Brighten up your home with stylish and practical lighting

With the days getting shorter and colder, it’s time to settle in and enjoy the warmth and comfort of our homes. Even if you haven’t yet traded the sandals and shorts for coats and boots, you can start preparing your space for a season of hunkering down.

One wonderful way to winterize your home is to upgrade your lighting for a cozier space.

Research indicates that the onset of winter affects people’s moods, and the lack of sunlight can be a downer. Brightening your rooms with cozy lighting can be the perfect mood booster. 

But striking the perfect light takes some knowledge from those who know what they're doing: home designers. Here are some tips from them. 

Remember the rule of 3

A trio can be a powerful thing, and it’s a decorator’s standby in many circumstances. Our brains actually appreciate when items are arranged in odd numbers and they particularly like trios, which are seen as attractive and effective.  

When it comes to lighting, remember to include these three types in your spaces: ambient, task, and accent.

All about the ambient

Ambient lights illuminate a whole room uniformly. Ambient lighting makes spaces safe to navigate and creates a broad overview of the room with one switch. Examples of ambient lights are:

  • Ceiling mounted fixtures
  • Chandeliers
  • Large pendant lights
  • Recessed fixtures and downlights
  • Wall-mounted fixtures, like sconces

Some trends in ambient lighting for 2020 are oversized fixtures, soft gold finishes, retro and industrial sconces, and exposed Edison bulbs. Chandeliers made with interesting textiles and natural elements, such as rattan and wicker, are trending, as are geometric and “glam” styles.

Pro tip: Include multiple circuits when wiring (or re-wiring) your rooms. This will let you add dimmers to control the brightness levels throughout a large space.

Always stay on task

The second type of illumination your space needs is task lighting. As its name implies, task lighting is ready to get the job done in a specific area. Some examples are:

  • Pendants hung over a kitchen island
  • Your bedside sconce or the light in your reading nook
  • The bulbs around your bathroom mirror
  • Recessed lighting above cabinets
  • The home office or homework desk lamps

One 2020 trend is using Google, Siri, or Alexa to control tasks. Another is sleek, cantilevered desk lamps – they are an easy way to add functional style to a cluttered home office.

Pro tip: To create even illumination in your bathroom for applying makeup or shaving, make sure the same amount of light is coming from the sides of the room and the top of the room.

Play with accents

Accent lighting is the more glamorous and less hard-working member of the trio. Designers add accent lighting to make a statement and create a focal point. It’s the interior design equivalent of the fun accessory that makes an outfit. Some examples of accent lights are:

  • Dramatic showpieces, like chandeliers or pendants
  • Wall-mounted picture lights
  • Recessed lights in bookcases or above shelves
  • Entryway sconces
  • Wall-mounted hallway lights or lanterns

This year, trendy accent lights include fixtures made with organic materials, mid-century designed chandeliers or pendants, and bold, sculptural statement pieces. And of course, candles are the perennial stars of accent lighting.

Pro tip: If you want to illuminate a piece of art but can’t hardwire a convenient connection, try a battery-operated, remote controlled picture light.

Another bright spot

Lighting choices get more energy-efficient and affordable each year. If you are due for an upgrade, be sure to opt for energy-saving LEDs whenever possible. Today’s LEDs can compete with incandescent bulbs in providing warm tones, and also last much longer.

If winter really gets you down, you may find help with a lamp specifically made to help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These lamps have become quite popular for their proven therapeutic benefits.

When it comes to lighting up your home décor, a subscription to Decocrated has you covered. Our seasonal choices brighten any space! And join our Decocrator Facebook Community, which has lots of home styling tips and ideas.