Homes & Gardens - - IDEAS -

Mak­ing the ex­te­rior of a ru­ral home feel wel­com­ing at night is dif­fi­cult if all you have is a dec­o­ra­tive lantern or se­cu­rity flood­light, as your eye is drawn to the light source, mak­ing every­thing else around ap­pear darker. Adding up­lights to the walls sur­round­ing the house will pro­vide a soft, re­flected light, de­creas­ing the con­trast and cre­at­ing a warmer, more invit­ing am­biance.

In the case of an ur­ban set­ting, think of up­light­ing the front door and po­ten­tially the win­dows in­stead of us­ing a wall light on ei­ther side of the en­trance. Floor wash­ers can also be used to add an­other layer of light to pro­vide a fo­cus down the path.

Halls and stair­cases are the spine of the home as they link all the rooms to­gether, so lay­ers of light are very im­por­tant here. Think about com­bin­ing wall lights, lamps and lanterns with dis­creet minia­ture ar­chi­tec­tural lights for a va­ri­ety of vis­ual ef­fects.

Stairs can be chal­leng­ing to light, but this does in­vite a cre­ative ap­proach. A pen­dant sus­pended down the cen­tre of a light well will add drama, while minia­ture step lights can be used as night lights on the stairs. If there are flow­ers on a ta­ble be­neath key pieces of art­work, then low-glare re­cessed nar­row-beam LED down­lights will lend bright­ness to the space dur­ing the day and cre­ate a fo­cal point at night.

SALLY STOREY, cre­ative di­rec­tor, John Cullen Light­ing, john­cul­len­light­ing.com.

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