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In a Good Light

You might adorn your house with the most exquisite things, but what truly brings the space to life is its illumination. This month, Ankita Mamgain throws light on how to brighten a room and get creative with it.   

One of the most essential aspects of interior design is lighting as it has a direct affect on the mood and design of your living space. Whether you like bright and cheery or soft and romantic, you can help your home reach its full aesthetic potential with the correct fixtures.

Before moving further, it would help to understand the three fundamental types of lighting. Overall light provides illumination for a whole room or space. Task lighting is used for a specific purpose, such as to light a path, reading or work area and Accents draw attention and are usually accomplished with spotlights.

The Marketplace
March-2015_Feature01_02There is a plethora of different light fixtures in the market that can really feed your creativity. However, a clear idea of what kind of mood you want to achieve can come in handy when making your choice.
Ceiling mount lighting is one of the most popular styles and is ideal for foyers, hallways, bedrooms, task areas, stairways and many other locations. Chandeliers add style and glamour to your dining or living room while giving a general feel to the space.

Wall-mounted fixtures typically match the chandelier or ceiling fixture and can deliver general, task or accent lighting and transform a functional room or hallway into a cosy retreat or dramatic passageway.
Another popular choice is pendant lighting, which provides both task and general illumination. These can be used as shades or globes to avoid glare and are often suspended over dining room tables, game tables, countertops or other work areas.

Recessed fixtures are great as they are both subtle and unobtrusive. Track lighting allows customisation and is perfect for highlighting artwork or architectural details and can provide general or task illumination as well.
Do remember to add a dimmer control to your overall lighting plan or at least to the chandelier so that you can alter the intensity of light to suit the mood and activity.

An Inclusive Approach
Keep the theme, mood and size of the room in mind while designing the lighting plan. The colour of the walls, furniture, rugs and the height of the ceiling will dictate the kind of light fixtures needed and their respective intensities.

Majorly overlooked, the walls provide the perfect canvas for you to employ innovative techniques. Be it bouncing off a beam, enhancing colours or creating textures, a lot can be done by just experimenting with different bulbs and angles.

If the room is small, you can achieve a uniform soft glow by reflecting light off a pastel-coloured wall or the ceiling. For increased illumination, you can also place a big mirror or arrange a few small ones that’ll further brighten the room.

A textured, tiled or brick wall comes alive when warm light spots are thrown on it in a downward direction or at intersecting angles. You can also use a variety of LED lights which are easily available in the market. They can be concealed in recesses or in and around shelves for a more relaxed and contemporary look.

Lighting the outdoors
When it comes to lighting the veranda or your garden, a little goes a long way, primarily because you do not need as much light outside as you do indoors. However, do bear in mind which areas need more intensity, such as the driveway, paths, stairs, patio and gazebo. Throw spots from below on any architectural features that need highlighting for a dramatic effect. If you happen to have a fountain or special landscaping, illuminate with incandescent bulbs that add pleasing accents.

Do It Yourself
Here’s how you can create a colourful tea-light chandelier.

1) Collect a few tea-light cups with a wire handle from a nearby discount store. The ones shown in the picture were about 500 fils each.
2) Tie a thin ribbon or string on the wire.
3) You can now hang them on a horizontal rod, hooks on a wall or maybe even the grille of the air conditioner; suction side of course.
4) Drop in scented tea lights and enjoy the balmy glow.

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Feeding the Senses