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Lighting is essential to incredible home design — try these 4 amazing ideas

Whenever you redecorate a room, there’s a lot to consider: flooring, furniture, color schemes, and much more. But home lighting can sometimes be something of an afterthought — and it shouldn’t. Lighting is the perfect way to bring together a design and is often the key to a successful renovation.

There is a lot to consider when determining your home’s lighting design. There are different types of light fixtures on the market, and the type of design you choose should reflect your personality and the overall aesthetic of your home. Whether you’re opting for a top-down remodel or just want to update a room or two, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before making any big lighting decisions. Fixtures aren’t cheap, so it’s important to be sure you’re buying the best ones for your intent for the space. Here are a few things to think about when adding or updating a lighting feature.

Rustic dining room with modern accents

Play up your design choice

If you’ve landed on, say, rustic decor for your home, you can play up that style by choosing lighting that highlights the features that made you fall in love with the design in the first place. For a rustic, farmhouse living room, choose lighting that elicits that warm, cabin-like feel. Rustic light fixtures tend to feature natural wood, shades made from fabric like linen, and warm metals like copper that bring that cozy feeling to the space. What’s more, putting dimmers on your rustic lighting can give you the flexibility to shift to softer lighting when you’re tucking in to watch a movie or play a family game.

green kitchen cabinets

A nod to the home’s era

Lighting can be a great way to pay homage to your home’s history, especially if it was built a century ago. The architectural details of stained glassed windows, transoms, wainscoting, and high ceilings make these older homes look so stunning, so why not make these elements come to life? Consider finding a fixture that speaks to the age of the home. It doesn’t have to be vintage necessarily, but it should look antique in its design. For example, we love this Forged Iron chandelier from Pottery Barn for its simple and classic look. It adds a touch of antique charm (with all the benefits of modern lighting requirements).

Get creative

Lighting can (and should) be a fun design element in a room, especially those that tend to have statement pieces like the living room, dining room, or other entertainment spaces where you host friends and family on the regular. To insert some character into your lighting, choose lamps of all shapes, sizes, and colors that are coordinated but not matching. This leaves you with a more eclectic design that shows off your creativity and personality. Consider, for example, pairing this more traditional blue and white table lamp with these bright, contemporary yellow lamps, both from Wayfair.

Go industrial

Industrial lighting complements just about any design scheme, be it rustic, modern, Art Deco, or traditional. The clean lines and classic feel pull together, giving your chandeliers, table lamps, sconces, and floor lamps a contemporary look that’s softened by the use of natural, aged materials. This lighting gives the appearance of an old factory or warehouse and can stand out as a unique focal point in any room. We recommend setting them with teardrop vintage light bulbs to add an antique twist to the lighting design. Choose from various metals in wrought iron, brass, brushed nickel, and steel to offer a classic look for any space.

All of the options above allow you to encourage a little bit of your personality to shine through your lighting choices. Whether over or understated, pay close attention to the lighting you choose in any room. Lighting fixtures add to the overall design and enhance the mood and charm of any space. Brighter lights inspire focus and alertness whereas soft, mood lighting promotes relaxation and socialization. Either way, think about the fashion and function of your illumination to make sure your home is the oasis it deserves to be.

Lighting can (literally) brighten up a dark spot in your home, both with the light itself and the personality of the space. Choosing lighting options that blend into your room’s overall design is a safe way to round out the design, but with any design choice, you can also play with colors, patterns, and sizes to make them stand out from the room. One thing to keep in mind is that choosing a certain lighting style in one room doesn’t mean you have to stick to that for other spaces in your home. Lighting, like textiles, can be a fun way to play with your design so don’t be afraid to refresh and remodel over time to reflect your changing tastes and the ever-evolving trends.

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Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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