Hey man, if you want to be groovy and like make a totally cool impact on your friends, then explore the scene that’s really happening at the moment- transformation of rooms with lighting so as to create an atmospheric ambience that will blow you away, dude!
Ok. Enough with the Woodstock hippy-dippy expressions. I’ll give it to you straight. You can really create a “feel” for certain rooms in your house by subtle and understated use of lighting. There was a time when every house just had a boring old 60 or 75watt light in the centre of each room, and we were grateful for that. But lights and lighting have come on leaps and bounds since the 1950’s. Take a look at this short video which advertises BHS’s lighting range. It’s slick, clever and many of the featured lamps would be great for creating mood lighting:
It is easy and relatively cheap to transform the atmosphere of your home with lighting that comes from various sources. First up always consider the humble dimmer switch. It’s a neat cheap way to be able to lower or raise the brightness in a room. They are not there just for your room’s main lights. Many standard lamps and table lamps have different settings from barely glowing to full on. Choose what is right for whatever activity you are engaged in: watching TV? Then dim lighting so as not to distract from the screen. Friends round showing you things? Up the lighting so you can see their seven albums of photos of their holiday in Majorca… Or maybe you’d prefer the dimmest light possible for that- lol!
Corridors, passages, halls, landings and staircases should be well lit in order to make your house/home feel warm, and inviting.
In an open plan living area, like a lounge, especially if it’s a larger room (or has been knocked through to the Dining Room use light to carve out different light zones- perhaps with different colours and brightness. Highlight and accent the alcove with the sculpture on it, or have a light concealed within the hearth. If you sometimes use this room for reading, then have a standard lamp with a bright beam that can shine down onto the sofa or table to facilitate this.
Remember that shades can play with the light. Opaque shells or coloured glass shades will really create a feature to be admired. Wall up-lights are also a great way to have a subtle lighting without glare.
Turning to the bedroom, here you will definitely want soft lighting to create a mood for sleep and/or intimacy. But don’t forget a downward beamed reading light on the wall behind the headboard for your book at bedtime.
Wall sconces on either side of a mirror will create a shadow-free light for putting on make-up. In smaller bedrooms, mirrors will bounce the light around making it appear larger, brighter and more open. If you want to be a tad adventurous, then have some ambient coloured lighting behind the dresser, the bed headboard or the chest of draws. LED strip lights can be effective for this because they generate no heat and so there’s no danger of damaging the wood. Also consider getting different coloured bulbs for different occasions, if you want to cosy up with hot water bottles for a night of intimacy with a bottle of Champers or cava, then pink and peach lights are good, but avoid bright red as it just looks too much like something out of a Moulin Rouge boudoir or even a bordello! For more relaxing times, especially when waking in the morning when it’s still dark, some nice hidden blues and greens will help you greet the day and get out of bed!