Tag Archives | interior design

L&L Design Guide: Apartment Lighting Ideas

There are a number of design principles to keep in mind when looking for great apartment lighting ideas. Look to layer the lighting in a room and create different lighting effects, focus the lights to areas specific to the room, and go for a cozy or grand lighting design scheme.

The best lighting designs, which makes any room look great, uses different lighting fixtures. This avoids a monotone look – which would happen if you were to just use ceiling lights for example. Instead mix it up with ceiling lights, floor lamps, table lamps, wall lights, pendant lights, indirect lighting, mood lighting, etc. – as this will create different lighting effects, and layer the lighting in the room.

apartment bedroom lighting

Lighting is used to bring focus to specific areas in a room. For example, in the bedroom bed side table lamps brings the focus of the room to the bed. In the living room, you can have back lighting behind the TV or couch. In the kitchen, under cabinet lighting adds a nice feel to the area.

If you want to create a cozy environment in your apartment then avoid using the ceiling lights. Use floor lamps and table lamps – keeping the lighting as low down as possible. On the other hand, if you want to create a grand setting in the apartment, then light up all walls and the ceiling, which will make the space feel larger. Cove lighting is a great way to make a space feel larger and grand – L&L Design Guide: Cove Lighting Ideas.

apartment cove lighting

Here are a few specific light fixture ideas for any apartment:

Quick Changes

Most modern apartments will have recessed lighting. They use a false ceiling to hide all the parts of the lights, creating a clean look in the room. If you want to change this up, say to create a more intimate and cozy feeling in the room, then check out pendant light adapters. These adapters screw into standard ceiling light sockets, and let you have pendant lights without having to do any electrical work.

Instant Pendant Lights

In Total Control

Another option is to install dimmer switches so you have full control of the lighting. Or there are now LED light bulbs that come with remote controls so you can dim them, or even change the color of the light. This is a great way of adding splashes of color to a room. If you want to brighten up a room, use green or yellow light. While dark purple or blues can make the room feel romantic for the night.

Setting The Mood

Other mood lighting ideas (L&L Design Guide: Home Mood Lighting Ideas) include stand alone units like the Yantouch Jellyfish (Modern Lighting: The iPad Meets A Jellyfish) or the Philips Mood Lighting Collection (Color Your Rooms With The Philips Mood Light Collection).

mood lighting

Mixing Music and Light

Want to get high tech? Then check out the AudioBulb (L&L Lights and Music: The AudioBulb Sound System). This light bulb will screw into any standard ceiling light socket. You will then get LED lights as well as easy to set up wireless speakers – all of which can be controlled via a remote control.

bedroom lighting apartment kitchen lighting kitchen lighting

image credits: Favaro JR. 2, Urbane Apartments, Tobias

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L&L Guide To Tropical Lighting and Home Décor Ideas

The best place to look for tropical lighting and décor inspiration is over on the island of Bali. Traditional Balinese homes follow the main design principle of bringing the outdoors indoors. So you see a lot of wide open indoor spaces, with large windows that open out to the outdoors. This principle can also be used when looking for tropical home décor ideas. Bringing the outdoors indoors is also done through using natural materials (wood, stone, greenery, flowers) when looking at light fixtures, furniture, and décor pieces.

tropical lights

Bright and Airy During The Day

When it comes to lighting, the first area to look into is natural lighting. This means opening up the house during the day by using large windows. Wooden blinds or bamboo shades can be used to add that tropical touch and privacy.

Creating That Cozy Tropical Night Feeling

When night falls, tropical homes become cozy and intimate places, a contrast to the open and airy space during the day. One reason for this is because of the lighting. Unlike modern homes that have lots of recessed lights that brightly light up the entire room, tropical homes use lights that are closer to the ground (which creates this intimate feeling). A lot of the tropical home in Bali won’t be using ceiling lights, as most ceilings are bare roofs made out of wood and are decorative structures. Instead, these homes will make use of wall lights such as sconces or wall washers, and floor or table lamps. If they do happen to use ceiling lights, they are generally pendant lights or hanging lanterns.

tropical home

When looking for tropical lighting fixtures, lights that are made of natural materials will work best. For example, lamps that have a wooden or stone base, or a wooden lamp shade, or even just a lamp shade that has a wooden frame but uses fabric to cover it up. The same design style also works when looking for tropical lights for the ceilings, walls or for outdoor lighting.

