Home & Garden

Change lighting to brighten your rooms

Ask a designer or decorator about how to dramatically change the look of a room, and lighting is often the answer. And it’s true. The right amount of light can make tasks easier. Lighting can create a certain mood. Lighting can also make a room look garish or dated.

The quick switch

Too often room lighting is simply too dim. This can often be the case with glass dome ceiling fixtures in bathrooms or bedrooms.

If the glass dome has any coloring, this can severely cut down on the amount of light in the room. One way around this is to substitute a pendant light fixture. In a bedroom, a drum pendant light can look great, as can a chandelier. In a small space, such as a bathroom, try a small chandelier with open lighting. Best of all, both options can be dimmable.

Ceiling light

There’s no disputing the warm glow that recessed lighting provides. While adding this type of lighting can be expensive, the effect is fabulous and up to date. Today’s recessed lighting doesn’t feature huge lights anymore. The newer LED and halogen ceiling lights are much smaller. If this option is beyond your budget but you want to add something new, think about track lighting.

A new track

Track lighting has also changed over the years; giant cans with huge bulbs are history. The tracks now come in straight, curved and circular forms in a variety of decorative styles. You can choose small to large spotlights and pendants.

This option lets you bring lighting to the ceiling, and adding pendants over a kitchen island on tracks is practical if you only have one electrical box in the ceiling. Installing track lights is also an easier do-it-yourself job than tackling recessed lighting. Track lights are especially effective for long, dark hallways, in the kitchen, and along walls to highlight unique architectural features or to wash walls with light.

Small lights

While big fixtures create drama and interest, sometimes it’s the little touches that add the right amount of punch. Try adding lighting over a work of art to make the piece stand out. Tuck small lamps in bookshelves and intimate dark corners for added warmth and interest. Small stained glass lamps in various shapes are interesting and add color to small, dim spaces.

If you already have recessed lighting, consider adding a wall-washing shield to give walls a light bath. Lots of folks add dimmers to chandeliers and recessed lighting, so why not put dimmer switches on your table lamps? Even this small touch can add an appealing golden glow to a room.