Ah, the living room, also known as the front room, snug, the den, family room and countless others. Whatever you call it, it’s THE place I seek refuge after a long day. It houses the comfy chair, the side table with my glass of wine and, most importantly, it’s where the TV lives. To me, the living room is the emotional hub of the home. It’s seen me through some pretty amazing times… And of course some tough times too, but let’s not dwell on that. With this in mind, it’s important that living room lighting sets the right atmosphere. After all, no one wants to be weeping into their Rosé over Coronation Street under harsh strip lighting – it’s not flattering for yourself or your room.
- RITZ wall light£119.99 – £159.99
- CONNAUGHT ceiling light£389.99
- PORTOBELLO ceiling light£114.99 – £154.99
- FRED dachshund lamp£89.99
- MONTY standing monkey lamp£99.99 – £119.99
- DARWIN hanging monkey light£74.99 – £94.99
- TRIKONASANA brass multi-arm light£199.99 – £295.99
- BOCCIA dusky pink pendant light£119.99 – £173.99
- EARL GREY cage pendant light£69.99 – £99.99
- Large FROSTED BUBBLE chandelier£399.99 – £519.99
- NAGOYA geometric pendant light£99.99
- BRAMLEY metal wall sconce£59.99
- MANSTON metal wall sconces£64.99
- BAYA NEST ceiling light£74.99 – £105.99
- PEG wall lamp£44.99 – £67.99
Living room history
The living room is where we gather as a family, host guests and socialise. But did you know that this room once had a more sinister purpose? Ironically, the term living room is derived from ‘death room’ – a name given following an outbreak of influenza during World War One. Tragically, during this time, millions of people died, and with nowhere to bury the sudden influx of bodies, families began laying their loved ones to rest in their parlours while they mourned.
In 1910 health conditions took a turn for the better, there were fewer deaths and people now had access to doctors offices, hospitals and funeral parlours. Because of this, Ladies Home Journal rechristened the death room, the living room. Oh, the irony. Instead of a place of mourning, this space was transformed into a room for celebration and socialising, the public face of the family.
Get the vibe right
The living room has always been the place that gets the most traffic. Put it this way, if I’m expecting guests, it’s the first place I hoover because I know that’s where we will be gossiping over a cuppa. But did you know that the living room also used to be called the parlour? Derived from the French parler, to speak, it was named such because this is where people went to chat, and this is still true today.
Historically the living room was the finest decorated room in the house. It was the place that you showed off your treasures from far and wide in the hopes of inciting conversation. Let’s get real, my living room doesn’t have such conversation starters. I like to think I’m interesting enough to not need props… But I’m probably not. That’s what the TV’s there for, isn’t it? To me, the pressure to get my living room just right is all too real. firstly, I spend A LOT of time in there and secondly, it’s where all my visitors hang out. There needs to be a balance between it looking great and being functional.
No matter how fabulously decorated your space is, a big part of getting the vibe right in your living room is the lighting – you don’t want to watch a good old thriller under brash lighting – it’d ruin the suspense. From wall lights to lights and lamps, there are so many things to consider when lighting your room. Let me share some of my ideas with you.
The big light
A statement ‘big light’ can really make your room. They tend to be central, so are easily noticed – especially if they’re a tad unsightly. The perfect choice for living room ceiling lights. A central ceiling pendant should be noticed for all the right reasons, and boy do we have some beauties. I’d always advise to go big or go home, but that totally depends on the size of your room. You don’t want your front room light to intrude too much, it should be a feature, not dominating.
A bubble chandelier pendant would definitely fill any lulls in conversation. I mean have you seen it? Gorgeous bubble-esque orbs refracting light beautifully into your space. What’s not to love?
If your house doesn’t have space for such luxury… Or you’re too clumsy to risk having delicate glass light fittings suspended dangerously close to your head, you could always opt for one of our specially designed lights for low ceilings. Our Connaught and Portobello lights are chic, stylish and non-intrusive. Plus they show off our opal bulbs to perfection. A far cry from basic sitting room light fittings.
Wall lighting is perfect for adding ambience, and you can introduce it in a number of ways. If you’re into DIY, or already have lights wired into your walls, then a wall sconce or hard-wired wall light is a great option. Go simple with Ritz, Manston or Bramley, each available in a choice of metallic finishes. Don’t forget to add a dimmer to control your living room wall lights on movie night.
If you don’t fancy hard-wiring your wall lights in, you could always opt for a peg wall light instead. This beautiful lounge lighting simply plugs in and drapes… You’ll just need a DIY’er to it to the wall.
Living room lamps
Table lamps are a simple solution to fixing all of your lighting woes. They add atmosphere and are great for popping on to chill out on an evening. Especially if you’re looking for some down-time away from screens. The beauty of living room table lamps is that they are mobile. You can move them around wherever you need a bit of extra light… Providing you have enough plug sockets of course.
Table lamps look amazing on coffee tables or sideboards and we have a fantastic range. From quirky animal lamps to caged table lamps, there’s something for every interior style. Fred the Dachshund is a great addition to your room if you’re sadly lacking in the pet department. Or if you want to add a touch of cheekiness opt for Monty instead, a table lamp full of character.
Add those finer details
Lighting is all well and good, but adding luxe extras in dimmer switches and plug sockets can really amplify your credentials in the style department. After all, what’s the point in investing in lighting to transform your space if it’s plugged into a basic white plastic socket or controlled by a standard light switch. Check out these designer switches and sockets for inspiration.