Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths / Enwrought with golden and silver light / The blue and the dim and the dark cloths / Of night and light and the half light…
If you’re wondering what this Yeats passage has to do with lighting your home, the answer is probably almost nothing. It’s not the poem here that I want to point out, it’s the dashes. What are those things? Well they’re not really dashes at all. Used in this way they’re called virgules. They are line breaks. They’re pauses. In music, they’d be called fermatas. In publishing, they are called blank pages. And they’re all there to serve the same purposes: rest and flow.
We don’t want a book with writing all over every page, or a musical composition with no breaks anywhere. In truth, we want nothing beautiful that doesn’t leave us space to contemplate its beauty. The same goes for lighting.
When lighting a space in your home, it’s important to think about the places where the light won’t cast, the shadows, the gradients, the rhythm, the pauses, the interplay and the patterns.
Like the light itself, the rules for this aren’t hard and fast. It’s more like a piece of art. Find periodic places to cast shadows, or light only dimly. Space them out so that they create a sense of rhythmic calm in the home.
Keep in mind that light and dark spaces aren’t the only features that play into this rhythm. The spacing of pictures, the differences in adjacent color schemes, the placement of furniture and ornamentation also play a role. For this reason, wallcoverings are an enormously important factor to consider alongside lighting options.
When redoing a room or building new construction, it of course helps to consider what the space will be used for. But don’t overlook what the space will contain, where it will be, and how it will be lit. This way, when it comes time to turn the lights on for the first time in your new space, the lighting will integrate into a carefully thought out experience in which the ambiance and interior design create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is a guest post published by ASPIRE Metro magazine. All Rights Reserved.