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Homes Extra: Let There Be Light

Read on for the latest in home and garden lighting ideas for a bright and up to date space, says Sara Whatley

Let in the light! Most of us desire light and bright homes in the day and cosy ambient settings come  the evening. Lighting your house and garden in a thoughtful and tailored way can give you the ability to showcase the fabulous features of your home, and make it a more enjoyable, comfortable place to be; all at the flick of a switch.

Home lighting trends for 2024 include wireless lighting (rechargeable movable lights anyone?), the ongoing mushroom phenomenon which this
time expresses itself in table lamps – think of a domed lid on a softly curved base – and natural fibre lamp shades: look to bamboo, water grass, palm fibre, jute and linen.

A smart lighting system in the home and garden is nothing new, but it is becoming increasingly user friendly and viable. As an energy efficient and totally unique way to light your space, you can chose which lights you want on, where you want them on and for how long by using a remote control or app on your phone.

This is not only great for creating perfect mood lighting and having fun with things like syncing your lighting to your home entertainment system, but you can also rest assured that your home will be more efficient and secure with lights that turn on and off as you enter and leave your home, or even lighting to look like you are in when you’re not.

Another lighting trend this year is the somewhat classic glass shade. Enjoy versions in smoked, opal and coloured glass, adding a touch of elegance and old- fashioned glamour to your home. Modern takes on the look come in ribbed glass, teardrop shapes and large pendants.

Now let’s turn our attention to garden lighting. The beauty of lighting up a garden is that it is multipurpose; it can be for practical purposes or used as a design statement. Our garden is part of our home, and therefore it gives an opportunity to express our sense of style, just as we do with our interior décor.

No one can marvel at the beauty of the garden in the dark! But with some thoughtful lighting the garden can be illuminated to make the outdoor space an extension of the home. Enjoy outside dining spaces for alfresco meals with intimate lighting on the table, or perhaps extend the living room with outdoor sofas and comfortable chairs, use table or floor standing lamps to emulate a similar lighting scheme from house to garden for a seamless transition – just make sure they are either specifically for outdoor use or you take them back inside after use.

Minimalist garden lighting has plenty of useful applications, it’s generally hidden during the day so makes a big impact come nightfall, enhancing the natural aesthetic of the garden as well as being practical. For example, small solar lights could be sunk alongside paths or boarders, and during the day are unobtrusive and barely noticeable, but come dark they provide a welcome guiding light.

On the other hand garden lighting can be used as a dramatic artistic statement. Use directional lights to highlight sculptural specimen plants such as ferns and palms to create intricate shadows and plays of light against garden walls and paths. Trees are beautiful in the daytime garden and come nightfall they can make natural sculptures given the correct lighting. Try uplights at the base of trees or even mounted spotlights within the branches to get right into the canopy. Alternatively, if you have sculptures in your garden already then lighting them generously will let you enjoy their beauty right around the clock.

For large gardens floodlights might be used to light up whole areas, and in smaller gardens think about smaller elements of interest to highlight – a garden bench, a trellis, a special pot plant. Have fun with your lighting journey to make it both practical and pleasurable.

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