Get The Glow: The Best Lighting Options for the Home
Scandi interiors expert shines a light on the best interior lighting to make your home glow once the clocks go back on October 29.
When the clocks go back on October 29 and the UK loses an hour of daylight, the desire is often to retreat indoors and create a veritable cosy haven at home. One of the best ways to ensure a cosy feeling emanates through the home, is to consider how you light it. So, whilst it may be dark outside, it doesn’t mean we can’t find new ways to illuminate spaces in the home…
Scandi interiors expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman, says: “In parts of Sweden there is no daylight at all for the winter months, so we are well versed in how best to light up a home warmly and without it feeling artificial.
“During the cold season we all want to feel cosy, opting for a slower pace and enjoying the creature comforts of our home-haven. Lighting impacts the style of the spaces we live in, influences our mood, and can even transform paint colours, so it’s vital to ensure we’re maximising its potential to boost our spirit through the cold, dark winter months.
“The first step should always be to make the most of any natural daylight. Following that it’s about understanding how to use different forms of lighting to create a natural, layered effect throughout the home, rather than relying on harsh overhead lighting.
“The key is to choose lighting options that enhance each area of the home whilst staying true to the role the space plays in our day-to-days lives.”
Please read on for Catharina’s guide to illuminating your home this winter…
During the winter months, the UK enjoys at least eight hours of daylight each day, even if it does feel like less due to cloud cover or seasonal snow.
Make the most of the natural light by making sure that furniture isn’t blocking the windows and that curtains are drawn back or are of a light fabric to allow the light to filter through.
Position chairs and sofas near windows so that you can bask in the little bit of sun that does appear each day. If you have a bay or an eaves window, consider creating a cosy reading nook in the space to really make the most of the natural light. Add a bench or chair with cushions and blankets and you will find yourself drawn there again and again for a restful moment.
Similarly, if you have a large window in the kitchen or dining room, reposition your dining table underneath so that at least some mealtimes can be lit naturally.
Soft and sweet
In the darker months, especially in the evening, the goal isn’t to have the home lit up to the max, but rather to simulate a soft and cosy glow.
To create this effect, use lamps instead of overhead lighting in the lounge and bedroom. In areas used to gather, such as a living room, snug or playroom, you can also use fairy lights for another subtle and inviting layer of illumination.
In the kitchen it is important to have good lighting to avoid any accidents. Large pendant lights are a great option as they spread light far and wide without feeling overly bright or harsh. Consider installing lights with dimmer switches or using floor lamps in the dining areas to enjoy your meals in a cosier environment.
Style and substance
Lighting isn’t just about practicality; it can also be a way to enhance a specific type of interior design.
For example, if your home is a maximalist’s dream, then gorgeous brass wall sconces with ornate mouldings, bright, textured lamp shades, and oversized chandeliers will help pull this look together. If you prefer simpler, more natural interior design then a woven bamboo pendant light or a floor lamp in an earthy colour will help encapsulate this look.
To add glam to a bathroom that also serves a practical purpose, use vanity lighting with theatre style bulbs, which will not only look great, but help you ensure you look just the way you want when getting ready.
And don’t underestimate what little touches of light can do to transform a room and create a luxe effect. Strip lighting, for example, can be readily purchased in many DIY stores and fitted under kitchen cabinets to softly illuminate the counters when all the main lights are off, emitting an inviting glow at all times.
Space and size
The size of a room will influence the lighting you want to use. The instinct might be to add lots of light fixtures into a bigger space and just a couple into a small room, but it isn’t always so cut-and-dry. The purpose of the room should also be considered.
For a large, cavernous space, such as a double height entryway, there is room for a sculptural chandelier if that is your style, but that can be more about the design element it brings rather than the lighting. For these kinds of spaces, it can be a good idea to bring the lights down to eye level. Simple wall sconces along the wall will illuminate the space in a practical way and allow the largeness of the space to speak for itself.
In bigger areas, try to make as much use of natural daylight as possible, adding in skylights, rooflights or lanterns where possible, so sunlight can filter down and around your home.
In a small room, such as a study or bedroom, you want the space to be well lit but not overwhelmed. Pick out the spots that most need to be lit up and then use zoned lighting. For instance, lamps on bedside tables and desks will mean you won’t strain your eyes when reading and working and will leave the rest of the room softly lit. You could also use a quirky coloured lightbulb in a small space to add colour and personality without having to put too many items into a limited space.
Light it right
The type of lightbulb used in your interior lighting makes ALL the difference to how the space is lit.
The lamp of the lightbulb, aka the source of the light, comes in both cool and warm tones. The cooler, brighter and cleaner look of a white toned light works well in bathrooms and utility rooms.
In bedrooms and living spaces, the more classic amber lightbulbs are the better choice as they mimic the feel of natural light more closely, creating a calming glow.
It’s also important to consider the existing design features of your home. For example, if you have a room that has a lot of white walls then a bright white lightbulb will make them appear even whiter, which may be too harsh during the winter season. Conversely, yellow lightbulbs will add a depth to interior colours, so reds will appear deeper and blues softer.
The radiating warmth, crackling sounds, subtle scents, and soft, mesmerising glow make fire a truly all-senses immersive experience and provides the most calming natural light source for your living space through the darker, colder months.
If you don’t have a wood burning stove, which will offer both warmth and a soft, inviting, soothing light source, place some seasonal scented candles around the home; on your dinner table to enhance the experience of an evening meal, near the bath for some spa-like downtime, or add a few to a fireplace to create the illusion of a fire whilst snuggling down to watch your favourite box set.
For more information, please visit www.contura.eu.
Notes to editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
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Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,495, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. All Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
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For more information please visit www.contura.eu