How to Diversify Your Lighting

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From the Design Dilemma Series with James Treble

As winter approaches, the light takes on a crisp grey quality. It’s beautiful, inspiring even, and best enjoyed from the comfort of indoors(!). Equally, your lighting indoors is affected by the change of seasons. It feels flatter and heavier somehow, particularly in rooms with large windows. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on your lighting aesthetic.

There’s an art to achieving the ambience you like. And it’s not just about candles and chandeliers, although they’re nice too. We chatted to designer James Treble for the insider tips.

From L to R: Tripod Search Light Table Lamp by Fat Shack Vintage and Pendant Cage Light by Fat Shack Vintage, available online at Zanui.

“Lighting is a significant element in interior design,” James says. “It can dictate mood, enhance the drama and add decorative + design detail.”

Ceiling lights L to R: Munich Pendant by Cafe Lighting, Iron Matki White Pendant Light by Casa Uno, Erato Pendant Light by SHE Lights, Garlic Light Single Pendant Light by Salsa Verde and Replica Liora Wood Tall Pendant Light by Amonson Lighting, available online at Zanui

The 3 types of lights

Each of these should be incorporated into your home:

  • Ambient – general lighting for overall illumination
  • Task – allows you to perform specific activities like reading, cooking, coiffing
  • And accent – creates visual interest and draws the eye to specific areas e.g. wall art, mirrors and other decorative accents

Replica designer lighting adds sculptural accents and visual interest.

How to apply different lighting sources to your space

  1. Consider how to best serve the function of the room

    Think about the activities that take place here. Lighting beneath cabinetry or above kitchen islands is ideal for food prep. Similarly, placing lighting near the TV will detract from the picture and strain your eyes. Opt instead for a pendant or desk lamp next to or behind where you are sitting.

  2. Add a dimmer to overhead lights

    This gives you greater flexibility with your light levels to adapt to different times of the day, your mood, your activities.

  3. Diversity your light sources

    Don’t just focus on ceiling lighting. Utilise floor lamps and table lamps for localised and overlapping light pools.

From L to R: Bessie Table Lamp by Cafe Lighting, Deer Table Lamp by Micky & Stevie, Provence Table Lamp (Set of 2) by Rouge Living, Robot Table Lamp by Rouge Living, and Links Table Lamp, Yellow by Amalfi, available online at Zanui.

The benefits of light-layering

  • You save electricity

    You only use what you need (i.e. a table lamp if you’re reading on the sofa)

  • You increase the useability of your space

    Update the atmos to match your mood or activity or create multiple areas within the one room

  • You draw attention to each room’s features

    You can highlight key elements within your home for visual impact.

Select from a host of styles from urban-industrial to Moroccan in aesthetic.

Hero image L to R: Short Winter White Table Lamp by Micky & Stevie and Rhodes Pendant Light by Rouge Living

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.