By Holly Reaney
Cottage lighting ideas are one of the most overlooked aspects of renovating a room, often added in as a finishing touch rather than a key consideration. However, given the vital role it plays in creating the perfect atmosphere in a room, it is essential to consider from the start.
'Begin by thinking about how you use the room,' says Period Living magazine editor Melanie Griffiths. 'If it's a space where you like to relax, then create layers with dimmable lamps and wall lights that can be adjusted to suit your needs. Alternatively, if it's somewhere like the kitchen, then good task lighting is a must.'
Continue scrolling for cottage lighting ideas sure to brighten every room in your home.
See: Cottage decorating ideas – 13 ways to get a charming, characterful look
1. Consider the size of the room when choosing your cottage lighting ideas
'Consider proportions,' says Hannah Thompson of Lam Lighting. 'The overall size of the space and the height of the ceiling should guide you. For example, pendants can still work well with low ceilings, providing they are not oversized and the cable has been adjusted to suit the ceiling height.'
Where there is a low ceiling, consider lower level pendant lighting, as in the bedroom above, or do without ceiling lights and wire table lamps to the main light switch for efficient but homey lighting.
See: Cottage curtain ideas – inspiration for a pretty, cozy home
2. Opt for reclaimed lights to add character and charm
A large part of being a conscious consumer is thinking about the life of your purchase beyond its time with you. Similarly, if you buy a piece secondhand – let's call it vintage – you are lessening your impact on the environment. The upside? A reclaimed piece will add character and charm that a new cottage lighting buy can't.
See: Cottage kitchen ideas – design inspiration for homely spaces
3. Use wall lights in rooms with low ceilings
‘Let yourself be led by the natural architecture of the room. The key is to find a healthy balance. You don't want to ‘over light’ an area and make it feel artificial. Where it might be difficult to install overhead lights, wall lights are a fool-proof go to.’ Cassie Rowland, creative director at Jim Lawrence
4. Illuminate your cooking with task lights in the kitchen
When you're cooking, the light levels are essential but this needs special consideration in cottage kitchens, which are notoriously dark. Installing pendant lights over your worktops offers focused task light.
However, you can boost that with spotlighting. If you want an unfitted look that complements the style of your cottage kitchen, you can have clamp lights like this mains wired.
This feature was created by H&G's sister brand, Period Living magazine
Subscribe to Period Living for more inspiration Period Living is the UK's best-selling period homes magazine. A subscription provides you with all you need to know about caring for and improving a traditional house and garden.
5. Use pendant cottage lighting to brighten your kitchen
When you are redesigning a kitchen, the lights can often get overlooked, even though it is critical to both the atmosphere and functionality of a space. A pendant light makes a striking feature over an island or dining table, and adds to the authentic personality of the space begin the true engine room of the home.
Pick a shade in a color that contributes to the color scheme – here, the green is part of a pretty, multi-colored scheme that's reflective of florals.
6. Create an cozy ambience with lamps
'Lamps are the key ingredient to any scheme, the light is more comfortable and relaxed then overheads. In a cottage this will have the effect of dialling up the cosy cottage feel.' says interior designer Susie Watson of Susie Watson Designs
'Using warm white bulbs at eye level will draw everything in, making the feel of the room warm and inviting. Position your lamps around precious ornaments and much loved artwork you want to showcase.'
7. Consider bulb color as well as shades and design
While the look of the shade and fittings are very important, don't overlook the bulb itself as this can have a huge impact on effect the lights has on a room.
'The color of your light can make or break the scheme,' says Lam Lighting founder Hannah Thompson. 'New LED's offer a much wider range of color, from cool blues to very warm yellows. For a cottage we would recommend a warm bulb, reminiscent of traditional filament bulbs – somewhere between 2200 to 2800 kelvin.'
9. Be inspired by layered cottage lighting ideas for a relaxing bedroom
Of all the rooms in your home, the lighting in the bedroom is one of the most important. A glass pendant is a great choice for a main light as it will subtly diffuse light throughout the room to create a relaxing ambience, perfect for winding down for bed. Pair this with bedside lamps to give you greater flexibility over light levels.
Smaller task lights attached to the wall on either side of the bed are a great choice if you like to read in bed, and will provide ample light.
