Mastering the Art of Lighting

Mastering the Art of Lighting

Lighting is an often-underestimated aspect of interior design that has a profound impact on the ambience and functionality of a space. Mastering the art of lighting involves understanding its role in interior design, the principles of layered lighting, selecting the right fixtures, illuminating various rooms effectively, avoiding common mistakes, and skilfully blending different lighting styles and choosing lighting designs that compliment your home's interior. 

Understanding the Role of Lighting in Interior Design

Choosing the correct lighting for your space sets the ambience, highlights architectural features, and enhances the overall aesthetics of a space. Proper lighting can make a room feel cosy, spacious, vibrant, or relaxing. It influences our perception of colour and texture, making it a crucial element in interior design. By strategically using light, you can transform any room into a welcoming and functional space. 

Volute by Rakumba
Volute by Rakumba


The Basics of Layered Lighting: Ambient, Task & Accent

In most well-designed spaces, a combination of these three lighting types is used to provide a balanced and functional lighting scheme. By carefully planning and integrating ambient, task, and accent lighting, designers can create a harmonious atmosphere that meets both the practical and aesthetic needs of a room.

  • Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, provides overall illumination to a room. It is the foundational light that ensures space is evenly and adequately lit, allowing people to move around safely and see the entire area. It can come from fixtures like pendant lights, or recessed ceiling lights and by natural light sources, such as windows and skylights.
Argyle by RakumbaArgyle by Rakumba
  • Task lighting is focused on specific areas where activities like reading, cooking, or working take place. Task lighting includes desk lamps for reading or working, under-cabinet lighting in kitchens for food preparation, and pendant lights above kitchen islands for meal preparation.
Parallels by Rakumba
  • Accent lighting adds drama and highlights the architectural or particular features, objects, or architectural elements within a space. It adds depth and visual interest to a room by creating contrast and drawing attention to specific areas. This can be achieved by illuminating artwork, incorporating track lights that highlight bookshelves, or uplights that showcase decorative plants or sculptures. Accent lighting is primarily decorative and serves to create a focal point or add visual drama to a room.

Let There Be Light: Choosing the Right Light 

Selecting the right light fixtures is essential for achieving your desired design and functionality. The choice of fixtures should align with the room's purpose, style, and your personal preferences. For example, in a contemporary living room, a sleek and minimalist pendant light may be a perfect choice, while in a traditional dining room, a classic drum pendant could be more appropriate. Consider the size, scale, and placement of fixtures to ensure they complement the space.

Saya by RakumbaSaya by Rakumba

Creating atmosphere: Warm vs Cool lighting  

By placing warm and cool lighting in the appropriate areas, you can ensure that your lighting design enhances the overall comfort and functionality of each space in your home.

  • Warm lighting is ideal for creating a welcoming, homely feel and enhancing a sense of well-being. It is best suited for creating inviting and cozy spaces, such as living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas. It promotes relaxation and socialising as it mimics the warm, comforting glow of traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Cool lighting resembles natural daylight and is often ideal for task-oriented areas such as kitchen counters and bathrooms. Cooler colour temperatures can create an alert and productive environment, making it perfect for activities that require clear visibility, such as cooking, reading, or working
Mito by RakumbaMito by Rakumba 


Illuminating Different Rooms: Lighting for Living Spaces

Different rooms in your home have unique lighting requirements:

  • Bedroom: Aim for a cosy and inviting atmosphere in the bedroom. Soft, warm lighting is ideal. Bedside table lamps, wall-mounted reading lights, and even a fabric lighting pendant can contribute to a tranquil sleep environment. 
  • Bathroom: A combination of ambient and task lighting is vital in the bathroom. Vanity lights on either side of the mirror eliminate shadows for grooming tasks. Overhead fixtures provide overall illumination. 
  • Kitchen: Task lighting is crucial in the kitchen, especially over work surfaces and the dining area. Under-cabinet lighting provides ample illumination for food preparation, while pendant lights above an island or dining table can enhance the ambience 
  • Living Room: In the heart of your home, and a place where we both entertain guests and relax and requires a balance of both ambient lighting and task lighting. Using floor lamps and table lamps to create cosy reading nooks or conversation areas. Wall sconces can add a touch of elegance and accentuate artwork.
  • Home Office: Prioritise task lighting in your home office. A well-positioned desk lamp or adjustable wall sconces can reduce eye strain and improve productivity. 
Indre Pendant by RakumbaIndre by Rakumba

