Photo credit: with permission from Susanna @shnordic via Instagram | Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This post is in collaboration with dwell. 

I’ll admit – as an amateur interior designer (rather than say, a professional), I’m a sucker for a good interior design tip.

Whether it’s a memorable piece of interior design advice, or one of those ‘mistakes you shouldn’t make’ suggestions, they’re pretty valuable for those of us who don’t know our sconces from our sleepers.

So, that’s why I’m excited to share this with you today.

The secret to creating a room that works is good lighting, like this floor light in a peach mid century living room. Photo credit: @michellematangi
Photo credit: with permission from Michelle (@michellematangi)

This piece of interior design advice is so simple you’ll find it hard to believe it carries such weight. But it does.

The secret to creating a room that really works is lighting. Photo credit: @designsixtynine via Instagram
Photo credit: with permission from Malcolm (@designsixtynine)

The secret to creating a room that feels right? It’s to invest in good quality lighting.

See? It’s that simple. But give it some thought, and you’ll probably agree. When lighting is done right, we barely notice it at all.

The table lamp gives just the right amount of light? And those lights under the kitchen cupboards? They provide exactly the kind of illumination you need to read a book in the evening, or prepare dinner long after the sun has set.

The secret to creating a room that works is to use good lighting, like this giant pendant in fiona's hallway. Photo credit: @around_houses
Photo credit: with permission from Fiona (@around_houses)

But when you don’t get lighting right, it’s all you’ll notice. You won’t enjoy having friends over for dinner if your guests can’t see what’s on their plates, and there’s nothing worse than a visitor sitting in your living room under the glare of intimidating overhead lights – it feels just like being interrogated.

The secret to creating a room that works? Good quality lighting. Photo credit: @restoringlansdowne
Photo credit: with permission from Kristine of @restoringlansdowne

So if you can see the point of shopping around for a few good lights, here’s where I suggest spending your money first…

Dining room

As Nigella says, “food is not just food, and a dining table is not just a piece of furniture”. Whether you have a separate dining room or a kitchen-diner, it’s likely that this part of your home gets a lot of use.

Meals, drinks with friends, the kids doing their homework – it’s used for plenty of different things, and by various groups of people. So, you’ll need lighting that can multitask and look stylish while doing so.

The secret to a room that works well is lighting. Photo credit @summer_at_no_59
Photo credit: with permission from Lucy (@summer_at_no.59).

Ditch the overhead spotlights in favour of wall lights – they’ll cast light upwards in a way that’s gentle enough to feel relaxing, but bright enough to actually be of some use.

But if you want a brighter light over the table while you’re eating or working from home, buy a stylish pendant light that be hung centrally over the table.

The secret to a room that works, like this industrial kitchen, is good lighting. Overhead pendants over the kitchen island. Photo credit: @hornsby_style
Photo credit: with permission from Sharon (@hornsby_style)

And finally, fitting a dimmer switch will ensure your table is puddled with soft, soothing glow when it’s time to serve dessert or share a bottle of wine with friends. (If you like Lucy’s kitchen/diner above, you can see more of it here).

The secret to creating a room that works is lighting. Photo credit @shnordic
Photo credit: with permission from Susanna (@shnordic)

Bedroom

Next up, the bedroom. There’s no use pretending you can get away without having an overhead light (after all – how else are you going to see what’s at the back of your wardrobe on winter’s morning?), but bedside lamps are the way to go most of the time.

The secret to creating a room that works - whether it's a dark interior like this one or not - is good quality lighting. Photo credit: @raspberry_flavoured_windows
Photo credit: with permission from Rachel (@raspberry_flavoured_windows)

Opt for dark shades if you’re OK with reducing the amount of light they emit; it’s a good way of ensuring your bedroom feels relaxing and signals that it’s somewhere to unwind.

But if you’re like me and like to read in bed, make sure you bedside lamp is either tall enough to throw light on your books from beneath the shade, or bright enough to mean you’re not squinting.

The secret to creating a room that works - whether it's a dark living room like this one or not - is good quality lighting. Photo credit: @raspberry_flavoured_windows
Photo credit: with permission from Rachel (@raspberry_flavoured_windows)

Living room

Finally, your living room needs a combination of task lighting and ambient lighting.

Rarely should overhead spotlights be needed in a living room, as instead, table lamps, floor lamps and mood lighting (such as fairy lights) will create an atmosphere that feels cosy and welcoming.

The secret to why some rooms work better than others? Lighting. Photo credit: @shnordic via Instagram

This room will definitely cost the most to fill with lights simply for the quantity you’ll need, but it’s worth every penny, and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

The secret to creating a room that works - like this light filled mid century living room - is good quality lighting. Photo credit: @my_home_and_other_stories
Photo credit: with permission from Heidi (@my_home_and_other_stories)

Giveaway time….

Now – speaking of not spending a fortune, how about the possibility of a free stylish table lamp to go in your bedroom or living room?

dwell is giving away one beautiful black and gold dolomite lamp (worth £79) to one lucky Love to Home reader, and all you have to do is answer the question below correctly by completing the form to be in with a chance of winning it.

[This giveaway is now closed]

How about entering another competition instead? See what’s running on Love to Home, here.

I also love…

P.s I wish this was my kitchen, I love Sharon’s study, and don’t you think this the best use of space?

Pin this for later

This is the secret to creating a room that feels 'right' - lighting. on www.lovetohome.co.uk Photo credit: @shnordic via Instagram