An elegant floor lamp with a beige shade casts a warm glow against a backdrop of dark curtains.

Illuminate Your Life With Indoor and Outdoor Apartment Lighting Tips

Written by Greystar
Edited by Greystar
Lifestyle December 7, 2018

Indoor apartment lighting can be tricky. However, there are plenty of solutions to illuminate a living space the way you want – even when there is little natural light. While lighting updates depend on your budget and design tastes, as well as the season, there are some universal tips that can help you brighten your apartment indoors and outdoors no matter what time of year it is. 

Take Multiple Lighting Approaches  

Woman on couch with multiple lamps surrounding her

The best-lit rooms have lighting from an assortment of sources. Faye Smith of Faye Smith Interior Design in Dallas, Texas, explains her method when approaching room lighting: “Before managing lighting, I consider the walking paths with each layout and where concentrated activity will be. After all this is determined, I address any needed task lighting and where lamps can enhance the space – all this before doing something more invasive, like adding ceiling lighting.” 

In other words, do not rely solely on one light source. Instead, light up a room with a combination of ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting. By layering light, you create a more functional and welcoming atmosphere. Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, includes overhead fixtures such as ceiling lights, track lights and chandeliers. When adding accent lights, such as a floor lamp, Smith recommends, “choosing a floor lamp that has two or three sockets that shine in different directions.” Arching floor lamps are also an efficient and stylish solution. Task lighting for cutting onions in your kitchen or cutting a check in the second bedroom should be in place to light up a space without shining light directly into your eyes. 

Think About the Details 

Creating a soothing space is done by bringing together elements that satisfy the senses. The sights we take in when we get home impact us more than we realize. Because of this, it’s important to think about the smaller lighting elements that make up a room, from the color of lights and type of bulbs used to their brightness levels. Smith suggests ideas such as “placing a rope light over kitchen cabinets and adding LED puck lighting underneath cabinets.” 

Installing dimmers, Smart bulbs and LED lights allows you to have more control over a space. Not sure how to do that? If you’d like to have a dimmer installed, you can contact your property’s maintenance team so a member can safely install one. Or, you can take the even easier route and use Smart bulbs that dim at the simple touch of a button or voice command. 

Picking the Right Shades 

Depending on how much light you desire from your lamps, a vast shade selection is always at your fingertips. Plain white lamp shades let more light through, but neutral or colored shades can make a room feel cozier. According to Smith, she prefers to use drum shades and explains that lamps should match in symmetrical room layouts. However, they don’t need to perfectly match, only relate, when the room layout is more triangular. Personalize your lamps and lighting with these crafty ideas. 

As you move in and decorate your apartment home, don’t forget to utilize any available natural light from your windows. Keep the windows clean, and select textured sheers to filter light when desired. The end result of all these lighting enhancements will create a space you are excited to return home to each night. 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 

String of holiday lights

Maybe you’re the person who puts up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. Or maybe you just like a touch of sparkle around the holidays. Either way, wintertime provides the perfect excuse to add another layer of light to your apartment home. Create a magical feel with some curtain string lights, or wrap your favorite color of light around your Christmas tree. If you have a Christmas tree, be sure to turn off the lights before you leave home, especially if you have a real tree. You can also brighten up the outside of your apartment if you have a patio or balcony. Just be sure to check if your apartment community has any policies before hanging up string lights or placing your blowup Santa on the balcony.

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