"A room is like a stage. If you see it without lighting, it can be the coldest place in the world." Paul Lynde (U.S. Comedian, Actor)
As summer passes and the evenings start to draw in, it’s worth considering how your home is lit, especially if you are considering going on the market. As many people like to book viewings late in the day or in the evening, it’s time to look at how you illuminate your home to make it shine whilst offering a warm welcome.
There are three types of lighting to use within interiors which will work together to create a home of warmth and light. These are:
AMBIENT LIGHT (GENERAL LIGHTING)
This type of lighting should be natural and quite flat so that a soft glow can be seen throughout. Ambient lighting is also referred to as ‘mood lighting’, allowing each room to be seen in its own ‘light’ be it a living room, bedroom, kitchen or entrance hall.
Sometimes activities/hobbies like reading, artwork, needlework, jigsaws or computer work/games require a little more light. This extra light is also required in the kitchen for preparation of meals and in the bathroom for shaving and putting on make-up. This type of light needs to be bright and directed to where the activity is taking place and when opening your home to potential buyers, this light can help to create a focal point within each room.
This is slightly different because it is not used for doing something but for highlighting an area, object, piece of art or creating a strong visual impact within a room. This is also known as ‘target’ lighting and is specifically directed to produce an effect.
In addition to all the above, I think it is worth mentioning various other points of interest I have gleaned over the years which I hope will be of interest to you.
We all have in our homes ceiling lights and probably wall lights but these don’t need to be of the traditional type or placing. Look at your ceiling and see if you could put lighting in your decorative coving to give a soft glow or use different styles of ceiling light in different areas of the same room. This is especially useful in a kitchen/family room where you will need a strong light in the preparation area but not necessarily in the dining/relaxing part of the room.
Wall lights can be used as ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’ or both. There are so many different styles of wall lights available and you can even use them to highlight the architecture of your building – have a look and see what you might be able to achieve with a little imagination.
Spot lights are also very versatile for lighting up dark corners or with a soft, warm bulb creating cosy corners to snuggle up in. These can also be put in alcoves, unused fireplaces, under stairs or as a small version of an accent light aimed up through a plant or down to a special object. When used in the ceiling of a large room, it could be useful to have them on split and dimmer switches, so the atmosphere can be altered easily. NB: dimmer switches are brilliant used in bedrooms, nurseries and living spaces.
Strip lighting is used less often nowadays but it has its uses beneath eye level kitchen units, at floor level as ‘kickboard’ lighting, in a garage or area not necessarily used for entertaining.
The 21st century has also brought us Smart Homes Lighting with various WiFi apps available for your phone or iPad to instantly change the lighting to marry up with your mood or the music you are listening to. There are also web-enabled LED home lighting systems with special bulbs which change colour and special light switches which contain all the programming required to create a new look.
I should also mention light bulbs – these have also been revolutionised. Depending on where the bulb is required it is worth considering if you would be better to use an LED (expensive but longer lasting and good for the environment) or a traditional bulb and what wattage is needed. Normal coloured light bulbs also now come in an assortment of colours (white light, warm light, soft light), so again consider where the bulb is to be used and keep all the bulbs in one area the same. There are lots of other ‘designer’ bulbs too, so see if these might be best for your home.
I hope the above ideas will help brighten your space and set the stage to showcase your home.
If you are extending or altering your property, remember to consider your lighting prior to starting the work so that the wiring/switches/plugs are all in the correct places so you don’t have to re-plaster.
If you are interested in boosting the value of your home, it is important to know your starting point. Request a free property valuation from our estate agents in Southend today, either through a property visit or an online valuation. Also, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.