With the recent launch of our lighting collection with Shades of Light, we’ve been getting so much love and kind words, so thank you all for your continued support. After all, we designed the collection with you in mind, so it brings us joy to know that you’re just as excited as we are! I wanted to highlight (literally) a commonly asked question I get about lighting in hopes of illuminating just how much of a difference lighting can make in your home: “How many lighting sources do I need in a room?” So if you’re finding yourself in poorly lit spaces, keep reading for my rule of thumb.
Lighting is one of the most crucial element in home design, yet often the most forgotten. Back in my early home design days, lighting used to be the cherry on top, but now that I know what a difference it can make, it takes more priority and more of the budget! Lighting contributes to the functionality, ambiance, and aesthetics of a space–It’s everything. I’ll say this: A room only looks as good as the lighting allows, so take the time to get it right.
So to answer your question, the lighting formula I use for every room is to incorporate these three lighting sources in every room.
I would say that natural window light is an extremely preferred source of lighting, but not always guaranteed depending on the time of day and weather. For those reasons, I say it’s a bonus lighting source!
Whether you are working to improve your bedroom, living room, or even your kitchen, do a little checklist to be sure you have all of your lighting boxes checked. Let’s look at a few examples!
In our bedroom, the one and only source of ambient lighting in this room is the chandelier. It provides overall illumination to the entire room, and since the room is a bit larger and the ceilings are taller, we bumped up the lumens a bit. The nightstand lamps provide enough lighting to read in bed without any overhead lighting (AKA task lighting). And the picture light is doing such a good job of highlighting the beautiful artwork hanging above our bed. Get it?
The bonus room is a really fun example because the ambient lighting is all recessed lighting, and they do an excellent job. There’s a plethora of task lighting throughout this room, but here you can see two table lamps that give enough light for playing games, or sometimes we’ll even keep a light on while we watch a movie so we can keep snacking. As for the sconce, it does a really good job of highlighting how darling that window nook is, which is exactly what accent lighting is for.
In the kitchen, there are certainly more than three lighting sources because, with bigger spaces, you’re probably going to need to sprinkle in more task and accent lighting throughout. Again, our ambient lighting is satisfied with recessed lighting, which is a really good idea for a bigger room. I think the pendants could pass as either task or accent lighting because they provide good lighting for Chris to chop and prepare food, but they also illuminate our beautiful countertops. Excellent. Similarly, the sconces highlight our focal point range hood, but they also provide efficient lighting for cooking.
I can’t wrap up this post without mentioning decorative lighting, whose sole purpose is to add visual interest and style to the room rather than illumination. I’ll just say that I hope all of my light fixtures provide visual interest, and I hope that my decorative lighting also doubles in function.
Which lighting questions should I answer next?
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
We recently painted the trim and hallway doors the most dramatic shade of red, and I find myself making excuses to pass through this part of our house. It’s so rich and romantic and glossy and inspiring. It’s like the hallway is wearing lipstick. She’s feeling herself :) I can barely remember what it looked […]
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Make yourself right at home