A well-lit home not only offers better function, but also makes a world of difference when it comes to aesthetics. Good lighting is so impactful. Rooms look more vibrant and “alive” when they’re thoughtfully illuminated. You can use light to highlight your home’s best features, while making the undesirable ones all but disappear.
Surprisingly, most of us aren’t enlightened about light. Often lighting becomes an afterthought when decorating a home, when in fact, light should be one of the first things you think about.
You may have heard about the “three-tiered lighting plan” – ambient, task and accent lighting. But in my professional opinion, there are four. Natural light is a key element to consider in every space. With natural light top of mind, here are some illuminating ideas on how to layer it into your own home.
A room with lots of natural light looks and feels bigger.
This bodes well for small spaces. A great way to amplify natural light (and the perception of space!) is with mirrors. Position a large mirror opposite a window, and in your mind’s eye, you’ve just doubled the light and the view! Glossy paint or glazed tiles will also bounce natural light throughout the space, but be warned that reflective finishes such as these aren’t ideal for every room.
With natural light, you can see true colours.
Artificial lights often have tints, and even the subtle colour variations can dramatically impact the overall appearance of your walls, textiles and finishes. Natural light won’t distort your thoughtfully selected hues, so you see what’s really there. Opt for lighter fabrics – in terms of their weight and colour – to enhance the natural brightness of the room.
Natural light boosts your serotonin levels.
It has been said to increase productivity and the general feeling of well-being. A naturally bright room somehow feels fresher. Keep the look in your space light, by incorporating slim-lined furniture, chrome and clear pieces made of glass or acrylic. Your eye will naturally look “through” these types of furnishings, and focus on the focal point – if you’re lucky, that’s a large window with a great view!
TIP: Let natural light flood through your home by adding glass doors to spaces like an office, library, living or dining room.
While natural light is the goal, great ambient, task and accent lighting is essential to your lighting plan. A perfectly lit space will have ambient lighting robust enough to illuminate the room without any other light sources. Task and accent lights present the perfect complement to ambient lighting, and the combination of these presents the opportunity to create different scenes of light within the space.
DESIGNER’S PICK: The stunning Kylie pendant by Mitzi Lighting, a line by Hudson Valley Lighting, is an ideal option to supplement the natural light that many kitchens enjoy. Pair a couple of these chic pendants with recessed LED lights for ambient lighting. The result is a functional, well-lit cooking space that offers options in illumination.
Sara Bederman, is the Principal Designer for Sara Bederman Design. For over a decade this Toronto bespoke design firm has become known for creating stylish, thoughtfully curated and livable interiors. The firm provides residential design services for projects of all sizes. Sara Bederman Design works throughout Toronto, GTA and beyond.