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Vignette: Information sign. Photograph by Edwin PP Hints and tips

Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your home interiors projects.

Creative lighting options for your bedroom

Bedroom lamp. Photograph by Paul Harvey

Good lighting can have a significant effect, breaking or making a room's ambience - especially in the bedroom. There's nothing worse than going to bed with lighting that sets you on edge.

Before you start to decorate your bedroom consider the lighting. Where will the furniture be placed? How will you avoid unsightly and dangerous trailing wires? How will the room be used: is it just for sleeping or will it be used for other things, like dressing and making up? Is it big enough for you to spend time in it doing other things during the day?

Every room should make a statement, so choose lighting that will draw attention to your favourite pieces of furniture - for example, your bed, your dressing table, that antique cheval mirror that rotates within its frame.

Lighting can also make your bedroom appear fresher, bigger and more chic, as well as adding value. Where bedside lights are insufficient you can silhouette objects or create another light source in a bedroom with uplighters.

Bedrooms are meant to be cosy spaces where you can retire from the stresses of the world. To create this sort of insular ambience situate reading lamps or sconces near the bed - but not pointing directly at it.

Mix up the lighting to create different effects - background lighting to bathe the ambient space, targeted lighting for areas where tasks like make-up application or hair brushing will be taking place, and accent lighting for drawing attention to your selected features.

To light up your stand out features, like an ornate fireplace, think about installing uplights on either side. This would provide a focus in the room even if the fire is never lit.

In the daytime, if you have sizeable windows there will be an amount of natural light. However, come the evening, downlighting is effective in creating a soft glow overall.

If your bedroom incorporates recessed fixtures, angle the lights away from the bed and in the direction of the area you use for dressing. Include an intimate lamp with a low-wattage tinted bulb on a low table to look like candlelight.

Spotlights, such as those available at Castlegate Lights, can help make features out of architectural details and prized possessions. Spots can also add interest when sited in a room's corners, where light would not normally fall.

If you install two different switches - for example, so ceiling lights are on a different circuit to the spots - you can both highlight specific areas while having lights that can be adjusted to suit a variety of moods. Dimmer switches can transform lighting from cosy to dramatic in an instant.

To achieve different levels of light, table lamps can be very helpful and picture or wall lights can highlight your framed pictures or photographs. This sort of indirect lighting can add an enormous amount of atmosphere to your bedroom.

So, overall, just remember two easily applied procedures to help you light your bedroom: determine what lighting is appropriate for all that you'll be doing in your bedroom space - whether that's dressing, applying make-up or reading - and mix light sources at various levels to give you all the flexibility you need.

Photo credit: Paul Harvey

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