Designers spend a lot of time choosing the perfect sofa, chairs and even paint color for their living room walls, but many forget about the importance of proper lighting. Regardless if the room is for watching TV, read books, play games and entertain guests, the right lighting serves an important purpose in both the function and look of the room. "Lighting is important because of the intimacy it creates," says Liz Wenrer, especially for living rooms considering they are usually one of the first rooms you walk into when you enter a home. It inevitably sets the tone for the rest of the house.

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A properly engineered lighting scheme should use different kinds of light, set at different levels, that work together to make the space warm and attractive. The use of dimmers for example will allow you to control the level of light to suit the activities that take place in the space, and by doing so will make people want to linger and enjoy the setting longer.

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Lighting options on the market today offer the homeowner and designer an array of choices, most of which are now much more energy-efficient lighting solutions then they were just a few years ago. Halogen fixtures, and LEDs are definitely one of the newest options, all of which are available in exciting and innovative designs. Here are four popular lighting strategies Liz uses when designing an interior space with a client.


When Liz wants to highlight certain features in a living room, like a fireplace, textured walls or a painting, she'll use adjustable lights directed to points of interest or decorative lights on a surface to highlights selected objects or spaces. "Lighting adds a pleasing variation of brightness by drawing attention and putting more light on an architectural feature." The rule she employs to properly draw attention to an area, is to supply about five times as much light on the focal point as the surrounding general light.



Stylish chandeliers, ceiling lights, wall-mounted fixtures or table lamps can provide wonderful ambiance by casting a warm glow in your living room. Controlling illumination in the room will make it feel comfortable and inviting. “As a designer, when I control the ambient light I control the emotions generated in that room” says Liz, who likes to use ambient light to illuminate surfaces, textures and colors in the room.



When you want to create interest and add sparkle to your living room, table lamps, hanging pendants and chandeliers can provide the decorative light that adds coziness and intimacy. "It completely personalizes a space," says Liz, by creating areas of interest that reflect the owners tastes and personality. An experienced designer will use light much like a painter uses color. Light is emotion.

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