Quick: how many interior designers does it take to change a room’s mood? About as many as it takes to screw in a light bulb. Most people automatically think about buying new furniture, a Darwin furniture store is one of the best shop to visit when looking for your new set of furniture. Others opt for adding a fresh coat of paint when they hear the phrase “interior design.” But by thinking about the sheer variety of light fixtures on the market, you can see that condo lighting is among the most ignored ways to spice up your space.
Now, if you’re a typical homeowner, your experience in making lighting decisions in your home may be restricted to the occasions when you have to replace a burnt-out bulb. You may think that lights are purely practical: they’re only there to illuminate a space, and that’s it. If that’s so, then you need to reconsider that belief. Following the right condo or home lighting ideas can go a long way towards maximizing the function and aesthetics of your space.
The living room is arguably the most important part of a house. Whether you’re just relaxing alone, chilling with your roommates or entertaining guests, the living room is the place to be. And given all the possible activities that can happen there, it requires three layers of lighting.
First is ambient lighting, which is the overall lighting that sets the mood in a space. Whether you want an upbeat atmosphere or an intimate air, ambient lighting fixtures will set the tone. Many home design experts recommend the use of multiple lights and circuits, as well as dimmer switches for added lighting control. A chandelier is one fixture you can go with to brighten up a space while adding a touch of style, but there are certain limitations.
Next is accent lighting. This is especially important if you have knickknacks, pictures or other pieces that you want to highlight. Pin lights and track lighting can act as miniature spotlights to draw attention to items you want to show off.
Finally, you have the task lighting, which helps with reading, knitting, writing or any other focused activity that people may be engaged in. Floor lamps with flexible necks are ideal, and you want them to have a warm white color temperature, not too harsh, to make people still feel at home as they work.
Brushing, bathing, shaving, dyeing your hair, putting on makeup—bathroom preparation is so important before you go out for work or a social call. Some may say that outward appearances are not so important, but your look can really affect your mood and how people approach you. And your bathroom light fixtures have to work in support of that.
Whether you cleanse yourself in a shower stall or soak in a tub, the area where you bathe is important. It’s good to have recessed lighting that’s bright enough to let you see possible dirt and skin blemishes that you need to concentrate on, as well as read labels and instructions on your body care products. As for the bathroom sink and mirror area, you want your face to be evenly lit so that you can look for spots you might have missed shaving, or make sure that you applied your makeup symmetrically. For this purpose, vanity lighting from a bath bar and sconces, placed at the top and at the sides of the mirror, work best to provide cross-illumination.
A quick note on light color temperatures: you generally want daylight temperatures to replicate the daytime conditions, as well as provide a nice vibe to wake up to as you prepare for your day. But if your lifestyle is such that the light conditions you encounter are different from daylight, then you might want to consider a different temperature to match that.
Unlike the living room and bathroom, the kitchen is a place of work. Cooking gives joy and release to a lot of people, but consider what goes on there—slicing, cleaning, measuring, mixing, stirring, and so on—and you can clearly see that the heart of the home is task-oriented.
That’s why task lighting is so important in the kitchen. It requires a more focused and slightly tenser energy than other living spaces. Recessed lighting is important to let you see as you look through the refrigerator and cupboards for ingredients and tools you need. Pendant lights above the counter would also be ideal to allow for simple tasks that nonetheless require engaged attention, like chopping, marinade preparation, and other important jobs for ingredient preparation. Under-the-cabinet lighting is also important as you wash and dry dishes or do any other activity that might occur there.
Given the slightly more frenzied pace that people in the kitchen have to move compared to other spaces, the light here must be stronger. Going for brighter lights will not just let people see what they’re doing more clearly, but it will also evoke a more energetic and alert mood.
The bedroom is a private sanctuary. You can sleep, read, write or do other things in other parts of the condo, but if you want to do something without feeling exposed or vulnerable, the bedroom is the place to do it. Whether you have your own or share it with others, this space should evoke a sense of calm, serenity, and rejuvenation.
Ideally, the ambient lighting here should have a warm, white color temperature, one that lets you relax and just melts tiring thoughts away. A flush mount or semi-flush mount fixture is the go-to option for most households, but a torchiere light is a good alternative if you want a unique flair. For children’s bedrooms, you have a lot more leeway to use imaginative styles.
Of course, you will also want to consider adding some task lighting to this place depending on what goes on here. If you work or study in your bedroom, then you may want a table lamp or floor lamp to brighten your workspace. Instagrammers who like taking mirror shots may also want vanity lighting above or near a full-length mirror so that they can really showcase their OOTD.
You might think it’s simple, but if you consider the different types of moods people could be in as they dine—they may want to celebrate, they may want to be intimate or they may just want to eat—you’ll see that the dining room still requires some flexibility. When it comes to lights for the dining room, you have to think about the little details. Even the simple choice of wattage can spell the difference between a lively condo mood and an air of drama.
The dining room is another ideal space to place a small or medium-sized chandelier. Ask “What lighting should I have for my home dining room?” and the answer depends on you, whether you want a relaxed feel, a formal air or a vintage touch. When you install chandeliers, you want to leave enough headroom above to keep people from getting claustrophobia: 28 to 32 inches between the table surface and the bottom of the chandelier is usually enough clearance.
Flush mount or semi-flush mount light fixtures are a good alternative to chandeliers for ambient lighting in your dining room. Daylight temperature lighting is ideal here, and many designers recommend the use of dimmer switches, similar to the living room, to allow for brighter or softer lights depending on the situation. Some homeowners would want sconces or recessed lighting in the dining area as well, but it’s really a judgment call depending on how many household members use the dining room to do tasks other than eating.
So now you’re probably ready to give your condo or your house a much-needed lighting makeover. As you go to the malls or home design outlets to look for the perfect pieces for your pad, just keep this in mind: there’s no single formula for choosing the best lighting for your condo. It all really depends on what effect you want to achieve, and how it fits into your lifestyle.