Using multiple sources of light is key—here’s how;

A statement fixture, and then layering wall-mounted sconces, and lamps can create a romantic glow in a formal dining room

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Lighting adds magic to a room. Whether subtle and soft or all-out glistening, lighting is as important as the décor itself.

The right lighting is essential for any room in the home. It sets the mood and defines the functionality of a space.

The secret is designing with multiple sources of lighting, which includes placement of fixtures overhead and at eye-level.

To find the best lighting for any room in your home, use these tips.


In the most successful room designs, the light is distributed evenly. Overhead lighting is great, but it’s better if that light source is on a dimmer switch so you can control the brightness throughout the day.

Living room with warm lighting 58c446805f9b58af5c6ac3c2

Interior design using different focal points of light that illuminate throughout the space is best. Light coming from table lamps or floor lamps helps to keep your eyes moving and helps to highlight a particular part of the room that you’d like to draw more attention to. Or it can focus light on to a collection of artwork, or where you have the bar set up, for example. Placing multiple lamps throughout the home instead of using one large overhead light creates a beautiful sense of warmth.

We often speak about accent lighting as being illuminating jewelry for the home. With that said, certain areas of the home deserve to a little more illuminating ‘jewelry” than others. For example, a foyer, dining room or powder room may call for more drama, therefore dress it up with a pendant or chandelier, ad it will set the stage for when you enter your home. It also adds to the festive spirit of for those special occasions around the dining table. Also, a master bedroom is an appropriate space where you can splurge on a little more “WOW” factor light fixture. In your living room or den, go with using simple overhead ceiling lighting with interesting accent lights such as table lamps or floor lamps set up throughout the space.

Unique living room ceiling light

Working areas, such as a kitchen, office, or a library should be well lit. But entertainment areas, like the living room or dining room, should have sufficient ambient light on a dimmer switch that you can control.


When building and designing a custom home, the first course of action is making sure the electrical plan is designed for strategic placement of floor outlets. That enables placement of table lamps or floor lamps exactly where they need to be placed in a space, and not just placed along the walls of the room’s perimeter.

White living room with pops of orange and a sleek floor lamp

Hanging your chandelier with a minimum of seven foot clearance in you dining room. And in a foyer for example, make sure there is at least 30 inches between the bottom of your hanging fixture and your tables surface. However, these rules are flexible and eye-balling the situation can work too. Interior design can be a fluid process and the lighting is certainly no exception.

When considering the types of light fixtures you should choose, the style of the room is an important consideration. Would you like a traditional space? If you do, pendants, chandeliers, and wall sconces may be your best choice. Is it clean and modern you’re shooting for? In that case, less is more. Perhaps you’d like a more dramatic impact from your lighting design, that could be achieved using ‘hidden’ light sources i.e. LED. Also, the functionality of the lighting plays a key role. Lighting fixture selections should be a careful consideration.


A secret to a beautifully illuminated room begins with good symmetry. It is important to position your lighting at equal distances from a specific object, or spread out evenly over a specific wall, installed at the same height all throughout. Dimmers also help set the mood; just make certain you choose the proper light bulbs. For instance, LED lights may be economical, but not all work on dimmers.

It’s good to divide your lighting into statement pieces and more subdued fixtures that are mostly functional pieces. There should only be one main statement piece per room or per section of a room (depending on the size of the room). Also, you should consider the purpose and actions planned for the room and then consider what your favorite things are for the space and plan it accordingly. Where do you do your makeup? Where do you read? Do you read in bed? These are the factors that can help you choose the right lighting.

Kitchen Chandelier

This kitchen design gets its illumination from light fixtures and spotlighting.


Layering your lighting is key to a successfully lit room.


Your home lighting should be dimmable. This will allow you to create lighting accents for a room that’s based on the time of day and coordinated with the purpose of the room. For instance, if you have a large party in your living room it would warrant a different type of lighting than if you were having a quiet evening at home just reading a book. 

A glimmering pendant, floor lamps, and table lamps create strategic light sources in this home

A stunning pendant can ground a dining table in the dining area. The sparkles can create a wonderful ambient light source. Floor lamps can be strategically placed for reading in your great room. Table lamps placed in the living room not only provide a beautiful design aspect for their texture, shape, and color, but they also provide the light you want and need.

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Placing wall sconces in the foyer above a console, flanking a mirror can help to create a nice focal point on the wall facing the entry. Recessed ceiling lights not only light up the artwork, but they also reflect light nicely off the walls, which can increas the overall ambient light for the room. Recessed ceiling fixtures are a nice complement to a center pendant light in a larger room where there can be darker areas. In your master bedroom, swing arm lamps placed on the walls on each side of the bed can free up space on the bedside tables. Swing arm lamps makes it easier to get good directional light while reading in bed. Layering the light from different sources at different heights can create a robust, full-bodied lighting design.

Raquel Mendoza Bio 1