Contemporary Lighting Guide

Contemporary interior design is all about clean lines, simple forms, and a minimalist aesthetic. Lighting plays a crucial role in any scheme but when it comes to contemporary design it takes on a new importance. In a minimalist schemes contemporary lighting fixtures and pieces are not only functional but also serve as a focus that can enhance the overall look and feel of the space.

1. Understand the functionality of lighting

Lighting can be classified into three categories: ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting is the primary source of light in a room and is usually provided by ceiling fixtures. Task lighting as the name implies is used for specific activities such as reading or cooking. Accent lighting is used to highlight specific features and objects in a room. Consider the activities that will take place in each room, for example, a living room may need ambient lighting for general illumination, task lighting for reading, and accent lighting to highlight artwork or architectural features.

2. Determine the mood

Lighting is essential in setting the mood of any space. When planning your lighting design, it's important to consider the mood you want to create and how it may change throughout the day. Warm, low, soft lighting can create a cosy and intimate atmosphere, perfect for relaxing or entertaining guests. Alternatively, brighter, and cooler tones can provide an energizing atmosphere, ideal for working or exercising. To achieve the desired mood, you can use a combination of different lighting types, such as ambient, task, and accent lighting. With the right lighting design, you can transform any space into a comfortable and inviting environment.


3. Choose the right type of fixture

Consider the different types of lighting fixtures when designing a space, including pendant lights, chandeliers, wall scones, along with floor and table lamps. Each type serves a different purpose and can create a unique atmosphere. Pendant lights provide ambient lighting in dining rooms and hallways, while chandeliers are a statement piece. Wall sconces are ideal for task lighting in bathrooms and bedrooms, while lamps are versatile and can be used to highlight areas of focus or aid in tasks. It's important to choose the right size lighting fixture for your space to avoid overwhelming or underwhelming the area. Choosing a fixture proportional to your space is the best solution, however, you can also make a statement by going against this norm and selecting a lighting fixture that adds character and charm to your room.

4. Pay attention to details

Contemporary lighting comes in a multitude of finishes from metal to glass, plastic, resin, and wood. Choose a finish and material to complement or challenge the overall design scheme. For example, in a room that features real wood accents consider a wooden light fixture to blend in or alternatively challenge the scheme with a lighting piece from a different school of thought say resin or metal to stand against the design. Also consider perspective for example in a very pared back minimalist scheme think about a standout statement piece that pushes lighting to the fore. 

5. Trends

Following on a key trend for this year is for sculptural and statement lighting pieces. From unusual shapes to innovative materials there is a trend towards a more daring design in lighting. Fixtures that are unusual and eye catching that challenge the everyday and are show-stopping art forms in themselves are becoming increasingly popular. These choices can add an artistic quality to a pared back scheme. Depending on your selection they can point towards a natural world with flowing organic shapes and soft textures, or you could choose an item that is more eclectic to make a true style statement. 

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