Proper lighting isn't just about creating functional spaces; it can also add interest to an area. As a realtor who regularly hosts open houses, I know that lighting is essential to making a positive first impression on potential buyers. Rooms can feel bigger, brighter and more beautiful with the right lighting techniques. Take your home from dreary to dramatic with these simple lighting tricks from the pros.
Use Ambient Lighting for Overall Feel -- Choose fixtures that provide sufficient brightness for the room's basic activities, like watching television, eating dinner or relaxing. Does the room have significant natural light? If the area is primarily used during the day, take advantage of that sunlight and complement it with other sources, like recessed lighting, if more is needed. Browse for statement-making fixtures at Brown, a quaint shop in Upper Kirby.
Install Dimmer Switches for More Control -- The lighting required in the family room when you're watching a movie is different from the lighting needed to work on a puzzle or kick back with a book. Use dimmer switches in rooms that serve multiple purposes to vary the lighting quickly and easily. Instead of the big box stores, support neighborhood shops like Southland Hardware in Montrose aka, "The store that has almost everything," or Berings in West U where you can pick up gourmet coffee too.
Add Accent Lighting to Highlight Features -- Accent lights draw attention to a room's focal point, such as a fireplace, artwork or feature wall. Options for accent lighting include recessed spotlights, track lights, sconces, uplights, and even some decorative table and floor lamps. Two local resources for fun and practical lighting projects are Light Bulbs Unlimited in Montrose and the Light Bulb Depot in the Heights.
Optimize Task Lighting for Specific Lighting Needs -- Supplement ambient lighting with task lighting designed to provide light for a specific activity. Common places for task lighting include above the stove and countertops, on bedside tables and computer desks, and over bathroom mirrors.