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Are you dealing with low ceilings, tight rooms, and small windows? Are you trying to work around ancient beams, large chimney breasts, and awkward spaces? Features like these are responsible for making cottages and listed buildings so attractive to many, but the often quirky nature propose a challenge when it comes to decorating. Especially with lighting design.

So, to help you get the most from your wonderful property, we’ve put together a list of lighting design tips that focus on maximising space in small areas.  

1. Utilise daylight

Maximising daylight is a key aspect of lighting design, and there are several ways to achieve this. Typically, modern homes will invite natural light in through rooflights or skylights. But with smaller homes such as cottages, these solutions are rarely favoured.

Similarly, listed buildings require planning permission for such installations to take place, which could be overturned. So, what options remain when attempting to maximise daylight?

Placing a large mirror opposite a window can be an effective way to maximise daylight. This reflects the natural light in several directions, bringing more light into the room. Large mirrors, along with mirrored window reveals (part of the window that frames the glass) and mirrored windowsills help to reflect as much daylight as possible, making your space feel brighter and larger than it really is.

natural light design

2. Use recessed lighting to save space

To further enhance the size of your space with lighting design, recessed lighting is great. It can be used on both your ceiling and walls to provide sufficient lighting in compact areas. The nature of recessed lighting means no large fixtures are needed, providing a flush and sleek look to maximise your space.

recessed lighting

3. Opt for multiple light sources

When lighting small spaces, it’s beneficial to use multiple light sources rather than a single central source. Multiple sources can be distributed in a way that effectively illuminates the entire room, ensuring no corners are left in the dark. Remember, when attempting to make your space feel bigger, darkness is you biggest threat.

lighting design bedroom

4. Make use of shelf and cabinet lighting

Dark corners aren’t only found at the intersection of walls. They can appear inside shelving units, cabinets, and wardrobes.

The most effective way to work around this is with the use of LED strips. They can be lined underneath shelves, around the inside edge of cabinets, and anywhere else that fits, to help open up your space and make it feel less cramped.

shelf lighting

5. Emphasize height with vertical lighting

Vertical light paths help to draw any attention away from narrow and small spaces to its height. This can be achieved through the use of uplight wall sconces, floor lamps and table lamps. When working with vertical light, you must pay extra attention to downward lighting. In some cases, you may experience shadows, giving you quite the opposite effect.

vertical lighting design

6. Create depth with backlighting

Backlighting doesn’t only eliminate darkness behind furniture, it creates an extra sense of depth to help your space feel larger. This lighting technique can be used in various locations, such as:

  • Behind TV screens
  • Behind mirrors
  • Behind bed headboards
  • Behind wardrobes
  • Behind sofas
  • Behind shelving units

backlighting light design

Consult with lighting design experts

When it comes to making your space feel larger with lighting design, there’re many angles you can take. Each individual property will benefit from varying lighting techniques, and the effectiveness depends on the features of your home. If you’d like to see how Hampshire Light could make your cottage or listed building appear bigger with lighting design, contact us today and arrange your complimentary design consultation


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