Enhance your living room’s design with light fixtures that blend function with style. Light layers should be placed to bounce illumination throughout a room and eliminate shadows from corners. In this living room, a burnished metal chandelier supplies overall light and visual interest. Twin sconces supply soft accent lighting and define the area around the fireplace and mirror. A scrolling floor lamp offers task lighting for the seating area.
Natural lighting is fantastic asset to any home, but the quality of the light depends on the aspect of the room. North facing: cold and harsh rather than direct sunlight. Artists choose north-facing studios because the light gives truer colour rendition. East facing: bright first thing in the morning followed by long shadows and no sun later in the day. Use artificial lighting to control glare and maximise the available natural light in north- and east-facing rooms. South facing: warm light all day, although it changes throughout the day and year. The midday sun is usually so bright it flattens everything out. Choose south-facing rooms for the kitchen, main living areas and other rooms you spend a lot of time in. West facing: sunlight at the hottest part of the day, which can cause glare. In the late afternoon, you’ll get long shadows and softer light.
The lounge is where accent lighting really comes into its own: use it to highlight collections of books, glass, pictures, plants, ornaments or just one cherished piece to make a real statement.
The key is to create a flexible scheme that takes you right through the day and all the different uses of your room. At the flick of a switch, you should be able to transform it from a bright, vibrant living space to the setting for a romantic dinner for two.
Choose tungsten bulbs for a rosy, welcoming glow. Don’t restrict yourself by making your lighting plan too fixed. For example, don’t position recessed downlighters at either end of the sofa or above other items of furniture, as you may want to move it all around at a later date.