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Lighting secrets from Your Home & Garden magazine
DINING ROOMS Use soft lighting over the dinner table to reduce glare. Install dimmers. That way, you can check that the glassware and cutlery is spotless while you’re setting up, and then flick the dial to set the mood once the guests start arriving.
KITCHENS Make sure you have plenty of light so you can read cookbooks and see the miniscule measurements on the side of a jug. Open-plan spaces call for subtlety. So try incandescent lighting – under cabinetry or washing over the splashback. Install task lighting over benchtops.
LIVING ROOMS Consider how a room is used when selecting lights. An open-plan living room is a place for entertaining or relaxing in front of the TV. Mirrors are great for bouncing light: install a directional light faced towards a mirror and it will reflect light into the space. Include wall-mounted spotlights that shine onto artworks or decorative pieces. A string of fairy lights in a fireplace fills a black hole, especially in winter if the fireplace isn’t used. Of course, the light from a fire can also create magic ambience. And don’t forget concealed illumination for subtle effect: try small lights installed in an armoire, for instance.
BATHROOMS Practicality is key in bathrooms. Install lighting underneath the vanity and consider including a sensor which switches on a lovely soft light in the middle of the night so you don’t need to fumble around for the switch in the dark!
STUDIES Task lighting is important in a study. Go for a free-standing or desk-top lamp that you can bend or move to suit.
HALLWAYS Go for floor lights that wash onto the walls for subtle effect. They’re also a practical way to light stairwells.
OUTDOORS Pick a special tree to focus lighting on or to illuminate a path. A well-lit garden can add to a visitor’s experience of your home when viewed from inside at night.
Check out more lighting tips or see a slideshow of pendant lights
For more ways to increase the value of your property, head to www.yourhomeandgarden.co.nz or get a great deal on a subscription to Your Home & Garden magazine.