Lighting for small spaces

Now that it is dark for 70% of the time (true story) we thought that we would share our 9 top tips for lighting up a small space. Smaller rooms can be tricky to make seem like open, welcoming spaces but with our tips you'll be lighting like a pro in no time. 
cosy armchair lighting
Photo @fionamphoto

1. Natural light is king

There really is nothing better than natural light, it creates the best ambiance and the first port of call in any interior design scheme is to figure out how to maximise it. This is all the more important in a small space. Our top two tips to enhance the natural light you have in a small room are firstly, to use a floor to celing mirror opposite the window to spread light around the whole room. Secondly, minimise window coverings as much as you can, make sure you have fastnings to pull them right back from the window during daylight hours.
natural light using mirror
 Image via Pinterest

 2. Layering

Ok, so natural light is king but realistically, a lot of the time you spend in the room will be once the sun has gone down. No matter how small you room, you need to make sure you have multiple sources of light to make the room as functional (and atmospheric) as you can. Layer up lights so that you have your main light (whether that is pendant or spotlight), task lighting for specific tasks such as reading or cooking and mood lighting to create, well, mood. 

 

layered bedroom lighting
Image via @mybedroomgoals

Check our our pinterest page for more small space lighting inspo

 3. Tall floor lights

Where you are working with minmal space, create vertical lines by using tall floor lights. Where possible, use multifunctional but beautiful furniture like this side table with floor lamp incorporated.

Side table with floor lamp incorporatedImage @hartoeditions

 

4. Pendant lights

Use long pendant lights to create a feeling of space within a room, preferably with no light shade to maximise the radiance of the bulb used. This oak and rope one adds texture and personality to the room too. 

long pendant light over floating bedside
Image @fionamphoto 

5. Shady choices

Give a lot of thought to shades. Lighter colour shades will allow the light to shine through more and give you better illumination, darker shades will direct the light into a specific corner. There are a lot of modern designs which dispense with shades altogether especially with the rise of designer Edison style bulbs available. Our favourite for a small space is to use a glass shade which will allow a lot of light through but also create a beautiful statement piece.

glass pendants

Image via Pinterest

6. Think outside the box

Use lighting in unexpected ways, whether that is using a pendant light above your bedside to free up your bedside table space, under kitchen cabinet lighting in your bedroom or a huge statement chandelier in a bathroom. Using lighting differently can add that wow factor or help create the ambiance you need in a small space.

7. Check scale

Make sure you’ve got your proportions right. A lot of lighting and furniture is designed for bigger rooms, check for smaller lights to ensure the scale is right in your space.

Table lamp
Image @fionamphoto

8. Throw out the rule book

Or scrap the point above and simply use a massive oversize pendant or table light to create a statement in your room. This can create a really dramatic look which works well for some small spaces. Just make sure you keep the rest of your lighting to scale, too many statement pieces can confuse the eye.

Oversize pendant lights

Image via Pinterest

 9. #mood

Finally, you want a room that is ambient for all occasions whatever you are using it for. Lighting is not all about illumination, it can be key in creating the vibe of the room. So, in the final part of your light layering, add anything you need that will help your create a relaxing, romantic or chilled space whether that is fairy lights, candles or even a disco light! This is the least functional but by far the most important step in our view.

Candle lit room

 Image via Pinterest

So, there you have our top tips for lighting up your small space. We are always looking for more ideas, how do you light your small space? Do share! 

  • Sallie Agnihotri
  • Lightingpendant lampsmall space livingsmall spacestable lamp

Comments on this post (1)

  • Nov 10, 2017

    Such good ideas – one good thing about winter is being cosy inside and with these lighting tips it’s something we can all achieve!

    — Nicola

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