Kathleen’s Decorating Tip #3

Layer Your Lighting

When thinking about the flow of space, ambiance, and atmosphere in your home, lighting can be one of the most fundamental elements. Beautiful interiors have a variety of lighting for different times of the day, tasks or moods. Take a layered approach to lighting with different light sources (preferably all fitted with dimmers) across different levels to create ambiance and interest in a room. Most rooms require three types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task.

  • Ambient lighting illuminates the entire area of a room in a fairly uniform manner- typically ceiling light fixtures, pendants, chandeliers.
  • Accent lighting is the second lighting layer and is referred to as the “decorative” layers because it is used to showcase a room’s features, such as artwork, architecture, decorative objects and any other points of interest in the room- typically wall sconces and recessed lighting.
  • The final layer of lighting is task lighting and task lighting provides illumination for specific tasks performed in an area such as reading- typically floor lamps, swing arm sconces, or desk lamps.

Ambient Lighting

Accent Lighting

Task Lighting

Perfectly layered lighting design using all three elements. {Photo: Brady Design}

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