Kristina Gray Design Logo

Do you ever feel like your room only looks its best during daylight hours? If that sounds like you then itís likely you have an abundance of natural light pouring into your space throughout the daytime hours. As soon as evening rolls around your space starts to feel dark and dim and completely uninspired. The culprit is most likely lighting, specifically that youíre lacking enough variation in the type of lighting youíre using. You really need multiple light sources to create the cozy, warm ambience most of us are seeking in our spaces.

Lighting is complicated and most of my clients have no idea that you should be using multiple types of lighting in a room. Most often, we install overhead lighting and call it a day. That generally wonít make your space feel its best. Light needs to come from various positions and heights in order to create the most inviting feeling possible for your space.

Most of my clients arenít even aware that there are more than 1 type of lighting. Today weíre going to explore the various types of lighting and how they work together to create the perfect mood.


This is also known as general lighting and itís the type that most of us have in our homes. There are two primary sources of ambient lighting. The first is natural light. If you have a lot of windows in your space you probably have a fair amount of ambient lighting.

The second source is overhead lighting. Whether you prefer pendant lighting or recessed lights you likely have this covered. Consider this type of lighting to be the workhorse in your home. It does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to lighting up a room. I like to refer to ambient lighting as the base layer in your roomís lighting. It definitely gets the job done but alone it can be underwhelming. Yes, youíll be able to see what youíre doing and it does a fine job on its own but itís when you layer in the other types of lighting that you start to see magic.


This is more decorative lighting and its primary purpose is to direct your attention to specific objects. It tends to be more decorative and itís great at creating a focal point in the room.

The most common ways it appears in our homes is with art lights and wall sconces. Whether itís directed up or down this type of lighting will create warm pockets of light around the room that create a feeling of luxury.

If you really want to get it right, try increasing the brightness of your accent lighting by 2-3 times that of your ambient lighting. You need the change in order to be able to see the change.


This is for exactly what you might imagine, tasks. This type of lighting is direct and helps you accomplish a particular task. It could be a floor lamp for reading beside your favourite chair or under cabinet lighting for creating an efficient workspace in the kitchen.

Be sure that you purchase lighting that has multiple settings so that you can find the right level of brightness to suit the lighting conditions in the space from season to season. You can also use a dimmer to cycle through the options.

Now that weíve covered the basics of great lighting itís time to look at some examples. Iím sharing my favourite options for ambient, accent and task lighting today. And all of these are available online in Canada.


1 Harlow Milk Glass Round Chandelier

This gorgeous chandelier makes a statement as well as providing nice ambient lighting. Itís really versatile and will look stunning in just about any space in your home from living room to bedrooms.

2 Sigmund Pendant

I love the matte finish on this pendant as well as the contrast between the black finish and the gold finish that simulates gold leaf. Try this one in a dining room or kitchen and if you have a long island you can make a huge impact by installing 2 or 3 of these along the width of the island.

3 Amie Polished Nickel Wall Sconce

If nickel isnít for you thereís the option of blackened brass and polished brass as well. This is a great fixture because while itís simple and wonít fight for too much attention in your space, itís also working hard at providing maximum light.

4 Mid Century Tripod Floor Lamp

This floor lamp is a classic and timeless option. While it has roots in the mid century design movement, it can be used with almost any design style. Itís sleek and simple but still provides some architectural interest.

5 Curl Perforated Sconce

This one is a bit more of a show stopper. The perforated metal will add texture to your space while the gold finish adds some sparkle and shine. Use this in a hallway or a bathroom to add some wow factor.

6 Maddox Terra Cotta Table Lamp

If you love a lot of texture or you dream of living in the French countryside, this is the lamp for you. Itís constructed from a terra cotta base with a hand applied gray finish. Itís elegant and timeless so youíll end up loving this for many years to come.

7 Tiny Terri Round Accent Lamp

This is an absolute gem of a lamp. It has an alabaster base with a linen shade so if youíre looking for a classic this is it! Itís quite small at only 10Ē high but it will add a perfect glow in any space.

8 Nino Table Lamp

If youíre looking for something thatís a bit more on trend, give the Nino a try. The base is made from terrazzo which is definitely having a moment. The shade is frosted white glass and it will give your space a dash of contemporary design.

I hope these tips help you when youíre ready to tackle the lighting in your own home. If you need help with your lighting selections or would like more information on any of the fixtures shown throughout this article, please reach out to me. Iíd love to learn more about your project.

Connect With Us
  • icon-circle-location
    Areas Served:
    Barrie, Orillia, Georgian Bay

© Kristina Gray Design | Website by