How to master the art of lighting: seven tips

Fact: everything looks good in the right light. More importantly, the lighting of a room can change how you feel – a bright kitchen can ready you for the day, while a cosy sitting room can help you switch off from never-ending demands. It makes sense to master the art of lighting…

1. Keep the lighting simple. You don’t need feature lighting to make light a player in the room. Use lamp light in certain areas to help enhance the space, like on a colourful table at the edge of a room.

2. Beware of lighting behind cornices and too much back lighting in bookcases, it can often cast shadows and starts to look a bit like a hotel lobby.

3. Lighting pictures is lovely and you can do this with picture lights hanging over the artwork or with a directional spot from the ceiling.

4. Put all your lights on dimmers. This gives you the flexibility to adjust the lighting to the time of day, your mood or when you want to create a different atmosphere.

5. Put all your lamps on 5Amp sockets so they are operable from the wall – it’s much easier and means you can get your desired effect with one switch.

6. Avoid using white lampshades, they may seem fresh and light during the day but once you turn on the light bulb they cast a very sharp light which doesn’t tend to compliment a room.

7. Think about the bulb you use as well as the lamp and shade. I like squirrel cage bulbs for their vintage feel.

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Rita’s Edit: see below for her lighting top picks
Like something you’ve seen? shop the photo at the top of the page here
Need a little extra advice? See Rita’s tips for choosing lampshades here.