Lighting Your Home, Room by Room

Lighting your home is one of the most important decisions you can make.  There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every home.  Personal taste, the style of your home, and the mood you want to set are all involved in what lighting will work best in each room.

  • Lighting can set the tone for your entire home
  • Clean lines and modern lighting adds the feeling of luxury
  • Light each room individually, linked to the overall feeling of your home

Why is lighting so important?  A room’s lighting can influence those in the room

  • Emotionally, by establishing the overall feel of the room, from bright lights to more cozy ambient lighting.  Having the wrong kind of lighting during winter, for instance, can make seasonal reactive disorder worse, leading to worsening depression
  • Physically, by giving you just the right amount of light, depending on the time of day.  Bright lights at night can cause problems getting to sleep, while not enough lighting can put a strain on your eyesight

Designers, however, have guidelines they go by when deciding on how to light each room.  Let’s take a look, along with how the 2020 lighting trends will influence how you light your home.


entryway foyer lighting
entryway foyer lighting overhead

Your entryway or foyer is the first thing visitors see when coming into your home. The lighting in the entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Large or small, in most houses, the entryway has great lighting from the outside, but will need some attention when it comes to ambient lighting. Overhead light fixtures should light the entire area. Be careful not to have the light too harsh.

A small entry would benefit from ceiling-mounted or recessed lighting fixtures, with some added wall sconces for a cozier touch. In larger entryways with staircases, a beautiful chandelier, with this year’s brushed gold hues, would light the entire area with class and grace, just the feeling you’d want in your entryway.


kitchen overhead ceiling recessed lighting

Your kitchen is the center of your home. Most homes now offer open floor plans, allowing you to be in the kitchen and still see and chat with those in the family room or dining area. With your family and guests congregating around the kitchen, overhead lighting is definitely an area of focus. Most designers recommend general recessed lighting, along with hanging fixtures over areas like the kitchen island and the eating area.

Functional lighting over work areas of the kitchen is important. Lights mounted under cabinets can light even the darkest corners of the kitchen. Having adequate light over your stovetop is also important, so choose a kitchen hood or overhead microwave oven that has adequate lighting.

For overhead lighting, install dimmer switches, so you can lower the amount of light from your overheads for those times when the kitchen isn’t being used for cooking.


living room family lighting

Next to the kitchen, your family and guests will be in the living room or family room.  Favorite open floor plans allow for the family room to be open to the kitchen, so carrying over the overhead recessed lighting, with dimmer switches, will work.  At the same time, an overhead fan with its own lamp will not only keep the air moving, but can also give another way to focus light on the center of the room.  The fan should be on a dimmer switch as well.  

Next comes focused lighting, which can be accomplished with both movable overhead lights and ambient lighting.  For instance, if you have artwork in your family room, a light trained on the area where your art is will focus the attention of your visitors when they come into the room.  Add some recessed lighting over your entertainment center and any other special areas in the room, such as a bar or desk.

Ambient lighting with stationary lamps that match the style of the room should then be added to make it easier to read, as well as to add a more comfy feeling around the room, add the finishing touches to the room.

If your room has a modern feel, keep in mind that clean lines and streamlined fixtures are part of our 2020 lighting trends, making it easier to pick those fixtures and lamps that fit that bill.  Even if your room is designed in a more traditional style, you can still keep the clean lines in your fixtures, instead of the more ornate lighting that goes along with the style.  


bedroom lighting wooden chandelier

Your bedroom is your haven, the part of the home that’s your sanctuary away from all the problems of the day.  Lighting can definitely influence the feel of the bedroom, making the choice of fixtures and where the lighting goes all the more important. 

As with the family room, combining both overhead lighting and ambient lamps will let you set the tone for the room.  Canned recessed lighting, an overhead fan with a light, or other overhead fixtures will allow you to see the whole room, for times when you’re not trying to relax or sleep.

Keep in mind that you spend a good portion of your day in your bedroom, so the lighting should make you feel comfortable, calm, at peace, and relaxed.  Overhead lights should be on dimmer switches with a remote control.  Lamps should match the overall style of the room and should be next to the bed to allow for reading.

Lamps are now available that dim on a timer, reducing light over, say, 30 minutes when it’s time to go to bed, so by the time the light goes off altogether, you’re ready for sleep.  It also can help wake you in the morning; instead of harsh light as soon as you open your eyes, the lamp turns on by slowing increasing the amount of light until it’s time for you to get up.  It’s really helpful for those with seasonal reactive disorder, when there’s less light from the sky.  Separate timers are also available and work with any lamp to accomplish the same thing.


bathroom lighting glass hanging chandelier

The lighting in your bathrooms makes going about your business easier, whether it’s your master bath or the half-bath in the family areas.

Once again, a combination of both overhead recessed lighting or drop lighting fixtures along with overhead lights in specific areas, such as over the sink, the bathtub, and the toilet, is highly recommended. Recessed lighting illuminates the entire room, while focused lighting adds light to areas where you need a closer look.

Imagine your master bath with overhead lights on a dimmer, and functional lighting over the mirror. Add some candles and your evening bath will soak away the day’s worries.

At the same time, having focused lighting over your sinks and mirrors combined with overhead lighting on full will make getting ready for a busy day ahead even easier and quicker.

We Can Help Light Your Life

At Graham’s Living, we’re the experts you call on when it’s time to replace your older lighting with something new and luxurious. Changing your lighting is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your home from the commonplace to the upscale. We can help you get the most out of your lighting and remodeling budget, big or small. Don’t you deserve to have the best?

Get started by visiting the showroom or setting an appointment with one of our design specialists.