In the depths of winter, we’re all accustomed to the effect that light has on our mood. So why is it when it comes to redecorating, our lighting can feel like a “final touch” rather than a staple of the room’s requirements? No matter how many fabric swatches or paint samples you pore over, sometimes the finished look feels like there’s just something missing – and you can bet that lighting has something to do with it.
At home, light impacts our motivation (we all know the feeling of an early winter rise in the UK), our creativity, our mood and our general wellness. Cooler lighting from our main fixtures may work well for us to kick our brains into gear on a gloomy afternoon, but come evening a warm, soft lighting option helps us to relax and brings an overall feeling of cosiness. So how do you achieve a perfectly balanced soft glow? Too little and you inadvertently bring more attention to darkness in the room – and too much you lose the beauty of interior details. Here’s how we work that warm, soft glow into a home…
Play with height
Our number one rule for creating even, warm lighting is to mix up heights. It’s a simple but key thought – if a given room has a number of table lamps on surfaces of a similar height, then we’re creating one level of illumination and leaving areas above and below feeling dull. An easy way to create more lighting layers is to mix table lamps with standing lights, offering more coverage and creating a brighter look while maintaining softness. Note: there’s a difference between warm lighting and gloomy lighting – and creating different levels of light moves this in the desired direction.
Diffuse the light
If a warm, soft glow is the outcome we’re looking for, then opting for materials that diffuse light is a must. Diffused light is much more flattering to a space than lighting which is directed at a singular spot. Lampshades made from natural fibres such as linen or cotton are ideal for diffusing light evenly, and our collection of jute lampshades are a great option for this. Allow the edges of your diffused lighting to meet those dark, quieter spots within the room; the trick is to allow dark and light to meet with interest rather than filling every pocket of a room with illumination which can become flat and unwelcoming.
Highlight the best bits
What is it that makes your home feel like yours? Whether it’s a favourite print or wall hanging, or an occasional chair that holds space for the quieter moments, you don’t want to lose these joyful interior flourishes when the evening rolls in. The best thing that lighting can do is compliment – so identify the areas of a room that bring you most comfort and consider the lighting options you might have for this space. If you feel like there’s potential that this could overwhelm or clutter the area, consider opting for glass lighting as the transparency of a glass lampshade creates the illusion of more space compared to an opaque material.
Pay attention to corners
An empty corner can feel awkward and lost, but this makes for a perfect opportunity to introduce a lovely new standing lamp to the space. For darker walls, it’s a nice option to illuminate the whole corner up and down, but if you have a lighter, more neutral palette then it can be useful to consider a downlight-only option. This is because brighter walls naturally bounce the light around more, so a downward-pointing lamp will help you control the amount of illumination and maintain an overall softness.
Cosy lighting isn’t just for the darker months. No matter the season there’s always a general desire for soft, glow-y lighting in the evening. Stylistically, you may want to consider how the lighting you opt for will work year-round. We love to incorporate lots of natural materials in our lighting such as rattan and cane, which look just as good against a balmy summer sky as they do with an interior dressed with cosy throws and candles in winter. Playing with pops of colour is also a fail-safe way to transcend the seasons – with beautiful greens and calming blue lampshades and bases, your lighting can be both soft and playful.