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Bright Ideas

One of the most overlooked aspects of decorating a new space (or refreshing an existing one) is lighting. Especially when moving house, we tend to get caught up with more ‘visible’ tasks  (painting walls, shifting furniture, hanging artwork) and easily forget about the impact lighting can have.

In fact, lighting alone can make or break a space. Consider how uncomfortable you feel in a convenience store when the lights are just way too bright! And, how much easier conversation flows in a moody, low-lit space.

Today, we’ve sifted through some favourite lighting solutions from our archives, to bring you 10 bright ideas for lighting at home, in partnership with Origin Energy.

18th May, 2017
Lucy Feagins
Thursday 18th May 2017

1. PENDANT CLUSTER

Small pendant lamps make a big impact when clustered together. Try a collection of handmade PET Lamps (a design created from recycled plastic bottles, with traditional weaving techniques – available from Safari Living) or simple glass pendants hanging at various heights.

2. GO BIG

Feature lighting doesn’t get more affordable than a simple paper lantern (try $2 shops, or IKEA).  These cheap and cheerful paper pendants are the perfect instant solution for any bare light bulb – for optimum impact, go BIG.

3. GO LOW

Most pendant lights look best when hung as low as possible. Over a dining table, bed or kitchen bench, the lower the better! In areas with more foot traffic though, hang lights around 30-centimetres higher than the tallest person in the house.

4. FREE STANDING

Floor standing lamps are a wonderful source of ambient lighting, and offer a flexible lighting solution, as they can easily move from room to room (or house to house!).  A lightweight paper floor lamp is a versatile choice that suits various interiors (we love Isamu Noguchi’s designs, or IKEA for affordable alternatives).

5. FEATURE PENDANT

One singular statement pendant light, hung over a dining table or kitchen bench is the ultimate ambience-enhancing finishing touch. (Please don’t install three matching pendants in a neat row anymore, people – the 90s have called and they want their lighting back!).

6. LOOP IT

Moving electrical cabling can be an arduous and cost-prohibitive task. Instead, if you find yourself with lighting in not-quite-the-right-spot after moving house or shifting furniture, simply reposition ceiling pendants by installing a strong ceiling hook in the desired position and creating an exaggerated loop in the electrical cable. (Use cable ties from any hardware shop to secure in place if necessary).

7. ACCENT LIGHTING

Layer your light sources – there is no quicker ambience killer than one singular overhead light source. Accent lighting is all about focusing light in a specific spot, to enhance a certain mood, or to highlight a particular object.  Consider how you use each room – does one particular corner warrant its own special lighting?

8. WALL MOUNTED

Wall mounted lights are a great solution for task lighting, particularly when space is at a premium. Consider wall mounted lamps on a moveable arm for maximum flexibility.

9. LIGHTING AS ART

Our favourite lighting solutions do more than just illuminate, they bring a sculptural element into the home. Try bold, unexpected shapes and tactile materials – a lamp should appeal aesthetically, even when it’s turned off!

10. PLAYFUL IDEAS

Kids’ bedrooms and playspaces provide endless opportunity for fun, playful decorating, and this extends to lighting, too. Consider a tangle of pretty fairy lights, LED rope light, or a fun neon sign by local design studio Electric Confetti.

This roundup was created in partnership with  Origin Energy. Origin is making moving house easier – signing up online is an easy five-minute process. Talk to someone within two minutes to organise your gas and electricity, or receive $50 – find out more here.

The Eltham home of Poppy Lane and Scott Gibson, featuring an oversized paper pendant lamp in the master bedroom. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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