Light fantastic - how to transform a room
Getting the lighting just right can completely transform a room
Published 15/11/2015 | 02:30
Lighting can make or break a room. Think that sounds dramatic? Imagine walking into the most perfectly decorated living room and flipping the light switch, only to be blinded with a too bright, outdated overhead light. Or, even worse, fluorescent lighting. Nothing can ruin a well-designed room more quickly.
The right lighting makes a big difference in the overall vibe and feel of a room, and it can be difficult to know exactly what lighting to choose for what areas of your home. Here, we break it down for you and make picking the right lighting simple with these six tips for choosing the right lighting option for various places around your home. And while we're at it, we'll introduce you to a few tricks for incorporating the biggest lighting trends into your décor.
Floor Lamp Fun
One of the most stylish ways to add lighting is with floor lamps. Try a pair of floor lamps flanking occasional chairs to add functional lighting and extra cosiness to a living room. These grasshopper floor lamps are a splurge but add instant pizazz.
Buy it: Grasshopper Floor Lamp, €717, Minima, Dublin 2
Chandeliers can be intimidating, but they really needn't be at all. If you have a ceiling taller than three metres high, just go for it! Chandeliers make a visual statement of grandeur in an entryway or above a dining table. Just make sure you're happy with your room layout before you install the wiring for your chandelier; the last thing you want is to change the layout and have the fitting bopping visitors on the head.
This antler chandelier from Next adds a natural accent, but you could opt for a much simpler metal chandelier that would add height and sparkle to your room without taking over.
Buy it: Antler chandelier, €160, Next
Quirky Table Tricks
Table lamps provide an excellent opportunity to add a little quirk to your interior design without spending your whole decorating budget. Instead of only looking for staid and simple table lamps, look for bases with a little more personality. This elephant table lamp from Harvey Norman would make you - and any visitor - smile whenever you switch it on!
Buy it: Elephant lamp, €99, Harvey Norman
The industrial trend is still going strong, and filament light bulbs are the cheapest way to get on board. And hanging industrial lighting can be much less of an investment in wiring than other pendant lights, if you choose a long cord that can plug into the wall and hang from a hook on the ceiling.
Buy it: Filament bulbs, €12 Industry, industrydesign.ie
Kids Room Cool
Kids' rooms gain instant chic with the addition of occasional lighting. This star light, just €12 from New Look, would look great on a book shelf and your child would get such a kick out of flipping it on when their friends are visiting. Kids' rooms also benefit from other types of quirky lighting. Try hanging strings of fairy lights from curtain rods, layering them under and over fabric to mute the light, or paper lanterns above a child's bed to add a special little bit of atmosphere while they're winding down for bed.
Buy it: Star Light, €12, New Look
Pendant lights are a top trend at the moment and can easily be changed out with the seasons or when you need to make a décor change once your room is wired for the lighting. Most pendants are relatively affordable and simple to install. Try a set of smaller glass pendant lights over a kitchen bar counter or a single large pendant, like this origami model, to make a statement in your living room. The key to hanging pendant lights is to make sure no one will hit their head!
Buy it: Origami pendant light, €30, Next
When it comes to the industrial vintage lighting trend, the team behind Trentanove are experts in sourcing and choosing the right option. Aisling and Keith O'Regan, who hold a stall at the Dublin Brocante market next weekend, have a few tips for getting the most out of your industrial lighting choice.
"It's about finding a piece you really like. I don't believe it is possible to have too much lighting in a room. Our living room, for example, has seven different lights in it, all scattered in different corners and nooks, their only purpose to add a warm glow to an otherwise gloomy corner," says Keith.
Their best tip for choosing a vintage light? "When purchasing the light, make sure to inspect it closely. If it is missing parts or switches, those can be very difficult to replace."