Décormag

Decor Aid’s Guide to Lighting

Interior Design Guide

under cabinet lighting

Matching furniture pieces and personalized statement accessories are only half the battle when it comes to a home redesign. One aspect of interior design that often goes overlooked is lighting. And like every other aspect of interior design, this is all about striking a balance between aesthetics and function. There are three types of lights that you need in your home: base lighting, accent lights, and task lights. And don’t worry if you need a little bit of help. Our senior designers have these tips for getting the right lighting in your home.

Base Layer

lighting base layer

Base lighting is the first layer that you should think about. In each room of the home, have one large fixture that gives enough light for the entire space. But make sure that your base layer isn’t too bright. To give yourself optimal control over the base lighting in your apartment, we highly recommend dimmers. Check out how we used a large, defused light fixture to create a soft, glowing base layer in this windowless foyer.

Accent Lighting

lighting accent layer

Getting the right look for lighting is all about creating layers of interest. And so once you have down the base layer, you’ll want to focus on accent lights. For each large piece of furniture, you should have at least one piece of accent lighting. A chandelier will work well for your dining room, but we also like the look of a large overhanging floor lamp. Check out how we got the look in this Upper East Side luxury condo

Task Lights

task lighting

There’s no hard set rule for task lighting other than personal preference. Pick out the places in the home where you’re likely to curl up with a book and place a small task lamp there. We placed a lamp from Restoration Hardware next to this comfortable sofa, to create a cozy late-night reading spot.

Under-the-Counter Lights

under cabinet lighting

A task light isn’t just for reading. If you want to give your kitchen a quick upgrade, consider some under-the-counter lights, so that you can see what you’re doing when you’re slicing and dicing. Check out how we got the look in this mid-century palace on the Upper East Side.

Built-in Strip Lights

built-in strip lighting

If there’s a part of your home that’s constructed with a gorgeous material, consider adding a built-in strip light to show it off. This San Francisco home office is designed for concentration, and the built-in strip lighting helps highlight the beautiful dark wood.

Natural Light

lighting natural light

Don’t forget about the world’s biggest source of light: the sun! Your window treatments will have a huge impact on how much natural sunlight your home receives. It won’t be of much help once the sun sets, but sheer curtains will help keep your room light and breezy during the daytime. Check out the sheer white curtains that we placed in this light-filled high-rise.

HAVING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DIY? Email us! Our senior designers are here to offer free advice.