Interior design is something all of us at the Rise Realty Group love! We’re not professional interior designers but we definitely try to learn as much as possible to put a functional and comfortable design concept together suited for our living styles. However, we’ve noticed that when it comes to interior design, lighting is often an afterthought. When in reality lighting is something that should definitely be factored into your design layout and décor as soon as possible. Proper lighting not only provides light, but provides texture, ambiance, character and elevated style.
We’re not saying you have to head out to Restoration Hardware and buy thousand-dollar light fixtures to complete your design. Often times, you can easily update a rooms lighting fixtures without breaking the bank or too much effort. For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to focus on the living room. This is a space where you can get creative with a variety of different kinds of lighting solutions. We hope that this will help you find the right light to fit your spaces purpose, style and mood!
Pick A Purpose
The first question you need to consider before you start picking out light fixtures is “what is the purpose of this, what are you trying to achieve and why?” Whether it be adding brightness, achieving a specific mood with some ambient lighting or looking to add a statement piece with some décor. Once you determine the purpose, the rest will be easy! A good idea when choosing lighting for your living room is mapping out your intended layout and creating a blueprint of where you want lighting to be. If you already have some lights, this is the time to add them in. For example, if you have pot lights, add them in so you know where they will be in relation to the furniture.
Another good idea is to take pictures of your living room at all times of the day, morning, afternoon and evening. This will help you so you know where the light hits the different areas at different points of the day. This will also help you to know where to put certain pieces of furniture such as a television.
Keep in mind that lighting doesn’t have to serve a singular purpose. It can be multi-use! For example, if you have a gallery wall, you might consider having a spotlight or art light on the gallery to create a focal point.
Knowing Your Layers
Chances are you’ve probably heard of the terms ambient, accent and task in descriptions about lighting. These are the basic three layers of light you should consider as these are key to keeping dimension and balance in a room.
Ambient lighting is also known as general lighting and is what illuminates the overall room. If you live in an older house, chances are you might not have ceiling lights. This would be a large portion of your ambient lighting would come from table lamps and floor lamps. This is where it can get a bit tricky. Table lamps can also be great accent or decorative lighting. If your room relys on table lamps for ambient lighting but you want to add some texture, make sure you pick a lamp that will function as well!
Decorative lighting can be spotlights, wall sconces, picture lights or LED track lights for under cabinets to brighten up darker areas. Finally, task lighting is lighting that is designed to brighten up spots that are designed for where you will perform specific tasks. Such as a floor, desk or table lamp. This is designed to be used in areas to avoid eye strain such as reading.
Finding The Right Temperature
We’ve seen light bulbs transition from incandescent to LED but there is so much more than just that! The first thing you will want to consider is the feel of your living room. Your answer to this will help you figure out what colour temperature you should try.
If you’re looking for a soft, warm, and cozy feel we suggest staying within the 2,700k to 3,500k range. This will be a soft warmer white that will make the room more inviting. For a brighter feel, a bulb with the 4,000k to 5,000k range will provide cooler temperatures. This type of lighting works best for living rooms with cooler more neutral tones.
When choosing the temperature of your bulbs, we always want to consider if the light will be bleeding into another room in your home. If so, we recommend keeping the colour temperatures consistent. Using a warmer colour tone in the living room while the light Is bleeding into the dining room will appear disjointed. If you are struggling to determine this, a visit to a local lighting store will help! They will make recommendations based on your flooring, paint colours, natural light and overall feel of the space. The pictures you took at the initial stage will be a huge help here.
Embrace The Tech
There are so many tech solutions out there for lighting now! Luckily as more and more come out the price has come down drastically. As more solutions come out, being able to adjust the colour and brightness of your bulbs can provide you with so many options! The best part is that they can be controlled from virtually anywhere.
Whatever the purpose is for switching up the lighting in your home, finding the right style, fixture, bulbs, and tech to achieve your desired outcome is possible! Adding proper lighting is not only a cost-effective way to make your living room look like it got a makeover, but also is a great tactic for staging a home. If you’re considering selling and not sure if your home would benefit from professional staging, get in touch with us! We have worked with many professional stagers who will offer a consultation if you’re deciding to list your home.