Accent Lighting: Highlighting Your Tropical Decor

You can use lighting to highlight certain objects or areas within a room to create focal points and showcase the tropical style you’ve built.

    • Indoor house plants can have little display lamps shined onto them. If you place the lamp below the plant and shine it against a wall, it will cast unique shadows across the room.
    •  You can highlight a table of wooden or stone sculptures with light.
    • Downlights can shine down onto a textured stone or wooden wall or onto a tropical wall decor piece.
    • Another décor piece to have is a water feature of some sort – adding another natural element to a home. This can be a simple plug in bamboo fountain. Whatever it is, this water feature can also be highlighted by lighting it up.

topical living room

Color Scheme and Other Tropical Décor Ideas

The dominant colors in a tropically styled home are browns (wooden furniture, sculptures, wall carvings, etc.), greens (plants) and whites (furniture cushions, bed sheets, etc). Flowers are what add splashes of color to these spaces.

tropical room

Here are some other interior design ideas:

Tropical Furniture: Wicker or rattan pieces are ideal as they are lightweight and airy. Teak is another type of furniture that will fit into a tropical styled home – and as it can be waterproofed, you can find furniture pieces, like a shower bench, that can be placed in the bathroom.

Bamboo is another great natural material to include in your tropical interior design. Bamboo furniture, mats, or picture frames are some simple ideas.

Other Décor Pieces: Wooden or stone bowls can be used to group clutter on a coffee table or they can be used as bathroom décor pieces like as soap dishes, etc. There are also wooden or stone vases that can be used to house flowers which add a splash of color to any room.

Going Outdoors

An outdoor space can be turned into one of the most intimate and secluded areas of the home. When it comes to lighting, you want to keep it low down and somewhat dim. Fire based lighting works best: candles, lanterns, fire bowls or tiki torches. Click here for other outdoor lighting ideas.

image credits: CameronBrandon, C.K. 2 

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Foyer Lighting Ideas and Design Planning Guide

The exterior of your home is one of the most important areas to home lighting design as this is the first thing you see when you come home, and where first impressions are made. The foyer or entryway sets the first impression of the interior of your home, making foyer lighting an important part of interior design. There are a wide range of foyer lighting ideas to choose from. The space of your entryway will determine what ideas and lighting plans will work best.

The Different Types of Entryways and Foyer Designs

The first thing to do when planning foyer lighting is to evaluate the layout and space of your entryway/foyer. Here are a number of different foyer layouts:

  • A Compact, small foyer – usually with a standard height ceiling.
  • Some foyers are a small hallway leading into the rest of the home
  • Some entryways are met with a wall/corner – so you face a wall when entering the home
  • Large foyers: 1.5 (the ceiling is coved) or double height ceilings

Some lighting ideas are more suitable for certain foyer designs than others.

The 3 Forms of Lighting

When lighting your foyer, or any part of a home, there are 3 types of lighting that you will need to keep in mind.

Ambient Lighting: This is general lighting – used to make a space feel comfortable and easily navigated.

Task Lighting: There are a number of tasks that are done in a foyer area: tying shoelaces, last minute checks in a mirror, reading mail, etc. Task lighting is used to make these activities easy to do: some task lighting ideas will include using table lamps.

Accent Lighting: This is ideal for larger spaces, but if you are creative, can be done for small foyers. Accent lighting helps create focal points. It is used to highlight certain objects, such as a vase of flowers, an art piece on the wall, or a certain wall texture – adding a luxurious touch.

The common standard foyer will only incorporate ambient lighting. You can make your foyer feel and look more elegant by incorporating all three forms of lighting.

Foyer Lighting Design Basics

Small/Compact Foyers (Short / Standard Ceiling Heights): Many modern homes will have a small and compact foyer. One ceiling light will usually provide enough light (while adding other forms of lighting, will add to the visual beauty and comfort).

