Got a tight space you need to open up? Don’t let square footage be the boss – let lighting be the solution. From a hallway or half bath to a studio apartment, the right lighting can make all the difference. We’ll begin with small space basics then go room by room. Think of it this way: size doesn’t dictate style, it simply gives you a set of parameters. Sometimes that makes creating a look you love that much easier.
Small Space Fundamentals
General tips and tricks to help you live large when space is limited.
Don’t Rely on a Single Light Source
One light can make a small room smaller – relying on one source of light is a common mistake for small spaces. Open up your mind and your space to layered lighting. Combine ceiling lights with sconces and other accent lighting to add surprising dimension and depth to small spaces.
Maximize Natural Light
Maximize natural light to create the illusion of a larger, airier space. Place mirrors across from large windows to reflect the natural light. A trick: placing mirrors across from wall lighting can create the same effect. Dark colors absorb light, so replace heavy drapes or shades with translucent curtains or blinds. Pick lighter paint colors. The more you brighten up a space, the larger and more open it will feel.
Know Space-Friendly Fixtures and Furnishings
Your floor space is precious. While a well-placed floor lamp can make a nice style statement, so can a line of wall sconces or LED ceiling lights and rail lighting that’s angled toward areas where you need it. Pendant lighting is a small-space favorite of interior designers, especially for rooms with higher ceilings – longer pendants draw attention toward the vertical space, and you can have fun with varying elevations.
When it comes to furniture, think built-ins and see-through. Shelving and coffee tables with built-in drawers help save space and accent pieces like glass end tables create a sense of openness.
A Room By Room Guide
Whoever said a sanctuary couldn’t be small? There are so many alternatives to bedside lamps, which take up valuable space by the way. Mini chandeliers, pendants and wall sconces are ideal for more modest spaces and help make your bedroom the beautiful retreat it’s supposed to be. Flush mount ceiling lights can create the illusion of more headroom, and you can find many styles with lots of character. Find more bedroom ideas here.
The rule of thumb here is more light and less clutter. Your bath and half bath will feel more spacious and inviting. A light over the mirror and one on each side can surround your face with a flattering glow first thing in the morning and last thing at night – what’s not to love about that? Flush mount ceiling fixtures and lighted mirrors lend a clean and well-lit look without taking up space. Under cabinet lighting and tape lighting are also smart ideas and do double duty as night lights.
This is a task-centric room, where task lighting is essential. Much like the kitchen and bath, this is a spot where layered lighting is key. Think ceiling lights. Above cabinet and under cabinet LED lighting. You’ll maximize the room’s functionality and maybe even make doing the laundry a brighter proposition.
Walking down the hall should be a well-lit journey. It’s a matter of safety, of course, and Kichler Lighting can help make it stylish. Look at flush and semi-flush fixtures and recessed ceiling fixtures spaced every 8 to 10 feet. Wall sconces are another nice option, and they should be spaced 6 to 8 feet apart. If your hallway is particularly long or narrow, think about adding floor level lighting.
If you have a walk-in closet, you’ll want more than one light source. A flush or semi-flush ceiling light is a good focal point, or you might want to consider rail lighting. Got shelves in your closet? Add in-shelf LED tape lighting so you can see what’s what. As a matter of fact, LED lighting is a smart choice for closets overall – the bulbs don’t get as hot as incandescent bulbs.
No matter how small your space, lighting is one way to make sure you don’t compromise on style. Check out the space ideas section for more inspiration.
- Indoor Lighting Guide
- Lighting Glossary
- Chandelier Installation Guide
- Chandelier Planning and Selecting Tips
- Indoor Lighting Planning and Selecting Tips
- Light Layering
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- Choosing The Right Color Temperature
- Why Lighting Systems
- Project Planning Cabinet Lighting
- Installing Cabinet Lighting
- Use of Tape Lighting And Channels
- Installation Planning for Tape and Channels
- Small Space Solutions
- Open Floor Plan
- Horizon LED Downlights