Interior design psychology expert, Niki Schafer, reveals the exact ‘Kelvin’ needed for the ultimate cosy ambience. Niki also shares her top tips for incorporating cosy lighting into every room of your home.
Autumn 2020 will see us spending more of the long evenings at home, so creating a space that’s warm and relaxing is about to become more important than ever. While many associate ‘cosy’ with blankets and cushions, interior design psychology expert, Niki Schafer, has revealed that lighting is actually the ultimate way of achieving peak ‘cosiness’ at home.
Teaming up with B&Q and their new, 500-strong range of stunning lighting, Niki Schafer, has developed her top tips to achieving that gorgeous golden glow throughout your home – helping to provide sanctuary from the outside world:
Turn up the heat
Never underestimate the power of the perfect lightbulb. The temperature of a bulb is measured in Kelvins. While high Kelvins give more neutral white light to create an energising, bright, vibrant environment, it’s the low Kelvins that generate warmer, cosier lights.
A light that you want to sit by and feel cosy, needs to be a lovely yellow or peach coloured light – and 2700 on the Kelvin scale is ideal. To give this some comparison, bright daylight can be up to 6500K, and a fire is lower still – around 1900, which is super cosy but perhaps a little difficult to see by!
When thinking about how to make your home a cosy haven from the outside world, it’s best to start the journey in the hallway. As the first interior space you see after a long day, it immediately sets the scene of relaxation before you get further into the home.
You’ll need somewhere to empty your pockets, unload your keys and look through the post, so I always advise setting up a table lamp with a temperature of 2700 Kelvins on a console. This space, and especially its light, is essential for setting the scene of relaxation before you get further into your home.
When settling down for the evening, cosied up on the sofa, you don’t want garish overhead lights which can feel too bright and cold.
To achieve the feeling of cosy – the point at which our bodies relax and we feel a sense of safety – it’s best to sit in a pocket of light. A dimmable floor lamp is perfect to achieve this, as it casts a warm puddle of light in a specific area.
It’s also important to spend some time thinking about how you can use lighting to enhance how you use your rooms. If you’ve got a darker corner, could a lamp transform it into a reading nook? If so, try adding a ceramic based or rattan style table lamp with a light coloured shade next to your favourite armchair or on either side of your sofa.
To create a sense of balance throughout the room, wall lights can also create soft light that doesn’t dominate. Try leaving them on a circuit of their own so they can be used as the sole source of light.
Bedside table lamps are a great feature to the room as they flank a bed and look wonderful in their symmetry. In the space where we most need to switch off, it’s really important that your lights produce a relaxing glow as you settle into bed at night. Consider a separate reading light but keep the bedside light as a more romantic or cosy light source.
Of course, all light will be impacted by the colours around it – darker, warmer colours absorb some of the light, whereas white and lighter colours will bounce it around more. All of these can be taken into consideration so think carefully about how you want to feel in each space you are designing your lighting for.
Kitchens require brighter light when you’re working in them, but it’s nice to turn the glare down when you’re eating or just enjoying a glass of wine. A cluster of pendant lights above a dining table are a gorgeous way to set the scene for mealtimes – but make sure you always use a dimmable switch to add a hint of romance to the dinner.
A pendant light is also brilliant as acting as a focal point, statement piece, or even a conversation starter. From modern and sleek to ornate and dramatic, there are no limits to the impression you can create.
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Every year, more than 20 million people make their homes and outdoor living better with B&Q, and every year the company achieves ever-higher standards for sustainable sourcing and supports our local communities undertaking home improvement projects and raising money to fund Shelter’s DIY Skills Advisors.