Whether it is artificial or natural, light is at the heart of any interior scheme, and should be one of the first things to consider.

On a practical note wiring, sockets, switches, and light fittings will need to be accommodated in walls, floors, and ceilings. If starting from scratch a separate 5-amp circuit for occasional lamps is a must in my book.

On an aesthetic note light will determine how a colour appears a particular environment. A shade that looks good in daylight might not be so appealing in artificial light.

It is always advisable when choosing colours to source samples and look at them at different times of the day and in the parts of the room where they are to be applied. Ideally, these samples should be at least an A3 size to get an accurate reading.  Cutting up a roll of lining wallpaper is ideal for this purpose.

Paint a large enough sample to determine whether the colour works or not

The purpose of the environment should also be given thought so that appropriate lighting can be selected. Whilst ambient lighting might be preferable in some rooms, task lighting might also be required for reading or for other close work. Bedroom lighting is a good example as it has to be truly multi-purpose.

A well designed bedroom will have various lighting options

Kitchen lighting can be especially challenging if the room doubles up for dining. In this situation a successful lighting scheme could consist of a series of LED down-lighters, recessed under-cabinet lighting, strategically placed table lamps, and a dimmable pendant(s).

Clever lighting can convert a kitchen to dining room at the flick of a switch

Size also matters! Scale is really important when selecting a table lamp or ceiling pendant. Too small and it will look ridiculous; too big and it will swamp the room.

The materials of which a lamp is constructed will also have an impact on the finished scheme. Recycled glass for a chandelier or for a lamp base could look both elegant and stylish without being overbearing. Choosing the correct size shade will also play an important role in the success of the scheme.

Scale is oh so important

Lighting really can make or break a scheme. Designed well it will be both functional and decorative. A poor design will lead to endless frustrations.

Here are some of my favourite suppliers of extraordinary light fittings:

Most images in this post have been sourced from Pinterest