Monday, February 8, 2010

Lighting Your Home - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

No matter how well you’ve designed your home, if it’s not lit properly, the whole effect can be spoiled. Lighting affects the mood, atmosphere, and overall appearance of a room.

Did You Know??
Cleaning your windows regularly helps to significantly increase the lighting in your home, which not only improves the look of the home, but also helps to save energy. In order to properly showcase your home, keeping your windows clean is just as important as keeping the rest your home clean.

Setting The Mood
Before you start changing up your lighting, you need to determine the use of each room, and the mood that you would like to set.

Task Lighting—For areas such as the kitchen or the office, you’ll want to be sure that you have appropriate task lighting for areas where work is accomplished, for example the sink, stove, desk, etc. In the office, this could be as simple as a table lamp, but in the kitchen you can either place light fixtures over specific areas, or install track lighting.

Ambient Lighting refers to the general lighting of a room. The room should be evenly lit, and at a level at which people’s eyes can feel comfortable. Recessed lighting is a great way to light a whole room evenly, however can be costly if not installed when the home is built. If you are building a house and think that this is something that you would want, be sure to address this before the room is completed. Chandeliers are often used to light rooms, however they shine light up towards the ceiling rather than down towards the room, and may need to be supplemented with appropriate task lighting. Use of a dimmer switch on your task lighting is a great inexpensive way to decrease the amount of the light in the room when it’s not necessary, and help to soften the mood.

Accent Lighting—If you want to highlight certain features of a room, you’ll want to add some accent lighting. Accent lighting is often used to illuminate accessories such as artwork, collections, or cabinets. Install a picture light above or below your favourite piece of art. Or place a light inside your china cabinet. The light will reflect off of the glass and china to showcase your favourite pieces. Wall sconces are another great way to enhance a room. Installing in an archway can help to showcase the unique architectural details, or hang on either side of a large painting. Always be sure to hang in pairs.

As a final consideration, think of the mood that you wish to create in each room. Bright and natural light can create an upbeat, uplifting mood, while soft, warm lighting, yellowish in colour, can be intimate. Cool lighting, the kind with a bluish tinge, helps to promote deep relaxation and sleep.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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