So often lighting gets ignored when decorating. In our experience, it’s one of the most over-looked design elements. Good lighting is imperative for being able to see and also to create the right mood in a space.
We’ve been in many bathrooms that don’t have strong enough lighting to be able to apply makeup or tweeze a brow. Then there’s the problem of staring up into a bright pot light when laying on the sofa, or trying to play pool when the light above casts shadows.
The wrong lighting can make a person feel stressed and anxious.
Lighting design is not merely picking pretty fixtures, it’s really about creating different levels of lighting so tasks can be done easily and every room has atmosphere.
Lighting not only affects visual conditions, it also has an effect on our biological functions and emotions.
The best light is natural light. We know that daylight has a positive influence on people because it effects the chronobiological system, which is responsible for regulating our sleep/wake cycles. Having a home with lots of natural light is very important for physical and emotional health.
If you have the luxury of designing your home, put in lots of windows.
And if you have dark rooms or spaces in your home, consider adding a window. The positive health benefits will be worth the cost.
But what happens when there isn’t a lot of natural light and no way to add it?
That’s where different levels of lighting are necessary. With properly arranged lighting, rooms will shine brightly. There are three types of lighting; general, task and accent.
All three types of lighting must work in harmony. One must not dominate the other or the balance of the room will be off.
Using levels of lighting will provide the right type of light for different purposes, conversation, reading or accenting a collection.
We like pretty light fixtures…a lot. It’s important to ensure that the fixture gives off enough light and sometimes the prettiest ones don’t. That’s why we use pot lights so often and combine them with beautiful light fixtures.
It’s especially important when designing kitchens. Every kitchen we design has to have different lighting levels and one of those being really strong lights. There’s nothing worse then trying to wash dishes when your back is to the light source.
Then of course, when everything is clean and it’s time to relax, we like for our clients to be able to dim the lights and get cozy.
We work with an amazing electrician/lighting designer, who ensures that we get the best light for each room.
If you’re choosing your own electrician, find someone who is interested in lighting design. That will make the difference between just having a light fixture in every room, or having a home where you feel uplifted and in a good mood.
And now there’s so many different lighting products on the market, that there really is a light for everyone and every situation.
We encourage you to think about the lighting in your home as a therapeutic benefit. Lighting should be a high priority when decorating your home.
All photos by Karen Fron Interior Design except first photo
Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.