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Making the Right Lighting Choices for Your Living Room

How you decorate your room can affect your mood, but just as important is the lighting you choose. Dark and gloomy rooms can dampen the spirits and leave you feeling as black as the dimly-lit corners. What’s more, if you’ve decorated your room with a wonderful colour scheme and some fabulous contemporary furniture but no one can see it, this could depress you even further.

If you’re not fortunate enough to have plenty of natural light sources, then you’ll need to add some lamps and other lighting choices to your room to keep it light and bright. Lighting is particularly important in a living room, as this is often a room which is frequently used, and especially in the evening. If you do use your living room frequently throughout the day too, then you might need different kinds of lighting in addition to what you require for after night has fallen.

The next thing to think about is what atmosphere you want to create, which in turn will directly affect your mood. Think about when you visit a restaurant or bar and the atmosphere that the dimmed lighting creates. To give yourself the most choices to create different moods and atmospheres, install plenty of contemporary floor lamps and table lamps, and even dimmer switches. These will help you to create soft lighting for a romantic, intimate or relaxing feel, plus they can also give you that touch extra light when it’s a gloomy day. This is especially important if you use your living room for work or to carry out activities where your eyes need to focus clearly, such as knitting or needlecraft.

The style of lighting you choose should very much depend on the room itself. If you have a small living room, you don’t want to overpower it by filling it with tons of lamps. Getting the balance right is just as important as the actual light emitted. If you have a low ceiling, then you won’t want to hang a great big chandelier from it – especially if you’re tall and likely to bump your head! Yet this could look perfect in a larger room with a high ceiling. Make sure no particular areas of the room are ‘overlit’ while others remain dark – it’s all about getting the right balance. That said, you can also use your lamps to highlight certain features of the room, such as artwork, so this could be a conscious decision that you make.

You should also make sure your choice of lamps and pendant lights reflects the décor in your room. There’s no point buying some beautiful contemporary lighting if you’re going to decorate your living room in a country house or vintage style as it will look out of place and mismatched. If you’re looking to really brighten up a dark room, then pale-coloured walls will reflect the light given off and you can afford to go with darker colour lampshades. However, against dark walls, these might not stand out very much and could lose their effect.

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