For many of us, thoughtfulness in design goes as far as creating a functional floor plan, bringing in an eye-candy sofa and contemplating about what colours should we introduce into a space to make it feel welcoming and uplifting. Despite the fact that it represents the single most important aspect of interior design, lighting often comes as an afterthought. 

Consumed with the selection of furniture and wall decor, we tend to postpone the thoughts on how to light our homes until the very last stages of the decorating process. However, lighting can truly make or break a space, so coming up with a good lighting plan is indeed crucial to creating both a functional and cosy living environment.

From antique chandeliers in the living room to mid-century modern pendants above the dining room table, there are so many sensational options available to help you lift up your home with lighting.

Here are our expert tips on how to light your home like a pro.

1. Master natural light first

Before you create a dedicated Pinterest folder and start pinning your dream antique chandeliers or fabulous modernist oversized pendants, first take a moment to study the way natural light travels inside your home. Consider different times of the day and changes you’ll see throughout the year.

Remember, it is not only about light. It’s about shadows too. Use the dance of the shadows to play with drama and illusion. And when you master natural light in your home, continue with building up the mood with vintage lighting.

natural light in interior design
Image source: One kindesign

2. How to light your home

Don’t go rushing into closing a shopping list filled with your favourite antique lights without thinking about the function of the space you are looking to illuminate. Create a mini-plan that covers the essentials and guarantees you’ll end up with just enough light to tackle the tasks you’ll be performing in each room.

The kitchen and the bedroom will obviously require a wildly different lighting plan, so make sure to consider both productivity and desired ambiance before committing to a specific piece.

How to light your home | Vinterior

Swedish Chandelier In Brass & Glass By Holger Johansson For Westal

How to light your home | Vinterior

Magnetic Danish White Enamel Ball Wall Lamps From Lyfa, 1970s, Set Of 2

3. Learn how to layer lighting

Use multiple lighting sources to add flexibility and interest to each room. Aim to include three different types of lighting sources: overhead lights, task lights and accent lights.

The layered approach is godsent for creating a cosy cocoon ambiance as well as adapting to our everchanging needs throughout the days or year. So instead of over-lighting the room, create a conversation by using multiple lighting sources throughout the floor plan.

Learn how to layer lighting | Vinterior

Glass Ball Pendant For Glashütte Limburg, 1970s

Learn how to layer lighting | Vinterior

Set Of ‘Uchiwa’ Fan Wall Lamps By Ingo Maurer, 1974

Learn how to layer lighting | Vinterior

Pair Banci Firenze Florentine Tole Gold Gilt Table Lamps, Crystal Flowers & Alabaster, 1950`S Ca, Italian

4. Antique lighting doubling as ar

Antique lighting offers a great opportunity to breathe in character into any space. Classic, neutral rooms thrive with statement antique chandeliers that provide texture and grace even when the light is switched off.

Sculptural, oversized or colourful, antique lighting can be a fantastic opportunity to create a distinct visual vocabulary fit for any art lover.

Think of a chandelier as a beloved sculpture deserving of a centre stage of the room.

Antique lighting doubling as art | Vinterior

Maison Bagues Style Chandelier, Bronze & Crystal, 1940`S Ca, French

Antique lighting doubling as art

Cubist Chandelier 1913 By Josef Gocar

5. Create symmetry with vintage lighting

Without a doubt, one of the biggest bedroom design trends of the moment is symmetry. In recent years we’ve seen interior designers explore symmetry as a way to bring serenity and a sense of stability into our everchanging lives, and bedroom lighting seems to be the most fitting for the task.

Jumping this trend wagon is super easy (and equally beneficial). Just use a pair of vintage table lamps, statement vintage wall lights or eye-catching antique pendants on each side of the bed.

Create symmetry with vintage lighting | Vinterior

Set Of 2 Cast Bronze Empire Wall Light Sconces By Peris Andreu, Spain, 1970s

Create symmetry with vintage lighting | Vinterior

Gunnar Nylund Cream Colored “Chamotte” Table Lamp. 1940s

Create symmetry with vintage lighting | Vinterior

1950s Swedish Diablo Wall Lamp By Asea In Brass Black Matte Textured Paint In The Manner Of Vilhelm Lauritzen N’ Paavo Tynell

6. Eclectic lighting as a focal point

The best thing about the eclectic style is the fact that it allows for creative outbursts of all kinds. When it comes to eclectic lighting, this unlimited design freedom translates into whimsical, unexpectedly delightful focal points that are powerful enough to set the tone for the entire room.

Think oversized chandeliers, eccentric vintage lighting, unexpected shapes and hues – anything bold enough to speak up and take the lead.

Eclectic lighting as a focal point | Vinterior

Doria Chandelier Glass Tube Pyramid Pendant Lamp 1950s 1960s Enormous 96 Glasses

Eclectic lighting as a focal point | Vinterior

Ben Swildens Table Lamp For Verre 10445 Lumiere, 1970

Eclectic lighting as a focal point | Vinterior

Stejnar Flush Mount ‘Dandelion’ Chandelier For Rupert Nikoll

7. Use chandeliers to create zones

Use antique lighting to frame different areas inside the room. Wall sconces can be used to draw attention to a favourite painting, a floor lamp is known to cosy up any corner, and a vintage chandelier… it can organise an entire floor plan and act as a modern hearthstone, gathering everyone under its warm glow.

Use chandeliers to create zones | Vinterior

Vintage Sputnik Chandelier By Angelo Brotto For Esperia

8. Mix and match lighting to maximise on style and functionality

What layering different levels of lighting does in terms of functionality, mixing vintage lighting with modern references mirrors in terms of aesthetics. Experimenting with a blend of styles and time periods does a lion’s share in preventing a new build from feeling like a cookie-cutter, while at the same time allowing for a personal, timeless style to shine through.

Mix and match lighting to maximise on style and functionality | Vinterior

Vintage Glass Bohemian Cube Pendand By Kamenicky Senov, Czechoslovakia 1970s

Mix and match lighting to maximise on style and functionality | Vinterior

I Guzzini Meblo Pull Down Pendant

9. Warm the atmosphere up 

With the rise of fluorescent and LED lights, we’ve encountered numerous lighting plan fails. When setting the tone for your lighting scheme, too bright, too white or too cold are never qualities to aspire for. Instead, go for a slightly warm feel.

Always prioritise severals bulbs that give off soft light over a single bright lighting source. Don’t make yourself uncomfortably exposed by too powerful overhead lighting fixtures. A dimmer switch or additional vintage lamps will equip you with all the light you need without constantly creating glare.

Warm the atmosphere up | Vinterior

Kalmar Palazzo Flush Light, Brutalist Glass & Gilt Brass, 1970`S Ca, Austrian

Warm the atmosphere up | Vinterior

Sailboat Shaped Table Light By Daum, Signed And Labelled, France, 1950s

Warm the atmosphere up | Vinterior

Chandelier By Gaetano Sciolari, 1960s

10. Consider ceiling hight

One of the most often overlooked aspects of interior lighting is taking into account the height of the room. Believe it or not, but a majority of chandeliers these days are set too close to the ceiling and thus provide an awkward glow.

An extra tip: if you want to make the room feel extra intimate and encourage conversation, lower a chandelier even closer to the ground so it can illuminate people’s faces as they look into each other’s eyes.

Consider ceiling hight | Vinterior

Regency Gilt Crystal Chandelier By Palwa Germany, 1970s

Consider ceiling hight | Vinterior

Vintage Metal & Acrylic Chandelier By Josef Hurka For Napako, 1960s

Early planning will pay off! We promise.

Feature image: Krickelin’s