Varsha Raghunandan - February 11,2022
Your Guide to Contemporary Lighting
What is Contemporary Interior Design?
When building a new home, it is important to think about the aesthetic and mood that you are trying to create with architectural features, furniture, and lighting. In the 21st century, we can see that interior design has been moving away from traditional styles of warm colours and ornate furniture. Instead, contemporary interior design is the popular choice for modern day homeowners. This style of design is becoming more and more prominent, in line with other cultural movements such as minimalism and environmentalism, where aesthetic form and functionality are prioritised over bold colours and cluttered display items.
This understated aesthetic can be achieved by the clever use of lines and architectural features in the home, and a neutral colour scheme. Less is always more when it comes to contemporary interior design, as empty spaces in the home are just as important as objects. In fact, empty spaces are usually exaggerated by high ceilings and open floor plans in modern housing. Rather than using objects such as furniture and display items to fill up this space, contemporary design uses lighting to add dimension and layers to the home.
Contemporary Lighting - Downlights
Downlights are the popular choice for lighting in modern homes. However, standard downlights can often be too harsh, flattening a room with its wide spread of light. On the other hand, deep recessed downlights make non-intrusive pools of light, with the lighting fixture itself remaining hidden in the ceiling. These pools of light create a relaxed and ambient mood, perfect for lounge and dining areas.
Downlights with a deep recess have a cone shape, constricting the light into a narrow beam. This design perfectly complements modern homes with high ceilings, as the narrow beam is more far-reaching than a standard downlight. These spotlights are also designed to land directly on working surfaces, avoiding the direct line of sight.
Some downlights come with ridges on their trim, which help to absorb some of the light. This is called a baffle trim, and it helps to create a softened light output. Soft lighting adds to the feeling of simplicity and elegance when it comes to contemporary lighting design.
With a reduced amount of furniture, artwork, and display items in minimalist homes, it is important to find another way to add dimension to a room while keeping it uncluttered. The best way to achieve this is through wall-washing lighting techniques.
The way that vertical surfaces are illuminated can heavily manipulate our perception of space. Lighting can be designed to create dynamic shadows on interior and exterior walls to achieve visual interest and spatial openness in any home. Some techniques for wall lighting include washing and scallop lighting. To achieve these effects, look for track lighting or deep recessed downlights with a narrow beam angle and gimbal. These lights can be installed close to the wall to create clean shadow lines and an interesting scallop effect. Alternatively, install the lights further away and direct the spotlights towards the wall to create a more even wash of light.
Contemporary interior design is known for using clean visible lines to direct your gaze across the space of the room, as well as maintaining the aesthetic of geometric form and structure. It can also help to break up spaces in an open floor plan, adding further dimension to the space while maintaining a contemporary design
This can be achieved by using linear lighting, long furniture, framed artwork and photographs, and linear architectural features. The most common forms of linear lighting are strip lighting and linear pendant lights.
Contemporary interior design often uses a neutral palette, consisting of white, black, greys, and beige. Bright colours are used very sparingly as an accent, often in a pastel tone. To complement these neutral colours, we suggest that you opt for cool white or daylight colour temperatures, which bring out cooler tones in your home decoration such as grey.
If you were to use warm white lighting, it would instead add a yellow tinge to your interior colour scheme, making neutrals appear more brown than grey.
Elekzon’s Daintree 104 and York 213 are deep recessed downlights, understated yet elegant. They are available in cool white colour temperatures to suit a neutral colour scheme in any modern home. They are designed to complement modern day houses with high ceilings and an open floor plan, to give you an uncluttered and spacious feel.