Thursday, August 13, 2009

Living Room Lighting Design Tips

Living room lighting should be stylish yet functional.

Many people find living room lighting a dilemma, and end up sticking a couple of lamps in corners of the room and hoping for the best. With a little thought you can transform your living room, just by altering the lighting design. The correct lighting will make the room a more inviting, comfortable place to spend time. Does this Spark an idea?

Antique Lamps

An antique lamp adds individuality to your living room.

To give your living room an elegant face-lift, antique lamps are a great lighting option, perfect if you have eclectic taste and want to add character to your room. Many places sell vintage lighting, from your local Goodwill store to neighborhood yard sales to online auction sites. The beauty of vintage lamps is that they come in a variety of sizes and styles. Decide what will complement your living room furniture and color scheme; choose from wrought iron floor lamps with glass shades, art deco wall sconces, chandeliers, brightly colored Tiffany table lamps or tasteful lantern pendants. When you have your antique lamps, try them in different parts of the room to see what provides the best light. Take into account areas in which you will need brighter lights, such as beside a chair used for reading or sewing. Play with different layouts until you find one you are happy with.

Versatile Living Room Lighting

A chandelier is an impressive living room accessory.

As you spend so much time in your living room, doing a number of activities, good lighting design will accommodate all your needs. Table lamps are a must for "task lighting"; lights on tables help you read, write, sew---any activity that involves straining your eyes. Choose the bulb wattage to suit your requirements. Living rooms are often used for entertaining guests; for these occasions you do not want bright lights. Either use low-wattage floor lamps in the corners of the room, or install a dimmer switch on your overhead light, so that you can show off your stylish pendant or chandelier while controlling the mood of the room. If you have art, photographs or sculpture displayed in your living room, accent lighting will highlight these specific areas; track lighting, wall sconces and recessed downlights all work well.

Living Room Lighting on a Budget

Replace dull old lampshades to instantly update your living room.

If you are on a tight budget, but really want to update your living room, a cheap and easy solution is simply to buy new lampshades for your existing light fittings. A huge choice of fabrics, colors, patterns and styles means you can be creative and keep costs down. First determine your living room style: classical, formal, cozy or contemporary? This will help narrow down your options. Think outside your comfort zone and try something different, such as retro-patterned shades in bright colors. These look great in a living room with neutral walls and furnishings. Or pick a color---green, for example, and find lampshades in several different tones of green: bottle green, olive green, pastel green and citrus green. Tie the color scheme together with a few inexpensive scatter pillows and a throw and you will have a brand new look.

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