We could all use a mood boost right now. Getting the lighting right at home does more than just illuminate – it can totally transform how you feel. Here’s how.

How we light our homes has developed far beyond simple utility. Lighting has become as much of a design consideration as colour schemes and floorplans. Why? Because how we light our spaces changes how we feel; how we act; and even how we use the rooms within our homes. Since we’re spending more time than ever inside our houses right now, here are a few examples of how we can illuminate each area to benefit our mood.

Hallways And Entranceways

Transform long hallways or landings into mini art galleries with clever accent lighting. Illuminate your pictures (whether actual masterpieces or your offsprings’ latest doodles) with over-picture, angled lights to add drama to the space. Or try low-level skirting board lighting to give a gentle glow in the evening that will be enough to illuminate your spaces, yet keep the mood calm and restful.

Living Spaces

How we light our living spaces will drastically affect how we see the room’s purpose. Light, bright areas can boost our productivity and make us feel more positive (they remind our brain of sunny, summer days), while darker lighting schemes can feel cosy and cossetting and tend to be spaces that we are drawn to for relaxing and lingering; think a cosy chair with a reading lamp, or a long, leisurely dinner party by candlelight.



When planning your lighting scheme think about how you want to spend your time in your living spaces and light it to encourage those feelings and activities. Colour and texture in the light itself can also be used to evoke a variety of moods. Natural materials, such as rattan and cane, will link us to nature and make us feel restful and calm, while bold-coloured glass shades can make us feel optimistic and boost our mood.

Bedrooms



There are a few bases that need to be covered with bedroom lighting. Overhead lights can appear harsh in a bedroom setting, but functional lighting is needed for dressing, doing make-up and getting ready on dark winter mornings. Yet it’s important not to forget to add some low-level lighting with bedside lamps for reading and relaxing at the end of the day, too. Opt for natural cotton or linen fabric shades to give a warm, relaxing tone to your light, allowing your body’s natural melatonin levels to rise, readying you for a good night’s sleep.

Kitchens

Well-lit spaces, preferably flooded with natural light, make us feel happier and help our bodies feel awake and alert. A well-lit kitchen will help as you prep, cook and go about your daily tasks. And since it is the room we tend to spend most time in at the start of the day, it will also boost our morning energy levels.



If you use your kitchen for eating too, add in some under-cabinet downlights or internal lights within glass-fronted cabinets. That way you can can turn off overhead spotlights once the cooking has been done and create a more intimate, relaxing atmosphere for entertaining. A simple trick is to have spotlights on a dimmer, allowing for bright light for cooking and a more subtle setting for dining.

Home Office



Lighting your workspace requires a fine balance – and it is crucial in current times. It needs to be well-lit so that you can work productively, yet harsh lights can make us feel tense and cab actually be detrimental to our productivity. Opt instead for a warm, comfortable light that allows you to work clearly, yet comfortably. If you find your energy levels lagging in winter months you may want to try a SAD lamp. A form of light therapy, SAD or Natural Light Lamps emit a bright light that hits the retina and sends nerve signals to the brain, affecting the chemical and hormone levels. In turn, this can help improve mood and energy levels that can dip in dark, winter months. There are also bedside alarm clock versions that mimic sunrise to wake your body up gently.

Outside



If you want to create a fun, sociable feel to your outdoor space, festoon lights are a great way of lighting a terrace or an al fresco living area. And though not strictly speaking a ‘lighting’ option, adding a firepit can be a great conversational centrepiece and encourage people to linger and communicate – yes, we’re choosing to focus on days ahead when socialising is a thing again.

6 Great Lighting Companies


Nest


Nest is a great online destination for contemporary designer lighting if you’re looking for a statement centrepiece, like this molten delight from Tom Dixon.

Pooky Lights



You'd be hard pushed not to find what you're looking for on this website. Pooky has lights in all shapes and guises and lampshades for all corners of your home, whatever your style. There are lots of great colourways, full information on dimensions, so you can order in confidence. And to cap it all, service is slick; your order is delivered in super fast time. .

Dusk


Devon-based Dusk Lighting has a vast inventory of lighting options. Shop by room or by style, and choose from modern fittings to designer brands. The collection by Garden Trading is perfect for illuminating your outdoor living spaces this summer.

Creative Cables



If you need to re-wire a vintage light fitting or update a traditional lamp, Creative Cables offers a range of sixty fabric-wrapped electrical cables in a rainbow of colours. Perfect for adding a twist to a simple glass base, or for suspending on-trend filament bulbs for a minimal, industrial feel.

Matilda Goad



London-based creative Matilda Goad has a range of woven ceramic lampbases, which are just the thing for adding beautiful texture and colour to your interior. Pair with her scallop-edged cotton, or cane and velvet shades for an heirloom lamp to treasure.

Pentreath & Hall



The marbled paper and silk ikat shades from Penreath & Hall are a delight to behold. With jewel coloured brights they add a pleasing glow to any reading corner and a splash of interest to a neutral colour scheme.

By Lydia Mansi
January 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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