Gallery Image: Concealing downlights into a shelving system such as these alcove cubes will show off artwork and collections and create depth and interest in a living room. Combined with an accent light to highlight the picture on the chimneybreast, this room feels both architecturally interesting and homely. Polestar downlights, £53 each including transformer, John Cullen Lighting.
A range of lighting is needed for living rooms, from task lighting, such as anglepoise or table lamps, for when you’re tackling paperwork or reading, to dimmable ambient lighting for relaxation – floor lamps, wall lights and downlights work well for this. Accent lighting, such as picture lights or alcove downlights, highlights features and creates a feeling of depth and detail in the room.
‘You should always have accent lighting to create a warm glow,’ says Susan Quirke, managing director at Quirke McNamara Consultancy (QMC). ‘A floor lamp and two table lamps will create an inviting feel, while wall lights add a sense of glamour to a room as you can match shades to the scheme.’
Hector Finch, owner of Hector Finch Lighting, suggests using pendant lights for rooms with high ceilings. ‘A chandelier provides glamour,’ he says. ‘You should use lighting to highlight items of interest, such as pictures and ornaments, too.’
Interior designer Ben Rousseau says furniture can be used to create lighting effects. ‘I’ve been integrating lighting into furniture with amazing results,’ he explains. ‘Sitting inside a glowing hanging chair always mesmerises me.’