Lighting is an important feature in home décor. It highlights our surroundings and enables us to perceive colour and texture. Valuable time is spent selecting colour, furniture and accessories for the living area. Choosing the right lighting is essential to maximise their impact.
Lighting plans for a living area or family room must always take in to account what activities will occur there. Most people will want to include general lighting for watching television and entertaining, accent lighting for artwork, plants and interesting architectural aspects and task lighting for reading or sewing.
For ambience in the living room, use a combination of overhead light fittings, table lamps, floor standing lamps and wall mounted fittings. For an increased level of ambient light, use translucent shades on table lamps instead of opaque.
Small living rooms can be made to feel bigger by lighting an entire wall. This can be done by using recessed light fittings that are mounted on the ceiling. They will need to be and equal distance from the wall and each other to get the best effect. This idea can also be used to highlight walls with interesting textures or features.
Brick or stone fireplaces can be emphasised by installing recessed downlights in the ceiling above the mantle creating a charming grazing effect across the surface. The use of wall sconces on either side of the fireplace will draw attention to the area as well as providing general lighting for the living room.
Task lighting can be accomplished by placing a floor standing lamp either side of the reading chair. The light should come from behind the reader’s shoulder and the bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid glare.
Paintings can be highlighted with low voltage halogen picture lights. They are usually frame mounted and provide bright, white light across the painting.
Large houseplants can be accented by using up-lighting floor lights behind the plant, creating a silhouetted feature which will brighten up any dull corner.
Glass cabinets with collectables make a sparkly feature to any living room when the right type of lighting is used. For the best effect try using recessed adjustable light fittings with low voltage halogen light bulbs.
To make your living room seem larger, carry the atmosphere outdoors by lighting gardens, shrubbery and water features that are visible from the windows in the room.
Tracey Aldous is a trainee accountant who enjoys freelance writing in her spare time. She is currently writing articles for several websites.