How To Use Decorative Lighting At Home

Hanging one central pendant in a room was often considered the only way to light up our homes but as we’re becoming savvier when it comes to how we light up our homes we are understanding the importance and the benefits of layering our lighting.

Our lighting choices are often defined by the spaces so it’s always good to consider a rooms architecture and any areas that would benefit from decorative lighting. There are other considerations to take into account as well so I thought I’d highlight them here today.

As much as decorative lighting has it’s benefits to providing a room with a definitive look and feel, it should be by no means the only source of lighting you use within any space. In terms of lighting in general, it predominately serves to provide a source of background light that needs to be backed up with additional layers of lighting such as accent and task lights to boost the level of lighting to a room.

Form & Function

One of the first things to consider when choosing decorative lighting is the effect the design has on the light that is transmitted. Decorative lighting is all about making a statement, complimenting a style and/or adding some character to a room.  However, it pays to give some forethought to how it will transmit light before going ahead with it. For example, a pendant shade that is dark will direct light upwards and downwards whereas a lighter shade will allow for light to be diffused and seep through and provide an outward glow and with it any pattern from the fabric used.

Think of where you are going to be placing decorative light forms and how you wish to light them. There’s nothing stopping you from considering hanging decorative pendants to your bedsides to highlight and reinforce what is a focal point to a bedroom space.

Note: A decorative pendant light can often provide the illusion of doing all the work within a room. However, it is generally the additional lighting that accompanies the decorative that will ensure you have a well lit room that is not only functional but practical as well. The decorative is there to help make a statement and reinforce your chosen design aesthetic.

Define Style

When considering decorative lighting ensure that you take into consideration the space or area that you are going to be using them in. If you’ve fallen in love with a smaller decorative pendant for example, why not group a few together to create more of an impact and ensure they’re not lost in the bigger scheme of your room’s decor.

Likewise, if you’re fortunate enough to have high ceilings opt for larger statement decorative lighting that accentuates the height and further adds the wow factor. The last thing you want is to choose a pendant that will look lost in a big wide open space.

Forget hanging decorative pendants in the centre of your rooms. Think about hanging them to highlight areas to bring interest to say an unloved corner or table to create interest and provide focus to where you want it. Planning is key!

Textural Interest

On-trend woven forms such as this Bamboo Dome Basket lampshade from Abode Living allows you to add some textural warmth to a room. Natural materials such as bamboo are also the perfect choice for those looking for an environmentally friendly approach to the decor in your homes.

Or if you prefer a softer look and feel, then feathers are a must. Light is diffused to offer a softer glow to a room making this design ideal for bedroom settings. They also provide an element of movement that only adds to their attraction. And if you’re worried about them being dust collectors you need not fear you just set your hairdryer on them.

Shadow & Light

Of course, it’s also good to consider how designs like the one above will affect how your lighting is emitted into a room. The element of shadow and light at play with decorative lighting can be used with decorative pendants.  Patterns of light and dark are formed and thrown through the slits of this pendant offering a more subtle glow to a room.

Colour Pop & Pattern

As colour and pattern is normally the first thing we see when we enter a room, why not choose decorative lighting to help reinforce a colour scheme or use it to draw the eye upwards to accentuate architectural details of a room’s composition. It also helps create a flow of pattern and colour that isn’t just restricted to the lower level of a room.


If you’ve turned over to the dark side with your homes, you’ll need to add decorative elements to avoid it from feeling cave-like. Dark walls and/or ceilings make the perfect backdrop for adding some statement decorative lighting that will add to the drama of the space. Opt for decorative lighting with metallic details and you’ll be enhancing your spaces even more with textural and reflective qualities that are necessary to make these spaces sing.

Have Fun

There’s nothing stopping you from having some fun when it comes to the decorative in your homes. And more often than not designs that implement this aspect usually have more of an impact to a room with their showstopping qualities. This birdcage is one such example. It’s a playful number that simply brings a smile to your face and is definitely a conversational piece that your guests will delight in.


There’s nothing like a chandelier to add an air of grace and elegance to a room. Opting for a multifaceted crystal chandelier will provide you with maximum sparkle. Each facet will reflect and refract light creating a wonderful array of patterns, colour and shadow onto walls ceilings and floors.

Kitchen Decor

Applying decorative lighting will provide visual interest that can break up the expanse of surface areas that kitchens are usually made up of. Highlighting areas such as islands will also help reinforce a focal point.


Adding decorative lighting such as chandeliers or contemporary designs to unexpected settings such as bathrooms increases the impact of the dramatic and of course their kerb appeal. There are really no boundaries as to where this form of lighting cannot be applied to. Of course, you still need to add functional task lighting to bathroom areas but it shouldn’t stop you from thinking outside the box either.

Outdoor Love

Lastly, why not consider adding decorative lighting to your outdoor spaces. Our love affair with outdoor living has meant we can also consider this form of lighting to our outdoor spaces to create an indoor-outdoor feel to them.

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