A cosy home is lovely to come into after being outdoors in the rain and cold. While your automatic reaction might be to throw some pillows and blankets into the mix, there’s a better way to make your home snug. You can transform your home into a comfortable, warm, and relaxing sanctuary by simply adding some new lighting. Interior design psychology expert Niki Schafer has teamed up with B&Q to tell you how to make your home cosy with lighting.
We all want to achieve peak cosiness in our homes, but how is it done?
Rumour has it, adding some new lighting can make your home more welcoming and snuggly.
So where do you need extra light and which bulbs should you use?
Niki reveals her top five tips to making your home cosy with lights.
What do you look for when you shop for lightbulbs?
Niki advises purchasing bulbs with low Kelvins.
She said: “Never underestimate the power of the perfect lightbulb.
“The temperature of a bulb is measured in Kelvins.
“While high Kelvins give more neutral white light to create an energising, bright, vibrant environment, it’s the low Kelvins that generate warmer, cosier lights.”
She added: “A light that you want to sit by and feel cosy, needs to be a lovely yellow or peach coloured light – and 2700 on the Kelvin scale is ideal.
“To give this some comparison, bright daylight can be up to 6500K, and a fire is lower still – around 1900, which is super cosy but perhaps a little difficult to see by!”
A dark and dingy hallway is definitely not inviting, so it’s time to brighten your hallway up.
Niki said: “When thinking about how to make your home a cosy haven from the outside world, it’s best to start the journey in the hallway.
“As the first interior space you see after a long day, it immediately sets the scene of relaxation before you get further into the home.
“You’ll need somewhere to empty your pockets, unload your keys and look through the post, so I always advise setting up a table lamp with a temperature of 2700 Kelvins on a console.
“This space, and especially its light, is essential for setting the scene of relaxation before you get further into your home.”
The living room is a place for relaxing and you want your lighting to reflect this.
Niki said: “When settling down for the evening, cosied up on the sofa, you don’t want garish overhead lights which can feel too bright and cold.
“To achieve the feeling of cosy – the point at which our bodies relax and we feel a sense of safety – it’s best to sit in a pocket of light.
“A dimmable floor lamp is perfect to achieve this, as it casts a warm puddle of light in a specific area.”
You can also use lighting to make your room more functional.
Niki said: “If you’ve got a darker corner, could a lamp transform it into a reading nook?
“If so, try adding a ceramic based or rattan style table lamp with a light coloured shade next to your favourite armchair or on either side of your sofa.”
You can also use the lighting to create a sense of balance in the room.
Niki said: “Wall lights can create soft light that doesn’t dominate. Try leaving them on a circuit of their own so they can be used as the sole source of light.”
When you’re in bed, the last thing you need is a bright light above you keeping you awake.
Niki advises bedside table lamps to help you wind down before sleeping.
She said: “Bedside table lamps are a great feature to the room as they flank a bed and look wonderful in their symmetry.
“In the space where we most need to switch off, it’s really important that your lights produce a relaxing glow as you settle into bed at night.
“Consider a separate reading light but keep the bedside light as a more romantic or cosy light source.”
“Of course, all light will be impacted by the colours around it – darker, warmer colours absorb some of the light, whereas white and lighter colours will bounce it around more.
“All of these can be taken into consideration so think carefully about how you want to feel in each space you are designing your lighting for.”
Last but not least, you need a diverse lighting system in the kitchen to suit the rooms multiple uses.
Niki said: “Kitchens require brighter light when you’re working in them, but it’s nice to turn the glare down when you’re eating or just enjoying a glass of wine.
“A cluster of pendant lights above a dining table are a gorgeous way to set the scene for mealtimes – but make sure you always use a dimmable switch to add a hint of romance to the dinner.
“A pendant light is also brilliant as acting as a focal point, statement piece, or even a conversation starter.
“From modern and sleek to ornate and dramatic, there are no limits to the impression you can create.”