When you are looking to change up your home décor, don’t forget about lighting. It’s an easy and oftentimes inexpensive way to give a room a whole new feel. In fact, you can use lighting to set the mood for everything from a romantic dinner to a family gathering. Here’s how.
Contrast color. This is an old trick, especially when you want to see a romantic mood. Contrast means that you remove any harsh dark to light areas. Keep the lighting on the room’s main focal point: dining rooms, it’s the table; living rooms, it’s the main area where your guests will be seated.
Set the color temperature. Each color can symbolize a different mood. For example, for a calm holiday family dinner, think of warmer colors that give off a red or orange hue. If you are planning a late-night party for adults, however, then think about blues and whites, the cooler colors.
When you want to create an upbeat mood in your home, consider adding additional light, because studies show that the brighter the light, the brighter people’s moods often become, and the more people want to engage in activities. So, if you are having a night of crafting or hosting a children’s party, consider bringing up the lights.
But, be careful not to make your guests sit under direct light, most people don’t enjoy it. So, if you don’t have additional indirect lighting, liven up a space with reflective lighting. You can set up a light to shine on a reflective surface, like a string of crystals or a metal object, and let the reflective shadows dance and add life to any room.
Change intensity, change mood. The softness or hardness of lighting can seriously affect one’s mood. The intensity depends on how far the lighting is away from the area you want lit. This means, for example, that if you want to create a soft or romantic mood in your dining room, task lighting with incandescent lights on dimmers can do the trick, or use candles to keep the lighting low and warm. And, keep the light low on the walls, and where possible, hide the source.
Be careful, though. When you use diffused light in a large room, which is soft lighting, it can make the atmosphere more relaxed but also give your guests a less interesting environment because it can make a room feel boring.
And set a welcoming mood. One of the best ways to welcome people into your home is with your lighting. As they transition from the outdoors into your home, you can set a welcoming mood by setting the lighting so they are comfortable. During the day, make the entryway brighter, and dim the light at night.
Then, use lighting to draw in your guests. You can set up focal points by using light to draw the eye to pieces of art, or special displays in your home. Or, when having a party, use lighting to guide your guests from the front door to the greeting area in your living or dining room.