Light is arguably the single most important factor in your interior design.
If you find yourself surprised by such a statement, then consider the following facts:
- Light decides how large the room looks.
- Light decides how the colors of your interior design and decor look.
- Light can be harmful too; for example, directly sunlight can age your furniture and furnishings long before its time.
As the above demonstrate, no matter how on-point your interior design is, without good lighting, your interior is always going to struggle to look as good as you want it to.
So, without further ado, let’s delve into some of the most important light-related considerations that you need to keep in mind when designing your home…
The more light, the better
This is a simple statement that sounds too simple, but it’s also a basic truth: the brighter and lighter your room is, the better. The question is: how do you achieve this?
The first step is to try and make the most of the natural light that you have available to you. Here’s a few suggestions that will help you achieve this:
- Always try to use roller blinds (which can be rolled almost entirely out of sight) than slotted blinds or curtains. Even when pulled back, curtains and drapes can cause shadows and reduce the amount of natural light the room receives. Roller blinds, on the other hand, are just as functional, but can be rolled away to be almost invisible— which helps to ensure a maximum spread of light through the room.
- Open-plan floor layouts are famous for their ability to help make the most of natural light, but such a layout just isn’t practical for every home. If you don’t have the option of going full-on open plan, then why not opt for the middle ground and work with the likes of Capitol Glass to install glass partition doors? This allows you to separate the space you have on a floor, but allows you to enjoy the natural spread of light through the entire area. It’s open-plan without having to actually be open plan!
- Use mirrors in your decor. A house full of mirrors may seem like a tribute to the owner’s vanity, but it’s actually a sign that they understand the way that light can move around a room. By using mirrors in the right areas of a room, you can cause the natural light to travel and help to brighten up the entire area.
Choose your electric lighting carefully
Of course, even with the best will in the world, any home lit by natural light is always going to need some help from the electrical grid. For those grey days when the sun never seems to shine and, of course, for the nighttime, the next step when considering light is to think about the electrical variety. Here’s a few things you might want to keep in mind:
- Smart lighting systems give you the option of choosing the color of the light in a room. While most people enjoy the novelty of this function to change the color to bright, unusual colors, this isn’t the only application. If you use smart lighting, you are able to use “warm” lighting tones, which are easily the most flattering for the rest of your decor. Non-smart bulbs are available, but nothing beats the full control that smart lighting offers you.
- It’s important to think about the shadows that your electrical light may cause. Shadows will negatively impact how large your room looks, so choose your light coverings and fixtures with care. Ceiling spotlights throw no shadows at all, while bare bulb floor lamps and table lamps are far friendlier to your overall desire to create as much light as possible than shaded versions. Thankfully, industrial and geometric designs have been popular for several years now, so bare bulbs are more accepted now than they have been in the past!
- Your ceiling lights are your best friends when dealing with your lighting requirements… but they’re also your worst enemy. Ceiling lights have the potential to substitute for sunlight and help to create a bright, energetic vibe in your home. However, they can also bleach the room and do more harm than good. If you struggle with bleaching problems, then switching to a pendant light can often be the best solution, and allows you to enjoy the benefits of a ceiling light without the drawbacks.
So now we’ve covered the basics of mastering natural and electrical light in your home decor, we just need to cover a few more related areas that don’t require a full category to themselves, but still bear mentioning…
- As touched upon earlier, as beautiful as natural light is, it can also be damaging to your furnishings and decor. Wherever possible, move furniture every few weeks so that no one piece is receiving the full force of direct sunlight throughout the year.
- Natural light may be wonderful in terms of the way it makes your decor look, but it does have a(nother) practical issue: the glare it can cause on TV and device screens. If you find this is a particular problem for you, then there’s some useful tips here that can help reduce the glare you are experiencing.
- Although we have focused on decor when discussing light, it is worth noting that natural light does have another downside that we’ve not mentioned— it’s potentially dangerous. As beautiful as your room may look when lit brightly on a sunny day, it’s worth remembering that harmful UV rays can penetrate glass with ease, which could lead to sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer for any occupant of the room. The best way to deal with this is to use UV-blocking film on your window; this may also help to reduce the damage your furnishings experience from direct sunlight, too. However, there are some pros and cons to consider before committing to a purchase.
If you keep the above in mind, you should be able to master your use of light in your home once and for all.