Our designers' top tips
How different light affects both us and our spaces is quite amazing. The effects on both our physical and mental health can be quite stark depending on the lighting used. Same with your spaces, good lighting can change the perceived size, mood and feeling it gives us. When our clients approach us looking for a design consultation, lighting is one of the things that is often overlooked. That’s why we’ve asked our designers to give their top tips on how they tackle lighting a space.
Remember, each space is different and you may want a bespoke desired effect. For tailored advice for your space, book a no-obligation free consultation with our designers to create your dream space.
Great for mental health and wellbeing, natural light allows us to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Aside from allowing our bodies to absorb vital Vitamin D, natural light synchronises our built-in body clock. This also leads to us regulating our moods and feeling more awake. However, finding natural light isn’t as straightforward as having large windows. Consider the direction of your property, whether your windows are north, south, east or west facing, and how sheltered your view is. This will determine how much light penetrates a space, and how much or how little you need to support it with additional lighting during the day.
While artificial lighting can support natural light during the day, the evening is when this light source is essential. Especially in Scotland during the colder months, artificial lighting is crucial to our everyday lives. How we use it can also have a strong impact on our health and well-being, and this element is something that we can have much more control over. Through placement, type, brightness and warmth, we can create a whole range of lighting effects to tailor your room to the exact requirement and mood that you need.
Ambient lighting is the most universally used lighting type. This is the general lighting needed for visibility in any space. Ambient light should be bright enough for you to comfortably achieve functionality in the room. Examples of ambient light sources include chandeliers, pendants, flush or semi-flush mounted ceiling lights and recessed lights in the ceiling.
This is a direct source of light that allows us to focus while working on a task. Generally, task lighting supports visibility for better performance. Examples of this type of lighting include desk lighting or under cabinet lighting in the kitchen.
Accent lighting is used to draw attention to details or a feature within a space. Accent lighting includes, but is not limited to, wall-wash lighting to highlight a feature wall, concentrate lighting on a picture, and built-in cabinet lighting. In certain spaces, the lighting or light source can also act as the feature element – a great way to implement designer touches to your space.
When our clients are looking for lighting in their living room, we generally advise that they look for the most versatile lighting possible, as we often use our rooms as multipurpose spaces. As a base layer, we would recommend ambient lighting to make sure the space is versatile in all lighting conditions. We would recommend a mix of pendants, table and floor lamps. All on, you can create a luminous space, and with selected lamps illuminated, you can create accent lighting to focus on selected lighting areas, as well as more creating a more subtle, cosy feeling in your room in the evening. Shop our recommendations below.
For dining rooms, we would recommend more atmospheric lighting styles. Accent lighting in the room highlights areas that you want to focus on, such as the plates on the table or decorative elements. For example, in fine dining restaurants, the focus is on the table with accent lighting for the table and candles for night-time dining. The added lighting at the table makes the food look great and the faces of those you are with look great, too. This subtly heightens the dining experience and keeps your focus on the two most important items in the room. Shop our recommendations below.
Considering that the majority of our time spent in bedrooms is asleep in complete darkness, most will overlook the lighting setups for their sleeping quarters. However, the hours spent before you go sleep is crucial to the quality of your night’s sleep, so your environment has to be set up to support this effectively. Accent lighting is key in preparing for a good night’s sleep. Warm hues with low saturation prepares the eyes for rest, washing out blue light with dim brightness that lets us adjust to darkness without losing all sight completely. Our stylists recommend table lights on dressers or heavily diffused wall lights. Shop our recommendations below.
The difference in work productivity based on different light sources has been proven to be quite drastic. Illness, frustration, anxiety, and elation all affect our ability to focus on work. Bad lighting at work equates to a bad mood and lower productivity and satisfaction. These are all things we want to avoid when creating a home office. Considering the principles of ambient, focal and accent lighting, our interior designers use natural light to its full potential where possible. It is bright and it is free but can be a source of glare and eye fatigue. Windows and skylights let the light in while blinds and shades used to control the direct sunlight bring visual balance and energy to a room. Where natural light is not available, our designers recommend LED lighting to mimic natural sunlight closely for ambient lighting. For more focused tasks and projects, consider desk lamps or hanging spotlights to focus light in areas of study. Shop our recommendations below.
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