One of the key décor elements that can make or mar a space is ‘lighting’. Lighting not only accentuates the look of a space but also helps set the right mood and even influences the perceived size of the room. Given that it has a very significant role to play in home décor, it is imperative that lighting is given due importance right from the inception and planning stages of construction.
The importance of lighting can hardly be over emphasised as different rooms have different lighting needs and the kind of lights to be installed depends on several factors like the amount of natural light in the room, the utility of the space as well as the height in which the light is required.
“The placement and type of lighting are important aspects of interior design. Consider room size and availability of natural light to decide on the best combination. Lighting solutions should be able to not only complement the colours of your home, but also transform it into a seamless combination of functionality and style that reflects your personality,” says Vikas Gandhi, senior vice-president, lighting and premium fans, Tisva.
THE LIVING ROOM
Statement chandeliers are a perfect fit for the living room, but not the bedroom. Hence, it is important to ascertain the purpose of the space before deciding on the placement of the lights. “A high ceiling living room can afford to have ornate chandeliers and wall lighting. However, mostly, the ceilings are low these days, and false ceilings are the norm, thus one can give a washout feel to the room by providing downlighters in the coves of the false ceiling. This lighting is very streamlined in its look and feel and because of the fact that it’s hidden; the overall look of the room gets enhanced,” says Sangeeta Kapoor, founder, Melange, a signature décor brand. Layered lighting in the form of floor lamps, table lamps and cluster lights in corners are other great options for the living space.
When it comes to the bedroom, it is important to keep the tones warm and cosy, and avoid harsh lights. “Localising your light sources as opposed to illuminating the whole room with one huge ceiling light is a great way to go about it. Adding multiple small lighting points with dimmers will not just look pretty, but will help save energy too. If you have a space for a reading corner, then buy yourself a comfortable high back reading chair and put a downlighter or focus floor lamp which will be functional to read with,” says Radeesh Shetty, director, The Purple Turtles. Mood lighting, dove necks and trendy drop lights on either side of the bed are fast catching on too.
When it comes to the kitchen, functionality is paramount and white lighting is a time-tested solution. “Kitchen space is no longer restricted to old school colours and materials. People are using anything from bright yellows, pastels to muted greys in their kitchen. The kitchen light needs to be functional as well as needs to enhance the beauty of the space. One can work with a rustic drop light in the centre of the kitchen if one has a square or rectangular space. If you have a breakfast counter in your kitchen, then use a cluster of drop lights in glass or metal,” adds Shetty.
Just like everything else, innovation and style are the order of the day and plain lights are clearly passé. Industrial lighting, statement chandeliers and remote-controlled lighting mechanisms are some of the latest trends. While minimal Scandinavian looking lights that never go out of fashion have their own charm, distressed and rustic lamps are also in vogue. “Innovative lights with features like dimmability (light intensity) and tunability (colour intensity) are gaining strong demand as both are used to alter the ambience to suit the mood, occasion and the time of day. From unique sculptural design to handcrafted masterpieces in Murano glass, chandeliers continue to attract customers,” adds Gandhi.
Since there is an increasing focus on environment friendly and energy efficient options, handcrafted sustainable lights are getting popular. There are various LED and CFL lights that are greener, brighter with lesser energy consumption and minimum mercury content. The Purple Turtles has a wide range of lights which are handcrafted using sustainable materials such as banana fibre paper, faux concrete and cork.
“With smart options, one can play with colours and sync smart lights with games, music, movies etc. Other options come with voice control sensors, dimmers and these can be directly connected to phones or iPads,” adds Kapoor.
ALL IN ALL
Lighting is an effective way to add drama and glamour to a space. Apart from its functional value, it can be used to accentuate a particular spot in a room or a niche object like a painting or a rare vintage piece. The ideal lighting solution is one which combines aesthetics, functionality, style and sustainability.
RASHMI GOPAL RAO