Barceló Torre de Madrid hotel by Jaime Hayon Image by Kunderbie

We shed some light on how best to illuminate your home with standout products, top trends and inspiring ideas

1. Design

Instead of viewing your lighting in a purely practical sense, see it as a versatile design element that will help finish off your space.

2. Lantern Lamps

Recreate a similar feel to that of a hurricane lamp or lantern with electric versions that provide a dappled quality without the need for candles.

Bonbon table lamp by Ana Kraš

3. Structure

Sculptural lights are all the rage, with offerings so striking that they are works of art in their own right. Look for interesting forms and unexpected finishes.

Moon Jelly standing lamps in Black, Dokter and Misses

4. Mood Lighting

‘Since this is a space you entertain in, aim for warmth and cosiness when selecting lighting for your living room. You want people to feel comfortable, so avoid bright overhead lights and consider a combination of table lamps and pendants. Standing floor lamps can serve a double purpose – they can be a beautiful decorative object in a room, while also providing mood or task lighting. I love to use them when I need to create height in a space. It’s also important to have layers of light to ensure ambience, and a mixture of downlights, table lamps, pendants and floor lamps can help you achieve this.’ – Kelly Adami, Copperleaf Studio

Marselis table lamp in Soft Black by Hay

5. Ambience

Dimmers are a wonderful way to create ambience and easily control the brightness of a room. To allow for a smooth transition from day to night and create a welcoming atmosphere, replace any compact fluorescent light bulbs with warm white offerings, and ensure that all your light fixtures are dimmable.

6. Metallics

Just as in jewellery, there’s no need for metallic fittings to be the same tone.

Elgar table-lamp, SHF; Iris standing lamp, Casarredo; Vonk glass wall light, Woltemade

7. Combinations

One of the biggest lighting trends to date is the mixing and matching of fittings in different materials, styles, shapes and sizes. Donʼt be afraid of pairing an antique light with something more contemporary – it will introduce a personal touch and layers of interest/

8. Large Areas

When lighting a large area, rather increase the amount of fixtures in the space than the intensity of the bulbs. Not only does bright lighting give off an unpleasant glare, it is more effective to illuminate a room using small groupings of lights than with one beaming fitting.

Hay at Salone del Mobile

9. Scandi Lights

Embrace the minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic with designs in neutral colours that boast clean lines and sleek shapes.

10. Pendant Lights

‘Pendants bring life to a room when in the middle of a setting like a dining table or as task lighting above a kitchen island. they must be both functional and beautifully designed, while the rest of the lighting should be ambient and welcoming, mirroring that of a good restaurant – overlit spaces don’t do much for the enjoyment of food and great company.’ – Erica Schalkwyk, Form Interior

The Utzon pendant in White by Jørn Utzon for &tradition

11. Multiples

Ground a table and make a room seem longer by hanging multiples of the same light in a row or with a fixture that gives the same effect.

Hidden Tints kitchen by Note Design Studio

12. Overhead Lighting

Pay attention to the position of your overhead lighting and ensure itʼs on separate switches from your mood lighting.

Clockwise from left: Saint Louis pendant lights by Ceccotti Collezioni, Limeline; BOW III S+M+L chandelier by David Dolcini for tossB, ELDC; Barberton pendant light in Lilac, Newport Lighting; GU10 Spotlight in Black, KLight

13. Levels

‘Lighting is very important to any room, and you always want to have more than one option available. Once you’ve decided on your base lighting, add different levels of light depending on what ambience you want to create in the space. The correct lighting levels can encourage relaxation and comfort and should never be too harsh, even in a room like the kitchen.’ – Sumari Krige, La Grange Interiors

Hay at Salone del Mobile

14. Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are particularly effective in narrow passageways that only require soft illumination.

15. Which Fittings Work Where

1. Floor lamps

Place next to couches and tables as an additional source of light for activities such as reading.

2. Spotlights

Use to highlight a certain object such as an artwork or sculpture, or draw attention to a particular area.

3. Table lamps

Position throughout the home, and try to have the bottom of the shade at eye level when you are in a seated position.

4. Pendants

Hang individually or in groups over tables, kitchen counters, nightstands or in an entrance hall.

16. Shape

Bold lights with eye-catching silhouettes will add to your decor both during the day and at night.

(from left) Jelly table lamp by Marc Sadler for Bosa, Limeline; Hallstat pendant light, Eurolux;  Untitled Oxide Green pendant light by Caine Heintzman,; Cut wall light by Tom Dixon, CRÉMA

17. In the Bathroom

ʻFlank the bathroom mirror with sconces and ensure there is an overhead light for tasks such as applying make-up. Itʼs important to know the size of the intended space for the fitting and what function you want it to serve. Select something that adds a decorative element to your room, even when itʼs turned off: fixtures in bold colours and intricate shapes will automatically attract the eye, but you can also create a focal point by hanging smaller designs in multiples.ʼ – Kelly Klopper, Eurolux

Fonda Bondi by Esteta Photo by Tessa Ross-Phelan

18. In the Bedroom

Free up space on your nightstand and frame your bed at the same time by replacing side-lamps with wall sconces. When properly positioned, these fittings can offer better reading light and act as alluring accents.

Journey wall light by Signe Hytte for &tradition

19. Materials

‘When it comes to buying light fittings for a specific area, try to tie the materials in with something else in the room. Feature lighting often includes brass, glass or marble, which are easy to bring into accessories, fixtures or furniture. Tom Dixon is known for leading the way in lighting design, especially with the introduction of new materials. Now he’s moving away from shiny metallics in favour of muted alloys and glossy black. In terms of durability, glass and marble are great options, while brass and copper should be avoided near the sea. Clusters of small pendants can be more impactful than large, singular pieces and often, all that’s needed to freshen up a room is a selection of collectables in a range of shapes, materials and finishes.’ – Craig Tabor-Raeside, CRĒMA

The Fleming Hotel Hong Kong

20. Statement Fixtures

Use dramatic lighting to create a centre of interest in a room and direct the eye to high ceilings and decorative features such as mouldings. Scale is an important consideration here, and the size of your fixture can help enhance your space. For example, a slim, horizontal fitting placed up high can make a room feel larger, while a big, low-hanging offering can result in a cosy and intimate atmosphere.

Hidden Tints bedroom by Note Design Studio

Text: Karen Tennent Compiled by Sanri Pienaar Assistant: Pieter von Wielligh

Looking for more practical home inspiration? Read 10 Stylish Storage Solutions You Need to Know Now10 Home Colour Rules From Expert Freya Lincoln and 10 Ways to Create a Meditation Space at Home next.