A light touch is cru­cial

NT News - Real Estate - - Realestate Territory Builders - ROBYN WIL­LIS

any­one about their top pri­or­i­ties for build­ing or ren­o­vat­ing and it’s un­likely they will say light­ing.

Be­yond choos­ing a beau­ti­ful pen­dant light or ta­ble lamp, light­ing has the power to make a room feel smaller or larger, cre­ate a party at­mos­phere or ready the house­hold for bed.

Seg­ment man­ager for Ger­ard Light­ing, Peter Portelli, says a good light­ing plan gives you the flex­i­bil­ity to change your space at the flick of a switch. “You can cre­ate a room within a room by light­ing one part of the room and not the rest,” Peter says.

“It vis­ually re­duces the size of the room to make it feel more com­fort­able. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, if you want a room to feel big­ger, you light the walls, but if you want the room to feel snug, move the lights away from the walls.”

You can make a hall­way feel more spa­cious, he says, by hang­ing art­work on the walls and then light­ing each pic­ture.

“You can even di­rect peo­ple through your house with light,” Peter says. “If the kitchen is dark, they will nat­u­rally move through to the liv­ing room where there are lights on.”

With a lit­tle thought, you can cre­ate dif­fer­ent moods for the same room.

“You can have mul­ti­ple ‘scenes’ by turn­ing cer­tain lights off and cre­at­ing a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere in the same space,” he says. “But it helps a lot if the lights are dimmable.”

While big-bud­get build­ing pro­jects can fac­tor in the cost of a light­ing de­signer, Peter says the re­al­ity for most peo­ple is to rely on the elec­tri­cian for in­for­ma­tion. But he says light­ing re­tail­ers are of­ten a great source of ad­vice.

“Do some re­search on­line,” he says. “Our web­site has a sec­tion on light­ing de­sign. Even if it’s a rental — they won’t want you to change the light fit­tings but you can change the bulbs.”

More Ger­ard Light­ing, ger­ard­light­ing.com.au; Liv­ing Edge, livingedge.com.auAs house sizes con­tinue to shrink, it’s worth think­ing about the var­i­ous roles that each room in your home plays over the course of a day — and how a thought­ful light­ing plan can fa­cil­i­tate that. What serves as an ac­tiv­ity area for the kids early in the evening might be­come the per­fect room for wind­ing down af­ter they’ve gone to bed. Even work ar­eas like the kitchen and bath­room can be trans­formed into a late night bar or day spa re­spec­tively with the right light­ing. Where pos­si­ble, go for dimmable lights for over­head pen­dant and down­lights which will al­low you to go from strong light to some­thing a lit­tle more at­mo­spheric.

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