Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lights camera action

Nothing seems more apparent when re-styling the Romantiques studio than the importance of proper and strategically placed lighting.

That's what occured to me today when faced with the task of moving around the settings in our studio, to make space for all the new pieces we've been working on (and that's another story!) but also to change it around a little to contribute to everybody's sense of atmosphere and creativity- it's something that we're very much about here at Romantiques.

But the lighting...definitely a factor to consider when planning and designing your spaces, a very important factor. Light is the element that sets the entire mood of the room, which causes a range of mindsets for the people that inhabit the space. Think about it- what good is a calming evening without ambiant lighting and clusters of golden, flickering candlelight? Or what good is that investment painting on the wall without accent lighting to illuminate it? Even the pool...how can you take a dip on a balmy night without the proper lighting? You know it makes sense.

There are basically four types of lighting to think about, I'll tell you a little about each one.

Natural Lighting- Rooms can be arranged to take advantage of the position of the sun at different times of day. This type of lighting is also called kinetic lighting because the light from outside moves. It is one of the less reliable types, as it is affected by the seasons and the weather, but natural lighting can produce an effect unequaled by any artificial light source when used properly. Natural lighting comes through skylighting and windows depending on the time, season or weather. It varies in intensity and brightness.

Ambiant Lighting- Ambient lighting provides illumination for the whole room, and can be a hidden light source that washes the room with a glow. It creates very few shadows and is rather flattering. Perfect for romantic evenings- sigh. When choosing ambient lighting, you may want to think about installing a dimmer adaptability. Ambient lighting includes recessed downlights, cove lighting, valance lighting sconces, track lighting, chandeliers and portable fixtures. And don't forget the candles- those little pinpricks of brightness, so easy on the eye.

Task Lighting- This is a more practical lighting strategy, highlighting an area for daily activities such as reading, cooking, and desk work. Effective task lighting prevents eyes strain and helps with the performance of vital activities. The kitchen is a particularly good place to incorporate task lighting in your interior design. Task lighting sources should be unobtrusive and shielded to prevent glare. Task lighting can be effectively combined with accent lighting to produce lovely effects. Examples include valance lighting, pendant lights and portable fixtures such as desk lamps or task lamps- such a stylish addition to any desk.

Accent Lighting- Accent lighting focuses on illuminating an object like wall art, a statue or an architectural element of your space. It is provides more illumination than ambient light. You want to be able to enjoy and appreciate that beautiful work of art, and nowhere is the importance of accent lighting more obvious than in art galleries. Believe me, the art wouldn't always look so spectacular without the proper illumination. It would be like trying to see through dirty glasses. Wall washers, spotlights, sconces and track lighting are examples of accent lighting.

Remember, when modifying the lighting in your home, it's best to develop a plan covering the purpose, the desired mood and how you want to emphasize architectural and decor elements. The addition of lighting such as sconces and lamps can enhance any room. And remember to be creative about it, just think of all the lampshade possibilities...endless!


xx