If your open-plan living space feels vast and cavernous, create zones by adding creative lighting solutions
How do you define a space? It isn’t always a straightforward task. And, with homes becoming increasingly open plan, this interior design conundrum is more common than ever.
Since we also tend to allow clutter to collect in our homes, it’s very easy for large spaces to lose their original purpose. A great way to solve this problem? Create smaller ‘zones’ within a room (and of course, declutter).
Whether it’s a cozy reading nook or a stylish breakfast bar, defining zones can add depth and texture to a room, while generating a more calm and orderly living space.
As you define zones, your options are as endless as your creativity. Try switching from wood flooring to tiles to signify the divide between the dining room and kitchen, or use sofas and tables as a tangible divider.
Here at Light Yard we’re all about, well, lighting. We’ll show you how a well-placed pendant light or a statement floor lamp can draw the eye and send a clear and defined message: this is a space with purpose.
Copper Leaf Globe Pendant Light
Recessed lighting may be the go-to option for modern homebuilders, but distinctive open-plan kitchen/dining rooms demand lighting which brings personality to the table. Interiors experts agree that 2020 is the year to go big or go home. In particular, new-industrial designs with refined styling and sleek and luxurious finishes are on the rise. For an example, see our Orbital Industrial Style Pendant Light
Pendant lights are hard workers and serve as ideal task lights, particularly over in-built chopping boards, island sinks and other food prep areas. They become indispensable to day-to-day family life, providing illumination as children complete their homework at the breakfast bar or as the remote worker toils into the night.
Create an adjacent zone within this open plan space by hanging an eye-catching pendant lamp above the dining table (it doesn’t have to match but should have the same finish or shape). In doing so you will create an alternative focal point, drawing the eye away from the work areas and delineating this area of concentrated light as a separate zone.
It’s vital that you add a dimming switch to each zone however, so that the lights can be raised and lowered when the action of daily life flows from one zone to the next.
Statement Floor Lamps
Orbital Industrial Style Floor Lamp
Interior designers love a good statement floor lamp. When you choose the right size, these lamps can help delineate a space for a specific purpose while effortlessly creating atmosphere and a feeling of cosiness.
“Cosiness to me means warmth and familiarity so getting the lighting right is key,” says lighting designer Sophie Amini. “In a sitting room I like to use quite large lamps, which establish themselves as part of the room, whether on or off. I am cocooned by a cosy glow of colour which makes me feel happy, far away and very relaxed.”
Remember what we said about 2020 being a year for going big? Well, with a large enough floor lamp, such as our Orbital floor lamp, you’ll create subtle divisions between spaces: between a seating area and a workspace, for example, or between a meditation space and a reading nook.
You can even use lighting to separate a large bathroom into separate zones. Open plan living, particularly in second homes and in the hospitality arena, has led to a rise in flowing bed/bath layouts, which feature screens or glass panels – or have no barriers at all – between the bedroom and bathroom areas.
Recently, a specially commissioned series of our Azure LED deck lights were used in one such property, effectively separating the bathtub ‘zone’ from other living spaces. Four oversize pillar lights (twice their usual size) were used in the project, with jaw-dropping results. Read about this incredible project here.
Note: If you’re choosing lighting for the bathroom, you’ll need to ensure your lights are appropriately IP rated. Find out more here.