Furniture and lighting are two core elements of most rooms within your home, but how do you ensure that the two work well together? Here, independent furniture retailer Unni and Evans shares five tips for how to coordinate furniture and lighting in order to help you create the perfect look for any room.
Firstly, natural light is almost always preferable and therefore try to maximise this wherever possible. The degree of natural light within a room is of course often dictated by the size of windows and the positioning of the room itself but, in most cases, there are things that can be done to facilitate the spread of natural light.
For starters, the positioning of tall cabinets can certainly affect the coverage of natural light. Placing these near to windows is a common mistake, as of course this can then cast shadows immediately behind the units.
If you’re buying new, consider whether you practically need units that are so tall. Try to think about how much storage capacity you truly need and if you don’t require it then it’s best to opt for lower height pieces. For example, having a chest of drawers within a bedroom, rather than a seldomly used cupboard, can make the world of difference when it comes to the amount of light within the room.
A final tip on natural light - a large mirror or two within a room can work wonders in terms of reflecting light and creating the illusion of space, which is why you’ll almost always see lots of mirrors present in the show homes of new build housing developments. Speaking of which…
Natural light is tremendous but artificial light plays an equally important part. Therefore, thinking consciously about lighting choices within your house or flat will help you get the very best from the rooms.
Rather than just thinking about lighting in terms of which ‘products’ you’ll acquire, think about the various types of lighting and the purposes they’re deployed for. Lighting showrooms and retail environments in general can be a great way to see lots of lights in one place but they’re not always so ideal for giving you inspiration and ideas on how lighting should be positioned within the room as a whole.
Therefore, a great way to get inspired is to visit some local new build show homes. The fact that these interiors look so great is no accident – professional interior designers are employed to think of every detail, including getting the natural and artificial lighting just right. Even if the interior style of your home is very different, the principles of achieving good lighting often remain the same. Therefore, look at what types of light are used and where they’re used, to give you ideas for your own abode.
The vertical positioning of lighting within any given room should be another key consideration. Try to think about light in terms of layers, ensuring that the room has a blend at various heights.
For example, in your kitchen you’ll want an excellent level of overhead and worktop illumination within the food preparation area, but equally you might want a less stark, more cosy feel for an adjacent dining table. In this case, a lower level light, such as a lamp placed on a sideboard within the dining area, could help achieve a more relaxed and convivial setting.
As acknowledged above, light from mother nature is highly desirable, but artificial light is of course needed in virtually every room. Whilst most homeowners will carefully choose both their furniture and lights unfortunately, all too often, these are considered in isolation, meaning that when the two are put together the result is not aesthetically or practically as good as it could have been. To avoid this scenario in your home, almost think of your furniture and lighting as part of the same team, working together to achieve a common goal.
From an aesthetic perspective, light should help subtly draw attention to features within the room. In addition, it’s a key contributary factor when it comes to creating the room’s mood and ambience.
Thinking about practicalities is equally if not more important. For example, if you’re likely to read in your living room, have you positioned a good source of light in close proximity to the chair or sofa on which you’ll be sitting? Or, if you’re watching television or working at a computer, is the light going to be good enough to avoid eye strain whilst at the same time not reflecting on to the screen?
Finally, creating the right amount of light in the right places within a room is no mean feat and rarely happens without careful research and planning. It’s likely that you’ll invest considerably in both buying and furnishing your home and so to get the lighting element just right it’s certainly worth considering a lighting design service as provided by Hampshire Light in order to make your home shine, literally or otherwise.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for new home furniture, you can visit Unni and Evans at www.unniandevans.com