Home Design Challenge: How to Get the Lighting Aesthetic Right


Do you ever walk through the rooms in your house and feel like something is off? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but something just isn’t working. You rearrange the throw pillows on the couch, cut flowers from your garden and arrange them beautifully in a new vase on the coffee table. You stand back to look at your handiwork, and…nothing. No change. It’s not right, what else can it be? You’ve already rearranged the furniture three different times in the last few weeks and have played with the idea of repainting the walls. Then it hits you: it’s the lighting! Without the right kind of lighting in the house, it doesn’t matter how well it’s furnished, it’ll never look right.

After figuring out what the problem is, it’s time to get it resolved. Interior design-focused blog Homedit tells us that selecting light fixtures for the home is just as important a detail in decorating the space as the furniture we choose to furnish it with. Let’s look at three spaces in the house — the foyer, living room and dining room — and discuss what type of lighting would be best for each room.

The Foyer

The lighting you choose to use in your home depends on the aesthetic of the space. Is it modern, rustic or classic? Does each room have a different theme, or is it all connected?

The foyer is the first room in your house that you and your guests will step into from outside. The foyer should be soothing and inviting and let your guests know that your home is a safe and comfortable space where they can sit down and relax for a while. In an interview with YLighting, lighting designer Sean O’Connor tells remodelers that scale is the “foremost” most important factor in lighting an entryway or foyer.

The point of the foyer is to welcome people inside and keep them moving into other rooms of the house. O’Connor tells homeowners to ask themselves these questions: “How is it furnished? Are there mirrors or art? What are the vistas beyond? And lastly, what are the visual cues to keep visitors moving into the next room?” To add character to the space and keep your guests moving, wall sconces will light the way. The size of the space will dictate the size of the lighting fixture and the theme of the home will dictate the sconce’s design. Using wall sconces in the foyer will tell your guests that the space is transitory and not for rooting down. People will take their coats off at the door and head to the living room in no time.

The Living Room

Again, the aesthetic of the light fixture you choose will depend on your decorating scheme and how the space is used. If it’s a room (like the living room) used often for gatherings and hang outs, you’ll want your lighting aesthetic to feel warm and alive.

Living rooms with a bit of character make for an excellent talking point and help the space feel more exciting, even enriching. Lighting the space with a chandelier (they’re not just for the dining room anymore!) will provide ambient and overhead light and can be layered with task lighting using table and floor lamps. The living room should have layered lighting, as it will help to relax your guests and keep everyone feeling happy and cozy.

A rustic chandelier for example would bring old-world charm into a contemporarily designed living space. The Edison bulbs of the rustic chandelier paired with steel arms and a wooden base would fit in with any design aesthetic. A home that doesn’t have a uniform design quality feels lived in. Do you want to feel like you’re living in a showroom? Of course not, it would feel like you couldn’t use your space. A home with some odd-matching furnishings and big fixtures feels funky and exotic — it feels fun too!

Related: Inside a 250M mansion

The Dining Room

In the dining room, you are going to want good overhead lighting. You’ll want to be able to see your guests and eat your dinner, making chandeliers and pendant lights your two best options to light up the space.

Your dining room is where you, your family and your guests gather to break bread and share conversation, so you’ll want the space to feel pleasing and relaxing to the user. To change the mood of the space, your chandelier or pendant light(s) should be set to a dimmer. For fun family feasts, the lights can be set to a high brightness level, for a romantic and intimate dinner for two, the lights can be set low, mimicking candlelight. Dimmer switches give you the power to control the light source completely, so why not get an upgrade? It’s your home, do what makes you happy!

You don’t have to buy new furniture pieces to get your home looking and feeling good, all you need to do is update a light fixture or two and you’ll have what feels like a brand-new home!

You might also enjoy: Tips for AC Installations