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LET IT SHINE! Lighting designer Nicky Schellander explains why lighting can transform your home

A good lighting scheme has the ability to completely transform a space, yet when creating an interior design framework, it is often considered more of an afterthought rather than a priority when homeowners begin the process of redecorating their home.

However, its forgotten importance is something of a disappointment to glassware design and lighting expert Nicola Schellander, who believes that homeowners often fail to give lighting the attention that it deserves.

“This is down to a number of reasons,” said Nicola. “Although varied in style, I feel the marketplace has not opened up to maximising the use or exploration of different materials. Price too can be an issue. Often British customers, in particular, may feel that their budgets are better spent on items of furniture leaving lighting at the bottom of the list. In time however I am hoping this will change.”

Whilst understated, indoor lighting not only has impact, but has the potential to transform a house into a home but equally can make or break an interior scheme, without first careful consideration of their importance to the aesthetics and functionality of living spaces.

In the absence of good lighting the influence of other well-thought out details – whether they be the grand furnishings or luxurious wall coverings – may be rendered useless and their impact lost altogether.

There are three types of lighting that have a particular function to fulfil specific needs and these include: Ambient, Task and Accent Lighting.

Ambient lighting, which encompasses everything from wall lamps to chandeliers, illuminates the home, creates warmth, makes a room feel less cramped and even have a positive psychosocial impact on mood and mental health.

Such lighting is crucial to a home’s interior because it nullifies the risk of creating gloomy or unattractive spaces, which may cause family members or visitors to avoid these areas whilst also making a room feel claustrophobic or cramped.

Task lighting on the other hand supports homeowners when performing specific tasks such as reading, working, or even taking a shower without being subject to eye-strain – ultimately helping getting the job done.

Understanding where light in the room would be best used is crucial when planning and designing a fresh new look for the interior of a home. Task lighting can also be used in rooms that may already have ambient light.

The third basic type of lighting, Accent, is for those who wish to add character to specific areas in order to draw attention towards something that the homeowner may wish to stand out.

Compared to Ambient and Task lighting, Accent is purely aesthetic and is primarily used to highlight areas to accentuate image and style. Their use can range from heightening the ambience of specific areas within the home such as artwork, photographs or even within a trophy cabinet.

From furniture to flooring and finishes to fitting, lighting plays an integral role in achieving the perfect equilibrium between style, comfort and creating a stunning, yet functional interior.

Nicola, who has worked with retail brands such as John Lewis, Harrods and Laura Ashley during her 20-year glittering career and now has her own studio where she manufactures her unique designs, commented: “When designing your home lighting can often be unintentionally overlooked as people fail to release that light is perhaps one of the most important element in a home’s interior.

“Whilst on the surface lighting may not seem a key aspect in your home, its importance is hugely understated. Lighting plays with our perceptions, creates new and exciting sensations and can completely reinvent a design. Essentially it can change the mood of a room qualifying it as a one of the most crucial elements in the design process.

“Lighting can add colour, make a bold statement within a minimalistic design or add an element of individuality. It should be considered as an integral part of a room’s design and not just for functional purposes. It should complement your lifestyle and complement the atmosphere you wish to create and the decorative elements you wish to emphasise.

“In my own work I always try to look for projects that push creative boundaries using materials and design to create a unique and overall visual appeal.

“The process of building an idyllic home requires numerous elements that are harmoniously brought together. Lighting should be as high on the list as flooring and wall colours yet is so often forgotten. It is the ultimate accessory which has the power to change the face of a room and create the ambience desired.”