How to design your home lighting for maximum wow factor
Building or renovating a home can give you an overwhelmingly long list of to do’s and critical decisions to make. You will be making structural decisions, choosing the layout, comparing dozens of different fittings, floor coverings and paint colours… I could go on! Somewhere in amongst that list comes lighting and often it is not given the thought that it is worth, the lighting gets ticked off the list in 1-2 trips to the store and that’s the end of it. But lighting is so much more important than many people realise! The lighting is what highlights all your other design decisions.You risk jeopardizing all that time you spent carefully choosing every aspect of your home if you skimp on the lighting.
Where to start when designing lighting:
Often the easiest way to figure out what lights your home will need and where to put them is to grab a floor plan and mark out what each area is used for. This doesn't just mean by room i.e. lounge, kitchen but also the parts of those rooms; Do the kids do their homework at the coffee table? Which kitchen bench will majority of the food prep happen at? And will you be applying makeup in your bedroom mirror or the bathroom one? These sorts of questions help you to understand how the rooms will be used and what lighting you will need to aid those functions. This sort of lighting is known as task or functional lighting. It is the lighting that you ‘need’ as well as where and how this is supplied. Often modern task lighting comes in the form of LED downlights because they provide ample light without disturbing the lines of the house design as they are recessed flush the ceiling.
The next step in your lighting planning is the aesthetic lighting:
Aesthetic lighting is also known as ambient, accent or effect lighting. This type of lighting is usually the one people forget about. Aesthetic lights help to create an effect, set the mood and highlight style and design features. Aesthetic lights are the lights that add wow factor and bring out the best aspects of your home architecture and styling. In order to choose your aesthetic lighting think about how you want to feel in the space and what design elements of your home you would like to highlight. For instance, a fantastic stylish use of aesthetic lighting is around the edges of a dropped or floating ceiling to provide a glow or even a colour shining through this is usually achieved with LED strip lights. A similar and impactful use of LED strip lights in along the kitchen kickboard providing a soft glow, just enough to give a sense of calm and light the path for your feet or see where to put your mug in the dishwasher during the break in your favourite tv programme.
Aesthetic lights also include aspects such as glamorous oversized chandeliers, vintage wall lamps and stylised pendant lights. A boring entryway is greatly enhanced by a single oversized chandelier and your favourite piece of art will pop in the light of angled spotlights. Aesthetic lighting works brilliantly outdoors especially in our outdoor entertaining loving country, think of shimmering blue pool lights, a sparkling waterfall or rock feature lit up at night or blue lighting shining up from the base of your palm trees.
Lighting adds the finishing touches on your house, highlighting the best features, setting the mood and most importantly being in the right place to illuminate your tasks so you can do what needs to be done with ease and clarity.
Don’t miss out on the powerful effects of well thought out lighting when renovating or designing your home!