Hottest Trends in Home Lighting
Lighting is one of the most essential aspects of home decorating and yet it tends to get ignored more than any other single element in an interior decorating scheme. Lighting can give the illusion of space and depth and comfort and emphasis. It draws the eye and can also be used to distract it. Lighting, when done correctly, can make a so-so room look phenomenal.
It should come as no surprise that natural light is becoming more popular in all home interiors. It’s part of the green decorating trend that is sweeping the country, but natural light is also a smart alternative. Natural light in a home is cost-effective as it provides both heat and light and it also features a nice warm glow that most people find very pleasant. Natural light is being incorporated through the use of more, larger, and cleverly placed windows. Skylights of all varieties will be much more common in homes in the future.
Rather than relying on one light to satisfy a room’s lighting needs, decorators and homeowners alike are discovering the elements of lighting (see below). By layering lighting you can adjust from ambient to task, focal and decorative lighting you get more options in each room and the room is more functional and attractive.
Natural Style with Metal
When looking for the perfect design for your lamp look for decorative touches that are reflective of nature and construction material that is clearly natural. And although it seems a bit counterintuitive, look for metallic accents. Metal has become a very hot decorating item in the last couple of years and will continue for quite a while. Metallic accents are a wonderful way to embrace this trend without going overboard. In addition to lighting fixtures that obviously incorporate natural elements, lampshades that are shaped like flowers, leaves, petals and other whimsical elements are hot right now.
As lighting is becoming more important so, obviously, is lighting design. Standard lamps, recessed lighting, and track lighting is a thing of the past as they’re all typical and mass-marketed. Instead, people are looking for light fixtures that are loaded with design character. Not only are light fixtures taking on unusual shapes and hues but the bulbs themselves come with their own decorative touches
The key to successfully using lighting in a home decorating scheme in 2011 is to focus on the light that’s emitted as well as the design shape and structure. Don’t settle for the light that just illuminates the room, look for light that gets noticed or that places the attention where it should be.
Discover the Elements of Lighting
Examine the types of lighting and how they can be used to create the best looks in your home. A cleverly lit home brings more depth and excitement to interior design.
Lighting does more than simply provide illumination; its layered effect can dramatically change the way your home looks and feels. There are basically four different functions of lighting; ambient, task, focal and decorative.
The first layer of lighting in a room is ambient. Ambient light is the general light in a room that lets you see where things are when it’s dark. In the daytime people often open curtains and let the sun work as their ambient lighting. At night and when the sun isn’t shining overhead lights are typically the ambient light source. Ambient lighting is essential but not usually as effective as you want it to be and it typically doesn’t really add any decorative elements.
Task lighting is the next layer of lighting and it’s purely functional. You’ll notice this most in your kitchen when you have under the cupboard lights to help you see as you work on the countertops. Task lighting is also evident with reading lamps or desk lamps used to brighten just space below. Task lighting should have its own switches and used only when needed as it’s just wasted energy otherwise and can disrupt the more decorative aspects of lighting.
The next layer of lighting in your home is focal lighting. Focal lighting is more decorative than functional and is used to highlight certain areas or aspects. You’ve probably seen focal lighting in art galleries or museums where a particular light is used to draw attention to a work of art. This technique isn’t just for public buildings but can be quite effective in your home as well.
The final lighting layer is decorative lighting, which is purely for aesthetic purposes and actually isn’t used in many homes. By simply adding a layer of decorative lighting to your home you can create more visual interest and fun. Some decorative lighting can come in the form of really unusual lighting fixtures, lamps that make you smile because of their architectural lines or overhead lighting that is unexpected, or twinkle lights strung in an unexpected place.
Decorative lighting can also have more to do with the light itself than with the fixture. Lights come in all different colors and you can adjust them to create a mood. Consider backlighting a shoji screen with different colors to create a unique mood or atmosphere in your bedroom.
The most effective decorating schemes use all four types of lighting together, bringing one light up when needed and letting others slide into the background when they’re not in use. With all four lighting elements, you can create multiple effects that give your decorating scheme new life and excitement.