10. Experiment with cottage lighting ideas by adding prints and patterns on lamp shades
Accessories provide the perfect space for your to experiment with bolder patterns a colors. This beautiful Furry Folk shade designed by illustrator Maude Smith for Pooky features hand drawn deer, birds and squirrels and is perfect for bringing a touch of woodland magic to a cottage interior.
11. Create an relaxing ambience in the bathroom with wall lights
'The key to creating the perfect ambience in your bathroom is to make sure the light reflects the kind of sanctuary you are trying to achieve. Introducing symmetrical wall lights either side of your wash basin will limit shadows, while a bold yet beautiful pendant light above your basin can really make a difference to the look of the room,' says Scarlett Blakey, creative partner of Ophelia Blake Interior Design.
For more cottage bathroom ideas, don't miss our dedicated gallery.
12. Combine contemporary design with traditional
Contrasting lighting design with the rest of the room is a clever way to make it stand out. Here, a cottage bedroom is lit by a modern bedside table lamp whose simplicity means that it's the perfect fit – but also a clever contrast – to the more traditional elements of the room. Its simplicity makes it stand out beautifully.
13. Use cottage lighting ideas to play with scale
Playing with scale in any interior is a decorative trick that interior designers like to use to create a focal point, added impact and instant character. A cottage typically has smaller rooms which means those focal points have to be cleverly thought out and often practical, too. Here, the effect is created effortlessly with twin table lamps that are separately proportionally too large for a cottage living room, but perfect as a decorative trick.
14. Choose task lighting with character
Some contemporary light fittings hit just the right note for cottage interiors – and can provide better functionality than traditional pieces. Notably this applies for task lighting, wherever that might be needed in the house. For avid home office workers or bedtime readers, this might mean an angled lamp that's really ergonomic but fits right in to your cottage interior.
15. Don't forget outdoor cottage lighting
So now you've sorted out your interior lights, it's time to turn your attention outside. Not only will an outdoor light help you find you keys and unlock your door in the darker evenings but it will also enhance your home's security.
See: Cottage garden ideas – 10 ways to create the look
While it is common to only have one outdoor light, if your door in the center of a wall or porch, then placing a light either side of the door creates a beautiful symmetry which will complete your cottage's style.
Fall color schemes – 10 autumnal shades and combinations to cozy up with
Warm up your home with fall color schemes, from fiery red and burnt oranges, to inky purples and restful neutrals
By Ailis Brennan •
Celebrity landscaper Garrett Magee reveals his most unconventional planting tip – and why it works in all gardens
The Backyard Envy star is among New York's most established landscapers – this is what he does differently
By Megan Slack •
Take a look at this historic Swedish island home – its decor is just as it was 100 years ago
The Swedish island of Sandhamn is all about blue skies and endless seascapes, and this pretty summer home makes the most of the striking scenery
By Sue Gutsell •
Inside an ancient thatched cottage in Dorset – updated in style
This 400-year-old home has had some sympathetic changes inside and out to turn it into the perfect country escape
By Karen Darlow •
This Georgian manor in Yorkshire is brimming with antiques
Vintage fabrics expert Angela Wardale discovered a gem of a historic home and set about restoring it just as carefully as she repairs her antique textiles
By Heather Dixon •
This 16th century former English coaching inn and its unusual summerhouse are full of vintage finds
This family home was once a bustling coaching inn, and still offers a warm welcome and a comfortable place to relax
By Karen Darlow •
Tour this bright and beautiful country cottage in the Scottish Highlands
Artist Penny Kennedy breathed new life and bright colors into her rural Scottish cottage, turning it into a charming, light-filled home
By Mairi MacDonald •
This idyllic 16th-century English cottage has been beautifully restored – and makes the perfect family home
A twist of fate led André and Lisanne Hedger to realize their dream of owning a chocolate-box thatched cottage in the heart of the countryside
By Pippa Blenkinsop •
Take a tour around Britain's oldest home – built in 1584
There has been a dwelling on this site since 1016, long before the magnificent Elizabethan manor was built. Each passing century has left its legacy here. Royal visitors, and illustrious architects and designers are all part of the story
By Karen Darlow •
12 cottage porch ideas – design inspiration for a cozy, welcoming entrance
Embrace the cottage porch look to make your home feel warm and inviting, and even extend your living space
By Melanie Griffiths •