Remember when you moved into your home? It was fresh and new and bright. Appliances shined and sparkled, (and worked). Now, maybe ten years after the crisp smell of the new home have turned to the smell of whatever you cooked for last night’s dinner,you’re ready for something new. Something you can afford that will still give you a new look.That is possible to achieve and it’s easier that you think.
Look into the light and you will literally see your answer. Architectural interior lighting can change a room in subtle ways, such as make a small space appear larger or smaller, or it can dramatically change the overall mood of a room. You can use brighter lighting to enhance the colours in a room, or dimmed recessed lighting to subdue a stark white room and illuminate the floors rather than the walls.
Most often the centre of attention is the furniture in the room or the colour scheme used throughout the home. Low lighting used in the centre of the room provides an ambient climate and illuminates the area directly surrounding it. Placing a lamp near a dark coloured section of wall will give the room a moody atmosphere while placing it near white or brighter objects will make the room livelier.
Here are some other tips that can help transform your home “from drab to fab”:
1 – Soak Up Natural Light
While it is true that too much exposure to natural sunlight is dangerous, it is also true that short periods of exposure to natural light are very beneficial. Sunlight actually provides nutrition for human beings. It helps produce vitamin C, but more importantly, your skin absorbs vitamin D through sunlight which aids in alleviating the blues and aids in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D is also thought to minimise the chances of developing some types of cancer. It improves the mood as well as that lazy lethargic feeling you get on a cold rainy day.
That’s what it does for you, but what does it do for your home? It provides a space that is warm and inviting. You can use the sunlight that comes into your home to your advantage and make the most of its cheery rays. Position your living areas toward the southeast. There is scientific evidence that shows early morning sunlight is very beneficial, especially in the winter months. Paint the walls of a dark room bright colours that reflect sunlight.
2 – Think Mirrors and Window Treatments
Changes, even small ones, inside the home can add light to dark corners and hallways. Make use of mirrors to “borrow” light from windows and outside rooms. Strategically place them where they will scatter light into the far reaches of the room to open space. Hang a mirror opposite a sunny window. (Another bonus to using mirrors is they cost much less than good art.)
Window treatments help you control the lighting in the room. Horizontal blinds can be tilted upward which block heat in the summer but still will allow the light in. Light coloured shades will create a diffused ambient light. Bringing light into a room will enhance people’s productivity as well as their mood and that combination is priceless.
3 – Multiple Light Sources
Lighting is one of the most important parts of our lives, and yet is almost always overlooked. There are 4 types of lighting used to achieve the best design experience. Ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting.
Ambient light is a soft low light that is just bright enough to be able to navigate through the room.
Task lighting is a bright illuminating light that focuses on a certain area where a task such as cooking or reading takes place.
Accent lighting is mainly directed light. It is used to focus attention on a certain feature such as artwork, to set a mood, or provide a little dramatic flair in the room.
To use lighting effectively, put it where you need it but balance the light to create an even flow of light through the rooms. Layering light sources is one way to achieve this. First identify the focal point. If there is more than one focal point in a room, pick the most interesting and this is where the brightest layer of light should be directed. Next comes a middle light layer that will provide interest to certain areas but not detract from your focal point. The last layer is to fill in the gaps, or the background.
4 – Explore Lighting Technologies
Technology is amazing and can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Thankfully, the advances in technology in the field of lighting are rather smart and even a bit fun. There isn’t anything much worse than settling into bed and realising you left a light on downstairs (or your children did). Now you have to get up,walk all the way down and turn it off, and settle back into bed. That is a thing of the past. Just as you no longer have to go to the television to change the channel, you no longer have to go to the wall and flip the switch. It’s called connectivity. Lights have become “smart” and can be controlled with a sensor and a data connection. That means next time you get in bed and notice a light on, all you have to do is pick up your phone and click it off.
Light manufacturers are now making light products that promote health and productivity. Adjust the colour and brightness of the light throughout the day to mimic natural daylight.
5 – Custom Lighting
Sometimes you just don’t want to fit in with everyone else. Instead of having the same standard light fixtures as your friends and neighbours, stand out with custom lighting designs and fixtures. Artisan crafted lighting is becoming very popular. The lighting fixtures are unique and crafted with various materials like metal or glass to offer a totally unique lighting design for your home.
Custom lighting also adds the advantage of energy efficiency which is very important in our eco-friendly world. LED lights consume less energy than standard fluorescent bulbs and last up to ten times longer. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, custom lighting also offers the ability to change the colours by the push of a button. Create some drama, unless you already have enough of that. In which case just push the button to a more peaceful colour and relax away the stress of the day.