Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting

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By Room & Board / Published by Room & Board
Layer your bedding. Layer your clothes. But layer your lighting? Before I sat down with Brian Linehan, Merchandise Manager for Room & Board, I hadn’t considered “layered lighting” and how its elements work together in a room. But the more we talked about using lighting as a textural, mood-creating element for a space, the more I benefits I gleaned from layering three types of lighting: all-over or general lighting, task or direct lighting and accent or ambient lighting.


Add all-over brightness 

"Floor lamps are great place to start when choosing lighting for a room because they illuminate so much of a space," says Brian. "They cast a broad-reaching light." 

 The Rayne floor lamp provides ample overhead lighting, while the Grace table lamp adds a warm glow at the table for two.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 1 of 7 -

The modern Tri-plex floor lamp provides all-over brightness and architectural interest in this bedroom. The Capstone table lamp adds an artistic element with soft, layered lighting.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 2 of 7 - Tri-plex floor lamp, Capstone table lamp

Tri-plex floor lamp, Capstone table lamp

Choose an area of focus 

 "Don’t be afraid to break the rules when it comes to direct lighting. A task light is as great for a desk as it is for sofa-side reading. Or if you’re looking for a modern take on traditional focused lighting, pendants are a great solution because they generally only illuminate the space directly underneath it."A modern take on the traditional task lamp, the Coda lamp has an energy-efficient LED bulb and looks right at home in a living room just as it would in an office.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 3 of 7 - Coda table lamp, Foshay bookcase 

Coda table lamp, Foshay bookcase 

With a nod to mid-century design and retro style, we designed our Camber floor lamp to have modern functionality. The adjustable shade and elbow joint provide light where you need it most, like in this cozy reading nook—a perfect example of focused lighting.  

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 4 of 7 - Camber floor lamp 

Camber floor lamp 

Pendants blend in nicely with other lighting elements in a room, as shown here between our Waltz pendant and Fremont floor lamp. We recommend hanging pendants high enough so you can see across the dining table.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 5 of 7 - Waltz pendant, Freemont floor lamp 

Waltz pendant, Freemont floor lamp 

Accentuate with ambient lighting

 "Table lamps produce beautiful ambient lighting, great for brightening up a dark corner or any part of a space that you really want to highlight." 

 Our Elise table lamps do a beautiful job of creating serene ambiance in this small alcove. Generally easy to mix into a space, table lamps add just a touch of softness to create a calm mood.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 6 of 7 - Elise table lamps, Sherwood dresser 

Elise table lamps, Sherwood dresser 

The Brentford wall sconce and Rayas table lamp add beautiful layers of light. Brentford provides a brighter light over the sofa, while the Rayas lamp brings an overall brightness to this living room.

Expert Design Advice: Layer Your Lighting - Photo 7 of 7 - Brentford wall sconce, Rayas table lamp

Brentford wall sconce, Rayas table lamp

This story was originally published on the Room & Board blog.

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