One of the most important elements of exterior and interior design is lighting. Exterior and interior design needs to harmoniously work together and when you don’t factor in lighting, it can be the difference between an inviting home and an unwelcoming one.
Generally speaking there are four main types of lighting in the home. Each serves a different purpose. Ambient lighting provides a uniform level of illumination throughout a space. Task lighting illuminates the specific tasks you carry out within your home. Accent lighting is used mainly to focus on a specific point of interest or to achieve a desired effect. It can give the impression of a larger room, it can highlight an architectural feature, or it can help you show off a collection of objects, plants or artwork.
And then there’s natural light. The physical, psychological and economical benefits of natural light means that natural light should never be overlooked when designing a home. Natural light can:
- Improve mental wellbeing – Sunlight enhances brain function and can brighten up your mood. It can increase focus, mental acuity and it can decrease stress.
- Boost the health of your home – Allowing daylight to enter your home reduces the production of harmful bacteria and organisms that can grow and can act as a natural disinfectant.
- Boost your own health – Sunlight increases your levels of vitamin B and D, improves circulation, stimulates appetite and digestion, boosts your immune system and helps you sleep better at night.
- Increase sustainability – Anything that reduces the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity is a benefit to the environment.
- Lower your utility bills – Natural light is one of the key ways to save money on energy bills with reduced reliance on artificial lighting.
4 ways to bring more light into your home
Be it natural, ambient, task or accent, there are a number of ways you can achieve good lighting in the home.
Introducing light colours and soft shades to your walls will make a space feel brighter as it reflects the natural light entering the room. Darker colours tend to absorb the light. Another trick is to paint the ceiling a couple of shades lighter than the walls to create the illusion of height and space. Choosing a satin paint over a matt paint will also help.
Wooden, ceramic or stone floors with a polished or glossy finish will reflect much more light than carpet. If you do choose to install carpet, lighter shades and neutral colours are preferable.
Mirrors help to capture light and project it into darker corners. They create textural and spatial illusions and optimise natural light. Hang a mirror opposite a window and it will catch the light and bounce it throughout the room. Hang a mirror so it reflects a textured object in the room (a fur throw or a rustic wooden table for example) and instantly add character to a space.
Going glossy in your kitchen or bathroom cabinetry will reflect light filtering into the room and can make the space look bigger. In other rooms, add furniture and accessories with a reflective surface such as a glass coffee table with metallic framing.
Getting creative with lighting
Lighting is so much more than overhead fixtures and table lamps. Get creative and introduce pops of illumination and unexpected glows. Think outside the box and uplight your plants by hiding small spotlights into the pots. Turn your typography and word art into letter lighting. Find an elegant translucent bottle and use it as the base of a lamp. You’ll benefit from light both from the shade and in the reflection of the base.
The lighting world is your oyster and playing with lighting can be really fun. Hang some string lights in a child’s bedroom. Introduce a chandelier to your hallway with crystal beads. Group natural rattan lanterns on your outside terrace. Don’t hold back!
Creating a lighting plan
Whether you’re renovating a zone within your home, building from scratch or undertaking a full-scale renovation, creating a lighting plan is crucial for your overall comfort. A lighting plan details what types of lights you want and how many you will have in each space.
Start with task lighting, which means considering spaces that require specific functional lighting. Next, consider ambient lighting, which is the overall illumination of the area. This is when you’ll need to factor in things such as the colour of your walls, ceiling and flooring. The final layer is accent, which is what adds flair to a space. Accent lighting draws the eye to your visual statements and allows you to get creative. Examples of accent lighting include: wall sconces, spotlights, picture lights, track lighting and recessed lights.
If all this sounds overwhelming, then contact the team at Plunkett Homes. Plunkett Homes has been at the forefront of the WA home building industry for over a century and over the years the team have been innovating and adapting to bring you not only homes that offer plenty of light but homes that you’ll love. Plunkett Homes knows what it takes to build a good home and understands the importance of good lighting. Your lighting needs and wants will be met so find out more about Plunkett Homes home designs today.