Lighting has long been the neglected part of any house with consumers “making do” with either dusty, cobweb covered fittings or installing spotlights because it is the easiest option. A lot of the time, this stems from a deep misunderstanding that decorative lighting is complex and you have to be an interior designer or electrician to understand it. There are some easy steps for updating an existing lighting scheme in a dated home and to help consumers understand its importance.
We like to think of lighting urgrades and schemes as layers in three distinct stages. Layer one, hardwired lighting which helps form the skeleton of the room and often provides brighter more task led lighting, such as wall lights and ceiling lighting. Layer two, helps with zoning spaces and adding atmosphere like large table lamps, plug in wall lights and floor lights. Layer three is for decoration and warmth, such as placing an ornamental table lamp within your bookshelves. These layers together help form a practical space which is fitting for most purposes.
The integrated spotlight has often been regarded as the death of decorative lighting and most people are overusing them because they are overcome by choice and complexity in the lighting market. Lighting can be used to create zoning in a house, as much as furniture can. Using low hanging lights over dining tables create cosy eating spaces or hanging lights over a breakfast bar breaks up a large open plan space. Using floor lamps over armchairs can also create rooms within rooms, with nooks and reading corners.
Overuse of spotlight bars and flush lighting is also something we see in dated homes. At houseof we don’t think that spotlight bars are entirely useful in the kitchen but in dated houses they can be seen in most rooms. Spotlight bars create shadows and dark spots. They are close to the ceiling and the angled shades are often pointing in the wrong direction. In a kitchen, we encourage the use of pendants hung just above head height in a central position. By doing this, you are never working in your own shadow and the light is exactly where you need it to be. In living rooms we would suggest a central pendant light, hung low to create warmth or atmosphere or high to make the room feel bigger.