By Carly Bush
Next to your bedroom, the living room is the calmest, most relaxing place in your home. It’s the focal point of your residence. It’s your safe haven to unwind after a long day at work. It’s where you entertain guests during the holidays. And ideally, it’s the room where your entire family can gather to enjoy each other’s company.
It’s also one of the most central spaces in most homes, meaning that it’s important to keep clean, organized, and well-lit. If you work in an office with fluorescent lighting, you’ll definitely understand the importance of luminescence and how it can directly affect your mood during the work day.
In the winter months, the physical and psychological effects of working in harsh lighting can be even more evident, since there is no relief to be found once you step outside past five o’clock at night. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about the eye strain you end up with after eight hours in a poorly lit office building, but you can create a softer atmosphere in your own home.
Choosing a Fixture
There are so many different styles of fixtures to choose from that the prospect of narrowing down your choices might seem overwhelming. It’s important, however, to remember that your options are limited by the style of living room decor you have already chosen. Don’t make the mistake of designing a room around a pre-purchased fixture; let the other focal points, like the couch and cabinetry, guide you, rather than the other way around.
Your personal tastes and budget will influence your final decision. Consider the overall feel of the room. Is a bookshelf lined with classic literature the main enterprise? Is your vintage record collection on display? What color is your rug? The throw pillows? The curtains? If your sitting room is rustic and quaint, with tones like russet brown and black everywhere, a solid, timeless piece like a walnut wood floor lamp is a great option.
Setting the Mood
Creating your desired ambience is sometimes as simple as choosing the right kind of lighting. Nothing helps you settle into a peaceful state of mind more easily than soft light. For a tasteful, warm glow that is not harsh on the eye, an elegant floor lamp can make a statement without drawing too much attention to itself.
For a moodier atmosphere inspired by the inconsistent glow of candlelight, a patterned outer lampshade is an ideal choice. The kaleidoscopic shade will cast a mixture of smoky shadow and gentle flickering light that will make you feel as though you are sitting in front of an old country fireplace, even if you live in the heart of the city.
Wall sconces create a dreamy, soft-lit atmosphere and look stylish in pretty much any setting, no matter whether your taste is more modern or vintage. Sconces can be purchased singularly or in double, depending on how much light you are hoping to achieve. They are typically used in cooperation with another, more efficient form of lighting, like a tall floor lamp, but you can also use them on their own, if you do not want your living room to be too bright.
How to Style a Chandelier
If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you might have noticed this surprising rising trend. Using chandeliers as a focal point in living spaces that are otherwise quite rustic and cozy-looking might seem like a strange idea at first, but there are a lot of examples of rooms where it works spectacularly. The concept is starting to grow on a lot of designers, and you might find yourself warming to it, too.
If you want to place a chandelier in an average, everyday space, the trick is to not try too hard. You don’t need to buy a satin slipcover or velvet throw pillows just to create the illusion that your room is something it’s not. On the contrary, work with your gently scuffed hardwood floors and shabby chic cabinet. The chandelier’s formality contrasted against the simplicity of everything else in the room is what makes it such a striking statement.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com