Feature: Light and Design

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Lighting is an often overlooked aspect of interior design, yet it should be more than just an afterthought. As well as the importance of functionality, lighting can make or break a space - it is essential in creating the mood and ambience of a room, so it's important to put some thought into it and get it right from the start.

The right lighting will enhance colour, fittings and furnishings in a room, as well as be practical for the rooms uses.

Light and Colour

The way colour behaves is greatly influenced by light, so when choosing a colour for your room you should consider both natural and artificial light sources.
In most cases, the true colour will be what you see when you view the colour in natural light, therefore ideally we use as much natural light as possible.
Artificial light can be used to compensate for lack of natural light, change the mood of a room, and enhance specific colours and features.

When choosing colour make sure you test it under multiple light sources and on different sides of the room. Aalto have made this simpler with 'instant testpots' - A5 cards coated with real Aalto paint to give you an accurate representation of the colour, without the mess. Simply attach the card to the wall, move it around, and view it under different lights. This will give you the best indication of how the final colour will look in the room.

The type of artificial lighting you use will have perhaps the biggest impact on the colour in a room.

  • Incandescent bulbs have a warm light which will enhance yellows, oranges and reds, while muting blues and greens
  • Fluorescents are a flat, cool light which will while energy efficient, they are often too bright, and make colours appear unnatural
  • Halogens most resemble daylight and are ideal for task lighting

Then consider your light placement and combination - use a combination of recessed lighting and pendants (task lighting) with lamps and sconces (ambient lighting).

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