Choosing the right fixtures for a communal space, such as a living room, can be a daunting task if you don't have a specific plan in mind. Lamps differ in both style and functionality and perhaps knowing how to combine the two is a true talent.
Whereas at one time their functionality far outweighed their design, we know this to not be true now. A lamp can be an unnoticed accessory, a decoration to tie a room together, or a statement piece that leaves guests talking far after they've left. Below we have selected several examples of the options available to you when considering the right kind of lighting for your living room – from fresh and funky to minimalist and direct – we've got it covered!
For a period of time, track lighting was considered an outdated design choice – typically built of hard, poorly-coloured plastic with the lights constantly getting stuck in the track, making adjustments almost impossible. This has now changed! Track lighting is available in metals, plastics and even glass – with creative and fresh fixture design. Seen here, Herstal A/S shows how a sleek metal track system, complimented by classic white glass fixtures, can work with almost any room design. The off-white colour of this particular living room with photographs in classic black frames with white matting really compliments the minimalist light design.
Of course, ceiling lamps and tracking systems leave you with limited options, particularly in size and direct light – but adding a track lighting system with at least three or four separate fixtures will give you more flexibility when deciding where to direct the light and which areas of your living room you wish to highlight!
Table lamps have evolved from a simple fixture and shade to wonderful artistic productions. When choosing a table lamp weigh your options with interior decoration. If you choose the right kind of table lamp – perhaps you can skimp, or simply forget the need to add more decor and accessories – particularly with these lamps that double as table sculptures.
Table lamps can offer both direct and indirect light and depending on the wattage, the intensity of the light can vary. Whether you're using your table lamps for late night book reading sessions or for some minimal light while talking with family and friends – smaller, mobile lamps provide just enough light to keep their function and just the right size to be artistic.
If you're looking to add light, style and drama to a room – look no further than a great floor lamp! Here we have a tripod-style floor lamp with a sculptured design on top instead of a typical shade. This type of design can spread light evenly throughout a room while adding height. Imagine in this example that a table with a table lamp would be used instead of this particular floor lamp – it would cut off the open-concept and diminish the illusion of open space. This minimalistic design provides something fresh!
Being able to adjust both height and light intensity is something only floor lamps can offer and without being too large, or permanent – floor lamps can give a mobilized advantage over ceiling or attached wall lighting. Want to change you living room around and try a new design? Floor lamps can join your new ideas and brainstorming and fit into unused corner space or be used to provide a framing element around sofas and tables!
This wonderful example of direct lighting in both a dining and living area displays the possibilities of larger, more permanent lighting fixtures. With a more industrial-feel, these large lamps highlight the key areas of this living space – the refurbished dining room table and the minimalist grey couch in the background.
As you can see, the ceiling in the living room is higher with exposed wood beams, so the designer has chosen to use lamps that are slightly smaller, yet are hung higher as not to cut off the beautiful height of the room. In the dining room, larger fixtures that hang lower are utilized in order to provide a more cosy, comfortable space. Creating intimacy is key with open-concept living spaces!
Check out this wonderful living room project for more ideas on how to get ahead with your lighting options!
Indirect lighting, such as invisible track lighting is perfect when your space has either design elements to highlight or an abundance of natural light like in this example.
This type of lighting works well with either dark or light interiors and especially where textures are concerned. Think wood, beautiful tile back splashes and wall art. The diffusion of light offered by indirect lighting can also be used to set a certain mood in most spaces – particularly living rooms and bedrooms. Pictured here, the raw environment of the wood, mixed with the exposure to natural light and a crackling fire work perfectly with indirect light in the rare chance that you just need a little something extra.
As mentioned earlier, lighting is one of the few parts of home design that combines both functionality and design – so why not think of a multipurpose use of your lamps? Many lamps can offer everything from storage space, to book holders, and pictured here, a lamp built into a side table. These particular designs are by Italian designer, NC, and their new and BEAUTIFUL ’Trio’ Collection!
These pastels would work great in a minimalist living room – particularly if Scandinavian and Danish design are of your taste, or even to be used in a children's room. These are just one of an endless amounts of options available to you when thinking about keeping things useful and minimal. Like this design but not so much into pastels? That's ok, as with most of our suggestions, feel free to be creative and change what you like! A small paint job can transform almost any design into what you would like!
Throw those porcelain, outdated lamps away (and the shades too) and start thinking about the unique designs being offered to spruce up your living room into a place that is fun and new!