When decorating any part of your home, choosing the right kind of lights is one of your most important decisions. And the best way to approach this task is to start with a checklist. The lighting checklist you use should address both practical and design purposes.
Many rooms in a home for instance, tend to be multifunctional. Using lamps and lighting creatively can make one room seem like several. You can light up a dining area, working space, or reading and sitting areas in many different ways. This allows each area to be lit separately from the rest. Keeping this in mind, the first question on your checklist should be: which different functions will this room fulfill?
Another question on your checklist should be, what mood do I want to create in this room? The mood you choose for your living room for example, is usually much different than the one chosen for a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen.
Will the room have a lot of activity from children and pets? If so, floor lamps may not be feasible because they can easily be knocked over. A better option might be wall sconces, or overhead lights in a ceiling fan or chandelier.
What practical limitations does the room have? If the room is too small for a side table, then you’re not going to have anywhere to sit a table lamp. If on the other hand, there’s only one electrical outlet, that will also limit how the room can be arranged. So putting a floor lamp in might be limiting too because it would not be easily movable.
Other practical lighting concerns to consider include security. If you live in an area were safety is a concern, you may want consider installing security lighting outdoors. These can also be installed with a sensor which will switch on when anybody comes close to your house. This is useful both for security reasons, and to help you find your keys when you’re at the door. You can use security timers inside the house as well. These usually turn on around dusk, and turn themselves off again when the sun starts rising each morning. These are very useful for when you’re not home, because to a passerby it makes it appear as if someone is inside the house.
Last but not least, consider the logistics and limitations of your home. If your living room only has one electrical outlet for example, it won’t do you much good to design using multiple table lamps or floor lamps. Using extension cords for lamps like these can be dangerous. If you’re redoing their room extensively, you can add additional outlets into your design planning. If that’s not an option, look for more practical lighting options that are just as beautiful such as chandeliers, wall sconces, and picture lighting.
©2008, Kathy Burns-Millyard