Life Interiors

Saturday 1 October 2016

Bright sparks

Amanda Kavanagh

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

Pendant lighting creates warmth and intimacy in high-ceilinged rooms. Here, it highlights the striking Anthology wallpaper, which is known for its subtle textures and complex backgrounds. kevinkellyinteriors.ie
Pendant lighting creates warmth and intimacy in high-ceilinged rooms. Here, it highlights the striking Anthology wallpaper, which is known for its subtle textures and complex backgrounds. kevinkellyinteriors.ie

Summer might seem like an odd time to be thinking about lighting, but if you're planning any kind of home revamp, extension or build in these warmer months, lighting needs to be considered at an early stage.

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"Not leaving enough time to do a proper lighting plan or get lighting organised is definitely the most common mistake I see," says Michele Lynch of National Lighting. "For many, it's very much an afterthought, meaning they can be forced to choose what's available rather than what would really work or what they really want."

Rocky Wall of lighting designers Wink agrees. "Artificial lighting as an architectural material has only been used for the last 50 or 60 years. However, architecture has been around forever. Daylighting has been used as very much part of the design and build, both for practical reasons and effect."

Early planning pays off. "Good lighting can make all the difference to a home," Michele says. "It provides function and ambience and can really affect people's moods. It's an integral part of any building or renovation project."

Rocky adds, "It makes a huge difference. Simply using the correct colour temperature of the lighting can have a dramatic effect on how the mind relaxes. Lighting can relax, motivate, stimulate or engage."

He is clear on the most common lighting crime he sees. "A single light source in a living space, no control, and the wrong colour temperature being used."

Increasingly, modern residential spaces feature more and more commercially designed lighting, which sees exposed filament bulbs, cable lighting and statement pendants working well in open-plan spaces. Style-wise, "brass fittings are becoming increasingly popular, while metallic finishes including copper are still very much in vogue," says Michele.

Much like when allocating a budget in a home renovation, spend your time considering lighting schemes for the rooms you use most often. For most people, this is the kitchen and living areas. Michele says, "Kitchen area lighting is one of our most popular areas - you need to match the function of the working kitchen area with the aesthetics of a dining room or sitting room space. Pendants for over island areas or over kitchen or dining room tables are always sought after."

When looking to revamp lighting, Rocky recommends starting with your budget. "From there, prioritise the spaces and their use, which will vary from room to room. Then consider if you are planning to repaint or plaster. Finally, if you don't know what to do, don't be shy and ask for help."

Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living magazine

Sunday Independent

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