Every year, our (Jenna’s) neighborhood hosts a Progressive Dinner Party for Christmas. We begin with appetizers, cocktails, and secret Santa gifts at one home, transition into a dinner menu at the next house, and end the evening with desserts at the final home. We love this tradition because we not only get to spend quality time celebrating our friendships, we get the chance to enjoy each other’s homes and Christmas decorations. This year, as our night came to an end, my husband and I were serving dessert to our friends, and I noticed everyone was crowded in our kitchen. I wondered why they chose our kitchen versus the living room like they had the two homes we visited prior to ours, and it hit me, lighting can enhance the ambiance of a room, and I was doing it all wrong.
This post is sponsored by Old Time Pottery, but the content and opinions expressed here are our own.
Overhead Lighting is not Always the Way to Go
Pondering on the differences between my home and my two close friends’, I realized a common difference, both women did not turn on their overhead lighting and chose to light their living rooms with accent lighting instead.
It’s important to know how lighting can enhance the ambiance of a room, and what types of lighting a room needs to create the right mood. Some rooms require bright lights to provide a general light source, while others should reflect comfort and rest. When guests are visiting, they do not want to feel like they’re standing in the spotlight and would much rather walk into a welcoming space that feels cozy and comforting.
Thinking back to a wedding we planned, I remember when the videographer shined a bright spotlight on the dance floor which resulted in guests leaving the dance floor altogether. During our Christmas party, I realized the overhead lights in my living room were resembling those spotlights, and my guests didn’t feel comfortable enough to cozy up on the sofa to gather and connect.
How Lighting Can Enhance the Ambiance of a Room
The word ambiance means ‘character and atmosphere of a place,’ and we encourage you to thoughtfully assign a feeling or emotion to each room in your home. Ask yourself how you want guests to feel in that specific room and set goals to achieve that specific characteristic.
Living & Family Rooms
For example, I want my front living room to be welcoming with a sense of cleanliness and clarity that greets my guests with open arms as they walk through our front door. I do not want them to feel overwhelmed or scattered as their brains first process our space. I want to provide them a space to unwind and feel refreshed.
While my front living room’s main characteristic is clarity and cleanliness, my back family room’s purpose is to encourage rest and comfort. The use of blankets and table lamps encourages a cozy space to curl up and relax.
In these two rooms, my choice of lighting is very different. The front room is filled with large windows to provide a bright source of natural light and houses bold lighting sources with interesting bases and pops of metallic gold. If your goal is to enhance the space of a room and highlight cleanliness, such as mine in our living room, choose bright ambient lighting and use bulbs with cooler tones. Bulbs with cool tones are my favorite for spaces such as these.
On the other hand, I’ve strategically chosen accent lighting to create a relaxing space in my back family room. This is the space I ultimately want our guests to gather. By using soft white/warmer bulbs, I’m able to provide our guests with a space to unwind and feel comfortable. I use these soft warmer bulbs in the bedroom as well.
Speaking of the bedroom, I have never been a huge fan of overhead lighting in the evening. My goal each evening is to calm my mind and create a space that allows my family to gently transition from a busy day to a peaceful night. The use of accent lighting on our bedside tables gives us that calming space to unwind, whether we choose to journal, watch a movie together, or curl up with a good book and tea, these accent lights dim our room while providing us with enough lighting to focus on the task at hand and feel a sense of peace and calming.
All in all, I’m glad I took the time to ponder how the lighting in our home enhances the ambiance of a room so I can serve my guests by providing them with rooms that achieve different goals, i.e. rest, clarity, and comfort.
If you’re ready to transform a room, visit Old Time Pottery’s Blog to learn how to Choose the Perfect Table and Floor Lamps for Your Home, and always remember, the difference between is house and a home is the purpose in which it serves loved ones. Carefully select Table and Floor Lamps to achieve the characteristics you’ve chosen for each room and set up a welcoming space today.