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Light installation inspiration for the home

How to add impact and atmosphere to your home with light

Lghting is a necessity in our homes but that doesn’t mean it has to be pedestrian. The right lights can add drama, flatter a room and its inhabitants, and add cosiness. Get it too bright and you can feel on edge when you want to relax, too dark and you can be squinting at the book you’re trying to read. We ask the pros how it’s done…

A room needs a variety of light sources, and shame on you if you’re relying on one ceiling pendant or recessed spotlights. Layering your lighthing gives you flexibility and adds character. Advises Peter Legg, lead designer at Där Lighting: “Use accent lighting to enhance existing features in the room, adding depth and drama; it can highlight objects such as paintings and sculptures or architectural features such as mouldings or buttresses.”

Task lighting, meanwhile, will help prevent eyestrain and should be free of glare and shadows. He adds that single spots or spotlight bars are poseable and unobtrusive, and you can manoeuvre them to brighten dark areas of a room without the need for additional lighting.

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Look at unusual ways to light your home such as a run of lighting going up the stairs, around the base of units or even star spotlights in the shower. Putney lighting designer Sian Baxter suggests using linear lights, which can create lines in the walls or ceiling that emphasise the shape of a room or object and lead your eye along a route. Sian has, for example, put a linear light in the ceiling mimicking the shape of the kitchen island below.

“Use accent lighting to enhance existing features in the room, adding depth and drama; it can highlight objects such as paintings and sculptures or architectural features such as mouldings or buttresses.”

Sian cautions against slavishly copying someone else’s lighting scheme though. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they see something in a magazine and replicate it without understanding if it will work in their property. Certain things will work in one home and not another.” Look realistically at your room, considering practicalities such as
ceiling height and how low any shade would hang, and measure carefully – particularly if you are lighting a narrow hallway with a low ceiling where you will need to consider whether lights might obstruct doors.

If you’re feeling inspired to overhaul your lighting as the nights draw in, think bold and beautiful – key trends include brass and marble, and sumptuous textured velvet shades with fringing.