If you’re trying to give your home a unique appearance, you need to break from tradition. When you walk into a room for the first time, it’s sometimes the small touches that make you feel like this is somewhere special, and not just another average space fitted with the cheapest fixtures and fittings.
If you’re renovating or even just trying to improve a room without getting into painting overalls, replacing the standard switches and sockets can transform a room and add some unique features.
Lighting of course is so important. It’s often the first sense that’s triggered when you walk in, from the touch and feel of the switch, to the way it lights up the room.
So how do we ditch the white PVC and level up?
- Use Mood Lighting
Instead of relying on big pendants or chandeliers, some rooms only require a few small lamps or wall lights. This is particularly true for snugs or small home office spaces where there doesn’t ever need to be incredibly bright lighting, as it can sometimes be overbearing.
Maybe consider using a combination of lamps for different ambience: small desk lights for working, and a larger lamp for general use. There’s a good range of stylish examples on John Lewis.
- Add Stylish Dimmers Instead
Dimmer switches are great for several reasons, the first being the ability to control the amount of light in a room, depending on what you’re doing. The second is it’s more energy efficient.
For some scenarios, having bright lighting isn’t necessary, and often it depends on the use of a room. In a living room for example, you can be reading one minute, socialising the next, or settling in for a movie – all of which require a different level that a standard toggle switch can’t provide.
There are so many interesting materials now too, so you can choose an option that’s not only practical, but it significantly upgrades the standard of finish in a room too. These dimmer switches from Buster and Punch are tough but elegant at the same time and come in different finishes to suit your style. For ankle high sockets too, it’s also worth upgrading to something more robust, as standard plastic ones can get chipped and crack, especially in busy parts of the house like the hallway.
- Convert to Smart Home Lighting
This is going to be a huge area of growth in the next few years. The value of the global smart home industry is expected to be around $91Bn, up from only around $43.4Bn in 2017, with figures expected to grow by another 15% by 2024.
The reason consumers are moving over so quickly is because there are some huge benefits to link up smart lighting, heating and other elements with central hubs developed by tech giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google. Being able to control the level of lighting accurately with timers to suit your living patterns means your house is always ready and you can relax as soon as you get home.
This guide covers a range of different smart home devices that are now popular on the market, some of which come with incredibly futuristic central controllers so that you can upgrade those old toggle switches.
- Use Accent Lighting
If you’re not quite ready to fully upgrade to smart lighting, there are plenty of interesting accent lights available that can be installed without the need for a smart home controller. These lights can provide a really modern look in areas of the house that you might be entertaining or eating. This one for example lets you select different combinations of red, green, blue and white light, depending on the mood and can be discreetly installed into roof areas to provide an ambient effect. It might not suit every style of interior, but it would certainly be a big upgrade for an otherwise standard spec living room.
There are plenty of options to upgrade your room without going through a full renovation. These options range in price but there is something for every budget, and most retailers offer great deals around cyber week. It’s always worth planning ahead and keeping an eye out for the sales.