Lighting is a crucial part of any interior design. It can add balance, transform a dull space into a beacon of contemporary style, and set the whole tone of the room, conveying anything from warm and comforting to bright and airy.
In this handy guide, we pick out some of the best types of lighting and give you some ideas about how to use them.
Recessed lighting: Great for modern spaces and basements
Recessed lighting – usually spotlights, hidden in the ceiling – can open up your living room. They give an even spread of light throughout the room, opening the space right out to the walls and avoiding any darker corners. Consider using LED bulbs – many have a bluish white hue for daytime and a softer yellow colour for the evening.
Transform a dark and dusty basement into the heart of the home. As a room limited by natural light, using multiple light fixtures dotted across the ceiling will remove shadows created from shades and wires to bring balance to the space. Adjustable lighting works particularly well here, allowing you to focus the light on a striking piece of artwork or your centrepiece sofa.
Floor lamps: Ideal for contemporary and mid-century modern homes
Floor lamps can be a perfect statement piece in your living room. A well-chosen shade can add a burst of colour or a creative flourish, and consider a different stand – you don’t always need to stick to the straight and narrow. Try one that juts out at an angle, or a lamp that curves over your sofa.
Floor lamps work seamlessly inside a mid-century modern living room, contrasting traditional influences with innovative designs. To find that perfect balance between new and old, keep the floor lamp simple – a traditional drum shade in a single, neutral colour will complement the surrounding furniture.
Pendant lights: Inspiring against industrial or bohemian décor
For those wanting to create an industrial look, steel pendant lights can do wonders to your living space. Commonly used in kitchens, they hang low from the ceiling. Use them as your main light source, or cluster them in a corner in place of a lamp.
Pendant lights can also be used to create a laid-back ambiance, ideal for boho living rooms. Surrounded by bright, patterned rugs and warm, earthy furnishings, glass pendant lights accentuate the space, allowing the light to dance around the room. You can even incorporate some Mediterranean influences through a stained-glass shade bursting with colour.
Wall lamps: Perfect fit for vintage furnishings or apartment living
Ornate wall sconces are decorative and fun, adding character to those living rooms with a vintage feel. They’re also great if you’re creating a gallery wall, working seamlessly alongside vintage picture frames or mirrors. Place behind a vintage leather armchair, much like our Stamford range, for the perfect, cosy reading spot.
Wall lights allow the light to bounce across the surfaces of room to create a balanced, bright and inviting ambiance, ideal for those limited by space. They come in a range of styles, suited to any interior design, such as half-moon sconces pointing upwards or armed ones facing down.
Chandeliers: A classy touch for traditional or rustic styles
Taking inspiration from candelabras, chandeliers are timeless. The epitome of luxury living, crystal chandeliers add a touch of sophistication to any living room, and work great with traditional styles of sofas, such as the rich velvet Vivienne. Choose your bulbs wisely and your living room will be bathed in a soft and warm glow.
For something outside the box, reinvent the traditional chandelier to work alongside a rustic home. To do this, upcycle an outdated chandelier which is gathering dust in the attic or opt for a natural wood base over metal or glass. You can even incorporate a nautical touch by wrapping a bowled chandelier in rope or using a quirky base such as a ship wheel or an octopus.