When designing a space, lighting plays more of a role than many may think. A soft table lamp can bring out the calmness of a plush living room; a bold pendant overhead can take the kitchen from “blah” to a place you enjoy showing off. In the rush to get paint colors and furniture just so, amateur designers often put off finding the right light until the last moment. But not to worry- with these tips, you’ll be painting with light like a professional in no time!

A Little of This, a Little of That

Don’t be afraid to mix up your lighting in a room. Variety is the spice of life- if your main light source is a central chandelier, try adding some accent lights to the corners of the room. These can be sconces, table lamps, or floor lamps. By positioning light sources throughout the room, you’ll be adding ambience that a single lamp just couldn’t do. The key here is to let the light contrast with the subtle darker zones throughout the room, adding interest and personality.

Let the Sunshine In 

Ensure you are lighting rooms appropriately for how much natural sunlight they receive. A living room that has windows facing East and West will need less lighting than one facing North and South. By using natural light to your advantage, you can create a room that demands attention.

Flatter Yourself

Don’t neglect the bathroom when it comes to quality lighting – there is nothing worse than looking yourself in the mirror with a harsh light overhead that casts stark shadows. Instead, try sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror. This lighting is flattering and makes a great accent to the room itself.

Don’t get Cornered by Bad Lighting

Adding light to the corners of your room can really make a difference in ambience. Rather than fading off into the nooks of a room, adding lamps to these edges illuminates the entire room and makes the space more inviting.

Go Big or Go Home

Rather than having many tiny overhead lights, opt for a large piece like a chandelier or a multi-light pendant. Too many smaller bulbs can cast unwanted shadows and harsh highlights. A larger light is also a great opportunity to add a breathtaking conversation piece. However, be sure that the light isn’t overwhelming in your space- especially if the room you’re curating is on the smaller side.

Take Things Down A Notch

Dimming switches can make a huge difference in the ambience of your room. Allowing lights to go from high to low can take a room from afternoon tea to a romantic dinner for two in a snap.

Be Choosy

Lighting is an investment, so make sure you take the time to do things right. Find that piece that’s extra special, or looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, or makes you feel happy every time you look at it. It’s more than just functional – it can be an art piece for your home. Make it count!