Interior Design

The lighting mistake we make every winter – and the expert tips to fix it

It works wonders for dark rooms

expert lighting tips
(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

When you think about brightening up your living spaces at this time of year, you may well be considering as many new living room lighting ideas as possible. The dark evenings and low-light days can feel relentless, and it's understandable that some of us reach for the overhead spotlight switch or replace our lightbulbs with stronger, brighter ones.  

expert lighting tips

(Image credit: Pooky)

And yet, according to Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy, this is exactly what not to do if you want to maximize the comfort and your enjoyment of your home during this winter lockdown.

As Lucy explains, installing bright overhead lights as part of a darkness-combating strategy that isn't necessarily the most productive way to approach this stay-at-home winter. Instead, says Lucy, we should avoid overhead lighting in favor of low-level lighting.

'It’s important throughout this strange time, to focus on what we can control,' she says. 'A cozy, comfortable living environment can make us feel safer, happier and well-rested, as feeling relaxed at home can improve our sleep, too. 

'Try seeing the time you spend at home this lockdown as a chance to "hibernate" and create the ultimate sumptuous space for you to fully relax and rest.'

Pooky Kilda table lamp in orange ceramic

(Image credit: Pooky)

Lighting plays a huge part in how restful (or otherwise) our environment is. So, if you want to create a sense of tranquillity and calm, soft side lighting will help you achieve this, she advises. 

'Lean into the dark evenings by opting not to turn the overhead light on when the daylight fades,' suggests Lucy. 'Instead, team up a warm-toned table lamp with lots and lots and lots of candles. Layering up church candles in different corners of your room will create a romantic candle-lit glow.'

She also emphasises the importance of the colors of both your furnishings and your lights, advising that 'the deeper and more opulent the shades you choose, the more of a cocoon-like effect it will create.'

We're ready for hibernation surrounded by beautiful lamps and candles – we'll add plenty of cushions and blankets to that, and we'll happily stay put until the arrival of spring. 

Anna K. Cottrell is now a freelance writer, having previously been a Content Editor for Future's homes titles. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening. On H&G, she specialized in writing about property – buying, selling, renting – sustainability and eco issues.