Light Up Your Life!

Hey all!  I’m not sure if any of you know this about me, but one of my degrees is in Interior Design.  After a couple years in the industry, I decided to leave as I quickly learned that I’d rather build you a house than pick out curtains.

However, my number one pet peeve (more than pictures that are too high or crooked) is lighting or your lack of lighting.  Most people do not have enough light or the proper kinds of lighting for a room.  So, I thought I’d educate us all on the different types of lighting…it should be layered.

There are four types of lighting:

Ambient or General Lighting: This is your basic fundamental overhead lighting (in most cases).  Ambient lighting should generally light the entire room & usually sets the mood.  In a lot of new homes general lighting is now on dimmers, which I approve of! ambient.gif

Task Lighting: Task lighting should be somewhat self-explanatory; this is the type of lighting that assists you while performing specific tasks.  In some rooms this would be a table lamp or desk lamp; in a kitchen this may be the light over the stove or under cabinet lighting (such a good investment).

Accent Lighting: This type of lighting is used to draw attention to something specific like a piece of art.  It should be used to create visual interest.

Natural Light: Some people do not consider natural light to be a “type,” but I consider it to be the unofficial fourth type.  This one is my personal deal breaker. Who doesn’t want big open windows with a view?  I am one of those people that isn’t a fan of being in nature, but wants to look at it from the window.  Make sure your curtains open wide enough to get the view, but also full enough if you ever want to shut them.

Okay, so back to my biggest pet peeve…buy some lamps, people!!!  If you have an end table next to a sofa or chair – it needs a lamp.  That lamp should be taller than you are while sitting…making it a task light.  I’ll confess that in my living room, I rely entirely on accent lighting & natural light.  In the five years I’ve lived in my house, the overhead light has been turned on maybe once.

Just like in your everyday life, your lighting needs to be able to multi-task.  I never walk into a room that is overly lit; if anything, it’s too dark.  I often hear the excuse, “If I get a lamp for that table my kids will destroy it.”  Not good enough!  Kids should learn the value of nice things, or the difference between right & wrong, or perhaps you’re not giving your kiddos enough credit.  Consider a lamp an accessory…you never go wrong with an accessory or two.

General lighting is often too harsh or not focused enough.  Thus task lighting is so important.  Personally, I think accent lighting is the least important, but makes a huge impact.  My dream house will have plenty of accent lighting! 🙂

Rant over.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!  See you back here on Monday for the Bachelor!

Kiss Hug,

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