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These decorating & design lighting tricks create the illusion of space

Ask any interior designer and they will tell you that lighting a room is one of the most important – if not the most important – aspect of designing and decorating a room. Lighting determines a room’s mood and tone. Lighting a small room to help it look bigger is often on people’s DIY agenda. There are certain tricks or guidelines you can follow to help create the illusion of space.

Avoid a single high wattage

One error that homeowners make is using lighting with high wattage that floods the room with bright light, highlighting every corner and piece of furniture with one flick of a switch. A small room benefits from softer lighting which does not have a high wattage. It’s also important to highlight areas of the room differently – so that the eye is taken on a journey – thus creating the illusion of more space for you to explore.

Soft lighting let these rooms shine.

Soft lighting let these rooms shine.

Uplighters work best in a small space

The basic rule when working in a small room is to make sure there are many opportunities as possible for light to reflect. So, instead of opting for one single main light in the center of the ceiling, go for wall lights (or uplighters) from a lighting store like Tesco, which force light upwards to reflect off the ceiling and all across the room. An interior design and decor specialist will have the expert eye to tell you what type of lighting should go where in your home.

interior uplighting

Create lighting continuity wherever possible

Small spaces also need less of a contrast between walls, flooring, furniture and ceiling to boost scale. Here’s how you should design your space:

  • Choose a lighter wall paint (and light floor colour);
  • Go for light coloured or sheer window screens (or none at all), to let in as much natural light as possible;
  • Keep the room’s colour palette consistently light to maximize the reflection of artificial and natural light.

natural light

Furnish with reflective surfaces

One common strategy to reflect light is to hang a giant wall mirror which makes a room look longer and wider. However, other furnishings can help achieve a sense of space – go for light, reflective surfaces including pieces like a large coffee table or kitchen table. Where do you go to find the right accessories to furnish your place? Our directory of furniture and home accessories stores is a good place to start!


Different rooms need different lighting tactics

Bathrooms tend to be smaller, so make sure dark corners and shadows are eradicated with floor lighting or cabinet lights. Bedrooms, on the other hand, benefit from mood or dimmer lighting, which will create more depth and space in a room. The living room and halls could benefit from sensor lights, which will immediately help throw light into the space and make a great first impression.

room lighting

Ready to have fun with lighting in your home? We can put you in touch with the right experts to make it happen. Use our directory to find an interior design and decor specialist who can help you determine which areas need what kind of lighting. Visit a furniture store to purchase your lighting materials and have one of our electricians install them in your newly renovated home.

About the Author: Daniel Bailey is an contributor. A home renovation & improvement enthusiast, he wants to educate readers on important matters involving home ownership.

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