Accent Lighting 101: 3 Key Steps To Adding Accent Lighting To Your Home's Decor

Posted on: 21 January 2015


When it comes to dramatic home decor, accent lighting makes all the difference. Sure, you can hang a stunning picture on the wall, but it won't do any good if people can't see it. Shadows and natural focal points often compete for attention with your treasured pieces, making them all but fade away into the background. If you want certain aspects of your decor to stand out and become the focal point of your room, you have to accentuate them with accent lighting. Following are three vital steps that will help you do just that. 

Decide What You Want To Highlight

Before you can highlight focal points and pieces within your space, you must first decide what pieces or architectural features you want to draw attention to. If you're not sure where to begin, keep in mind that most decorators accent art, plants, decorative furnishings and unusual architectural features. For most people, it comes down to what they love. If you have pieces that you absolutely adore, bring these to the forefront of your decor with strategically placed accent lights. 

Draw A Floor Plan

Next, you need to get some graph paper - the lines will help you immensely - and map out your space. A good rule of thumb to follow is to view each box as a square foot. So, measure your space and map out your floor plan accordingly. After you have your walls, doors and windows mapped out, start drawing items on the paper that you want to create accent lighting for. It's also a good idea to sketch your furniture pieces on the paper as well. Place these items on the map exactly where they are in the room. If you do this, it will be much easier for you to come up with a lighting plan. 

Take Your Plan To A Lighting Professional

Visit your local lighting showroom and have one of the salespeople there go over your sketch with you. Point out the features you want to highlight and explain the effect you wish to create. A knowledgeable salesperson will help you choose the right type of lighting to fit your needs and may even give you some ideas that you haven't thought about. 

Once you have a solid plan in place, hire a licensed electrician to install your home lighting fixtures for you. While some people say you can wire in accent lighting yourself, it's always a good idea to leave electrical work to the professionals.