The design of any room is meant to provoke a certain mood – relaxing in the bedroom, busy in the office, entertaining in the living room – and the lighting is no different. Lighting design is not only about having enough light, but setting the mood of the room as well.
The lighting elements, chandeliers, lamps and sconces, express a mood in and of themselves. The mood they should express should fit right into the mood of the furniture.
- A businesslike banker’s lamp for a desktop;
- Brightly lit, welcoming entryways;
- A fancy chandelier for a formal dining room; or
- Candles next to a relaxing bubble bath.
Sometimes an unexpected fixture can add a touch of whimsy to the room, such as:
- A chandelier in the bathroom,
- A funky fixture in the kitchen,
- A decorative fixture in the office.
The lighting level is also mood setting along with the fixtures themselves. Brighter rooms are more positive and active, dimmer rooms tend to be more romantic and intimate. Don’t neglect the lighting levels in between, make sure you have a way to take the lighting down a notch in the room for a more relaxing setting.
As for accent lighting, it’s used to create drama within the room. When there’s lighting used only for highlighting a specific item, it brings importance to the item, making even the ordinary seem extraordinary. For example:
- An uplight through a large tropical plant creating shadows and light;
- A picture light shining down on a painting;
- Track lighting over a fireplace creating a focal point; or
- A spotlight on a particular piece of furniture.
When it comes to mood lighting, dimmer switches work wonders. With one twist they can take that bright bedroom to a romantic getaway. Consider using dimmer switches in all your rooms to set any mood at any time.