In my ultimate design guide, “The Styleprint Design System,” we consider light from four different perspectives:
1. What is the reaction of the people who live in the space? How do they feel about its light?
2. How much natural light is there? Natural daylight makes a big difference. What are the exposure, number, and type of windows? Note the surroundings outside the home and how those affect the amount of sunlight coming in.
3. What types of artificial light are available in the room: general, mood, task? This will affect the look, feel, and function of the room. Lighting touches every aspect of decor. The artificial sources available are:
a. Overhead: chandeliers, fixtures close to the ceiling, and recessed—for general light
b. Lamps: floor, table, and desk—for tasks
c. Sconces: for general or ambience light, depending on the number in a room
d. Small (often concealed) transmitters of light: candles or canisters placed as uplights under cabinetry and concealed in molding—for ambience or mood
4. What exists now, and what is still needed for the maximum enjoyment of the room? This question is important because lighting sets the stage for the entire room and how everything in it is viewed. When evaluating lighting within a room, first determine its purpose:
a. Is it task lighting (lighting needed to perform a task, whether to read, knit, or cook)?
b. Is it general lighting (the overall illumination in a room)?
c. Is it ambient/mood lighting?
When you take the time to evaluate the where you have natural light, the type of artificial light sources you have, and the moods you want to set, you can begin to create a mix of these light sources to best meet the needs for each space in your home.