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Beyond being practical, lighting is a key part of the design process and can completely transform a space. Need some inspiration in choosing the best light fixtures for your home? We spoke to award-winning interior designer Annaliesse Kelly from AK Design to get her tips and insights
Beyond being practical, lighting is a key part of the design process and can completely transform a space. Need some inspiration in choosing the best light fixtures for your home? We spoke to award-winning interior designer Annaliesse Kelly from AK Design to get her tips and insights.
The first thing to consider when selecting lighting for a space is what it will be used for. Is it a larger room that requires a lot of light for practical purposes, or a bedroom that needs multiple light sources to cater for the time of day?
Knowing this purpose will ensure you’re making the most out of your light fixtures and doing so in a stylish way. “I always recommend dimmers so you can control light levels,” says Kelly, “They’re extremely versatile and can be used almost anywhere in your home.”
Know how bright you need the light in a particular room so you can check that it has enough lumens. Lumens measure how much light is emitted from a light source.
“You always want to check the lumen output of a light source before incorporating it somewhere, so it serves you well and does what it needs to,” says Kelly, “For example, a bathroom wall sconce will likely need to have a higher lumen output for better visibility when applying makeup or shaving.”
Similarly, if you are an avid nighttime reader, you probably want your light close to you. In this case, install a wall-mounted fixture that is at the appropriate height and distance for your needs.
Light sources come in numerous shapes and forms, which can feel overwhelming. Once again, it all comes back to purpose—and style, of course.
“Think about where you want to add light to. Once you’ve decided that, consider the scale and size of the space, and work from there. If you’re adding lighting to a dining room, what size is the dining table? Does the room have a tall ceiling or a low one? These are important factors to consider.”
Opt for a linear light fixture if you have a long, narrow dining room with a lower ceiling. For a large dining room with a high ceiling, add layered lighting and fixtures with a bit more height.
You don’t need just one light source! To get the best effect and design, don’t be afraid to layer lighting. Essentially, you don’t want all your light to come from the same source. A well-lit room utilizes three basic lighting types: ambient, task and accent.
“Recess lighting is useful but can be a bit basic on its own,” says Kelly, “Complement it with stylish wall sconces, chandeliers or lamps to add a bit of extra flair to a room.”
Also, opt for hidden lighting, such as vertical LED strips in closets, to expand light in a space and give it a modern look.
Finally, once all the measurements and practical considerations are complete, it’s time for the fun part: styling your lighting. Look for pieces that complement and stay true to the overall design of a space, but also showcase your personal style and make a statement. Table lamps and sconces are great examples of this. They often act as art pieces and are simple to style.