Amanda Hanley by Design |  Interiors, kitchens, furniture and fabric | Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire
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Planning Your Lighting Part 1

Planning Your Lighting Part 1

A great lighting plan can really bring out the best in a room. It can create a unique atmosphere, highlight the things you like about it and help to hide the nooks, crannies and areas you don’t.

There are five types of lighting:
1. Background lighting is the minimum needed for you to see your surroundings and create some basic ambiance
2. Task lighting is a directional light over a surface where you will perform a task, like a kitchen surface, a desk in a studio, or a reading chair in a library. How bright it should be depends on what you’re doing, but shouldn’t produce glare or cast shadows as this will cause eye strain.
3. Decorative lighting should be beautiful to look at and highlight something fabulous in your room. This would include chandeliers, lamps, sculptural wall lights oranything that can grab your attention and be a focal point. You could also employ small spotlights pointing from below, to the side or above at beautiful curtains, a painting, a display of treasured items or anything else that you love.
4. Safety lighting is very important, especially on stairs and in entrances and does not have to be boring. It can highlight that interesting stairway or archway and increase the feeling of space.
5. Mood lighting lets you change the atmosphere by simply changing the light. This is particularly useful in rooms you use for more than one thing: a kitchen/diner or living room doubling as a study. This can be achieved by layering light, so that different combinations can be used for different occasions; and the use of dimmers to change the subtlety and intensity of the light.

How do you decide which styles of lighting to use? If you know how you are going to use the room it’s easier to decide where you need the light.

Too much light will be overbearing and, paradoxically, make the room feel gloomy and depressing; and that natural light is constantly changing according to whether it is sunny or dull, changing through the day and with the seasons. Flexibility is so important.
Getting it right can make all the difference to your room and total decorative style, whereas getting it wrong can change the first or last impression from ‘wow’ to ‘hmmm.’ So get the right advice, get the right lights, talk to someone who knows and can help you with the vital finishing touches that the right lighting can bring.

Amanda concludes her feature on lighting in next month’s OX.
In the meantime, why not visit her gallery and showroom at
69 High Street, Burford, OX18 4QA.
Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday, Sunday by appointment

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