Accents & Highlighting- Draw attention to a fireplace with overhead recessed lighting or track lighting fixtures. Alternatively, wall sconces on either side of the mantel will both emphasize the fireplace and offer more lighting for the entire room. An up light situated behind the object can highlight pedestals, figurines or floor plants. Add additional layers with multi-tiered hanging lamps or wall/ceiling wash lights. Accent lights placed in alcoves, corners or closed in spaces will accentuate a specific area or piece and give the room a larger appearance.
If you have a nice plant in the room, try placing a small lamp near it and watch how the leaves cast interesting shadows on the walls. Lampshades too can add to the mood as they cast soft and diffused light. Sometimes the unique shape and patterns on the lamps and their shades elevate the lamps themselves from a functional purpose to an aesthetic statement.
Generally, many households tend to have an insufficient number of light fittings to completely satisfy the lighting requirements of the room. A pendant and a few lamps, floor and table lamps, for example, are generally not enough to do justice to living rooms which also tend to be quite large in comparison to other rooms in the house.
The first and most important layer of lighting in the living room is natural lighting, found through windows and skylights in this space. Mirrors are the best way to enhance small sources of natural light as long as they are balanced with other accessories in order to keep the energy positive in the living room. Natural lighting is your most important source of lighting, and it should be the primary, even sole, source of daytime lighting in the living room if the room receives an abundance of natural light.
The glow of candlelight and firelight glow goes back to our oldest ancestors, and a fireplaces offers another form of flickering light and homey ambiance. We contain the heat, smoke, and lighting of a fire within a fireplace, directing the heat and light into the living room but diverting the smoke out the chimney or similar method. To get the same look, you can have a gas or electric log that offers the same lighting and environment as a traditional wood-burning fireplace without the smoke or smell of burning wood.
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