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Warming Winter Light

Lighting is an essential element of interior design and one that has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of a space. Bad lighting can drastically change the look of those gorgeous made to measure curtains or make a beautiful wallpaper ominous and eerie. The right lighting should enhance the bits you love most but conceal the bits we want to hide. At the end of year when the days are short and the dark nights long, clever lighting should be your best friend. By that we don’t mean put up ALL the fairy lights, you might think you’ll be happy sitting in the dark with Christmas lights flashing along to Mariah Carey’s ‘AlI I Want for Christmas Is You’, but realistically this isn’t relaxing or practical. Think spilled mulled wine and a cracking headache. Instead use atmospheric lighting to enhance textures, create warming vibes and create a cosy sanctuary.

Colour is key

What do you mean colour, unless it is a red/blue bulb all light is the same isn’t it? The answer is no, there are many different variants of light and it’s important to think of this and what the function of the space will be when choosing lighting. Light changes in our homes 24 hours a day, in turn changing the way the room feels and how the colours look. You can have warm or cool light depending on the bulbs you choose and these colours affect mood, sleep cycle and even productivity.

Warm light, otherwise known as incandescent, is a warming amber, peach colour and will highlight colours such as red, orange and yellow, making the colours more vivid and the space cosy and inviting. Warm light also helps people relax and prepare for sleep, so works especially well in bedrooms, sitting rooms and even hallways.

Cool white, a more neutral white with a slight blue tint, is a more productive, wakeful and stimulating colour and works well in high-use areas such as the kitchen, home office or bathroom. But be careful, although functional the bathroom is also an area of relaxation and no one wants to see themselves before bed, sans make-up, under the cold glare of a cool white downlight! Consider putting in a mix of warm and cool lighting in bathrooms.

Daylight bulbs, meant to mimic natural light, emit a warm, sunny bright white or bluish glow and are great for rooms that don’t get much natural outside light. But when it comes to cosy, intimate lighting, go warm all the way or even turn off the lights and light the umpteen candles on display around the room - - - like cushions, you can never have too many candles!

Layer your lighting

If you’re looking to create a cosy, inviting space then layered lighting is key. Position lamps on low tables so the light is at head height when sitting, as this casts a lovely glow. Floor lamps should be positioned so as to cast a directional glow, not an invasive light. You want a glow that envelopes you, not a glare that illuminates you. Less is more when it comes to cosy and relaxing. Make sure to incorporate wall lights - - - overhead lighting can be harsh and cold. Wall lights can be used to soften a room, highlighting architectural features such as cornicing or fireplaces. And we can’t overlook fairy lights or string lighting; these fun, playful lights aren’t just for Christmas, they create a fun, relaxed sprinkling of happiness wherever they are positioned.

fireplace candle light cosy living room with fireplace and candle light

Go hygge or go home

Create atmosphere not illumination. If you’re looking to create a cosy, inviting interior then take inspiration from the Scandinavian countries who have been doing atmospheric, cosy lighting for centuries! As there is little to no daylight at certain times of the year, Scandinavians rely heavily on artificial lighting and they have come up with some innovative ideas to brighten their spaces and inject that feeling of sunshine on a rainy day! As well as cleverly positioned lights, warm and cool bulb candlelight is key. The soft glow given off by candles is an instant mood booster and simulates the warmth of fire. Try placing them at different heights to build ambience and add interest.

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