Above all else, light is the layer in interior design that’s about function. Light is a need whereas colour and texture are wants, but it’s not as simple a just making sure there’s enough light to read (or do anything else) by.
Harnessing light’s decorative side is one of the most transformative effects that you can have on your room. Pendants become a focal point, recessed ceiling lights done right can mimic nature’s dappled shades, downcast wall lights can highlight architectural features or provide a gentle level of light without taking up much space, table lamps let the light diffuse softly through the shade, and floor lamps create discreet puddles in a room’s corner or over the edge of a sofa. Dimmers give you the power to produce bright beams or pockets of shaded light, and warm white bulbs are the most comfortable to live with.
Not forgetting the beautifully incidental effect that natural light has on your room. It casts shadows that become almost decorative, it changes the way that a colour appears on your walls as the day progresses, and importantly, it can completely dictate ambiance, taking it from lively to lulling in a matter of hours. Understanding how, where and when natural light fills your room is therefore a crucial part of interior design. The key is to develop a lighting plan that’s sympathetic to it, with artificial light that supports what natural light is available and that creates the mood you have in mind when light levels drop or when the sun has set.