Layering Light -How to light your room for all occasions

When thinking about lighting, most interior style blogs instructs the reader to think about what they use the room for, before  planning a lighting scheme.

I agree however I’m also aware that these days,  one room can serve for a multitude of purposes, especially when living in open plan apartments. Why not have a variety of different lighting in each room, essentially layering the light, which allows you to tailor the light scheme to its current use or mood you wish to create?

With this in mind, when styling a room, I always try to ensure it has at least 3 out of the 4 different types of lighting.

  1. Natural lighting
  2. Task lighting
  3. Ambient lighting
  4. Accent  lighting

Natural lighting

Prior to adding artificial lighting, take a look and see how much natural light a room receives. This will help you create the correct balance between practicality and aesthetics. See the bedroom image; it only has a small window so the stylist has added layers of lighting to create warmth and balance. Lets not forget that natural lighting also includes candle light and fireplaces. Use various heights of candles within lanterns, tea light holders and candlesticks to give your room a warm and inviting feel.bedroom-1

Task Lighting

This is essentially what is says. Try to ensure your room has sufficent lighting to help you carry out specific tasks whether it be cooking, doing homework, reading or getting ready in the bathroom.task-lighting

Think about adding a floor lamp next to your favourite reading chair,  a directional lamp in your study, vanity mirror lights in the bathroom and don’t forget under cabinet lights in the kitchen too. Lets keep the trips to A&E to a minimum!

Ambient Lighting

The most common of lighting, ambient lighting includes ceiling lights and wall sconces. Make a feature out of a beautiful chandelier or pendant light.If space is tight and you don’t have much availability to add additional lighting layers, consider installing a dimmer switch for your ceiling lights. This will help you create a different atmosphere depending on your mood and setting.


Accent Lighting

One of my favourite types of lighting! Accent lighting can help highlight specifics objects, vignettes and architectural detail.


When styling an empty counter corner or sideboard, I like to add a lamp into a mix. This not only adds height and finishes off your grouping perfectly but also gives added presence to your efforts and display.

Accent lighting used to highlight interesting architecture or textures such as ceiling beams or brickwork  brings attention to things we want people to see, creating a polished and sophisticated tone to your room.

To conclude, why not take a look at your room and see where you can add additional lighting layers? Try to include candles, table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling lights to good effect. When you want a warm cozy feel, light the candles and table lamp.


When you’re reading and chilling on the couch or chair, switch on the floor lamp and when cooking use the task lighting and ceiling lights. Layer your lighting, so that for every occasion or mood you’re in, you’ll have the perfect lighting to match.


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