Lighting is usually the last thing on the minds of folks attempting a DIY interior design project. But proper illumination can influence the look of a room as much as the wall color or furniture set. While letting the sun’s rays can work as well, an attractive artificial lighting set-up not only brings attention to specific objects in a room, it changes the dynamic of the space itself by exaggerating and distorting the look of surfaces. Above all, it’s usually much cheaper and more convenient than painting or replacing pieces.

In particular, accent lighting is ideal for accomplishing the illumination goals of most do-it-yourself interior design projects. Similar to a photographer’s desire to highlight an angle on her subject by aiming a secondary source of light on it independent of an overhanging source, casting focused illumination on objects and places in your home can make these design elements pop with new life.

Consider the following three ways accent lighting can brighten a space’s various elements:


This is the most common focus of accent-based lighting projects. For commons-areas of a home, highlighting family pictures on the walls gives the space a slight gallery style to it without getting too deep into the sterile zone. Recessed lights are always a good option here, but easy to install picture light fixtures with a variety of style, mostly streamlined, exist to make the project a little easier on the clock and the budget. We’re jumping ahead to the next section a little here, but picture lighting also works well for paintings and other more artistic forms of wall-hanged material.

Artwork and Other Objects

The difference between a statue in the corner of a room being gaudy and being an eye-catching source of inspiration is almost always going to be lighting (though we can’t say this is true about some of the more awful sculptures for sale out there.) Again, recessed light sources work well here, but another option is to use piano floor lamps for illuminating a more bulky musical instrument. Hinged, floor-based light sources such as these are great for backlighting pieces while also providing utility in case its illumination can be used elsewhere.

By Design

Well-chosen accent light sources and their placement can greatly alter the look of a room. Coupled with the aforementioned focuses on objects and pictures hanging on the walls, accent lighting can also be aimed at bare walls to give them depth. Distribution of accent is critical, and typically you want to stay conservative to prevent your room from looking like a jewelry store. But overall, accent lighting as a design element is instrumental in making a space more interesting looking than it otherwise does even with the most well-put together color scheme and furniture set.

Lighting is commonly neglected by inexperienced do-it-yourself interior designers. But nothing will influence the look of your space more than the radiating energy responsible for making it visible in the first place. The light we get from the sun should always be harnessed as effectively as possible through windows, but backing it up with artificial means is essential.  In particular, accent lights can give dimension to spaces and surfaces which otherwise appear bland due to illumination from a single all-reaching light source. Ultimately, opting for light improvements over more costly interior design upgrade options, at least at first, is typically a bright idea.

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