The living room is one of the most important parts of the home. It is the space where your family hangs out to relax, or a place to entertain friends and guests who visit. Due to its versatility, the living room is often one of the most used parts of the home, making it a lively hub for gatherings and relaxation.
While your home’s furniture and a great layout are the main elements that make a living room so cosy, nothing is able to set the mood like proper lighting. You’ll need varied and multi-functional lighting to be able to meet various needs, both ambient and task-specific. This ensures that your space remains stylish, well-lit and functional whether you’re alone or with company.
Image from: HGTV
Today, we’re looking at some ways you can light up your living room in style to create a cosy ambience.
Part 1: Knowing Your Space
Firstly, before you rush out to buy all the lighting, you should be asking yourself what you want your living room lighting to do for you. This is because when you’re deciding how to decorate your living room, there are different lighting fixtures that are designed with different purposes.
Image from: The Spruce
To do this, you can break down your living room into functional areas. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine which area needs more light, or which is good with just ambient lighting.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re lighting up the whole living room, this will raise the overall ambient lighting. Using pendant lights or chandeliers can help to achieve this effect. For areas where you’re planning to read or focus, you may want to have a brighter task lighting installed, like a standing lamp. Finally, to highlight your living room decor and furniture, you may consider adding in some decorative accent lamps to enhance it.
Part 2: Function of Lighting
It is important that you first have a clear idea on the positioning of your furniture in the living room, as this can help you decide on the appropriate positioning of the lighting. As an example, we’ll break down a typical living room and the placement of lighting that will ensure the whole space is well lit.
Image from: LampsUSA
To illuminate your seating spaces like sofas and armchairs, it would be good to avoid medium height lights because they would directly shine into someone’s eyes, making the entire space uncomfortable to be around. To counter this, you can have concealed LED lightings in the walls, or use different colored light bulbs for better effects.
When it comes to the TV area, the area must be well lit to allow you to watch without any visual discomfort. Ambient lighting works fine here, with some well placed track lighting or downlights to optimally illuminate the area. You just have to make sure that the space is illuminated enough to reduce the difference between light and shadow areas.
Design lamps also work with the function of furnishing your space, especially if you’re looking to enhance an empty wall. In this case, it will also help as the attention will not be directed at the aesthetics of the lamp, but rather to the type of lighting in the whole room. Utilizing simple retractable lights is a good way in which you can control the intensity of the lighting in the room.
If your living room has a table for gathering guests, you could use a suspension lighting, like farmhouse chandeliers placed at the center of the table to provide direct lighting to bring out everything on the table. A floor lamp should be placed in the least illuminated and empty part of the room, so that the design of the lamp is able to fill that space.
Image from: Lightology
For all remaining spaces that are not lit, you can opt for indirect lighting. These lighting does not illuminate any one specific area, but has a large coverage area to illuminate all points of interest. Again, the use of a well-placed chandelier at the center of the room can help to achieve this effect.
Part 3: Mistakes To Avoid
So now that you know how your lighting can be used to enhance your space, there are some key mistakes that you should avoid in order to create the right atmosphere. While it is necessary to follow the rules of style and design, you must not forget that lighting is used to set the mood and ambiance.
Here are some mistakes you should take note of:
- Do not use a single light source to light up your entire living room, but don’t go overboard with the lighting as well. Achieve a balance that is both functional and stylish.
- Don’t use overly harsh or bright lighting all over your space. Apply appropriate lights to create the atmosphere that facilitates conversation and relaxation.
- Don’t overdo it with different types of lighting. If you’re going with a chandelier, you may want to pair it with some simple wall lights. Don’t go all out and add in floor lamps, suspensions, or any other more elaborate designs as this will make things a little messy.
- Depending on the size of your living room, don’t try to create your own lighting patterns by rapidly mixing and matching different combinations. Instead, try to match combinations that give a sense of harmony to the whole environment, integrating them with the rest of the furniture.
Image from: Design Cafe
At the end of the day, by knowing how to properly utilize lighting design in your living room, you’ll be able to express the stylish and functionality of your space to the best effect. Remember, there are two main principles for setting the mood with lighting:
- Functional, to satisfy your various physical needs of use
- Aesthetic, to create the mood and atmosphere for your emotional needs.
We hope that our guide is able to help you create your ideal lighting needs for your living room, and create a space that works well with the design of your home.
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