How to get summer lighting just right

The flick of a switch is a sure-fire way to brighten up a room, even during summer. The right lighting can change a space from dull to dazzling.

Whether it’s a quirky table lamp or a feather pendant that’s as ethereal as the blossom on the trees, good lighting evokes a mood and the right beam can be a beautiful thing.

“I think lighting is one of the most important things in a room. You can transform the way a room makes you feel by getting the lighting right. And so often, people get it wrong,” says Lisa Dawson (, award-winning interiors blogger and author of new book, Resourceful Living.

So, how can you be sure you’re on the right track? We turned to Ms Dawson for some top tips on mastering lighting, and rounded up some of our favourite finds.

“This vintage church chandelier makes a statement,” says Lisa Dawson. (Brent Darby/PA)

“Firstly, overhead lighting should always be on a dimmer. Secondly, when you choose an overhead statement light, it needs to look as good off as it does on, because the likelihood is, it’s not going to be on very much. And the whole idea is to mix the lighting up,” says Ms Dawson.

Pendant light. (Next/PA)

Ms Dawson says she once heard “years ago” that an average room should have eight light sources, which she thinks is a little excessive.

“You wouldn’t be able to move for lights really, but I never have less than four in a room,” Ms Dawson continues. “One in each corner, to make sure each area is lit. Also, when you’re planning out your lighting, think about what you’re going to be using it for.”

Read: Common garden lighting mistakes to avoid

“Multi-task the lighting around your home by trying it in different spaces,” says Lisa Dawson. (Brent Darby/PA)

In summer, Ms Dawson says she still puts her lights on as soon as the sun goes down. “Lighting brings the cosiness factor. Low lighting will create a welcome ambience and bring a cosy feel to your space.”

Cordless glass table lamp. (Sparkle Lighting/PA)

While you can you achieve a lot in terms of changing the look and feel of a space with soft lighting, pendant style fittings and adjustable spotlights, think about other elements of your styling as the season shifts too. And don’t be afraid to mix things up.

“Some things don’t have to stay the same. Nothing is static, you can change everything around,” suggests Ms Dawson. “Moving into summer, you want light linens and neutrals, so there’s no reason why you can’t do that with your lamp shades as well.

“You may buy a light for one particular room, but if you’re updating or having a change around, it might look just as good in another room, so I often change the shades on my lamps.”

Read: Improve lighting in your home

Gold and silver flamingo lamps. (Graham & Green/PA)

Another way to create interest is to play around with different shapes and sizes in contrasting colours and materials. “You want every room to have a focal point, and varying the lights up and down will make it look interesting,” says Ms Dawson.

(Soho Home/PA)

“In my sitting room for example, I’ve got a standard lamp, a mid-level lamp, and a lower-level reading lamp. It’s varying it up, giving you a really great lighting effect on different levels.”


Try some show-stopping crystal light fittings to glam up a bedroom. For maximum impact, place them next to a mirror, which will reflect the light beautifully. Especially an oversized one with a curved shape to add depth and drama to your decor.

Read: Seven bright design tricks to maximise light in your home

(Kyle Books/PA)

Resourceful Living: Revamp Your Home With Key Pieces, Vintage Finds And Creative Repurposing by Lisa Dawson is published by Kyle Books. Photography by Brent Darby. Available now.

How do you change up your home lighting for summer? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?

– With PA

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