highlight, draw the eye – it really is a dark art – well, a light art really. In the biz, there are three types of lighting: ambient, task and accent.

AMBIENT LIGHTING

These are your overhead lights – recessed, pendant or chandeliers. They should never be the only lights in the room though. You need to put them on dimmers, so you can change the vibe of a room by lowering the light levels. No one wants their house all lit up like an airport lounge!

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Photo: It is always fun to play with scale too

TASK LIGHTING

These are the practical lights you need in the room, so desk lamps, reading lights, under cabinet lighting for preparing food in the kitchen, mirror lights in the bathroom, motion sensor lights in cupboards and drawers etc. Task lights are practical and functional, but they also make a room feel more beautiful and harmonious because you get little pools of light dotted around the room.

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Photo: Retrouvius

ACCENT LIGHTING

These are the lamps that you can load up on everywhere in the room, and my favourite design trick. I’ve got lamps everywhere on side tables, consoles, on central islands, on the floor, on benches on a pouf even. Everywhere and it’s beautiful. These little glowing pockets of light create atmospheric, cosy, intimate spaces  – you enter a beautifully lit room and you immediately get that feeling of squishy contentment.You can also use them to highlight architectural features. Think a soft glow above in alcoves or along stairtreads – I’ve also seen hidden lights tucked behind headboards and above kitchen cabinets for that extra layer of glow. Or the lighting can be a feature in it’s own right, like a fun floor standing lamp or a cool neon wall sign.

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Photo: Mirrors are great addition to bounce light around a room

I love pushing boundaries with lighting, so don’t always go for the obvious choice – mix it up. As Dorothy Draper once said, ‘I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk”. Maybe do the same?

 

ENLIGHTENED: GET THE LOOK