Behind The Blue Door

Statement Dining | November 13, 2015 |

The art of

layered lighting

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Without the magic of lighting, interior character is lost. Architecture, design and colour can only go so far in expressing the warmth and appeal of a room; to truly celebrate a space, it must be intelligently lit.

The basics of interior lighting design amounts to three layers: ambient, task and accent.

Focus on the spaces around your home you’’d like to accentuate and fill them with whatever style suits you – be that dramatically-arching floor lamps, geometric overhead lighting or low, targeted spotlights. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making your space glow.

First layer: Ambient lighting

Otherwise known as general lighting, this is the most basic layer – but it doesn’’t mean you can’’t make a grand design statement.

Ambient lighting is made up of the natural light from outside and the fixtures that substitute it: ceiling fixtures, chandeliers and track lighting, for example.

Getting the scale right with overhead lighting is important – we love the opulent extravagance of India Jane’’s Atlas ceiling lantern (£950): a uniquely decorative crown to top a space.

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Image source: IndiaJane/Website

Second layer: Task lighting

The warm white vanity lights you use for applying makeup, the study light pointed towards the latest issue of your favourite magazine, the row of reclaimed pendants illuminating your kitchen worktop: task lighting is crucial for putting the spotlight on daily activities.

When task lighting provides the necessary focus, general lighting can be dimmed for a softer mood. Let your lamps make a statement: mix bases, match shades and create a marriage of lighting styles. This Base Copper table light (£385) by Tom Dixon provides an alluring shine – adding a highly-polished, metallic chic look to the room.

 

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Image source: tomdixon.net

Third layer: Accent lighting

Possibly the most romantic of our illuminating trio is accent lighting. From fairy lights to wall sconces (with dimmers), accent lighting provides atmosphere and mood while accentuating architecture and lighting up artwork.

Before planning your accent lighting, ask yourself how you want each room to feel and what features you wish to accentuate. Placing a light below a statement piece gives it added presence and that luxurious halo effect (for example, an art piece in the hallway), while low, softer lighting and moody shadows create an intimate, restful environment (say, for the bedroom or living room).

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Together with the warm glow of candlelight, these stylishly simple Arris candelabra make a sumptuous addition to any room. Layer with a dramatic chandelier and enhance with the subtle illumination of some architectural recessed lights.

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