Lighting Design and Mood
As professional interior designers/model merchandisers our job is to create a design that speaks to the prospective buyer. We want to elicit a mood of belonging and comfort. There are a multitude of ways to do that, many of which we have already written about including incorporating color and nature in design. Another powerful way to impact mood is through lighting design. Lighting design can impact the prospective buyers’ mood significantly.
Think about it, when you walk into a room that is bathed in cozy, inviting light and you’ll feel instantly at ease. Walk into the same room buzzing with harsh fluorescents, and your teeth may start to grind. Why? We humans are very sensitive to light.
In 2014, a Journal of Consumer Psychology study found that the more intense the lighting, the more affected and intense the participants’ emotions were — both positive and negative.
The study included six experiments that examined the link between emotion and ambient brightness. Feelings of warmth increased when participants were exposed to bright light with hints of reddish hues. A sensation of angst increased when bluer light dominated. And the brighter the light, the more intense the participants’ emotions became. Both the intensity and the color of the light affected people’s moods. A professional interior designer/model merchandiser can effectively help create that positive balance of light to give the builder an edge.
Knowing how much of an influence lighting can have on a buyers’ mood, we approach our designs accordingly. We design for the function of the space. The entrance of a model home should welcome guests and create a smooth transition from bright daylight (when prospective buyers are typically touring a model) to the home’s interior lighting.
The kitchen which is a central location in any home requires a brighter light. Light that not only helps to facilitate cooking, but also encourage gathering and family time. These “skylights” shed light that is the same temperature as natural light — offering an open, airy feeling and helping the room’s occupants to feel a more positive vibe. Combining natural, ambient, task, over-all decorative lighting increases the level of effectiveness and drama to delight the sense of sight.
Conversely, while the living room is also a central gathering space in a home, its purpose is for relaxation. As a result, the lighting in this space is typically warmer and more layered to allow for variances throughout the day. Additionally, if you have a lower level, great room area of the home is also the entertaining spot and as such the lighting is designed to encourage gathering.
Furthermore, homes today could have several rooms that may serve for entertaining, gathering, or other communal functions. We see this in lower-level family areas, lofts, large dens, play spaces or gaming rooms. In these spaces lighting needs to encourage some drama and fun while containing task lighting so play can be highlighted when and where needed. Sometimes this might be a wine bar, game table or, perhaps a beer tap.
The lighting options in the bedrooms should be warm and soothing. With the light coming from lamps and other softer sources (vs overhead fluorescents). Bedrooms are where rest and rejuvenation needs to happen. Here lighting should embrace ones inner peace, a feeling or calm the idea of self-preservation, perhaps even a touch of romance can fulfill that inner dream.
With the ability to largely affect the mood of a room, lighting is one of the most important elements our designers consider when designing a space. Professional interior designers/model merchandisers understand this. Through effective design they can help give the builder an edge by improving the overall emotions elicited by a space.