Avoiding Common Lighting Mistakes: Tips and Pitfalls

While planning your lighting scheme, be aware of common mistakes:

  • Insufficient Lighting: Inadequate lighting can make a room feel gloomy and impractical, such as only turning on the overhead light. Ensure you have enough illumination for the room's intended purpose, using multiple lamps and fixtures. 
  • Warm vs Cool lighting. Using warm and cool lighting in the wrong spots can disrupt the intended ambience and functionality of a space. 
  • Ignoring Dimmer Switches: Dimmer switches offer flexibility in adjusting the light levels to suit different activities and moods. Don't overlook their usefulness.
  • Neglecting Natural Light: Incorporate natural light into your lighting plan. It's energy-efficient and enhances the overall quality of illumination in your home.
  • Misplaced Fixtures: Pay attention to fixture placement. Overhead lights should be centred, and task lighting should be directed where it's needed.

Mixing Lighting Styles: Blending Fixtures for Cohesive Design

Mixing different lighting styles can create a visually dynamic and cohesive design. For instance, combining contemporary pendant lights with vintage-inspired wall sconces can add character and interest to a room. 

Haru & So by Rakumba
Haru and So. by Rakumba 

Remember to be mindful of the overall aesthetic and ensure that the various fixtures harmonise in style and finish. For advice and tips on blending styles and creating your perfect aesthetic, consider booking a consultation with our expert design team. 

Outdoor Lighting: Enhancing Your Exterior Spaces

Styling your homes with lighting doesn't stop at the interior; it extends to the outdoor spaces as well. Outdoor lighting is a key element in making the most of your exterior spaces. Whether you have a spacious backyard, a charming patio, or a cosy balcony, outdoor lighting can transform these areas into enchanting retreats for evening gatherings or quiet moments of reflection. 

Explore options like outdoor floor lamps, such as the Monsieur Tricot Lighting, which can illuminate pathways or be strategically placed around seating areas, creating a welcoming atmosphere for enjoying summer nights.

Monsieur Tricot Lighting by Tribu
Monsieur Tricot Lighting by Tribu

To learn more about how lighting can enhance your outdoor space, consult our helpful guide.

Add Refinement with Rakumba

Cosh Living are proud to introduce our newest collections, from Rakumba. With more than 50 years of experience designing and creating luxury lighting, Rakumba are Australia’s longest-established international lighting brand. Their blend of contemporary elegance, artisan craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technological manufacturing capability produces iconic pieces ideal for adding ambience and elegance to your home. 

Mito by RakumbaMito by Rakumba 

Create Your Ideal Space with Cosh

Cosh Living are experts in all aspects of interior design, including lighting. To learn more about our range of superbly crafted indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories, or to find guidance in how to transform your home into your ideal aesthetic space, contact us today.

Indre Pendant by Rakumba
Indre by Rakumba, Avoca Bed, Otway Three Drawer, & Otway Night Tables by Kett 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does lighting impact the overall ambience of a home?

Lighting plays a pivotal role in shaping the ambience of a home. The intensity, colour, and direction of light can influence the mood and atmosphere of a space. Well-planned lighting can make a room feel cosy, spacious, vibrant, or tranquil, allowing you to create the desired ambience for different areas in your home.

How do I choose the right light fixtures for each room?

Selecting the right light fixtures involves considering the room's function, style, and your personal preferences. For ambient lighting, choose fixtures that provide even illumination throughout the space. Task lighting should be focused on specific activities, and accent lighting should highlight architectural or decorative features. Ensure the scale, style, and placement of fixtures align with the room's design and purpose.

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