Essential Tips for Lighting A Small Room


Whether it’s a guest bedroom, a child’s room or a home office, a small room in your home presents unique lighting challenges. Overhead shades, lamps and uplighters can be used to make the limited space seem larger than it is. We’ve put together some tips that should help you decide on a lighting plan.

Select bright lights and neutral tones

When lighting a small room, it’s always recommended to use bright lighting and lots of it. This may seem counter-intuitive, but dim, warm lighting in a compact room tends to emphasise the corners, making your office or guest sleeping area appear even smaller.

Make the most out of the space you have by placing three light sources around the room – if positioned correctly the light will reflect off the walls giving the impression of a more spacious area. In spots used for reading or working, position a bright, cool task light to reduce eye strain. Neutral and pastel walls will increase the apparent size of the room, especially if the floor and ceiling are also decorated in similar tones.

Wall lamps and uplighters

One problem you’ll face when lighting a small room is the lack of available floor space. In a larger room, a standing lamp or table lamp might provide accent or task lighting. In a petite room however, the amount of floor space available is limited, and furniture has to be kept to a minimum. Use wall lights to solve this problem; there are a range of styles on the market from spotlights to uplighters and rectangular panels and they easily attach to different surfaces.

To get the most out of your wall lamps, use mirrored sconces or even mirrored wall areas to bounce light, this will brighten the room and increase the impression of space. Where possible, use recessed lighting to minimise their volume and maximise their output.

Natural lighting and furniture

Because small rooms typically only have small windows, using natural lighting can be more difficult than it would be in a larger space. Wherever possible, add additional sources of natural light with skylights or light shafts.

Complement your room lighting with the right furniture and decoration choices. Choose products that don’t obstruct illumination, such as backless daybeds or stools. Glass coffee tables or desks will allow better flow of light, giving the room an airy appearance.

Decorating a small room can be just as challenging as enhancing a larger area, but with the right furniture, lighting and paint choices you can make even the smallest space seem bright, open and welcoming.