17 Mar 2022

Lighting the Way: How to Best Illuminate Your Home

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Lighting plays a massive part in the home. Not just functionally but also aesthetically and biologically. Ensuring your property is well lit is a vital part of interior design that affects the look of a space, your mood and even the appearance of room size.

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Founded in 1971, där lighting is one of the UK’s best-known designers and distributors of lighting. Here, Peter Legg, Lead Designer at där lighting, shares his best-practice tips for internal lighting schemes and explains how you can introduce some of the latest trends.

Layer by layer

Ultimately, lighting schemes should always be built up in ‘layers’, with a combination of ceiling, wall, floor-level and ambient lighting (table lamps). The key to producing the right balance is to layer your lighting correctly to provide a mixture of task, ambient and accent points, which are crucial in creating a calming living space.

In living rooms, you should try to create as many sources of warm light as possible. Place lights at different levels to ensure the room is illuminated vertically and horizontally. Table and floor lamps are ideal for any shady corners, and wall lights can help frame the main area or highlight the edges of the space when placed at either end.

Flush and semi-flush lights are designed for limited heights and are often the go-to for low-level living room ceilings, but they aren’t the only option. Pendant lights and chandeliers shouldn’t be ruled out, but it’s vital to get the measurements right. If opting for either of these, draw out the diameter of the design with a piece of paper and attach it to some string so that you can mimic the drop and get a better idea of what your chosen light will look like in situ. Minimalistic designs will be unobtrusive and create the illusion of more space. If the room is dark or north-facing, choose an armed pendant or one made from glass to help light bounce across the area. Team this combination with a mirror placed by natural light, and you’ll achieve a soft glow from morning to night.

Cooking up a storm

In the kitchen, it’s best to give a good amount of light. Opt for LED lamps that provide a sharp light for food preparation. Complement this with a low hanging bar pendant over a breakfast counter or dining area that you can fit to a dimmer to produce mood lighting for entertaining in open-plan kitchens.

Odd numbers create a balanced look over an island which is why you’ll often see bar pendants coming in three- and five-bulb designs. Another way to even out the appearance is to choose a pair of oversized pendants that stretch across the space. Chandeliers and draped cluster designs will create a visual curtain and add a lavish touch. Alternatively, try an understated finish with clear or caged arrangements.

Bar pendants have become a staple in most kitchens, but this year we’ll see more playful designs come to the forefront. Moving away from the traditional downward-facing arrangements, the trend is evolving, with bulbs being placed on the top of the bar rather than underneath, or even in alternating directions, creating a dynamic yet warm effect that’s sure to be a talking point.

Staycation style

The rise of the staycation has meant more of us are looking to add a sense of luxury and finesse to our bedrooms. Nothing says boutique feel more than crystal designs and velvet pendants, so these will be making more of an appearance throughout 2022 as we seek to create a sanctuary from the busy everyday.

Bedrooms are the perfect place to introduce a little luxury. These rooms aren’t as bound by practicality and ceiling height as hallways or living rooms, where there’s often a lot of movement, so chandeliers or low-hanging pendants over bedsides are indulgent touches that you can add with confidence. Choose designs with textured elements and combine them with an upholstered headboard and quilted throw for a sumptuous scheme.

Bathe in relaxation

A bathroom is split into zones where ingress protection (IP)-rated lighting must be used. Zone 0 is inside the bath, sink or shower. It’s very rare to have a light here due to the technicalities of getting a cable there without causing a leak. Most bathroom lighting is suitable for Zone 1, which is the area in the immediate vicinity of the bath, shower or sink; 60cm around the sink, 60cm on either side of the bath or shower and 2.25m above the bath. If there is a danger of direct spray from a showerhead, we recommend using a light that meets IP65 standards. Generally speaking, we suggest IP44 for lighting in the bathroom.

Warm brass tones and statement blacks will add colour, depth and interest, especially when paired with authentic zellige handmade tiles. Used in small areas, black can sometimes be overpowering. Combinations contrasting the tint with ribbed and opal glass shades are rising in prominence as they introduce softness, creating a harmonious blend. This softer light is ideal for encouraging a relaxed, spa-inspired feel in the bathroom. For those keen to embrace a more industrial luxe style in the bathroom, there’s nothing to stop you from using outdoor lighting.

Try not to rely on a single light source. Adding wall lights will help the space feel brighter and larger. Positioning is vital; placing wall lights on either side of a mirror will cast light back into the room and give it a more spacious feeling. Those designing a particularly compact space, such as a cloakroom, could consider an illuminated mirror as an alternative.

You can discover the full range of collections from där lighting via the below website, where you’ll also be able to find your nearest local retailer.

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