QUEEN'S ROAD: Lighting can make a world of difference in a space, be it a home, an office or a restaurant. One can spend millions on the best flooring, furniture and artifacts but once the sun goes down and the lighting is not up to the mark, you sure have wasted a lot of money. While lighting can be quite intriguing to most, it can be simplified.
When you start working on a lighting layout, sit down with a pen and paper. Look at the plan of your house, the furniture layout and the electrical points.
- Start with identifying the task to be done in each room; reading, cooking, leisure, TV watching etc.
- Accordingly, decide on the desired mood you want to create. One room can have more than one mood.
- Identify ‘highlight’ areas in each room. It can be an artifact, a painting, wall finishes, task areas that you want to focus on.
- Identify areas where you plan to use table lamps, floor lamps or drop lights.
Some tips for each room in your home;
Living and family room: This is the most frequented space in your home and used most widely when you are with your guests or family. Living rooms play different roles. You entertain here, watch TV, read, play games etc and hence it may be advisable to have multiple mood settings in the space.
Use down lighters such as surface and recessed lights; highlight corners with clusters of droplights. Use picture lights for art and feature walls. One can create very interesting mood settlings with a mix of floor and table lamps.
Try and tie in the space by using complementing colours in your blinds, upholstery or cushions.The benefit of using table and floor lamps is that it gives one the flexibility to move them around.
If you have a picture wall or large paintings or a collection of art on a wall, try and use track lights in the ceiling to light them up. The light is uniform this way and at the same time, does not take the attention away from the pictures.
Using a dimmer for your lights is the easiest way to change the mood.
Dining room: This again is a space that plays many roles in each household. You eat here, entertain, read, spend time with family, play board games etc. This place needs to adapt itself to each of these tasks. It’s best to have ambient lighting in the form of a cove light, recess lights and more. Have one or more drop lights over the table. One can also look at making the dining space a focal point in the house by having a cluster of drops over the table.
If you do not have a very large dining space, use large mirrors opposite the table to make the space look larger. Use table lamps over consoles and buffet cabinets to add depth to the space.If you have crockery or buffet cabinets with glass shutters, then back the cabinet with mirrors and use spot lights inside to focus on your prized china or your heirlooms.
Kitchen: Today kitchens are no more just spaces where one spends time cooking.
A kitchen is now one of the most active spaces in a home where families spend quality time with each other. Like other spaces in your home, consider layering the light. Use task lights below the counter to make cutting, cooking easy. Have drops over the breakfast table not just to make the space look good but also to allow one to perform simple tasks like reading and writing.
If you have a space between your cabinets and ceiling, use tubes that are hidden within the top of the cabinets to provide ambient light.
Use light colour paints for kitchen ceilings to reflect maximum light
Bedroom: A bedroom is a true reflection of the resident of the home because it is one place where one needs to feel relaxed and truly at home.
It’s always prudent to have multiple lighting options in your bedroom. Consider your task area such as a writing desk and reading chair where you would read or write and then provide for ample task lighting. Use interesting bedside lamps to create drama in your room. If you can, consider using a floor lamp in the corner of the room or a droplight with cutwork to throw patterns on the wall. One can also use chandeliers in the room to add interest in the space.
If you do not want to clutter your bedside table, consider having two drop down lights on either side of the bed or even have retractable wall lamps on either side of the bed.
Bathrooms: I recently visited a friend’s home where the bathroom looked nothing like a bathroom. The bathroom to most is the 'think center' where they spend considerable time on their own. While it needs to have good task lighting, one can also add a dash of excitement by hanging an interesting chandelier or a drop light in the corner or even by painting a wall in an interesting colour or by using wall paper on a highlight wall away from the wet areas. Use light on either side of the mirror (pendent or wall) to provide the best quality illumination. One can add a dimmer to the lighting in the bath to keep the ambience simple and effective.
Radeesh R Shetty is the founder of The Purple Turtles