A guide to General, Accent and Task Lights with Pooky
With longer nights ahead of us, it is necessary to have the right light sources around our homes to ensure they are well lit. But what about style, colour and texture? Besides serving a very important function, lights can help bring a scheme together, add character and even fun to a room. That's why it is one of the most important aspects in interior design, one that you really need to think of early in your design process.
Interior design mandates that each room should have 3 types of lighting: General, Task and Accent. Want to know more about them?
"After layout, lighting is the second thing I add to any design, as it is so important", says KLC trained Interior Designer Phoebe Oldrey of Smartstyle Interiors.
"It really is the key to building the right atmosphere in a room", Phoebe goes on. "All my designs cover the 3 main types of lighting: General – that’s your all over lighting; Accent – the fun stuff that picks up features in the room; and Task – lighting that helps you do tasks like reading lights, desk lights or lights on kitchen counter tops".
I remember some time ago, I joined a workshop by interior designer Abigail Ahern (the Queen of Dark Rooms) and heard how a room should have anything between 5 to ten light sources (some of her own rooms have as many as 13!). Not all light sources have to be electricity-ran however. Candles and reflective surfaces also count.
Task lights can be used on a desk within work spaces but can also be handy over kitchen worktops and in reading nooks. These are usually directing the light at specific angle to ensure it is focused and bright enough for you to perform a certain task.
Above: Working the black and brass trend is the Mo desk light from Pooky, with black hood and base. Graceful and full of poise, this beauty is quite tall so needs a bit of space.
An articulating fixture is useful when you move in various positions around your work station - you can bring the light close or move it away from you to avoid reflection on a computer screen for example.
Over your island
Elegant, delicate and with the perfect angles, you can hang the large and long Luxor lantern in clear glass above a kitchen island. If you have more lights in the room, you can hang this very low as shown below.
Dining in style
Named after Ursula Andress, goddess of style and cool in the sixties, the Ursula chandelier (below) has curves, style and a certain sex appeal. A mid-century future classic, it rocks black and brass (again) and can be hang at varying heights from the ceiling. All the lights can be pointed as you wish. With a wingspan of 120cm, this is a statement piece, but at £395 it will not leave you out of pocket.
These are the types of lights that can help you bring a scheme together, usually by reflecting colour or texture that you see elsewhere in a room, or adding some contrast.
In the photo below, Phoebe Oldrey (Smartstyle Interiors) used the Verdura table lamps in blown glass, from Pooky, to frame a sofa in these Barristers' Chambers. The lamp base echoes the colour of the cushions, making the scheme coherent and breaking the neutral colours in the most delightful way.
To see more of this scheme, click here.
Photo: Daniela Exley
Photo: Daniela Exley
"Table lamps are fab as they can cover Task lighting but also give you a sculptural accessory to lift your decorative scheme" continues Phoebe. "It’s the double whammy product for us designers, one that does two great jobs in one piece". I couldn't agree more.
Be bold with colour
Not long ago I wrote you a piece about 10 ways to add colour with lights. It's a great read so if you love colour, do give it a go!
A fuchsia drum shade over the Salamander eau de nil glass base (£225, both Pooky) is just enough to take this romantic scheme to a whole new level. For a patterned design try this pink block printed straight empire shade (from £50). For a similar bed, try the Ercol for John Lewis Shalstone Bed Frame in Oak (£899).
How about some geometrics mixed with florals? I believe I know quite a few people who would love this style! This is the new Lottie table lamp (from Pooky) with a cobalt blue and stone glaze with a shade in Sunshine Hand made parchment. For a similar wallpaper try this from Matthew Williamson.
Looking for something more architectural? In a room that lacks focal points try a lamp that has unexpected curves and shape to draw attention to a specific area, like a reading nook or a console table, creating a little vignette.
Tryffid - yes, you got it - it stands proud on three peg legs. Made from cast aluminium, this is a quirky, stylish light finished in antique gold. Looks particularly great with a tall tapered velvet shade. Looks like a mini Eiffel Tower too.
Accent lights can be used to add texture in a space. If you want to be subtle in your design, choose material that is replicated in other furniture in your room, for example use a brass base when you already have a brass coffee table.