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Accent Lighting: Amp Up Visual Drama In Your Home

Mar 28, 2017 leif

Accent lighting does what it says on the tin; it accents aspects of a room using directed light. By providing focused light on a particular object or area of a room, it adds drama by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to houseplants, paintings, sculptures and other prized possessions. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall or in outdoor landscaping.


So, where to begin? To figure out where you could potential add accent lighting, take a good look around the room and try to make note of any areas that your gaze is naturally drawn to. Try to step away your own perspective and look as if you’re entering the room for the first time. The areas you normally see first may be based on habit, or because you know where things are. If you’re struggling ask someone to help, a fresh pair of eyes should do the trick.




Next, figure out which features are your personal favourites. Now that you’ve completed step one, you can go back and choose the features you personally like the most. After all, it’s your home, so you should highlight the parts that you like to look at too.


The third and golden rule when it comes to accent lighting is to only illuminate the areas you’d like to draw attention to. Just because you like something or it catches your eye does not mean it’s worth highlighting with accent lighting. Make sure any options you consider are aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the overall look of the room.

There’s no point spending time, money and effort installing a set of beautiful new wall lights if they’re only going to draw attention to how badly plastered the wall is, or illuminate that awful painting your mother-in-law gave you.




Accent lighting doesn’t always have to shine a spotlight on another feature of your home. Some lights can embody both aspects; they are both a piece of art and a self-contained light source. Any fitting with an exceptionally pleasing look, which is only complemented by the type of light it emits, can be said to fall in to this category.

Think of items such as tiffany style table lamps, whose soft diffused light draws attention to its beautifully ornate shade. By being both decorative and practical, these lights represent a type of functional décor that is, and always has been, a keen interest of great designers.


There are countless other ways to use accent lighting in your home, we’ve only touched on a few to get you started. No matter how you choose to proceed, always to trust your gut. Whilst there are agreed principles and trends in the world of interior design, it’s also important you allow your own personality to come through.

Create a space that you think looks great, even if it’s not in everyone’s taste. In the words of the late Dorothy Draper: “If it looks right, it is right.”