Flush mount lighting

Types of ceiling entryway lights:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Flush mount lighting (Dish shaped ceiling lights)

Making The Foyer Feel Larger: There are a few lighting design tactics that can help you achieve this.

  • Lighting the walls will make the area feel more spacious
  • If you have a light colored ceiling – lighting the ceiling will create a more formal setting and the illusion that it feels larger (use wall washers to wash the ceiling with light).
  • Add a mirror to the foyer area with lighting around it
  • Light up all the corners of the space
  • Vertical light fixtures: such as vertical sconces
  • Hanging lights can make a space feel larger, but are more recommended for making larger coved/double height ceiling foyers look grander.

Making The Space Feel Cozy: If you would rather create a more “cozy” environment when you walk into your home, you will want to do the opposite of making the foyer feel larger. Bring light lower down to the ground, i.e. using table lamps/floor lamps/low wall lights makes an area feel cozy. Avoid lighting the ceiling.

Coved or Double Ceiling Heighted Foyer: For a large space you will want to use foyer pendant lighting. With a larger space, it is recommended to use as many different types of light fixtures (pendant lighting, floor lamps, wall lanterns). Using a range of light fixtures creates a number of different lighting effects. Whereas only using one type of lighting creates a monotone look.  Incorporate other lighting forms such as accent lighting (on vases, art work, textured walls).

An example of foyer pendant lighting: Moroccan style

Depending on your space, you can look to incorporate the other foyer lighting fixtures listed below.

Foyer Lighting Ideas

– An angled, localized, downlight from the ceiling: pointing down to a mirror/table

Directional ceiling lights

– A downlighting from the ceiling focusing on entryway décor such as an art piece or a textured wall: a good idea if your front door opens onto a wall

A textured wall being highlighted with light

– Use plug-in uplights on a table pointed at wall with a hanging painting

A column of lighting will make the foyer seem taller

– Place uplights on the floor, directed upwards onto a wall making the space feel taller

– Elegant wall lanterns

– Use multiple contemporary wall lights to create a column of light

Vertical or Horizontal Sconces. Work especially well around a mirror

Track Lighting: An elegant way of providing hallway lighting that leads down the foyer

Cove Lighting: a major undertaking but a sophisticated way of lighting an entryway. Cove lighting is when you build a fake ceiling and lights are fitted in a cutaway section

Floor Lighting: This can be done by lining the bottom of the walls edges with rope lights, installing recessed floor lights or as seen in a scene from the movie Inception – floor cove lighting

Floor Lamps are another way of bring light downwards creating a more intimate and cozy ambiance. A lighted twigs floor lamp is a decorative way of adding ambient lighting

– An Entryway Chandelier add grandeur for high ceiling foyers

Furniture in a foyer

Other foyer ideas include Adding Foyer Furniture: If you have the space, you can always add a table. The table can host a lamp or two, with a mirror placed on the wall. Not only will the mirror make the space feel bigger, it is ideal for last minute checks before leaving the house. The table lamps are ideal for adding task lighting

Al Fresco Painting: If you have a high ceiling, one idea would be to have the ceiling painted artistically. Then use entryway lighting fixtures such as wall washers or up lights to highlight the ceiling

Bring Natural Light Into Your Home: There is nothing more elegant and better for home living than using as much natural day light as possible. There are a number of ways to bring natural light into your foyer area during the daytime:

Doors: use frosted or stained glass front doors

Windows: Have columns of windows (frosted or stained) on either side of the door. Or have one fitted above the door either in an arc or rectangular shape

Using windows beings an abundance of natural light into the foyer

Foyer Design Pictures

In the top left we can see recessed and cove ceiling lighting has been used to light this foyer. One recessed light is directed highlighting the displayed artwork.

Foyer pendant lighting and a table lamp will light up this entryway at night

Natural light shines through the windows in the door, the column besides the door, and the sky light.While a pendant light fixtures provides light at night.

A contemporary wall light highlights the textured wall