Many homeowners put a lot of thought into their paint schemes, furniture, flooring, and countertops, but overlook the one thing that can make a house 'pop'...lighting. Yep, that's right, your home's lighting sets the mood of a room more than you realize, and no matter how right you think you got the paint or sofa, if the lighting is wrong, it will look bland and uninspiring.
No matter how much time you spend indoors, lighting is crucial. It creates an atmosphere and sets a mood — be it pleasant or not. To avoid having your home space light up like a Christmas tree, or be a dark cave, here are our top tips for stunning interior and exterior lighting design.
Interior lighting - all about variety
We'll cover the exterior of your home later, but first, you want to get jaw-dropping results inside. Once you see how easy it is to customize the feel of your home inside by following these lighting rules, then you can transfer that knowledge outside.
Figure out the type of lighting that you need
Although suitable lighting can achieve a great atmosphere, it still needs to be functional first. Big rooms require lots of light, even if you only need the place to be brightly lit occasionally. Therefore, keep your options open. Don't be afraid to go big in a big space.
Not every room needs the same amount of light
You can accentuate different spots in different rooms. For example, you can illuminate the corners in the living room while keeping the light centered in the dining room. The kitchen and the bathroom need to be brightly lit. Furthermore, installing some lower, counter lights and mirror lights will give you more options.
Layer your lighting
You can spark visual interest by layering the lighting. It’s best to go with three layers — ambient, task, and accent lighting. The ambient lighting is the overhead illumination that will light the whole room. Meanwhile, other types of illumination are more subtle. Task lighting is, for example, lighting in your library nook. Furthermore, accent lighting is similar — you can use it to highlight specific areas or pieces of furniture.
Keep bulbs the same color
Light bulbs give out different shades of yellow or white light. Be consistent when you are buying your bulbs. What’s more, if you’re renovating and doing all your lighting fixtures at the same time, you can buy your bulbs while you’re at it, thus ensuring the same shade of light throughout your house.
Exterior lighting design — the key to a marvelous outdoor space
Avoid the runway look
Most people like to line their walkways with lights. That’s the so-called “runway look.” Instead of this dull, commonplace arrangement, opt for a more dynamic layout. You can place all your lights on one side, or distribute them along the pathway while alternating sides. Dock lights like these are a unique way to illuminate your walkway, for example.
Mix it up
Don’t use the same fixtures for each light in your garden. Furthermore, alternate between lights as well. Experiment with wide wash fixtures and bullet lights, for example. You can also use lights that are flush to the ground and lights that are elevated.
Take a peek from the inside
Always make sure that you check your outdoor lights from inside the house. Think about what type of view you would like from various rooms inside your home. You want to ensure that you aren't going to be blinded by the placement of your exterior lighting, so consider options that allow you to dim, rotate, or direct the light itself.
Think about security
While lighting is vital for creating ambiance, it’s not all about the look. Security is even more critical. Therefore, you must make sure that all entry points to your property are brightly lit. There is no better deterrent to would-be invaders than a well-lit house where every movement is in plain sight.
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