Written by Jaymi Naciri
You can swap out your couch, get a new dining room table, paint your walls a new color, change up the furniture placement, but if you don’t have the right lighting, the space still might not feel pulled together.
“The lighting in a home changes the mood of a room just as it does the perceived size of a room,” said SFGATE. The elements that come together when the right lighting is achieved transform a room into a seamless combination of functionality and style.”
1. Lighting plans
Key to quality lighting design is having a “layered” plan with different types of lighting serving different purposes.
“The concept of layering light is particularly important in the living/family room, an area of the house where people tend to gather for long stretches of time and engage in an array of activities, including conversation, watching TV, reading, playing board games and using a laptop,” said HGTV.
Their recommendations include:
- “Ambient lighting that bounces off the ceiling
- Task lighting from table lamps
- Accent lighting that focuses on a particular architectural element in the room
Once you know how to use lighting to maximize the potential of your home, the fun part begins: adding in the pretty stuff. Here are the trends you’ll want to follow.
There is perhaps no greater lighting trend right now than pendants, with a combination of versatility, functionality, and beauty that inspires designers and homeowners.
“Pendant lighting is a hot item at the moment,” said Decorator’s Wisdom. “Some in-demand pendant lighting draws inspiration from the past, while other styles are uniquely contemporary in design.”
Louis Lighting extols the virtue of glass pendants, which can “transcend several décor styles. Glass pendant lights can be used to offer a direct source of light to a particular task area or can be a decorative accessory use to bring mood and color into a room,” they said.
Pendants are also being used in all new places and in new ways, added 1000 Bulbs. “Whether you’re browsing Pinterest online or walking around home décor stores like IKEA, it’s hard not to notice the sweeping popularity of pendant lights,” they said. “Lately, these versatile light fixtures are appearing in more areas than just their traditional places over kitchen islands or countertops, debuting above front entryways, dining room tables, night stands, and bathroom vanities among other places. But the fixture itself is not the only new trend—the way pendant lighting is being installed is also new, as clusters of pendants are often grouped together to create one, dramatic overhead light fixture, or multiple pendants are hung spread out at varying heights.”
The industrial chic look has legs, and adding a light fixture in this style is one of the easiest ways to explore the trend. The look can be retro, futuristic, use metal, glass (or both), and can be as dynamic as you want it to be. Look for geometric shapes as an extension of the design motif we have seen in textiles for the past few years.
4. Antique bulbs
A growing trend tied into the industrial look is antique light bulbs. While more expensive than traditional bulbs, they bring a unique touch to your fixtures.
“You may have already noticed the beautiful winding filaments of antique light bulbs glowing in the dining area of your favorite restaurant or in the lobby of a luxury hotel. But antique light bulbs are actually making a comeback in both retro and industrial style fixtures throughout the home, too,” said 1000 Bulbs.
Looking for a way to get “the look and feel of classic antique bulbs but with the benefits of LED energy savings?” 1000 Bulbs recommends using LED Edison bulbs.
Speaking of LED, it’s another hot lighting trend that is growing fast as consumers seek out ways to cut both their energy bill and their carbon footprint.
“LED lighting is here to stay,” said Louie Lighting. “Significantly, LED lighting is both practical and affordable as compared to other alternatives. The demand for LED lighting, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom has grown exponentially according to residential architects. Costs for customers are also going steadily downward as their use becomes more ubiquitous.”
6. Lighting in drawers and cabinets
Call it the evolution of under-cabinet lighting. Accent lighting in cabinets not only helps brighten up dark spaces, but also helps showcase collectibles—a key complement to the glass-front cabinet trend. Get some ideas on how to add LED lighting to drawers here.