Let’s be real, nobody wants their home to look cheap. Despite what many let on, impressing friends, family, and neighbors with a beautiful, welcoming home is important. While money isn’t everything, no one wants their mother to see their first apartment and hear her tell you that “It looks like a dump!” Most people would also prefer to live in a space that feels rich and cozy, as opposed to one that feels cheap and bare. Regardless of your budget, there are a few approaches you can take when attempting to enrich your home.
Make a statement
While lighting has a utilitarian purpose, that is not its sole reason for existing. Lighting brightens the mood of a space; it inspires conversation and connection. Because it is such a central part of the home, lighting is the perfect element to make your home feel richer. Whether you use mostly pendant lighting or some combination of recessed lighting, wall sconces, and an ornate chandelier, you’ll have to find pieces that work well together and décor that works well with them.
Should you splurge?
Quality is everything. While your bathroom mirrors or hallway throw rugs may be some things you can save on, common spaces, especially the ones your guests will see, are the place to spend. You want your home décor to last, so spending the extra money is worth it if it means longevity. There are two cardinal rules of splurging on décor: 1) splurge on what gets the most use and 2) splurge on what gets the most attention. Lighting falls into both of these categories. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential lighting accounted for about 10 percent of total residential energy consumption in 2015. That means that 10 percent of everything you do at home that uses electricity involves lighting.
Sophistication on a budget
Sometimes the money just isn’t there. Don’t let that stop you from making your home feel as rich as you wish you were. In addition to some strategic design guidelines, you can definitely find beautifully crafted lighting fixtures at more affordable costs. Also, if you’re crafty and into DIY-ing your home, consider buying fabric remnants from furniture makers or online retailers. You can use the remnants or “scraps” to repurpose old throw pillows or use them as accents to tie different rooms together throughout your home. Thrift stores are also a great place to find typically expensive items, at a price of next to nothing, which you can use throughout a single room or your entire home. One thing is for sure, however, don’t skimp when it comes to your lighting.
Spotlight on décor
When decorating to highlight your home’s lighting, be sure not to have any other conflicting statement pieces, as they will distract your eyes and detract from the intended star of the show. Maxim Lighting makes some remarkable show-stoppers that certainly eliminate competition for attention as a problem. Contrary to what you may think, the pieces don’t have to be overpowering in size to command attention. Small pendants that serve as the room’s sole light source will draw attention. You can also have a brightly colored light fixture in a room with a neutral color palette, which is not only ideal for serving a focal point, but also on trend with the Modernist design movement. Another way to make your home feel more lavish is to keep it simple. While this may seem counterintuitive, as owning more usually communicates a greater social status, clutter can cheapen your home. Let the walls, lighting, and furniture speak for themselves.
The next time you find yourself thinking that your home is feeling a little dull or dated, start by taking a look at — and potentially upgrading — your lighting.