Decorative Lighting Design39
Decorative Lighting Design39

47 Decorative Lighting Design

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When it comes to lighting any given room in your home, there are certain light fixtures that always seem to get included: ceiling lights, table lamps and so forth. Few people think much beyond general or even task lighting. The decorative idea is the final step in creating a layered look that will compliment any room. Here are a few tips and tricks.

What is the Difference Between Accent and Decorative Lighting?

Many people are under the misconception that ‘accent lighting’ and ‘decorative lighting’ are one and the same. However, take note that with accent lighting, you are working to highlight something. This could be a painting or an architectural detail such as a fireplace or a doorway. For example, wall sconces that flank a fireplace. They highlight the space, they draw your eye in to the focal point of the room.

Decorative lighting serves no purpose other than to add to the overall ambience of the room. They do not serve any true illumination purpose other than to look decorative. Some may argue that it adds charm, elegance or warmth to any space. While this is true, that is not necessarily the ‘purpose’ of it.


If you’re unsure of what constitutes a “decorative” pendant, then start with the basics. Small table side lamps are a perfect start. Pieces that let out a small amount of illumination (typically with a lower wattage) are an ideal starting point.

With that in mind, items that do double duty are also a great example of an embellished ceiling light. For example, a scented oil warmer is a perfect way to add decorative lighting to the space. Small lighted water fountains or other lighted water features are another great option.

All of this aside, it is also worth noting that some feel ‘decorative’ lighting is the actual visual look of the piece themselves, rather than the light they produce. From this viewpoint, decorative lighting is included in every lighting scheme simply based on the illumination we choose. For example, chandeliers are a perfect example of a pendant that is not only decorative in nature, but also creates plenty of general lighting for any given space.

In the end, it’s important to remember that lighting is just one piece of the puzzle. In fact, it’s the last piece of the puzzle. Your home should feature every aspect of lighting: general (ambient,) task, accent and decorative lighting. Without all of these elements, your lighting scheme is never quite complete.


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