Designing With Light In The Living Room Or Family Room
When designing a lighting plan for a living room or family room, you need to consider the variety of activities that occur there. You’ll want to include general lighting for entertaining and watching television, task lighting for reading or sewing, and accent lighting for artwork, plants, and interesting architectural features. Dimming controls are ideal for the living room because they allow you to design the lighting to suit each mood and activity.
Fireplaces made of brick or stone can be emphasized with recessed downlights installed in the ceiling over the mantle to create an intriguing grazing effect across the surface. Wall sconces on each side of the fireplace are an attractive addition that draws attention to the fireplace area, while providing general lighting for the living room.
Reading requires task lighting that comes from behind the reader’s shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a floor lamp either at the right or the left of the reading chair. The bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid glare.
Paintings can be highlighted with low-voltage, tungsten-halogen picture lights. These frame-mounted lights spread a beam of bright, white light across the face of the painting.
House plants can be accented by aiming an uplight can at the wall behind the plant, creating a dramatic silhouette of the plant against the wall.