Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

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
Iriana Shiyan / Adobe Stock

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
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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).

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Recommended Videos

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
2024 home design: 9 gorgeous living room decor ideas the experts swear by
Living room design ideas to consider for the new year
Modern living room design with warm taupe paint colors

As we look forward to the new year, many homeowners are itching to uncover the living room decor trends that we can expect to dominate our spaces. From biophilic designs to artisanal pieces, 2024 home decor is all about curating a space that feels “lived-in,” eclectic, and reflects each homeowner’s individual taste and style.

We spoke to the experts to get an idea of the trends entering our living room designs as the year progresses. Here’s what we learned.

Read more
How to get a maximalist vibe with your Christmas decor (while avoiding kitsch)
Try these tips when decorating this Christmas for an eclectic, maximalist look
Colorful pink Christmas ornaments in a box

Maximalism is all about being bold with color, pattern, and design. As a maximalist, your Christmas decor is no exception! This year, maximalism has taken the interior design community by storm, emerging with its playful color palettes, unique textures and fabrics, and an optimistic approach to clutter and authentic decor.

However, as Christmas approaches, the risk of your design becoming too kitsch is ever-present. So, we’ve gathered some essential tips to avoid excess clutter or mismatched styles when decorating for the holidays.

Read more
5 clever Christmas tree decorating ideas that will wow your friends and family
Your guests will be impressed with your unique Christmas tree
Christmas tree in living room surrounded by presents

If you want to shake things up with your Christmas tree decorations this year, then we’ve got just the list for you! Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the things we look forward to the most during the holidays. It’s a chance to show off your personality and blend tradition with items passed down through generations. So, if you’re struggling to come up with the perfect way to wow your friends and family this year, check out our top five Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Add your holiday cards to your Christmas tree
Each year, families receive holiday cards by the dozens. This tradition has transcended the digital age and proven to be a nostalgic and heartwarming experience for many. If you have a few holiday cards sitting around on your table or mantel, why not put them to use as part of your tree decoration?
Place them on your tree
One simple way you can use holiday cards on your Christmas tree is by nestling them between the branches. Scatter them around the tree alongside ornaments and garland to create a beautiful and cohesive look. This option is excellent for those who are running short on time but still want to add something special to their tree. And just think, when your family and friends come around for a holiday get-together, they’ll be overjoyed that you put their cards on display.
Turn them into ornaments
If you'd prefer something smaller — or are looking for a way to repurpose the beautiful cards you got last year, you can always turn them into ornaments. Pick up some flat wood discs from your local craft store, some glitter, glue, and twine. Cut the card a bit smaller than the disc, glue it, and trim the edge with glitter. Once you glue a loop of twine to the back, it'll be ready for your tree.
Create garland
Alternatively, you could create a fun garland out of your holiday cards. If you want to get crafty (and have plenty of cards and a little time on your hands), gather up the necessary supplies to create a holiday card garland.

Read more