Each room has different lighting requirements, from task lighting to accent lighting. Considering the different ways in which you use a room will help you decide what's needed. Bedrooms need bright lights to dress by, soft lighting for a relaxing mood, and bedside lights for reading. Spotlights in the ceiling are a good choice for a dressing area. Wall-mounted bedside lights allow for bedtime reading without taking up valuable surface space on the bedside table.
1/10 Monochrome bedroom with wall-mounted lights
2/10 Industrial-inspired kitchen-diner with brushed steel pendant lights
In the kitchen you need good task lighting for preparing food, ambient lighting for everyday meals, and decorative lighting to make a style statement. These oversized brushed steel pendant lights tick all three boxes and give the space an industrial vibe. Put all lights on dimmer switches so the level of light can be altered depending on the activity at hand, from potato peeling to homework.
3/10 Marble bathroom with mood and task lighting
Soften the bathroom's hard surfaces with well-chosen lighting. Task lighting is needed here, for shaving and applying make-up, plus ambient light for day-to-day use. Mood lighting helps the room become a relaxing haven. Fit wall-mounted lights on either side of the mirror and ensure the ceiling lights are dimmable to add atmosphere. Some bathroom cabinets or mirrors come with built-in lights.
4/10 Minimal bedroom with fitted headboard light
Besides table lamps add soft ambient light and can be easily switched off from the bed. For an extra practical touch, install an angleable lamp on your headboard or on the wall behind your bed. Not only will it allow you to illuminate the exact spot you need it to - whether it's a book or a breakfast tray - but it will also free up space on your bedside table.
The Light Corporation
5/10 White dining room with low-hanging pendant lights
The length of the cables on pendants can have a big impact. If you are positioning pendants over a permanent fixture, consider low-hung shades for an intimate atmosphere. Hung above a dining table, pendants provide valuable light and enhance the design. Typically, pendants should be hung around 70 to 85cm above a worktop, or 182cm above the floor.
6/10 Turquoise home office with swing-arm desk lamp
Be sure to invest in a good desk lamp so reading over documents or balancing your accounts doesn't put a strain on your eyes. A swing-arm model will give you all the flexibility you need. To bring a classic design up to date, go for a lamp in a bold on-trend shade, such as the vibrant aqua shown here.
7/10 Open-plan kitchen with neon lights
The not-so-subtle glow of neon signs lights up the darker recesses of this contemporary kitchen. Buy neon letters off-the-shelf and use them to spell out names or other words. For an extra personal touch, commission bespoke lights from a fairground signmaker and have them made into any shape or phrase you like.
8/10 Cosy den with LED back lights
A tomato-red storage unit makes a strong statement in this cosy, dimly-lit living room. LED spotlights have been built into the shelves to illuminate each section, showing off an enticing collection of ceramics, glassware and other ornaments. The paper lampshade on the ceiling light lends the room an Oriental den-like feel.
9/10 White bedroom nook with fairy lights
Fairy lights have long been used to adorned empty fireplaces and there’s a reason they’re so enduringly popular - they are unique in producing a twinkling glow that can be shaped almost any way you like. By restraining yourself to an almost all-white scheme you can draw attention to the items you really want to highlight, such as the bright blue prints on top of the fireplace in this contemporary bedroom.
10/10 Modern kitchen with recessed lighting
This sleek and chic modern kitchen uses white highlights to brighten the room. A coloured glass wall with backlit perimeter provides a striking feature and ambient lighting. It would make a particularly practical choice for a basement kitchen that gets little or no natural light. Glass and high-gloss finishes help to bounce the light around the room.
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Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years.
She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.
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