A significant, yet too often overlooked, element in the creation of quality interior design is lighting. Never is it something that immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking how best to mix vintage and antiqued with industrial and clinical, but it can be the overriding component in setting the tone, creating mood and allowing your design choices to be fully appreciated in the manner you envisaged when setting to task.
Ambience and aesthetic, particularly when setting a theme can be made or broken by the correct use of lighting. Too little lighting and the room you’ve taken time to meet your retro-inspired fantasies ca and will go unnoticed by the passing eye; too much lighting and you may well turn an otherwise subtly constructed and understated antiqued space, into a harsh and unwelcoming statement of overstatement.
Whilst the alterations in it are delicate, the permutations can either be catastrophic or triumphant depending on how right or wrong you get it. Getting it right, as with the design and look of the room on a whole, doesn’t just happen with the flick of a switch, time, effort and a fair degree of thought is required to get the very best out of what it is you’re aiming for your lighting choice to either highlight or accentuate.
Here are some things to bear in mind when putting your mind to task on making the kind of lighting statement that allows your work to be properly appreciated.
Don’t Rule Out Natural Light
Natural light is probably the best kind of light, especially if the room you’re showcasing is one that is going to see regular use. Natural light is a really simple way of setting tone and changing the mood without having to be in your face about it. Natural light creates the kind of ambience you just can’t replicate with artificial lighting and is ultimately good for the mind, the body and the soul.
Making use of windows in order to show off that industrial window fixture you’ve recently installed, or highlight a free standing antique is a great way to show off pieces of your personality through your home. That rustic feel you may be harnessing can be best emphasised by placing greenery and plant life around the room – this is the ideal excuse to allow natural light to be a template with which to build upon.
Use Artificial Light To Create A Feeling Of Space
If you’ve decided to go with a vintage look with your design choices then, very probably, you’ve decided to accessorise heavily and give off a certain feeling of homely cluster. Now whilst this does give that feeling of security and warmth, it can, when occupied by a few more people feel a little crowded if the available space hasn’t been used as smartly as it could.
In such instances the use of light can give you that sense of space you may feel is lacking. By using several sources of light and ensuring that all darker areas are well lit you can open up a room that can, in the wrong light, feel cramped. Lighting attachments that require wall fitting can, particularly in a retro inspired home, double up as decoration and a means of enlarging the rooms they light. When attaching extra lighting to a room don’t just think about how the particular light fits thematically, think about how the theme can be accented by a particular light.
Use Light As An Accessory
Whilst using specific fixtures can add to the theme the room is going for (industrial pendant lights, antique wall lamps, etc), using the light they emit can frame certain areas and spotlight the detail and the beauty or nuance of the world you’ve created.
Pushing the light in certain directions can create shadowing and or hotspots that show off aspects of the room that would otherwise go unappreciated. A vintage retro wall scone lamp that can be manipulated into various positions is the perfect piece of lighting that, as a standalone, can bring character, but equally create character if and when adjusted to focus on or accessorise a bigger part of a whole.
Whether it’s a retro, vintage and or industrial theme you’re aiming for, giving your potential lighting options the right amount of time and effort in regards to the overall feel and finish of your space, is something more than worth dedicating a little time and care to as you’re almost certain to reap the benefits of having done so.
Be playful, be imaginative but be practical; correct lighting can be the death knell or the lifeblood of a room and if you want your space to be properly appreciated pay the way in which you use light the attention it deserves; in short, let there be light!