Rebecca Pagan, the Commercial Director at Pagazzi Lighting explains how to use light to make a small room feel more spacious
Lighting is a key aspect of home decor, yet it can often be overlooked. The right lighting has the power to completely transform your interior aesthetic, providing a starting point for the décor scheme of your room, creating dramatic focus and engendering a warm and inviting ambience, all whilst displaying your unique style and personality.
Clever lighting choices can also work wonders in helping to open up a small room, making it appear more spacious and welcoming. Every room, no matter what its size, will appear larger when well illuminated. A downward facing ceiling light, for example, can actually make a room appear smaller by pooling the light into one area, whereas a ceiling fitting that directs light upwards and outwards can have the opposite effect by bouncing light around the whole room.
There’s nothing to stop you from opting for a show-stopping light fitting in a small room. A contemporary multi-directional chandelier or a futuristic sputnik piece makes for an impressive centrepiece that will enhance your space by casting light in every direction and making it seem bigger. A minimalist piece with an interesting design or a unique shape can create just as much impact as an oversized and low-hanging chandelier that might dominate a small room.
Where space is very limited in a small or low-ceilinged room, a low-profile flush light, which sits directly on the ceiling, can make it appear higher, thus giving the impression of more space. Semi-flush fittings, which sit a few inches off the ceiling with a small-space gap, work equally well, providing an uplift effect by shining light up against the ceiling, as well as direct downwards light.
Multiple light sources are key for spreading light around a room, so complement your main light. Space-saving wall lights, vertical floor lamps that draw the eye upwards and thoughtfully situated table lamps will add layers of light to a room and provide options for ambient, accent and task lighting, as well as creating the illusion of more space. You can easily add pleasing symmetry with matching lamps on the ends of a shelf or mantelpiece and create flowing harmony by matching lamps to existing furniture, accessories and ornaments.
Sleek or compact wall lights are a fabulous way to add ambient lighting without taking up limited floor or surface space in a small living room or hallway. Wall lights placed at intervals along the wall of a staircase and situated to mirror the upwards slope of the stairs, are an incredibly effective way to open up this often cramped or narrow space. In a small bedroom, where space is at a premium and there may not be room for bedside tables, switched wall lights on either side of the bed make a fabulous alternative to reading lamps, ideal for freeing up space on tables and creating a more streamlined effect.
Wall lights are generally best placed around two-thirds of the way up the wall, but siting them just a tiny bit higher is another way to draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of height. As a rule of thumb wall lights should hang around 12 inches away from the headboard and 30 inches from the top of the mattress so they can be easily reached to switch on and off. Our Zaira Wall Light even has a handy built-in shelf for your phone, specs or glass of water.
Pendant lights hanging down from the ceiling are another fabulous way to free up bedside space and will work to 'lift' design elements up from furniture level, drawing the eye upwards, creating dimension and an elegant focal point.
Minimalist décor and light colour schemes are an obvious way to make a room appear larger, as well as the use of mirrors to create the illusion of more space by reflecting light around the area. Vertical lines trick the eye into believing that a space is taller than it actually is, so the introduction of vertically striped wallpaper or stick floor lamps can effectively elongate your room.
An aesthetically pleasing arc lamp curving over a favourite chair or sofa makes a beautiful focal point with its organic line lending a relaxed vibe. Its relatively small base means it can work in a smaller room with limited floor space - the base nestles behind, whilst the over-arching lamp can project over seating and brighten up dark corners.