If you guessed lighting, you are correct!
I think many people feel that proper lighting isn't necessary, or they are not willing to invest in the layers that create the right mood in a space.
Every successful room design includes several layers of lighting, which fall into the categories of task, ambient and accent lighting.
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Ambient or general lighting is one of the most common types of lighting. It is the soft glow that covers a space just enough for you to engage in the activities or the functions of the room, without a harsh glare or direct light.
Ambient lighting is generally in the ceiling and what I would consider the first layer of lighting needed.
Examples of ambient or general lighting would be chandeliers, pendants (which can also be task lighting), recessed lighting.
Most new home builders will add a single light fixture or a fan with a light kit in a room, and typically recessed lighting in addition, would be considered an upgrade.
I highly recommend upgrading to add some recessed lighting if you are considering a new build. The center fixture can be placed on a separate dimmer switch from the recessed lighting so you can use them independently.
Our Richmond Texas dining room above includes the beautiful ceiling fixture pictured above, plus recessed lighting. There is also a lamp in this room (not shown in this shot).
Some of my favorite ceiling fixtures:
I love chandeliers that have an artisanal look. If chandeliers are needed for functional lighting in a space, why not make them beautiful.
A few of my favorite pendants, which can work as ambient lighting, or task lighting over a kitchen island.
I am a big fan of the linear suspension pendants over a kitchen island, as it carries light all the way across a large island.
Task lighting is the next category of lighting that is essential in a well designed space. It is typically smaller more concentrated lighting when you are working or involved in a task, such as, reading, writing, cooking, sewing etc.
Task lighting is known to naturally stimulate the brain. The contrasting light allows you to be more alert and concentrated with whatever task you are working on, which allows you to see details.
Examples of task lighting would be lamps, pendants, vanity lights, under cabinet lights, swing arm lamps.
For vanity lights, you want to make sure they are placed in a way that they are not casting shadow on you as you use the vanity mirror. I prefer to use wall sconces on either side of a mirror, where they are ideally placed at eye level.
If vanity sconces aren't possible in a small bathroom, I like to make sure the over mirror (or in mirror) lights are pointed downwards.
Accent Lighting is a form of lighting meant to draw attention or add drama to elements in a room or landscape. It is meant to illuminate important accents or architectural details while shadowing other areas. Accent light is used to accent or "wash" artwork, bookcase displays, sculptures, floor plants, pieces of furniture, collections.
Accent lighting helps to create a very sophisticated atmosphere. It is used a lot in museums, art shows and historical buildings, as it evokes feelings of meaning and importance to the images it displays.
Examples of accent lighting are art or picture lights, track lights, recessed lights, landscape lights
Consider installing dimmers as much as possible to help set the right mood in each space.
One of my favorite dimmers is the SofTap SinglePole/3Way TruUniversal Dimmer
With so many great options of all types of lighting, the sky is the limit for all the possibilities to layer your lighting for the best results.
In our master bathroom project above, we layered wall sconces for task lighting, recessed lighting and the grand chandelier for ambient lighting, plus the natural light coming in from the small window, makes for a pleasant space to be in at any time of the day.
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Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!
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