Autumn will soon be well underway and as we prepare for yet darker evenings, it’s time to reconsider the lighting in our homes. Nobody likes to come home from a long day at work or school to a cold, uninviting home, but thankfully we can easily warm up the ambience with some simple lighting updates at this time of year.
Here are a few pointers to ensure you get your lighting right and of course where to find some lighting gems too…
Introduce ambient lighting
There are basically three types of lighting in the home: overhead lighting (generally provided by ceiling lights), task lighting (provides a direct source of light for close work or reading) and ambient lighting (soft lighting for creating ambience, unsurprisingly!)
Overhead lighting, such as a single ceiling light or several downlighters, can be handy for instant brightness first thing on those dark mornings getting ready for the day ahead, however the light they give and shadows they cast are fairly harsh and unwelcoming in the evenings when you want to relax and unwind in the comfort of your home. Adding ambient lighting in the form of low table lamps and medium height floor lamps to a room will create a more pleasant atmosphere. A good rule of thumb is to ensure there are three out of the four corners of the room lit up. This will keep the whole look balanced.
A combination of ceiling chandelier, side lamp and wall sconces means this living room can be bathed in soft, ambient mood lighting when required.
Image source: House to Home
Sometimes a side lamp can be used as a mini statement light. The black lampshade here works well as it pops out from the surrounding neutral decor scheme.
Go for a wintry Nordic feel with this wooden tripod floor lamp. Find similar here.
Image sources: House & Garden
In the bedroom, keep lighting soft and reading lamps directed away from the bed when you want to create a cosy, insular atmosphere. Place a small lamp with a low wattage on a side table in the corner of the room to mimic candlelight.
The fairy lights draped around this bedroom mirror not only provide a pretty twinkling light, they make for a quirky feature too.
Image source: Pop Sugar
Candles are an obvious form of ambient lighting which add a further element to your lighting scheme, offering that comforting, flickering light so many of us associate with being warm and cosy on cold winter nights. Whilst there are plenty of scented options available in a variety of atmospheric fragrances for the time of year, sometimes an arrangement of classic white pillar or church candles set on a mantelpiece or table centre can be striking in their simplicity. Try placing them on a glossy surface or in front of a mirror to maximise their glow, and for aesthetic appeal, group odd numbers of candles of various heights together. Nordic House has a good selection. Alternatively, place votives in interesting glass jars, cutout metal or geometric tea light holders (try H&M for these) for a more laid back, eclectic look.
Image Credit: Nordic House
Image source: Just Imagine
Feature lighting / seasonal lighting arrangements
The Autumn season is a wonderful time of year to find quirky and statement lighting designs for your home. From gorgeous modern ceiling chandeliers to funky stag table lamps, there is something for everyone, across all budgets.
I really like the way you can mix and match lighting combinations at Ikea, choosing your lamp shade, cord set or base individually. It’s a place where I think you can find some of the best affordable lighting choices around. This lamp shade in particular is really striking.
Why not prettify a mantelpiece or alcove with a string of grown up fairy lights, such as these rather cute acrylic bird lights from John Lewis.
Adjust depth of existing lighting
Consider installing dimmer switches in your living areas or bedroom so that you can turn the lights down whilst turning the cosy factor up! They are relatively easy to fit, inexpensive and available at any DIY or hardware store. Alternatively, you could swap your regular table lamp bulbs for decorative Calex globes – their smoky finish gives off a wonderfully subtle golden glow reminiscent of times gone by. It is also possible to pick up vintage style lightbulbs complete with contemporary LED technology, meaning they offer the much sought after subtle light, but with the energy-saving qualities and longevity associated with modern LED lights. Perfect for creating that warm, inviting atmosphere, but practical, too! Check out the range of vintage style bulbs at Rose & Grey such as this dimmable variety.
Any quirky lighting ideas in your own home?