Lighting is one of the crucial elements in any living room as it impacts how everything in it looks, from the walls to the rugs and floors.
That's why lighting design should be one of the things you need to plan at the very beginning when decorating and designing a living room. In other words, consider all of the lighting types and options, for example, whether you'll need an attractive chandelier or a wall light.
It's a rooky mistake to think that lighting should be installed once you know what you want to shed light on. You should design the living room with the lighting in mind the whole time. Otherwise, you will risk the lighting looking awful because you won't be able to install the right one once everything is finished.
So, take the art of lighting design to the next level. The following lighting solutions will stir up your creativity and help you create a wonderfully lit living room.
Before we move on to actual suggestions, let's just be clear on one thing: every living room should have a combination of ambient lighting and focused task lighting. For an optional touch of elegance, add accent lighting.
You should have at least one light fixture that spreads light across the room (they are usually installed on the ceiling). One floor lamp is also a must, as it spreads brighter light but in a more diffused way, and another table lamp to bring the light closer to your eyes and ease your reading or studying.
Simple contemporary lighting
If you are planning to have a modern living room, then one of the best lighting options would be contemporary lighting. Even though it's quite simple, it looks striking when combined with modern furniture and decorative items. Due to its simplicity in colour, this type of lighting usually comes in dramatic shapes and interesting fixtures. Some of them include arc floor lights, which create lovely shades and elegant silhouettes.
Mix of layers
You can have effective lighting if you install all the available types at different levels. That way, you'll be able to create different layers of light for whatever purpose you want, having just the right atmosphere and effect for a specific occasion.
Wall fixtures for soft lighting
The point is to create a living room that radiates warmth, even a certain glow, too. It's especially important if your living room is facing north. Wall lighting fixtures will bounce the light back to the room, making it brighter and cozier. Overhead lighting wouldn't create that effect.
Wall fixtures are also a good option if your living room is small because they don't clutter the room due to their size.
Paired table lamps
When the sun goes down, it's always good to have additional sources of light in the room. Interesting table lamps are great that way but you can go one step further and find a pair of matching lamps. Place them on side tables or put them both on either end of a console. It will give the room a sense of symmetry and comforting balance.
Ornate sconces for the traditional style
If you like the traditional style in the living room, then why would you choose wall lights that blend into the background? The point is to make them a part of the room's decoration, so try ornate sconces instead. They can be colourful or sculptured in an interesting way. Even a simple grey living room will look livelier with them. An empty wall will look more decorative or you can frame a painting or a sofa with them.
Just make sure you install them above eye level so that you are not annoyed by the glare.
Dazzle with a centrepiece
You can use a striking light fixture to create a focus of the living room. A romantic chandelier or a modern, quirky pendant will catch everybody's eye. You could install it above the sitting area to complete it. Don't forget to add a dimmer switch to adapt the intensity of the light to the current mood and atmosphere.
Do you want that mix of modern look and Mid-century like your living room was a set for Mad Men? Then don't hesitate to invest in an impressive chandelier or statement pendant light. You can also go with oversized round bulbs or any type of sculptural design.
Accent the mantel
If you're lucky to have a fireplace inside the living room, then, by all means, should you put it in focus! You should highlight its architectural features by placing sconces around it or adding two small matching lamps on its display.
Lanterns for a Moroccan vibe
Lanterns of different sizes and patterns are a great way to recreate the unique Moroccan style in the living room. To highlight the style more, add a few floor cushions and use several layers of textiles on the floor and on the furniture.
Some companies offer a huge selection of lanterns that come with warm LED candles. So, there's no need to worry about the fire emergency.
Art in focus
If you have a stunning art collection, do your best to let it shine in the room. There are a number of options to highlight the artworks by using lighting. You can choose between track lighting, picture lights, ceiling-mounted accent lights, as well as wall washers. You could also try out installing picture lights on bookcases - that way you can highlight specific decorative objects or picture frames.
Basically, the most important advice here would be to plan lighting design together with planning how to design the whole living room. The two are inseparable, so matching them from the very beginning is the best way to achieve the optimal effect.
Written by Patrick Adams
About the Author
Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.
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