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The importance of lighting in interior design

It may sound dramatic, but lighting can either make or break an interior design scheme.  Implementing a good lighting scheme is not only about selecting stylish products, it is also about choosing the right blend of lighting that is both functional and fit for purpose but also sets the right tone and creates an atmosphere.

Here, we share some of their tips for lighting each room in your house.

First things first…The Fundamentals of lighting:

When it comes to lighting, it is important to keep in mind three main elements:
1) General lighting: lighting that illuminates an entire space for visibility and safety
2) Task lighting: lighting for smaller areas where more intense light is needed
3) Accent lighting: making your precious objects, paintings, or interesting architectural features stand out

lamp-furnishandfettle-harrogateLighting – room by room

Living Room:

It’s is vital to get the correct combination of lighting in the living room.  Lighting three of the four corners of the room works well, focusing one of those lights on an object such as an interesting architectural feature or a painting.   By using a combination of lamps with a downward and upward glow, you can create a lovely feeling of warmth and cosiness in the living room.  Also, make sure you allow for reading with down-glowing lamps on certain seating areas.

Dining Room:

In the dining room, lighting should be subtle, yet sparkling. If it’s too bright you won’t create an atmosphere – and if it’s too dark you won’t be able to see what you’re eating!  Lights with dimmer switches are essential so that you can change the ambience as required.  A feature light, such as a chandelier, works really in dining rooms alongside wall lights which help to create additional atmosphere – as well as the use of stylish lamps on occasional side tables.



Shadow-free, high-quality light around the mirror for shaving and makeup application is really important here, and sidelights flanking the mirror are a useful addition as well as an overhead light that helps fill in any shadows on your face and to also fully lights up the room.  The correct lighting is also essential for transforming the bathroom from a functional space to a space to chill – for example, some accent lighting can help create dramatic evening bathing.


Hallway lighting can sometimes be overlooked and it is often one of the most undervalued spaces in the home.  However, first impressions count, and your hallway is often the first thing visitors see when they enter your home, so setting the tone with your lighting is therefore really important.

If your hall is long, narrow and dark you can really inject some colour with lighting, for example, using recessed downlights and/or recessed floor washers can be really effective.  Also, the use of mirrors is a good trick to create more light into darker hallways they will reflect the light back into the room.  If you have a high ceiling (like our Harrogate showroom pictured right) there is nothing more dramatic then a statement chandelier.

And finally…

As much as lighting is a fundamental element of any interior design project, it is crucial that your lighting choices fit with the other elements of the room design – including the size of the room, the layout,  fabric choices and furniture.  For help or advice on any interior design project, whether it be a full project or simply advice on lighting, please call us or pop into one of our inspiring showrooms in Harrogate or Wetherby and book an appointment with one of our expert interior designers.


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