The light fantasticPublished on June 16, 2011

  • (Stock image)

The first step to working successfully with light is to understand the different types of lighting, which we can have in a space. This allows us to develop a harmonious scheme that provides both functional and decorative effect in our homes.


The first type of light to consider is natural light.

Depending on the location, size and outlook of your windows, natural light will have a fundamental effect on your design.

Rooms which get a lot of sun either early in the morning or later in the evening tend to get a lot of warm, reddish light, while rooms that get little direct sun will tend to get more diffused, cooler light.

You'll need to take this warming and cooling effect into account when choosing colours.

A warm orange or yellow room filled with warm light might just be a little too much for most tastes. Conversely, a cool green or pale blue room that gets no direct sunlight might end up feeling a little cold.

To really understand how natural light will change your decor scheme, it's always a good idea to paint some large swatches of colour on various walls in the room to be decorated. Then you can observe them during the day and see how the colours shift and change.

If you don't want to actually paint walls another trick is to paint a few large squares of card or wood and move them around the room to see how light effects the colour from one end to the other.

Next time, we're going to talk more about the other sources of light in our rooms and how we can use them to really ramp up our designs.

Thanks for reading and speak soon.


Graham is the owner of Blueberry Interiors. You can keep up with him here at Ottawa at Home, on Twitter by following @grahamcowen, or you can reach him directly at


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