Photo via Fenton and Fenton. Soma Table Lamp 

As interior designers will confirm, lighting is a defining element in developing a sophisticated home ambience. So, we've put together this list of our 5 top rules for lighting to set the mood. 

Layering light sources

A single high output light fixture per living space, can be cold and cause unwanted glare and shadows. Layering three to four lower output and carefully placed ambient light sources will more evenly and softly light a room, creating warmth and eliminating dark corners.  Get creative by using a blend of pendant lights, table and floor lamps, directly and indirectly arranged to soften the ambience and add depth, while providing lighting level 'options'.

Find your focal points

Imagine your lighting serves as a vector line, nudging the naked eye to artwork, furniture or mirrors that you want to draw attention to. Be subtle, don’t point lights directly at the attraction, but place lighting beside them, and use reflected light by bouncing off wall and ceiling surfaces.

Kick glare to the curb

Glare is a mood killer and a distractor. Instead, aim to keep the light source out of your line of sight by softly diffusing or partially covering it. Be wary of mirror and window surfaces, as glare is caused not only be reflection but also refraction of light. So keep your direct light sources away from these surfaces.

Photo via Norsu Interiors. Pia Desk Lamp & Arlen Desk Lamp 

Let your dramatic flag fly

Don't be afraid of being dramatic when it comes to lighting. (This is one of our favourites!) Make your pendant floor lamp or bedside lamp the focal point in the room by going big. Choose a design with an oversized lamp shade or pendant shade to create dramatic visual mass and layering. And go big with fabrics too, by specifying rich colours with dramatic patterns to add more than just light to a room. Complement this effect with homewares (think plants, vases, books and ornaments) that feature a similar colour tone or dramatic pattern. Let a flare for drama add richness to a living space because beige is nice, but nice is boring.

Watts, lumens and colour temperature

Get familiar with watts, lumens and colour temperatures to nail the ambience you have in mind. For the ultimate soft, comfortable, and relaxing mood, look for 2,700K-3,000K bulbs. This bulb is often labelled as warm or soft white. Cooler colour temperatures of 5,000K-65000K suit a workplace, but can be too harsh in the home.

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