By Saima Malik
Proper lighting is as vital to any home and décor as glasses to a shortsighted person. Before you start furnishing your home; you should have a lighting plan all set up and the outlets designed and incorporated within the infrastructure of your home so that later visible wiring doesn’t mar the overall affect and you get the perfect ambiance you want your home to project.
Different areas of our homes have different lighting requirements. The market is flooded with various types of lights and accessories. Here is what I recommend to help you through the morass:
The showpiece of our homes, it deserves special attention as well as an extra budget because lighting is going to make all the difference. The centerpiece has to be a chandelier as I believe no drawing room can be complete without one. Be it crystal or porcelain it adds a touch of necessary glamour. For softer touches and to highlight choice pieces we recommend spotlights set in a false ceiling. The spotlights throw light on the walls making the room look bigger and mellower. Colorful lamps or up lighters on side tables will complete the ultimate chic-meets-funky look.
The living room is usually the most used room in the house. I recommend lots of natural light via windows for it. For artificial lighting we suggest again a chandelier though this one should not be crystal or too grand as lounges should retain a touch of the informal. Huge funky floor lamps or innovative side table lamps are a must and a pendant lamp or two hanging over some corner furnished with a side table is the icing on the cake.
It is very easy to properly light your bedroom but as easy to go wrong with it. Scones or wall lights next to bed headboard is one of the commonest features in a bedroom. I agree it looks good but be a little more diverse and either have really attractive wall lights or swap them for pendant lamps in eye-catching fabric patterns. Another viable option can be gorgeous side table lamps which give a finished look to any room.
The kitchen is another area requiring careful planning for lightning. This is one room where large windows are a must to provide as much natural ambiance to the room as possible. Warm cozy breakfast nook facing an early morning sunrise or sunset will make it special. For artificial lighting I say there should be lots of it to facilitate cooking but cleverly placed to enhance the glass and woodwork. To that end I suggest spotlights on cabinet tops shining below on various utensils and glass.
Most people ignore bathrooms when it comes to planning proper lighting but I strongly urge you to rethink it! Bathrooms are a personal haven to all of us and the lightning can help us relax or feel pampered. Soft lights reflecting off steel chrome glass or porcelain can make the experience soothing or decadent. The lighting should be flexible enough to accommodate a lazy bath or a hurried grooming ritual and for that the ideal thing to use are dimmers.
In general follow these rules: For stairs floor lights are a grand way of showcasing the stairway and guiding the way. Always layer your lighting plan with starting at basic illumination and going up to dazzling! Use frosted lights where possible as they give a soft diffused feeling. Try to have lights beneath or behind you and not glaring directly at you! Always accent specific areas of the room and use as many lamps as you want! Follow my advice blindly and you will be sure to see the light…HA!
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 13, August 2009.