Lighting doesn’t need to be a support act in your interior design - it can take centre-stage. Here are five ways to use lamps and lighting to create a showstopping conversation-starter...
1. The entrance hall pendant
The entrance hall is where you want to make that first impression - not always easy, especially if its on the small and narrow side (see most Victorian townhouses!). But a spectacular bit of lighting transforms the space, banishes gloom, lifts the eye and wows the visitor. (For tips, see our guide How to light an entrance hall )
You can go for a chandelier, like the Conichita above with its forty cut glass rectangular drops - or how about a gorgeous lantern…?
Pooky’s Stella pendant in a transformed entrance hall, as featured in Channel 4’s Old House New Home.
2. The chandelier over the coffee table
We’re used to chandeliers and rows of pendants over kitchen islands and dining tables. But for a real wallop of a centrepiece, consider he absolute gobsmacker that is the low-slung, large-scale chandelier over the coffee table in a living room.
Here’s the Odin in situ… Gosh, we need a sit down...
3. Go big your table lamps and shades
It’s a general rule in interior design that you can go a lot bigger on lighting than you might think. That applies to ceiling lights, but also to table lamps and especially shades for table and floor lamps.
And you can also go bold on colour and patterns. Side table lamps needn’t just be support acts - they can play the starring role. Just don’t be afraid to go big.
For more about shade sizes and so on, see our guide How to choose a lampshade
Pooky’s Stucco table lamp in emerald with a with 45cm straight empire gathered lampshade in orange printed linen ikat
4. Go all-in on a design theme
Double wall light and table lamp from the English Garden collection by Matthew Williamson
When it comes to lamps and shades you can mix and mismatch - and that’s all great fun. But another way to make lighting a conversation-starter is to really go all-in on a design theme and get all your table, ceiling, floor and wall lights singing the same song. And that’s going to work particularly well if the design is strong, original and eye-catching.
Take the English Garden collection by Matthew Williamson: wall lights, chandelier and table lights in lovely organic, floral twists. It’s not often that lighting really contributes to a bringing-the-outside-in vibe, but it certainly does here...
5. Light up the night, outside
Talking of Matthew Williamson, the flip side of bringing the outside in is, of course, bringing the inside out. What could be more conducive to happiness on a warm summer’s evening than the mellow light of a beautiful lamp on a garden dining table?
For that you need one of these brilliantly clever rechargeable cordless Phileas table lamps, designed by MW himself exclusively for Pooky. Stick it in the middle of the table as your centrepiece and the conversation and good feeling will flow…
Phileas rechargeable table lamp