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    How to create a cosy winter ambience with selective use of lighting

    ISM Objects

    Lighting designer and co-founder of ISM Objects , Celina Clarke advises homeowners to get selective about their lighting preferences to create a cosy ambience in the home during the cold winter days.

    Different types of lights can be strategically positioned and selectively used throughout the home to create the desired comfortable environment. Celina says it’s best to avoid over-lighting a space despite winter’s shorter days and often grey skies. Rather than turning on every light in the house, she suggests illuminating only the rooms being used and only to suit the task.

    Celina says the key to creating a warm atmosphere is to use downlights sparingly; a pendant, floor, table or wall lamp can be switched on instead. TV watchers, for example will gain ample light from the screen and a more relaxing ambience with the simple addition of a floor or table lamp.

    Celina explains that people tend to naturally gravitate towards warmth, textures and natural colours in winter. Lighting provides an ideal medium for introducing an earthy palette, with the benefit of infusing personality into a space and forming a ready focal point.

    Choosing the right lamp for winter lighting

    Celina’s suggestions include a compact fluorescent (CFL) in warm white, which is also an energy efficient lamp that can be left on for extended periods, but can’t be dimmed; halogen lamps that are very easy to dim but not the most energy efficient option, though producing a lovely colour, which makes them a great choice for shorter bursts; and LED, the most energy efficient lamp, and while some can be dimmed, the colour produced isn’t as warm as a CFL.

    Celina’s tips for winter lighting

    A table lamp atop a hall table instantly sets the tone for an inviting home as opposed to the cold feel of a stark and uninhabited hallway.

    Position a floor lamp to create a ‘campfire effect’, drawing people out of the darkness to the glow of the light.

    Table lamps can highlight favourite nooks, crannies or objects with comforting pools of warm light.

    Position a floor light beside a couch at a height suited to reading; the effect is a workable pool of light.

    Dim a pendant light above a dining table as night descends and the party is underway.

    Position a table lamp or two to highlight different areas and objects or features of interest within a room.

    Lighting can be directed onto a benchtop or upwards to up-light a kitchen. A cluster of pendants above an island bench can replace downlights.

    Hand-crafted lighting and furniture pieces are trending in interiors; Steven McClure’s Stippled range of individually made porcelain lights can instil a warm glow and soften the bedroom space.

    Be imaginative with table lamps or hanging pendants on either side of the bed for a point of difference, or wall lights attached to joinery.

    Combine two different types of lights such as a wall sconce or up-light and a directional reading light to conjure a 5-star hotel feel for the bedroom. 

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