residential kitchen lighting

Lighting Up Your Home with Love

Lighting plays a crucial role in interior design, as it not only illuminates spaces but also enhances ambiance, highlights architectural features, and influences mood and movement through the space. We want to think of our homes as places of refuge and love for ourselves, for our families and for our friends. Lighting, as a component of your overall interior design, will aid in doing that.

Lighting plays a crucial role in interior design, as it not only illuminates spaces but also enhances ambiance, highlights architectural features, and influences mood and movement through the space.  We want to think of our homes as places of refuge and love for ourselves, for our families and for our friends.  Lighting, as a component of your overall interior design, will aid in doing that.

Some commercial examples will illustrate this idea very well:

Think of when you walk into a Walmart or Target. What does the light feel like? It’s bright. It’s white. It’s a bit glaring. It’s designed to move you through the space quickly and make fast decisions to buy more items.

Now think of a higher end department store such as Dillard’s or Macy’s. The lights are incandescent and have a warmer tone. This lighting is designed to move you through the space more slowly. The idea is to have you slow down, consider higher ticket items carefully and spend more money. 

Another example would be restaurants. Think about going into a McDonald’s. Again here, the light is bright and a bit glaring.  (Also, the chairs are comfortable for about 15 minutes.)  The idea is for fast food is for you to be served quickly, for you to eat quickly, and for you to move on so more customers can be served, also quickly.

Now consider a fine Italian restaurant. The lights are warm and dim.  The atmosphere is romantic and welcoming.  (Also, you can sit in the chairs comfortably for several hours) They’re hoping that you have a before-dinner drink and an appetizer, with an expensive main course. You are welcome to linger for an after-dinner drink or an extra bottle of wine and have dessert and coffee. And again, you will spend more money. 

These are some commercial applications for lighting. But you can also use lighting in many ways, in your own home.  If you like the feeling in a particular store or at a restaurant, or maybe in a high end hotel, then you could recreate that feeling in your home. You can start by noticing what the lighting choices are in that environment.  You can then blend some of those elements in your lighting designs at home.

beautiful iluminated bathroom

Here are some common elements and types of lighting you can use in the interior design of your home to create the atmosphere you like:

Ambient Lighting, also known as general lighting, provides overall illumination to a space. It creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere and ensures that the room is adequately lit for everyday activities. 

Examples of ambient lighting include recessed ceiling lights, track lighting, and chandeliers.

Task Lighting is focused illumination designed to assist in specific tasks or activities, such as reading, cooking, or working at a desk. It provides concentrated light in areas where additional brightness is needed. 

Examples of task lighting include desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, and pendant lights over kitchen islands.

Accent Lighting is used to highlight architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements within a space. It adds depth and visual interest to the room by creating focal points and drawing attention to specific areas. 

Examples of accent lighting include wall sconces, picture lights, and track lighting aimed at wall displays.

Natural Lighting refers to the use of sunlight to illuminate interior spaces. It creates a sense of warmth and openness and is prized for its ability to enhance mood and well-being. Use of glass allows natural light to enter the space and can reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.

Examples of good use of natural light are the addition large windows, skylights, and glass doors.

Decorative Lighting serves as both a functional and aesthetic element in interior design. It adds visual interest and personality to a space through unique shapes, colors, and materials. 

Examples of decorative lighting include statement chandeliers, pendant lights with decorative shades, and sculptural floor lamps.

The following specialty lighting can be used to create certain effects:

Under-Cabinet Lighting is installed beneath kitchen cabinets.  Under-cabinet lighting provides task lighting for countertop workspaces. It illuminates the surface below, making it easier to prepare food, read recipes, and perform other kitchen tasks.

Track Lighting consists of a linear track mounted to the ceiling or wall with adjustable light fixtures attached along the track. It offers flexibility in directing light where needed and can be used for both ambient and accent lighting purposes.

Recessed Lighting fixtures are installed into the ceiling, providing a clean and minimalist lighting solution. They are often used for ambient lighting in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways, as well as for accent lighting in alcoves or niches.

Wall Washers are fixtures designed to bathe walls in light, creating a soft and diffused glow. They are commonly used to highlight textured walls, artwork, or architectural details, adding depth and visual interest to the space.

Step Lighting is installed along staircases, pathways, or outdoor steps to enhance safety and visibility. It provides low-level illumination to guide foot traffic and prevent accidents, especially in areas with changes in elevation.

These are just a few examples of the various types of lighting used in interior design. By incorporating a combination of ambient, task, accent, and decorative lighting, you can create a well-lit and visually appealing space that meets your functional and aesthetic needs.

One Design Place can assist with any questions or help you choose lighting.

Schedule your free One Design Place Consultation today and see your dream become reality!

One Design Place is a full-service interior design firm specializing in transforming Houston homes and can help with upgrades for enjoyment or with a sale in mind. Cynthia Cannizzaro, owner of One Design Place, believes that “when a person has a home that is created with their lifestyle in mind, it truly makes a difference in their everyday life.”

One Design Place was recently showcased in the Memorial Lifestyle Magazine.


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