The bright days of summer are coming to a close, and the nights are drawing in. But while it can be easy just to switch on the lights without another thought, pausing to consider your lighting design almost always pays dividends.
With the days getting darker, taking the time to refine your lighting in autumn can make a big difference to the ambience of your home. So here are our tips for bringing a cosy autumnal glow to your rooms.
With natural light in increasingly short supply in the autumn, it can be tempting to compensate by turning to overhead fittings to flood your rooms with as much indoor light as possible. However, these can cast quite a flat light, and their crispness and brightness can feel out of step with the season.
Instead, consider adding warmth and dimension to your rooms with local lighting. Vertical floor lamps are great for lighting armchairs to create a cosy reading nook, while table lamps and angle-poise lamps make surprisingly versatile and effective lights for an intimately-lit dining area. You can even combine LED cable lights with mason jars or sculptural artworks to provide atmospheric autumn lighting. These kinds of solutions give you versatility when you need it, and can be switched off or stored when you don’t.
You can also embrace the changing seasons, and make your interiors work in harmony with nature, by adding some natural themes to your lighting design. Popular trends this year include green cabling and green enamel shades to match the deep evergreens that last all year, and chandelier and lamp designs that mimic dramatic twisting branches after the leaves have fallen.
Another important element of autumn lighting design is how warm your home feels. No, this isn’t just controlled by your thermostat: every light source has a colour temperature too. This is measured in degrees Kelvin and ranges from lights with a bluer tone, which feel cooler, to warmer-hued lights with more red in them.
Redder light of course feels richer and cosier, but it also has a physiological effect: your body will release more melatonin, which helps you relax and wind down for sleep. Light at the bluer end of the spectrum, on the other hand, mimics a sunny day and makes your body feel more alert – worth remembering for a gloomy Monday morning. You can control your lights’ colour temperature by choosing bulbs with different temperature ratings, or with smart home systems like Philips Hue or TP Link.
Direct light isn’t the only way to control colour temperature either. All of your light sources will pass through shades and bounce off walls. So adding a splash of colour to a room will make it feel warmer or cooler. For warm lighting in autumn hues, try introducing some copper, which is joining gold and brass as the metallic colour of choice, overtaking previous favourites chrome and silver. Its lovely warm hue is perfect for sleek lampshades and accessories in contemporary urban interiors, but it also looks equally appropriate in traditional country homes.
As we’ve shown, adjusting your home’s lighting in autumn needn’t be complex. By simply keeping the idea of warmth in mind – choosing warm colours, layering natural materials and opting for warmer-toned bulbs and shades – you’ll soon create a cosy glow to keep the autumnal gloom at bay and make guests feel at home.