Our Interior Designer, Nicole, has been part of the Pavilion Broadway team for just over 5 years. When it comes to lighting, she certainly knows her stuff! She's taken over the blog this week to tell us some of her top interior design lighting tips and tricks. So, whether your room is small, large, round or square, she's given us some expert interior designer insights into how to buy the right lighting size and style to suit your home. Read on to explore her home lighting tips...
Nicole's Top Interior Design Lighting Tips
Where Can I Hang Chandeliers?
Chandeliers look beautiful located anywhere in the home but are ideal for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. When hanging in open areas, they should be at least 220cm from the ground to avoid anybody knocking their heads on them - even your tallest friends! Placing chandeliers above a dining or coffee table is a particularly popular trend amongst my interior design clients. These should be fitted above the eyeline (approximately 150cm from the floor, depending on the seat height).
Things to Consider
Bear in mind that some chandeliers have a fixed length while others come with an adjustable chain meaning that you can choose your desired height. If you require adjustability, it is always worth checking this before you buy a ceiling light. Chandeliers can also look particularly beautiful when placed above a large open stairwell. For those that span multiple floors, choose a longer light fitting. And if your ceiling is particularly high, don't forget to think about how you'll change the bulbs!
How Should I Hang My Chandelier?
My Interior Design Lighting Tips
As with most elements of interior design, symmetry is key. When placing your chandelier or ceiling light, centre it in the room alongside your dining table, coffee table or bed where possible. This will create a smart and symmetrical scheme that will look well defined. If it's a larger dining table, try using multiple ceiling lights (see island lighting below) or wider lights. Think about the scale of the light and how well it fits into the room. Dimmable fittings offer the flexibility to create a selection of relaxed and more vibrant moods for different occasions.
How Do I Space Pendant Lights Over An Island?
A Balance of Function & Form
You might think that working out how high or low to hang pendant lights over a kitchen island is simple. But in reality, there is quite a science behind it! It's all about creating the balance of function and form. You want your pendants to look amazing but also be placed at a level that is functional for everyday or family life.
The Rule of Three
When hanging lights over a kitchen island, one of my interior design lighting tips is to select two round or three long and slim pendants. Space them equally over the island, using your best eye for detail to ensure that they aren't hung too close together or too far apart. Making sure that they don't hang below eye level when you are standing is a great way to judge whether or not you have the height positioned correctly.
Lastly, choose your lighting carefully depending on the size of your kitchen island. If you have a smaller counter, go for pendants with smaller shades to achieve the best effect. Don't choose a large, dramatic light fitting if it is going to overpower you kitchen scheme. Below are a couple of lighting layout guides I have put together to advise you on how to place and space your pendants in relation to the surface size and seating height:
How Can I Light A Small Space?
Lighting Hallways & Landings
Fortunately, the variety of lighting designs on the market ensures that even if your interior is small, you needn't compromise on a stylish light fitting. For rooms with low ceilings, one of my top interior design lighting tips is to use flush fittings or wall lights. Sitting tight to the ceiling, flush ceiling lights can add interest and style to a space, without becoming overwhelming. If using wall lights for hallways and landings, don't forget to think about how this light will look from the side. The trick with lighting a smaller space is choosing a fitting that doesn't project too far and make your interior feel smaller.
But Aren't Wall Lights Out of Fashion?
Absolutely not! In fact, I'd argue that wall lights are very much on trend and our collection of wall lighting proves that. I use wall lights readily throughout my contemporary and modern interior design projects to highlight particular areas of interiors and create ambient living rooms. The range of designs on the market are really diverse at the moment, offering much more than the traditional and classic styles of the past.
Styling Floor Lamps
Which Floor Lamps Give The Best Light?
Floor lamps with large, light coloured shades will emit lots of light. When choosing a lamp with a shade, it is also important to consider the lining. Gold lining will reflect the light both up towards the ceiling and down towards the floor. Whereas a white lining will allow the light to pass through the shade, casting an ambient glow. Always take time to consider the wattage of the bulb. This will effect how much light is given off, so experiment with different bulbs until you find your desired effect.
What Type Of Floor Lamps Are Good For Reading?
While they may not give off as much light as other floor lamps, direction floor lamps are perfect for task lighting in cosy reading corners. These can often be angled to your desired level of illumination using an adjustable mechanism or swing arm.
How to Choose A Table Lamp
What Size Table Lamp Should I Use?
There are so many beautiful table lamps to choose from to compliment a variety of interior schemes. I love using table lamps in my interior design projects to create a statement or subtly add light to otherwise dark corners. Consider scale when choosing your lamps. I'd recommend one of my top interior design lighting tips: use small table lamps for bedsides and large for living rooms. Try framing artwork with a pair of table lamps on a console or sideboard - just make sure to choose table lamps that don't obscure your art!
What Lampshade Do I Need?
Make sure to check what size shade you will need to match your lamp base. There's no particular science to this as it depends on the look you are going for. I would advise looking at the size of your lamp base and considering what type of shade will sit best with your interior scheme. A boxed or rectangular shade will match the clean lines of a smart and uniform space, while rounded shades will create a softer, more relaxed look.
Consider Your Scheme
Whilst matching table lamps are most suitable for sideboards, console tables and bedsides, the living room is the place to get creative with your lighting choices. Try mix and matching lamps in your living room to create a beautiful multilayered effect. This means you won't be limited to a single lamp design. You can put different styles together to create a unique look that is just as sophisticated. Always consider how your room is going to be used. By combining different types of lighting at a variety of heights - bright spotlights on the ceiling alongside dimmable lights on the walls, followed by cosy lamps on side and coffee tables - you can create the appropriate mood for any occasion.