How the Right Lighting Can Transform the Design of Room

When it comes to interior design, lighting is one of the most important aspects of a space. Light defines color, space and how every volume and surface is perceived. It also has an emotional and physical impact, affecting serotonin and melatonin levels in our body that control our overall well-being.

We asked our RNDD Designers, Showrooms and Manufacturers to share their top lighting design tips with us. Hopefully these illuminate some bright ideas for your own home design.

Lighting Can Affect Wellness

Lighting not only transforms a room but can transform your life. The bedroom is arguably the most important place to be considerate of these details due to the impact that quality sleep has on our moods, health, and energy levels. Bright light helps your brain create chemicals like melatonin and serotonin that help you feel more alert and play an important part in your well-being during the day. Darkness equally affects your health by signaling to your body when to shut off those hormones and to calm down to heal, rest and restore.

The sleep experts at The Luxury Bed Collection recommend using high quality black out curtains to prevent outside disturbances. In alignment with this, also consider how much natural light you receive when you awaken and adjust your blinds accordingly. Secondly, they recommend installing light dimmers in your bedroom and consider them for the entire house. Begin to use the dimmers 2 hours or at minimum 30 minutes before your bedtime to signal your circadian rhythm when it’s time to wind down. Both of these lighting tools are sure to give you control over your perfect sleep environment in the bedroom and set you up for success.

Lighting, but Make it Functional

In this Michiana primary bath Dresner Design commissioned artist Lucy Slivinsky to create a decorative fixture over the tub. The fixture is on dimmers and is the focal point of the room. In addition to decorative lighting they added ambient lighting below the vanity which is on a motion switch turning on automatically for nighttime bathroom visits. Dresner also added LED strip lighting above and below the medicine cabinets. Lighting has to be functional as well.  A magnifying mirror is great for makeup application in the bathroom and used in conjunction with recessed lighting.  The client wanted to add chromotherapy to the shower and Dresner Design was happy to oblige. This particular chromotherapy can be set by individual color or rotate through the full spectrum.  It’s controlled by a panel which is mounted to the wall just outside the shower.

“Having the right lighting is a huge design component and it makes a big impact on the feel of a space.”

Scott Dresner, Dresner Design

Layered Lighting

“Proper lighting is key to performing a variety of tasks as well as creating ambient lighting when you are entertaining”, says Ann Stockard of O’Brien Harris. “We like to create layers of lighting in the kitchens we design by using a combination of under cabinet, interior cabinet, recessed lighting, and decorative fixtures”. See more examples of O’Brien Harris layers lighting here.

Lighting is Not Just Lamps

Whether the goal is to set a particular mood, increase productivity, or influence the flow of a space, incorporating different types of lighting is instrumental in every project. One of CI Design Build’s strengths is understanding the science behind light and how to strategically layer architectural lighting with decorative fixtures that are complementary. To add another layer to the intricacies of lighting design, natural light cannot be forgotten – it’s essential to understand shadows, how much heat will be added to a space simply by the sun, and what types of shade systems are most functional while also being attractive. 

Set the Mood with Colorful Lighting

We’re all aware of light’s ability to change the atmosphere of a room, whether your preference is for warm, cozy ambiance or crisp, bright light. Colorful lighting like the Philips Hue home lighting system, available through ABT Electronics, takes light to the next level with an array of fun colors that change at your command.

Philips Hue offers three different color ranges to suit any mood, event or environment. The White range offers warm, soft white light that’s perfect for everyday use. ABT loves the White Ambiance color range to create soft, warm white lighting that’s perfect for a relaxing evening or cooler light that’s reminiscent of invigorating daylight. You can elevate the mood even further with the many colorful lights available in the White and color ambiance range. Opt for your favorite hue, or change it up between orange, blue, purple and more based on whatever you’re doing; in fact, this range gives you access to millions of colors with instant wireless dimming. With classic light bulbs and light bars available, you can really customize your lighting from room to room. Plus, the lights are controlled via Bluetooth so you can change the mood in your space without getting up from the couch.

Put a Dimmer on it

Lighting can completely transform the tone of your home, and Amy Kartheiser Design loves using it to establish a mood in each room she designs. Amy’s top tip? Dimmable lighting is simply a must! But rather than controlling an entire room with one dimmer switch, give each light its own dimmer. Whether you’re hosting your monthly dinner party or settling in with a good book and a glass of wine, individualized control gives you the power to change the ambiance and adjust the output as the natural light changes throughout the day.

And remember, each room should have its own lighting style. For rooms such as the living room and dining room where social connections will be made, make sure the lighting is brighter than in a room where we are meant to wind down. Your bedrooms can benefit from low lighting to encourage rest and sleep. 

Set the Stage with Statement Lighting

Using a statement pendant light above a dining table or kitchen island can truly elevate the design of a space and set the tone you are going for. The Plato Pendant light from Arteriors Home, available through Casa Bella, is a modern take on the atomic profile popular in mid-century design. The saucer-shaped Plato pendant is reimagined in English bronze iron, with a frosted acrylic diffuser. The LED light is suspended by antique brass iron pipes and canopies. The integrated LED is an energy saver as well.

Use Lighting as Art

Metro Design Build recently finished a kitchen design where they installed a beautiful and unique Luke Lamp fixture above the kitchen island. This fixture not only illuminates the space but it also serves as a sculptural piece of art for the space. The clients are art collectors, owning a piece by Marc Chagall, so this lighting fixture fits well into the design of their home. Wherever you stand, the light fixture has these soft curves which pop against the very white, modern kitchen. 

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