Light is one of interiors’ most crucial layers and is integral to the way that people enjoy a room, yet it is so often the most overlooked element in interior design. As a magical tool for bringing a space to life it can create both a subtle awareness of a room’s appeal or instantly make a substantial difference to its mood, transforming it from atmospheric to upbeat. Whatever the desired effect, it’s important that lighting is selected with these key factors in mind...

1. Decide your decorative theme

Before choosing the light fixtures, it is imperative to decide on the decorative theme of the house; whether it’s classic, contemporary, or transitional, and then accordingly, select light that fits the space. Complementing light fixtures with the home decor theme and style will not only set the right balance and make your home look more welcoming, but it will jazz up the entire living area.

2. Size is important

Regardless of the type of lighting selected, it must be proportional to the size of the space. Always ask your designer, or the lighting dealer you purchase light fixtures from, to prepare an image to scale to help you visualise the proportion and synergy in the room. Understanding scale is very important and many clients make this mistake.

3. Tone it down

Never use light that shines in the eyes. Light that is too bright makes everything look off colour and tires the eyes, thus should be avoided. Additionally, if the lighting does not have shades or has exposed bulbs, make sure to use bulbs with a hint of yellow, as they will reflect warmth.

4. Factor in flexibility

Always insist on a dimmer system to control the room’s character. No matter the size, scale or budget the client has, a dimmer is a key must-have. It allows flexibility as per the time of day, event, or mood. What’s more, they are great energy savers! It is a very inexpensive add-on and this simple device alters the entire appearance and mood in the room.

5. Personal preference

Always do some basic research online or go through a variety of interiors publications to gather ideas. What catches your eye? Ultimately, you are going to look at these light fixtures every day, so choose something you feel connected to. This is your home and your living space, at the end of the day it must feel like home to you.

6. Buy local

Try to purchase lighting from a local dealer to have the assurance of warranty and service. Should anything go wrong, the local agent is obliged to provide you service, support and, ultimately, peace of mind. I have had many clients who purchased lighting from outside the UAE thinking they were getting great savings, however once they received the products, and found that these lights had some complications such as the wrong voltage, size or finish, they were stuck with something that couldn’t be used or replaced. In the UAE, purchase everything from an authorised dealer.

Neel Shukla

Neel Shukla, Creative and Managing Director of Four Seasons Ramesh Gallery, is an industry leader in decorative lighting and has been furnishing and decorating hotels and residences in the Arabian Gulf, Africa, Europe and the USA for 18 years.

Images supplied by Four Seasons Ramesh Gallery