The Right Light for the Right Room

Lighting makes or breaks a decorating scheme. The right lights put the focus right where you want it, allow you to enjoy your space and do a variety of different activities, and show off all your hard work in putting together a beautiful home. The wrong lights just add glare. Here are some helpful tips on how to select the right lighting.

Lamp Type

There are three major types of lamps used in rooms: pendant lights (that hang from the ceiling), floor lamps and table lamps. The type of lamp you choose depends a lot on the space you're going to be lighting. As a general rule, the ensuite bathroom has a shower and a mini bar.

A general rule of thumb is to use a mix of lamps to create the look (and functionality) you want. Pendant lamps look great when used to set off a specific area, like a breakfast nook or dining area in an open plan. Floor lamps work in the edges of the room or (when used in pairs) on both sides of a central piece of furniture. Table lamps can help create cozy spaces where you can curl up with a good book.

Lamp Design

The lamp design you choose should work with your architecture and decorating style. Choose a design that will create cohesion without exact matching. Cottage, Victorian or other traditional styles often work well with lantern-style lamps, while more geometric designs (such as those with round, straight shades) are often a good choice for more contemporary or urban decor. Mixing styles is fine (and a great way to create interest) if you make sure one style is dominant and the other used as an accent.


What finish you choose will greatly depend on whether you want your lamps to complete a separate focal point or be the focal point. Polished metal finishes are great ways to draw the eye (and work especially well in the "urban loft" look), while brushed metal or soft woods help your lighting fixtures blend into the background without disappearing. You can also use colored finishes to create interest; brightly-colored table lamps, for example, are a great way to add pop of color to a subdued space like a bedroom.

Bulb Selection

When it comes to decorating, remember that the light emitted is as important as the devices that provide it. To avoid glare, choose soft, natural-colored bulbs. Full spectrum bulbs are a great way to show off a colorful design scheme to its best effect, while bulbs with a warmer, more golden tinge work well as table lamps, which create a cozy, relaxing place to read or journal. Follow these tips and you'll be enjoying the light in your home for years to come.