Interior Deluxe talked to Temenouzhka Zaharieva , an Interior Designer from Sofia, about Living Room Lighting and How to create a good mood in your living space by using great lighting.
Interior-Deluxe: What’s important to keep in mind when lighting a living room?
TZ: Lighting is one of the most exciting elements of interior design, and yet one that can still be neglected. Especially by clients, mostly because they are not aware of the many possibilities that lighting can bring to the overall impact of a room – both, during the day when not switched on, but it can be a great accent piece with its design, and in the darkness of the night when we can create different moods just with the help of lighting.
The old days of the single pendant light in the middle of the room are becoming a distant memory, a good living room lighting today means a good mix of lighting for all the different activities that we usually share in the living room:
– sconces, for example, supply soft accent lighting and define a conversation area or area around the fireplace
– a reading lamp one can direct onto the pages;
– lighting to show off your favorite things;
– cabinet lighting – on top of a bookcase;
– a ceiling lamp hanging on a low table in a conversation area for an evening spent entertaining with friends or with the family, etc.
With the right living room lighting, you can have a space that’s perfect for all the activities we have in it, but function is not everything – lighting is the perfect tool for creating the desired atmosphere in any interior. It can make otherwise uninteresting room into a very cozy and inviting place – even if it does not have much furnishings in it. In general, a few lamps around the room will create a nice mood and allow changing it according to the desire or requirements of the moment.
Like any other interior design object lighting can be used to make a style statement or express personal artistic preferences – elaborate lighting fixtures can be beautiful works of art themselves. An interesting fixture on a table or shelf can be a great accent as well as an added light source to a dark corner.
ID: What atmospheres would you like to create?
TZ: Depends on the desire of the client. But if you ask for my personal preferences – I like the soft cozy atmosphere. To create it I like to use reflected light – it helps you make your living room lighting more subtle and cozy. When you use light directed to the ceiling or the wall, it does not irritate the eyes, it just creates a beautiful light background.
And I like also a more flexible lighting design. One of my favorite designers, Patricia Urquiola, has created a beautiful lamp design inspired by the bulbous form of the Japanese matcha whisk used in preparing green tea. But Chasen Suspension Lamp’s design is not only with adjustable light emission, it has also the flexibility to change its form – with a simple turn of a handle, located on the top of the light, Chasen elongates from it’s bulbous shape. When turned clockwise, the bulb body rises; turned counter-clockwise, it lowers and extends completely to fit the space or design of the room.
Also, it is worth fitting and buying lights that can be dimmed – from pendants right through to table lamps. This is excellent way to provide some soft, low-level light with atmosphere and warmth.
In interior design color is of great importance – it can transform a room and when it comes from lighting then the effect is even stronger. So, I would say – be confident with color and make use of the ability of light to create a made-to-order visual atmosphere. I like very much the modern design of NUR META PENDANT LIGHT – you can use it single or in groups to define an attractive area of colored light.
ID: Is it important to center a light in the living room or you prefer another approach?
TZ: This is one approach – the possibility to make a statement with a beautiful centerpiece lighting which will define the overall style of the living room combined with additional lighting in the different functional areas of the living room where it is necessary.
I like the other approach – lighting that is zoned into different areas, such as a lounging area, a dining area or a home office corner, if available in the living room. Each one of these requires its own mood and type of lighting. For the lounging and dining areas I like using the popular lately domed ceiling lighting – they can be very cozy, like the beautiful and warm DOMO S PENDANT LIGHT:
Or, for a more dramatic look I would choose the Skygarden by Marcel Wanders, but the version with its matte gold rust–colored outer finish – it creates much warmer atmosphere.
Still, we all have the experience with the glare in the eyes when the height of the lamp is not suitable – that is something we always should have in mind.
ID: Any other tips on how to pick the right size or scale of fixtures for the living room?
TZ: Again, it all depends on the requirements of the ownersand the functions that will fulfill the lighting, but in general, you should consider how high is your ceiling and how big is the room. If the ceiling is low, then a flush or semi-flush light may be the best choice. For larger rooms with high ceilings, a multi-arm light or chandelier with five or more bulbs would be a good choice.
The choice depends on the style of the room and the type of feeling one would like to convey.
Still, usually the living rooms lighting is about 1,500-3,000 total lumens divided between the three type of lighting: ambient – the general lighting of the room, the task lighting and the accent lighting. But this requires consulting with a professional.One thing we should remember – to keep the lighting balanced and ensure that no particular area will overpower any of the other areas.
ID: Are there any interesting trends in lighting design that you have noticed?
TZ: Great new LED products are starting to launch and we should make use of the advantages of the innovative and flexible LED lamp technology. LED bulbs and lamps last for up to 20 years, but that’s not the only reason we’re so keen on them – they can be made so tiny that they have changed the way we can design lighting for the home. OLEDS, for example, are flat and can be embedded even in the wallpaper – the way designer Anke Neumann is doing it.
Another distinguished trend is the use of copper. The lamps by Tom Dixon are a great example of modern way of using copper and applying crafts. And this brings a lot of warmth and coziness to modern interiors.