Light it Up

The secret to life is putting yourself in the right lighting’ Susan Cain, author of The Power of Introverts.

I couldn’t agree more. However, when those words were said I don’t think the intention was for people to consider actually changing the lighting in their room. Anyway I’m going to roll with it. Lighting is very important and these days it can cost very little to change the mood of a room through light… after all daylight is free! Of course you can spend thousands getting invisible, colour changing, all singing all dancing lights installed in your home. Not only would it cost a small fortune it could also require a lot of electrical rewiring and unnecessary stress. There are plenty of simple changes you can make to improve the lighting and atmosphere in your home from bold feature lighting to subdued fairy lights. For the less simple ideas I plan to write a post on lighting for techies who may be willing to spend a little more to get the ultimate mood lighting… stay tuned.

A simple lampshade

There is nothing worse than a bare light bulb with no lampshade. I see this far too often and yet it is so simple to change. I agree that sometimes, for example if you are using a filament bulb, you may want to see the source but direct light from a bulb tends to be stark and unfriendly. By simply adding a paper shade this can be changed in an instant; you can find them in all shapes and sizes and my favourite place to get them is from IKEA where they are less than a fiver. The shade on its own, no matter how simple will enhance the room but if you get creative you can make them truly unique. After visiting a beautiful Air B and B in Edinburgh I fell in love with this dream like lampshade. It has been covered in white feathers from a craft shop, which gives it a subtle, warm vibe. In the evening the feathers created great shadows around the room.

Decorative light

Lights that are decorative don’t necessarily give off a lot of light… they’re often just there to look good, but that’s ok. In the shops at the moment you can buy lights in all shapes and sizes from stars and symbols to letters and words. It seems the light up mirror, that was popular in the 90s has taken a back seat to make way for these quirky new styles. I’m not sure how long this trend will last, but for now they are well and truly ‘in’ and I love them. I recently bought one of these lights from none other than Aldi. Yes, Aldi… it’s full of surprises. My ampersand light cost £8.99 and now has pride of place on my bookshelf. It is battery powered so can be placed anywhere. Collect the initials of your family in light up letters and hang them on the wall to create a personal touch. For other unique decorative lights look at Not on the High Street.com who have some innovative ideas from small designers; I love their metallic Balloon lights. I also love this wall light spotted in a local restaurant in Birmingham.

Fairy lights

Ahh, the good old fairy light. Nothing beats them and nowadays you could fill your whole house with them and not have one set the same! A simple fairy light without a cover can be used to make an object in the home a feature by hiding the light source. Try weaving fairy lights into a houseplant or behind the edge of a picture frame to add back lighting. You could even add them to the underside of a table to make dinnertime a little different. I find that battery powered LED lights are good for this sort of thing because you don’t have wires trailing round to the plug socket. Many of them can also be used outside! Why not put some in a large jar or vase for a table centrepiece on a summer evening.

On the flip side, a fairy light with a shade or cover can become a feature itself. Try hanging fairy lights from one side of the room to the other and use the wires to double up as a photo string attaching them with paper clips. I love Tesco’s Moroccan Orb lights which are just £5.99 and Oliver Bonas’ Copper string lights at £9.50.

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