Light is the animator of space, and it’s a very powerful tool in interior design. The specialists at Gary Riggs Home offer their advice on how to turn a dull, soulless room into one that can be vibrant and exciting, soulful and welcoming or serene and relaxing.

One of the most straightforward ways to maximize light in a room is to eschew heavy, dark window treatments that prevent natural light from entering the room. Mirrors can also have a huge impact on the amount of light in a room. A big mirror mounted opposite a window amplifies the amount of light in the room and creates the illusion that the room is larger than it really is.

In the same vein, the kinds of surfaces that are present in a room will affect how the light moves around that room. Bright, reflective, metallic or glossy surfaces will maximize natural light, while dark, matte surfaces will absorb light.

Of course, a room can also have too much sunlight. Features like skylights can produce harsh pools of light that are twice as bright as a window the same size. Using a matte finish on dark ceramic tile will help diffuse the harsh light and make the room more pleasing to the eye.

And it’s not just natural sunlight that’s important in a room. Electrical lighting should play a role in your design scheme. A dramatic lighting arrangement can transform your room from light and functional to atmospheric and moody in an instant.

Layering the light in a room—especially a room in which you spend a lot of time after dark—is important. All interior designers use three layers of lighting:

  1. General Lighting: Try to stay away from only one, intense light on the ceiling in the middle of the room, which can cast very harsh, sharp shadows. Instead, try hanging track lighting in the middle of the room, which will diffuse the light and dissipate the shadows. Plus, each individual light is directional, allowing you to illuminate dark corners or even add a little dramatic lighting to highlight a picture or mirror.
  2. Accent Lighting: This is where lighting really gets interesting. Accent lighting creates mood and atmosphere through more concentrated pools of light. It’s very diverse, and can take the form of wall lights, picture lights, table lamps or even candles.
  3. Task Lighting: This is light that illuminates an area where you need it to read or work. A floor lamp placed next to a chair or a funky table lamp on a desk make for excellent task lighting.

If you need advice on lighting your home, the specialists at Gary Riggs Home are happy to help. Give them a call or drop by their store in Dallas.