The right lighting can really make your apartment feel upscale and chic. On the other hand, the wrong lighting can make it feel like a conference room, or worse ... maybe even a grocery store. Here are some tips for casting your apartment in the best possible light.
Make the most of natural light
The soft illumination that streams in through your windows has a way of making you feel at ease. To make the most of your apartment's natural lighting, try hanging mirrors on the walls that are opposite your windows.
Place lighter-colored furniture and rugs near natural light sources so they can subtly multiply the warm glow. If the sunlight is too intense during the summer, consider diffusing it with a sheer, easily removable window treatment, such as a soft muslin curtain. Just be sure to consult your lease and confirm what's allowed in your apartment home.
Accentuate the positive
Arrange your lighting so that it highlights your favorite pieces of art or furniture by aiming directional lighting sources at the most visually appealing focal points in your apartment.
Invest in quality light bulbs
LED and CFL bulbs can lower your energy bills – they're more efficient than traditional incandescents and produce less heat. However, some of them can make a room look a bit stark. You can balance this problem by investing in full-spectrum or “warm” LED bulbs. LED bulbs are much brighter than incandescent bulbs, so divide the bulb wattage you'd normally use by 5.
Choose the right shades
Putting the right shades on your lamps can make a huge difference. Lighter shades are more transparent, so use them in areas that could stand to be brighter. If a more subdued glow is what you're after, then choose colored shades to tint and diffuse the light.
Variety is key
Ideally, every room in your home should have at least three sources of light: a primary source for general illumination, task lighting (for cooking, reading, etc.) and an ambient light source to help set the mood.
The perfect lighting enhances the atmosphere and is always accentuated by the perfect apartment. If you're thinking about starting fresh with a new space, check out BRE Properties for a vast selection of spacious, light-filled apartments.