Opening Insta, and getting a little overwhelmed? We know the feeling. Picture-perfect images, those trendy brunch spots, that dreamy interior snap. It’s easy to get at least a little bit of #FOMO. And while we might be responsible for all those velvet sofa setups (sorry not sorry), we’re hoping we can help you see that it doesn’t have to be unattainable. With some clever tips and tricks, you can cash in on the hidden potential of your home.
The crucial ingredient to any interior? Good lighting. Well-lit areas attract attention and create the right setting for all your activities – working from home, prepping for a dinner party, retreating to the living room with a glass of wine. With the right picks, even the simplest of lights can completely change the way you feel at home. It’s like painting a picture – you’ll see the space transform in front of your eyes. (Promise.) Here are our home improvement ideas and suggestions for your next project – let’s light up.
First things first, let's get into the types of lighting you might need. First, you'll need to put down the base, which in this case, is called ambient lighting. This gives you the right amount of light in your room so you can easily move around, without running into things, pets or family members. Ambient lighting is usually a bit softer, too. Then you add the highlights – that’s where task lighting like table or wall lamps work best. This starts to give depth to your room, casting light and shadow in all the right places. And last but not least, accent lighting helps put the finishing touches to any particular spot around the room. Pop these near something you want to highlight, whether it's a photo, painting, your houseplants, or even the light fixture itself (we know a thing or two about nice shades). Statement lighting is a great way to redefine your existing setup without having to throw out any furniture – it’ll make your space look instantly on-trend.
Understanding which type of light you want to work on the most will help you optimise your budget. Maybe you don’t even need to start from scratch – your ceiling pendant might still be your favourite thing in the room, but you could do with a lamp for reading. Just a few right decisions for one type of lighting, or a minimal but well-balanced combination of all three, can give you a light that’s just right. It all depends on how drastic of a room upgrade you’re hoping to achieve.
Dimmer switches are one of the easiest ways to change the amount of light in the room. Installing them might take a little more effort (and a consultation with a certified electrician, please) but in the end, you’ll be able to tweak your lighting to suit your needs. Turn up the lights if you need to work, or in the kitchen when you’re cooking up a storm. Want a more subtle glow? Just turn down the dimmer to relax, then line up that new show and really snuggle down. Just make sure that both your lighting fixture and the bulb support the dimmer function (not all do) so you don’t get any surprises at the last moment – your electrician should be able to help with that.
Pop a colourful lamp on the side table or the shelf to give your room a modern, playful twist. Here's where you can really run wild with your light choices – choose statement stems, coloured glass shades, or a combination of both.
If you're not so keen on such a bold accessory, you could opt for a coloured light bulb instead – this is a major trend, and is an easier, cheaper way to switch up the mood in your room. Getting the right colour temperature bulb can completely change how your space feels. For maximum ambience, choose bulbs with less than 4000K (this relates to something called the Kelvin colour temperature scale, and every bulb will show their K number) – your lamps will give off a soft glow and flood your room with a subtle, candlelit vibe. Anything over 4000K starts to give out a colder shade – good for concentrating, but not so good for your cosy living room.
With so many shapes, sizes and colours to choose from, modern fixtures can transform rooms even when they aren’t switched on. If you have older furniture but don’t have the budget to replace it all, hanging a statement pendant above your seating area or dining table can get all those eyes on the light. Love your sofa, but feel like it’s looking a little tired? Your answer lies in a chic floor lamp. Feel free to play with materials – choose glossy metallic to get classy, or matte for an industrial touch. Some lights are designed in wood, which is great for that rustic Scandinavian warmth.
The freedom that an open plan home offers is fantastic for creating an interior the way you want it. But it can lead to challenges when there aren’t any physical barriers between your rooms. Our home hack? Define your spaces with different types of lighting. Give your lounge a statement pendant, create your custom kitchen with smaller pendants and wall lighting, or put a floor lamp next to your reading nook. Look at that – your open space now has structure.
Lighting says as much about your personal style as your furniture does. So don’t be afraid to experiment with out-there designs and intriguing shapes – it’s sure to brighten your mood after a long day in the office. OTT pendants? More, please. Unexpected table lamp pattern? Whatever brings a smile to your face.
Upgrading your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune, or take a lot of effort. It’s really all in the details. Your lighting upgrades can be that creative step to completely change the tone of your home, and give a new character to your space. Now, get switched on.