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Make Your Small Home Look Bigger (VI) – Light

So for the past few editions, we’ve been talking about different ways to make your small home look bigger. They are the window dressings, ceilings, and colours, furniture placement, art and wall decor and most recently, fabrics. Now, let’s turn our sights on how lights can affect the visual space of your house.

You might think the colour of your lights don’t matter in the grand scheme of your home design, but it’s practical to consider how colours will turn out in natural and artificial lights. In fact, lights DO affect the appearance of the colours you use within the home. Before choosing the paint and making big purchases, try to get samples or swatches and place them where they will be located to see how they will look like throughout the day. This is crucial since the colour that looks gorgeous during the day, may look horrendous at night under artificial light. This effect is known as Metamerism, which is used to describe the way light affects colour. When ascertaining the colour temperature of a light, we look at how they are expressed on the Kelvin scale (K). Lights with a lower colour temperature (3500K or less) have a warmer appearance that can be red-yellow or white with orange tones. A more balanced light of 3500K to 4000K will have a white appearance. Lights measuring more than 4000K will have a cooler appearance that is bluish-white. Generally, warmer lights are used to promote relaxation while cooler lights are used to increase one’s focus.



Determine the direction your room faces.

Depending on where your room is facing, the amount of sunlight it receives will affect the colours you can use. For instance, a room facing the East will receive sunlight in the morning while a room facing West is more likely to feel the brunt in the afternoon. In this case, you may want to consider using cooler colours with blue undertones or whites to balance the stronger light pouring in. Otherwise, warm colours will make a darker room appear more inviting. Before you start painting, it’s good to paint a few samples of colour that you like on the wall and observe how the light affects their appearance throughout the day.


Decide what you’re going to use the room for.

If you’re only going to use the room at night e.g. study room, then choosing a suitable artificial light is important. You don’t want the colours in your room to look washed out or unappealing.


Consider the lights you’re buying.

There is a vast variety of lights out there, but here are the 3 main types:

  • Incandescent light brings out the warmth in colours and objects. It’s also the most flattering light for our skin tones etc. They are not as eco-friendly as LED light bulbs, so they are gradually being replaced all over the world.
  • Natural light lets you see colours accurately. For houses that do not have much of it, you can go for full spectrum lights that emulate natural light. They have a range of benefits such as helping to reduce eye strain and are energy-efficient.
  • Fluorescent light is a bright harsh light that takes away the warmth in colours, which causes skin tones to look greyish or blue-greyish. They are great as task lights, but not so appealing as ambient lights.

And that brings us to the end of our “Make Your Small Home Look Bigger” series. We hope the tips have been useful for you thus far and do let us know your thoughts on our Facebook fan page!

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