Tips to get creative with lighting

Who says lamps have to go on side tables and Christmas lights need to stay in storage for most of the year? You can easily transform your space by getting creative with lighting.

Tips to get creative with lighting

Make dinner more intimate

Soft lamplight adds intimacy to a space and you can duplicate that romantic experience in your dining room using a lamp and a table runner you already have, plus some masking or painter's tape. Here's how:

  1. Lay the runner on your dining table and position the lamp.
  2. If the runner has a cutwork pattern, you may be able to slip the lamp cord through. Otherwise, cut a slit in the runner, just wide enough for the plug, at the point where the cord exits the lamp base. (You can also do this with a tablecloth you don't mind cutting.)
  3. Run the cord under the fabric and tape it to the table.
  4. Tape the cord to the inside of a table leg and run it to nearest electrical outlet.
  5. Dim the room lights to get the full effect.

Safety tip: 

  • To keep anyone from tripping, tape any loose cord unobtrusively to the floor.

Light up that mantel

During the holiday season, illuminated nativity scenes, menorahs and all kinds other religious and decorative lights take pride of place on fireplace mantels the world over. But why not light up a mantel at other times as well? Just forgo packing away your string of lights this year and hang onto extra bulbs. Here are some ideas to get your imagination going:

  • Hide lights in an arrangement of silk flowers or a leafy artificial topiary.
  • Feed a strand of lights loosely into a large coloured glass bottle or jar.
  • Arrange lights in polished silver or brass bowls and cups lined up across the mantel.
  • Encircle the frame of a mantel mirror with lights taped just behind the frame edge.
  • Fill a long, narrow metal tray with marbles or flat, Asian-style river rocks and embed twinkle lights among them.

Safety tips:

  • Be very careful that lights are never near water or flammable materials.
  • Unplug lights whenever there's no responsible adult in the room, when you leave the house or when you turn in for the evening.
  • Use lights that don't heat up.
  • Always check wiring for breaks and wear before using.

Lighten up your space with these inventive home decor ideas — when your family and friends wonder who came up with the 'bright' ideas, feel free to take the credit!

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