There are certain things that I like in a living room. A sofa which is big enough for the whole family to snuggle on, plenty of wall sockets for plugging things in, a fireplace, and plenty of flexible lighting options. I think the latter might be the one which is most important to me; I hate sitting in a room at night with the bright, overhead light on as it’s really not condusive to settling down and relaxing, so I need ways to light a room which aren’t so harsh. With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some creative ways to light a room which give you flexibility on how the room is lit at different times of the day:
Okay, so I know I said overhead lighting wasn’t my fave, but there are ways to get creative without having to alter the room too much. There are some beautiful lightshades which can be opened and closed with a little pulley to allow more or less light (or more direct light) to be shone from the fixture. They can be used with pendant lights from lights.co.uk and allow you to have complete control over how bright your room is.
As time goes on, LED strip lighting has become cheaper and more accessible, and can now be used in all types of settings. I absolutely love the look of furniture with LED strips added in an almost hidden position, such as on the underside of the opening of a Welsh dresser to create a really subtle glow around a room.
Gone are the days when candles were too much of a fire risk – LED candles are all the rage right now and they actually produce a really gentle light which looks like an authentic candle glow. We love LED candles so much that the kids have even got them in their bedrooms too – essential when you live in the middle of nowhere, like us, and have power cuts more regularly than you have hair cuts!
It wasn’t until I saw a programme a few years ago where the presenter went and made her own neon signs that I realised how accessible this type of design is for the home. I’d love to, in time, have custom-made neon signs for the girls’ bedrooms as I think they’re such a funky, modern way to add both style and light to a room.
The most obvious way to make your lighting scheme work for you is by placing lamps in all of the places that you want to add extra light. A well-placed lamp can change the tone of a whole room and I love experimenting not only with different locations for a lamp and what they do to a space, but also changing the types of bulbs that you use – at one point, we had a remote controlled bulb in one of our bedroom lamps which could be just about any colour of the rainbow, as coloured light is so much better for the eyes when you’re trying to get ready to sleep.
Lighting is a prominent feature in 2016 design trends and it can be used to help lift a space and is a relatively easy way to incorporate some designer flair into your home. A wonderful way to make an impact, lighting is now being used much more as a focal point rather than just as a way to light a space. Whether you are in need of a statement or a clever way to light a certain area, this trend hit list is sure to give you some ideas.
First up, we have statement suspension lighting that combines two design trends this year: metals and fifties glamour. Brass and rose gold are the hot metals at the moment and they create beautiful soft rays of light in a space, making it warm and cosy yet it still retains a feeling of elegance. These rich metals paired with a black or a white high gloss finish would seem over decadent if they were not carefully mingled with mid-century design silhouettes. It is this combination, the luxury materials matched with relaxed shapes, that makes for some truly elegant lighting. Portuguese brand Delightfull has done just this and their Ike collection is a stylish representation of these trends.
Next, we have a style that has been prevalent in the last few years and still remains strong. Pendant lighting is here to stay and has found itself to be so versatile that design has been able to constantly evolve or change to suit the current space layouts that are fashionable. For example, cluster 3 or 4 pendant ceiling lights together and hang them low over a dining table for an intimate effect. If that isn’t interesting enough then hang them at different heights or mix and match colours or styles to go wild. Just in this one space there are so many possibilities. Instead of clustering, line three in a row above a kitchen island for a more formal, uniform effect. And if you are feeling particularly inspired, talk to your electrician about having a pendant light hang either side of your bed for some contemporary flare.
Last but certainly not least, we have beautiful, hand-blown glass. These Nordic and minimalist-inspired designs are the perfect example of striking simplicity. Each piece is completely unique in some way as they have all been individually blown and this really adds to their charm. The clear or coloured glass allows the viewer to notice the bulb inside and so it is a great match for coloured or Edison bulbs to inject a little nugget of interest within. Czech brand SkLO have an exquisite collection of hand blown lights and accessories and their statement Float 20 floor light is a lovely example of this growing trend. Find it at The Longest Stay and use as a feature lamp to create low-level light in a snug, reading corner. The craftsmanship of hand blowing is a skill that ensures true quality in designer lighting.