The right play of color and lighting in any type of décor can be a subtly powerful thing. It can impact everything from your sleep schedule to your brain power. So it’s understandable that you want your home, the place you presumably spend a big chunk of your life, to be lit nicely and painted in just the right colors.
The right lighting can make you feel relaxed or productive, but beyond that, there’s function. Certain types of lighting serve a specific purpose, and when it comes to your home, you want the right type, depending on the purpose of your room. To optimize your home’s lighting, first consider how you’re using each room.
Generally, lighting function falls in one of three categories: ambient, task, and accent.
When hosting a party, lighting is of the utmost importance for creating the right ambience. By experimenting with different types of lighting, the mood of a room can change from calm and romantic to energizing and vibrant. Create a bright, warm glow with a combination of subtle light sources with an emphasis on accent lighting. Reflective surfaces such as mirrors can be used to bounce candlelight around the room and crystals, diamonds, mirror balls and reflective baubles are ideal for adding that extra festive sparkle.
Highlight certain areas of the room, such as the fireplace with fairy lights. Drape lights around dried-flowers or willow stems, or place on the mantelpiece to create a shimmering glow. Depending on the occasion, use different-colored lights and bulbs and adjust the flicker speed on fairy lights for a party feel.
Make a large room with high ceilings appear cozier, by adding several types of small lamps, singularly or in clusters to create low pools of light. Also, consider shadows when arranging your lights and add pierced-lanterns or light shades to create unusual patterns on the walls and ceilings.
Add character to your garden with fairy lights, tea lights, spotlights or fiber-optics, in creative displays. Even if you do not venture outside, the lighting can still be used to add to the ambience of an indoor party.
Colors aren’t randomly used when we talk about interiors. At first sight we may think that it’s very easy to choose colors for a living room, for example, or for our entire home because we choose what we love and what we would like to have. In many cases the results are very good, but in most of the cases if you don’t know anything about colors and what combinations would look great for your home style, the results might have nothing in common with a professional appearance.
A theme, such as traditional, oriental, or modern has its own extensive color palette. If your furniture belongs to any one of the prominent style categories, consider painting the walls with similar tones and shades of hues. This enhances the overall look and grants a symmetrical dimension to your home. Further, different people perceive colors differently. For instance, some may like the red of your oriental rug to be jovial, but someone else may find it too dark and imposing. Color psychology comes into play at such times. Assess what kind of vibe you want to create in a particular room and work towards getting colors of appropriate nature.
Additionally, one must understand that the color of an object won’t look the same 24 hours a day. The way we see color depends on two things. Firstly, the light that an object absorbs. Black absorbs all colors; white absorbs none; blue absorbs red. Secondly, how the light source works. Natural light (sunlight) changes throughout the day and is affected by a room’s location. Artificial light changes with the type of bulb you use.
Compare lumens to see how bright a bulb is, and if you want to know how warm or cool the light produced will be, look for the kelvin rating. For the warm light traditionally produced by incandescent bulbs, look for close to 2,700 Kelvin. Most of the old fluorescent tubes you're familiar with are around 4,000 Kelvin. Fluorescents come in many varieties, from warm to cool, from traditional tubes to compact fluorescents (CFLs), all in many interesting shapes. Each will have its own effect on the colors in your house. The light you choose to illuminate tasks or set the mood will change the way you see color throughout the room. It’s all determined by the way light and colors interact.
As the amount of sunlight and angle of the sun changes, so will your room colors.
- North-facing rooms: Light in these rooms is cool and bluish. Bolder colors show up better than muted colors; lighter colors will look subdued.
- South-facing rooms: Lots of high-in- the-sky light brings out the best in cool and warm colors. Dark colors will look brighter; lighter colors will virtually glow.
- East-facing rooms: East light is warm and yellowy before noon, then turns bluer later in the day. These are great rooms for reds, oranges and yellows.
- West-facing rooms: Evening light in these rooms is beautiful and warm, while scant morning light can produce shadows and make colors look dull.Tips for Achieving the Color You Want