There is a whole world of science out there about lighting your home, (a complicated and expensive one at that) but most of us just want atmospheric lighting for those dark evenings, and something that is decorative during the day. Lighting is not just about bringing light into your home on those dark evenings – it’s also a way to create atmosphere and drama, day or night. How to choose decorative lighting is certainly not rocket science but here are a few helpful pointers to bear in mind.
Lots of table lamps in various sizes around the room, to create an equal distribution of light. I always think of table lamps as like mirrors – the more the merrier! And where you have the space, a standard lamp makes a striking feature and varies the height of lighting. Lighting is the same as furniture in that you need various heights to achieve balance and interest.
If you have a central pendant light put it on a dimmer switch so you can get a softer light, and moodier atmosphere when required. Quite often a pendant light is more a style statement (on or off), than for the actual light so I think a dimmer is essential.
Think about what you want the light to achieve. Is it just for atmosphere and a warm glow, or is it task lighting whereby you want to be able to read or sew? For instance, darker lamp shades cast less light, whereas a pink shade, gives a really lovely warm light, and a light coloured lampshade will give a brighter light – obvious but sometimes we forget these things in the moment. Task lighting is essential if you want to read or sew, I have an anglepoise floor lamp for my quilting which I wouldn’t be without as it’s high enough to angle down onto my work.
Check the height measurements of table lamps before you buy. It has to look visually right against the other furniture, so hold a tape measure up to where the lamp will come to in relation to everything else.
Matching lamps? I always think it is very stylish to have matching lamps either side of a bed or sofa, if you have the room, and gives a sense of symmetry. If you like symmetry, of course!
And last but not least when it comes to choosing decorative lighting, have fun – after all, we all want something to make us smile! In the grand scale of things lamps are the easiest thing to change that create drama and adventure in your home.
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Photography: Amelia Brooks/ Styling: Jacqui & Amelia Brooks
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