Here’s a bright idea: Let your design shine by having an eye for the right lighting. Lighting can literally lighten your mood, help you relax, or brighten your day. Light can uplift and breathe new life into those tight, dark, or dimly lit areas of your home.

How Can You Embrace Light for the Biggest impact?

The right lighting can feel like a breath of fresh air. Lighting makes such a difference in a room, I often consider it the secret weapon of great design. 

Here are some of my favorite techniques to help illuminate and make the most of your interior design.

1. Choose Lighting that Works with Your Room’s Color Scheme and Mood

I often get questions about how to make the leap to bold, rich colors without turning a room into a cave. Well, the secret to embracing impactful hues is to balance out the mood you’re trying to achieve with the right fixture and amount of natural light.

If your space will be used for relaxation, conversation, and intimacy, choose a fixture that will diffuse the light and provide warm, rich tones. You can also play with thick fabric for your window dressings for privacy and to avoid glare.

I suggest lots of natural light, glass fixtures, and lampshades that let plenty of light through for a refreshing touch or in areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and office. White, reflective surfaces will multiply this light.

2. Make a Statement and Fall in Love with Your Light Fixtures

Light transforms a room from ordinary to unforgettable. Find a light fixture that piques your interest, steals your imagination and runs away with it, or inspires creativity.

Your lights don’t need to blend in. Choosing one chandelier that inspires awe will surely leave a lasting impression on guests. Remember that chandeliers do not need to drip in crystal or be ultra-feminine to make your heart race.

I love the idea of lights that ignite fantasy and whimsy. A chandelier that mimics moonlight with dreamy flair will warm your heart night after night.

3. Explore Directional Lighting

Sometimes the where is more important than the what. Directional lighting can create streams of light to highlight the best parts you’ve personally selected for your room.

  • Think about lighting pouring down onto your elegant place setting and fresh flowers on your dining table.
  • Try highlighting your artwork with gallery-style lights.
  • Uplighting can uplight the height of your room.

4. Solve Your Small Space Predicament with Light

I probably get more questions about how to make small rooms feel bigger than anything else. Most people know that light paint colors reflect more light, but what else can you do?

  • Bring in as much natural light as possible. Light opens up a space and can do wonders for your mood. That room you avoid may just become your favorite with some sheer curtains.
  • Add more lights in space-effective ways. Use corner lamps or add hanging light fixtures to fill the space with light.
  • Remember that dark bulky furniture will absorb light and occupy excess visual space. Don’t stifle your light. Use clear plastic chairs or side tables for an airy illusion. Remove unnecessary furniture so the light can dance throughout the room.
  • Mirror, mirror, on the wall… and in your metallics. Metallics and mirrors multiple your light, so will reflective materials like polished stone. Use these to your advantage in tight spaces.

5. Choosing the Right Type of Bulbs

Gone are the days when you can simply choose between clear or frosted white bulbs. Now we have LEDs, Edison bulbs, and dominant color wavelength bulbs. Here are the basics to help simplify your shopping list:

  • You want the brightest lights in your kitchen and bathrooms. You probably want LEDs or halogen bulbs since they’re closest to natural light and rain light into the room. Halogen lights are often considered the brightest, whitest lights. If you read your bulb’s packaging and it compares the light to daylight, it’s great for these rooms.
  • Your dining area and office should be the next brightest. Again, you probably want to be able to see clearly in these areas, so choose a bright halogen or LED.
  • Don’t forget about your hallways. Add some elegance to your hallway with a long, narrow, dimmable fixture. This strategy allows this light to be adaptive to the time of day and your needs.
  • For your bedroom and living room, you want warm but soft lighting. Soft white bulbs will help these rooms feel cozy, restful, and inviting.
  • Use lamps to make your lighting options convertible. Turn lights on and off as you please for the perfect mood.

Lighting Can Make or Break a Room

Luckily, you are not equipped with some tips to use lighting to support your design. As you choose which lights will inspire you, keep in mind, lamps are easier to replace than hard-wired lighting fixtures, and natural light is a designer’s best tool.

Have a blast swimming in light! Have fun and take risks. Don’t be afraid to be bold and light up your rooms with impactful pieces and arrangements.