mood lighting
mood lighting

Creating a Mood with Lighting

Decorating Ideas

Controlling the amount and quality of lighting in a room goes a long way to contributing to the room's ambience.

If you're having a small romantic dinner for two, turn off the overhead lighting and light the table with candles. It may seem too dark at first, but you'll be surprised at how quickly you and your guest will adjust to the low light level. For those times when a flickering of candle light is all you need, consider some ways this lovely, low-tech lighting can maximize the mood.

Use an antiqued candelabra to create the kind of formal setting appropriate for a marriage proposal. For a more casual intimate setting, light dozens of votive candles and put them all over the room.

If you're setting the mood for a big glittery cocktail party, light the room brightly. Keep in mind that lighting from many small sources around the room such us floor lamps, table lamps, sconces, and candles-will create pools of light and a more elegant effect than if you just rely on the overhead light from your chandelier. Using multiple light sources will provide enough overall lighting to see and welcome your guests from across the room as they arrive, while still creating areas for the most private a tete-a-tete.

For a centerpiece suitable for a dinner party, a bridal event, or a romantic dinner for two, display candles on the top of a framed mirror (using mirror as a tray). The mirror will double the impact of the candles. You can use mismatched containers for flowers and a variety of mismatching candles, including some that float.

For a foyer table that announces a celebration the moment guests arrive, arrange an assemblage of candles in colors that echo the party's theme or accents your home.

Highlight with lighting special spots in your home, for example, the fireplace. The warm glow of a fire immediately fills the room with comforting atmosphere. If this is the time of year that you do not want to light a fireplace, put candles in your fireplace instead. Simply place candleholders, candlesticks and candelabras or votive candles in the fireplace and light them whenever you want to create a romantic mood. For an even more dramatic affect add a polished appearance by surrounding the base of the candleholders with a scattering of shiny river rocks or glass marbles.

The simplest dimmer can be installed by replacing the on-off switch of the chandelier with a dimming toggle. However, many manufacturers now make sophisticated dimming systems that have preset scenes. Overhead lighting fixtures, sconces, hidden cove lighting, and even table lamps can all be controlled from one point, each new combination creating a different mood for the room.