The first step when lighting any room is to ask yourself: what happens here? Different activities require different types and levels of light. A well-lit living room will have three different types of lighting: general, task and accent. These are used at different times of day and for different purposes, and key to a functional lighting scheme it to know how and when to mix and use them. Not all homes have a ceiling fitting in the living room, and if you have lots of natural light during the day, you might not need overhead light at all. But if you have the fitting, a central pendant or chandelier helps to zone the space and create a focus. Similarly, potlights or angled spotlights will create a even layer of overhead lighting. In the absence of any overhead lights, a large, arced floor lamp will do the trick.
If you watch TV in the living room, choose the surrounding lights carefully to avoid television glare. It can be distracting to have a bright overhead light above or in front of a TV set, so ensure ceiling lights are dimmable, or use offset wall sconces or floor lamps instead. Specific task lighting, such as reading lamps, are important if you read frequently, have low levels of natural light, and especially if you ever work in your living room. A floor lamp spaced between two armchairs can also count as task lighting, as conversation is a task, too (at least in living room terms). Low-level table lamps and floor lamps help to create a cozy atmosphere in the living room, especially at night. Evenly space these throughout the room, usually toward the walls, to create an even, warm glow that bounces inwards. Think creatively about this type of lighting: groups of candles even fairy lights count.
Blur those lines, paint doesn't have to be pedestrian so get creative with how you apply your chosen colours and you could end up with a truly individual look. Layer an accent colour over the top of a base colour and dry-brush half way up the wall to create a dip-dye effect. From ombré to watercolour washes, the two-tone trend shows no signs of fading away. Go deep, Create a brooding sense of intrigue by painting your walls and surfaces in a dramatic shade. Dare to use darker shades of paint – it may feel like a risky move but, in the right context, shadowy tones come into their own. Use a deep grey to add moody sophistication to a library or cosy nook. Create an entire backdrop that blends in by painting a radiator and a wall of shelves to match and bringing in a carpet in the same colour. Deep turquoise, jade green, true pink, amethyst, citrine and emerald. This group of gorgeous colours work naturally together for a vibrant, non-clashy mix. Offset them with black, grey and white to create a successful scheme. Walls painted in a flat steel grey let you use jewel tones fearlessly on fabrics and accessories.
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