Nothing can quite sap the joy from your day like going home to a house that’s cold and uninviting. Likewise, even the drabbest day outside can be livened up by returning to a home that’s warm and intimate. So, how do you make sure your home is the latter (and not the former)?
It’s actually not hard to make a room or an entire house feel cozy, and you can do it simply by adjusting your lighting. The right lighting can have an indelible effect on a space. Use these simple tricks to ensure that your space is the ultimate bright and inviting sanctuary.
Rely On Indirect Lighting to Soften the Space
Direct lighting sources (like a shade-less lamp or the lights that point down from an overhead ceiling fan) can be a little assaulting and don’t really lend to an intimate tone. Indirect lighting is where it’s at: the soft, dispersed light from an indirect light source can make even the most cavernous room feel luxurious and warm.Products such as led strip light.
Indirect lighting sources come in a wide variety of styles. Recessed lighting in a cabinet, a bookcase, beneath a toe-kick in a kitchen, or even hidden between ceiling trim and the ceiling itself can all disperse light across a space in a way that’s both effective and delicate. Lights don’t have to be “built-in” to be indirect either: a chandelier that directs light up or away from the table, or a floor lamp with a shade that directs light skyward can offer that same, softening effect.
Choose Bulbs Carefully
Do yourself a favor: stay away from fluorescent lights. The brightness of a fluorescent bulb (especially if it’s direct light) can be an assault to the eyes and gives off a white-ish blue glare that can make a room feel incredibly cold and sterile.
Incandescent bulbs are much softer and more delicate, but no less effective in casting much needed light in a dark space. What you need to pay attention to when choosing an incandescent bulb is the temperature. An incandescent bulb burning at 2700 kelvin casts just as much light as a fluorescent bulb and gives off a far warmer color. That color warms still further, casting a sort of orange glow, when the bulb is dimmed to, say, 1800 Kelvin. And while we’re on the subject.
Invest in Dimmers.
With a dimmer in hand, the homeowner is truly rendered the master of warmth. The slightest adjustment of a dimmer on a light can make all the difference in creating intimacy in a space, and setting multiple lights on multiple dimmers and adjusting them accordingly can render a wide range of emotions in a single space. What’s great about dimmers, too, is that they can apply to all lights, not just ceiling lights and recessed lighting. Put dimmers on your side-table lamps or floor lamps. You’ll be amazed how intimate it feels to curl up with a book in your lounge chair, with the adjacent floor lamp ever-so-slightly dimmed.
Choose Fixtures and Shades That Are Warm
It’s not only the light that makes an aesthetic difference: the fixture can lend warmth to a room, too. Harsh fixture materials like chrome or nickel can be cold and severe, while burnished colors like brass, bronze, or even gold can add to the intimacy of a room. Warm, incandescent lights reflecting off these burnished colors are inherently soft: even a fluorescent bulb could be made to feel softer in a beautiful, bronze sconce. You should also think critically about the colors of lamp shades that you choose. These can be stark, or they can add to a general sense of warmth. Forgo a hospital-white shade in lieu of eggshell or beige. By keeping shades light and neutral you won’t risk muting the light itself, but you’ll soften the overall look of the dispersed light.
Think About Your Lighting Holistically
If your room is dependent on one or even two principle light sources, you’re making a big mistake. The feel of a room is rendered by the composition of all the lights in it, and the more layers of soft lighting you include, the warmer the room will feel. Don’t overdo the brightness (remember to use those dimmers and incandescent bulbs), but feel free to work with the interplay of multiple lights at once.
The soft glow of sconces, a gently buzzing chandelier, and a few artfully-arranged table lamps all working together can truly create the feel of an intimate sanctuary in any space. As long as your fixtures and shades are warm, your bulbs are incandescent, and your dimmers are working, you can transform your space into a truly warm and inviting retreat.