There has been a trend for some years now to go away from overhead lighting in rooms and in the direction of accent lighting and indirect lighting. While trendy and often considered fashionable, if you pay close attention you may be surprised to see that going away from overhead or downlights is not always giving the result you are looking for.
What look do you want?
What most people are trying to achieve in their décor is to match the beautiful photos like the ones on our interior design blog, or to copy the model room setup from the furniture store. Sometimes the elegant look of rooms in TV shows influences us whether it is a home show or a simple movie. They typically feature recessed lighting and indiscrete light strip and perhaps an occasional wall bracket light in the master bedroom or along a hall. Naturally we attempt to copy that in our own homes and they do look nice and new and different – but our results are not equal to the look achieved in any of the above referenced places. Why?
Design by Ruetemple
Professional photos, television sets and studios, and even the model rooms of the furniture stores have one thing in common – copious amount of light. Photographers set up light reflectors, use multiple flashes and spotlights, or even extended exposures to allow more light in than exists in the actual subject of the photo. The lighting on movie and TV sets include near blinding spotlights not shown in the picture but to make the frames look the way they do. Even the furniture stores may have a subdued light feel, but if you look up you will see small spotlights precisely angled on the highlighted pieces to make them stand out.
When you go with the trend to get an effect as often discussed in home magazines and your room still does not look like it does in the pictures now you know why. Of the many things discussed no one mentions that without the banks of windows in full sun and/or multiple lights set up to take the photos, any room would look like yours turned out.
Back in the spotlight
The solution is simplicity itself. If you want the model home look and true designer feel put a little more light on the subject. Use accent lighting and recessed lighting for it actual purpose of alleviating shadowed areas and put the spotlight on main areas of the room with the appropriate use of downlights and recessed spotlights.