When I walk into a room, I always tend to run to the window to either see the view or take a look at the light coming into the room and seeing how the room looks from that vantage point. I’ve always been this way. It’s amazing how much lighting can change your perception of a room. If you don’t get what I am saying, walk out of any room and walk back in look toward the window — you will notice the room looks darker. Then if you walk toward the window and look at the room, it should appear lighter and brighter.
Light is an interesting and important element when it comes to designing a room. It can change the way a color is taken in, it can change the way you perceive a pattern and it can also change the amount of space you perceive. Here are some tips:
—When designing and building a new home, lineup windows and glazed doors to allow for light to stream through and an additional bonus of ventilation.
—Most homes can be retrofitted with overhead lighting for even balanced lighting.
—Wall colors affect the brightness of a room. Rooms that are painted in light colors tend to bounce the light and make the light appear to glow. Darker colors tend to absorb the light and make the rooms seem dim even though they may have a strong source of light.
—Designing rooms so they are bright and light requires some planning. If possible it is recommended that windows are kept bare, so as to invite the light to come in and shine.
—Selecting reflective surfaces such as shiny or glossy floors help the light bounce off the floor and back onto walls.
—White or other similar light color such as an oyster gray, very light beige or pale ivory will help brighten your interior space.
—Accessorizing with glass or crystal accessories always helps capture light. Glazed ceramics also catch light and help bounce the light. Silver accessories act like mirrors.
—A well-placed chandelier will capture secondary sources of light and add sparkle to the room.
—Use mirrors in your decor. Strategically place them opposite windows or doorways where they can catch the light.
—Distribute table lamps at strategic places in your room to highlight an area. Make sure there are some overlaps in lighting, both overhead and task lighting so the room has a balanced feel.
—The sheen on leather or vinyl furniture help make a room seem brighter.
—Decorate using candles or votive candles on tabletop. Your tabletop accessories will shine.
—Wireless strands of light in a jar or glass container makes for a light decoration.
—Group your seating near a window or mirror.
—Avoid carpets or area rugs. These absorb the light and keep the light from bouncing.
When in doubt about light issues, I recommend taking a flash-less picture of your room. This trick will reveal any problems in lighting and allow you to be properly lit.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.