There are two rules of thumb with effective lighting: have a mix of light sources at different levels to create a flattering ambience and appropriate task lighting for whatever you do in that space. Here are tips for five key spots.
Light three of the four corners, focusing one of those lights on an object (art, a plant, a striking chair). Use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, some with a downward glow and some that shine upward.
To draw people in, make the table the brightest spot in the room. Use a chandelier or a pendant above the table.
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Focus on overhead lighting (on a dimmer that you can crank up when cooking), and add lower sources for task lighting to cut, cook and prepare food.
Place reading lamps or sconces by the bed—but not pointed directly at it. If you have recessed or track fixtures, angle them away from the bed, toward the dressing area.
The best choice for applying makeup is sidelights, such as a pair of sconces flanking the mirror. An overhead light helps fill in any shadows on your face and also fully illuminates the room (important when cleaning).