One of the must-haves in my family room renovation is more lighting. I have 'made do' with 2 lamps on end tables and a pharmacy floor lamp but it was sadly not enough. I am installing some recessed lighting for additional accent on the fireplace wall and over the sofa for reading and illuminating the art wall. This brings to mind some of our lighting recommendations:
Rule of Thumb # 1:
Place lights in every quadrant of your room. Divide your room into quadrants and put lighting appropriate to the task in that area.
Rule of Thumb # 2:
Know your wattage requirements- you can never have too much light!
Dining Room: depends on the mood you want to set but 60-100 watts is recommended over the table, with other sconces or accent lights of 40-60 each. Dimmers are preferred in this setting.
Reading areas: 75-100 watts
Bathroom: overhead 75 watts and side lighting 60 watts.
Workspace: 100 watts, multiple overhead bulbs.
Kitchens: pull out all stops with maximum lighting overhead, task lighting and accent (ambient) lights.
Rule of Thumb # 3:
You need overhead, floor and table lamps. The best lighting is at eye level, since most overhead lighting creates shadows. The color of your lampshades, and bulbs all affect the color light cast in your room. We opt for the whitest color light to best show off your interior. LED lights work great under kitchen counters to avoid shadows.
Rule of Thumb # 4:
Layer your lighting. Start with the ceiling for overall effect (use a dimmer switch), table and floor lamps and then accent lights ( down lights, up lights, sconces). Vary the size of the light you use from large, medium to small.
Some of our pet peeves are too many recessed lights in a room (looks like swiss cheese), a ceiling fixture that is too small (make a statement!) and not enough light (check your quadrants).
Do you see an overall theme in decorating recommendations?
Layer, layer, layer!
Most of all have fun with your home, it is your own artist's canvas.