Interior Design Course: Lighting

Lighting is an essential part of creating a space.

I personally prefer natural light but interior designers are known to ‘layer’ different types of light in order to create beautiful rooms with the perfect atmosphere. I’ve been learning how to do exactly that so I’ll share with you the types of lighting that I’ve learnt in my interior design module. Feel free to comment your thoughts below!

Task Lighting

Task lighting is a ideal practical lights. They help spotlight a specific area where you do your ‘task’ and that’s how it got it’s name! Task lighting examples are reading lamps on bedside tables or spot lights in the kitchen, above a worktop. I personally imagine a reading corner lamp that has a long adjustable neck and can see myself using it to read, sew and knit my usual little projects ūüôā

Ambient Lighting

This type of light creates atmosphere in the space and may already appear as it can be natural light as well as artificial. Natural light that comes from the windows can be uncontrollable (unless window dressing is added, mentioned below) and so it’s important to be able to layer lighting to create the perfect scene.

When ambient lighting is artificial it is meant to create general lighting that creates a comfortable atmosphere. Examples include wall lights or a centerpiece chandelier so it can be a range of lighting. The main thing to remember is that this type of light simply provides the overall illumination but it can make or break a room.


Similarly when you add an accent ‘colour’ to your interior design, accent ‘lighting’ is there for highlighting areas and adding visual interest. This type of light is a good way for creating contrast, so if it’s a dark room spot light would be a great way to accentuate beautiful wall art or a tall vintage lamp would illuminate the corner of the room that’s most unique and dramatic. Accent lighting adds character to the space and when done correctly can lead the person’s gaze around the room.

Window Treatment Ideas

  • Curtains – Add beautiful vintage or elaborate curtains for high windows with picturesque scenes to create a focal point. Simple curtains that match your accent colour can create a modern finish too.
  • Blinds – Roman blinds are the perfect addition to a chic kitchen whilst other¬†ones¬†can be the very¬†practical for a home office.
  • Shutters – I always think of a beautiful Parisian flat with high ceilings when it comes to shutters. They can be stunning and create a dramatic effect by making windows look really tall.

Read Previous

Module 1: Interior Design Background & Origin

Module 2: Great Designers

Module 3: Space, Colour and Balance

Module 4: Texture, Pattern and Scale

Module 5: Furniture & Flooring

Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.

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