Manipulating natural and artificial light when designing for clients and their homes is one of the most vital elements in the design process. A designer’s job is to optimise the use of light within a property. This is an essential component for practical reasons, and it can also be a dramatic decorative element. Fine & Country Interior Design share their key tips on what to look out for within your home.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the variety of lighting available. If you want your home to be both functional, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, it’s vital to pay the right amount of attention to your lighting scheme.
“Mixing the type of lighting within a scheme is key; in our projects, we use the following:
• Ambient light to create soft lighting, illuminating large spaces
• Accent lighting to add drama and highlight areas of interest, such as picture lights above art and small spotlights to highlight architectural or joinery features
• Task lighting to add brightness to a specific spot (such as a kitchen work surface), and pendant lights such as those suspended above a kitchen island.
In our opinion, the more variety in lighting, the better, so keep layering and adjust it as you go according to the natural light levels and your mood,” explains Deborah from Base Interior.
When design duo Wickenden Hutley complete their projects, they always make sure their schemes have three layers of lighting throughout: table lamps, wall lights (such as joinery lighting and picture lights), and overhead lighting.
“This ensures that beautiful atmospheric lighting can be achieved in the evenings, whilst still having task lighting overhead when needed,” explains Melissa. “Pendant lighting works beautifully over kitchen islands and breakfast bars but we tend to prefer candle light on dining tables with wall lights and picture lights surrounding them. This creates a more intimate evening scene.”
Lighting is vital when trying to create an atmosphere throughout the home, and it can also be used for dramatic effect, enhancing the ‘wow’ factor as you walk into a room. It’s often easy to tell when a designer has been involved when looking at this type of lighting, as the specific attention shines through, sometimes in areas where it’s least expected.
Interiors by Sarah Ward carry out a lot of high-end development work where lighting is paramount to ensuring that the home is full of unique touches: “I’m a great fan of creating small niches in bathrooms and back-lighting them. You can use the niches for storing elegant bath oils and they will also break up an expanse of tiling, as well as providing a subtle glow which can be very relaxing,” explains Sarah.
Amelia from Amelia Carter Interiors designs a lot of bespoke lighting for her clients, whether it’s a chandelier in a central hallway or designing innovative ways to make joinery a key feature within a room. “I think it’s important to use lighting in joinery shelves. It can create a focal point in a room and avoids a dark and heavy look for built-in units.”
Attention to detail is vital when designing a home to be practical for a family. “When you are space planning a house make sure that you have good lighting in all of your storage areas including the eaves. It is so frustrating to be digging out the Christmas decorations and not being able to see what is tucked away in these awkward spaces”.