The principles of home staging teach us that dark rooms look small, unorganized and uninviting. We are psychologically programmed to move toward light, which explains why a window at the end of a hallway or an exterior view draws us in and engages us. This is also the reason proper lighting is essential when staging a home for sale.

Here are my thoughts how you can use light to help sell your home.

Lighting as a tool

Lighting is more than just a table lamp here, a couple of sconces there, or a pendant light overhead. In fact, a well-lit home will have a combination of all three. Ambient, task and accent lighting work in sync to achieve a space that’s bright and functional. The kitchen is arguably the most complex room for lighting (and function!) so let’s start here. You might have a ceiling fixture or pendant lights suspended over an island for ambient light, recessed lights in front of the upper cabinets to illuminate your work surfaces, and under-cabinet lighting to fill in shadows on the counter tops. Walk through your home and consider each space in terms of function and practicality.

Lighting as a mood-maker

Many rooms serve a dual purpose. Dimmer switches have become essential, allowing you to adjust the brightness and change the mood of a space, with the simple flip of a switch. As a stylist, I use dimmers frequently in my designs, and as a homeowner I have a dimmer switch in every room. They are the ultimate in versatility. Just as with all ambient lighting, combine these with alternate sources of lighting such as floor and table lamps, art lamps, and track lighting to define areas.

Lighting as a highlighter

Use lighting to draw the eye to natural focal points in your home. These can be functional focal points, architectural features, or furniture and accessories you want to call attention to. A great example of this principle put to work is in the dining room. A chandelier draws the eye to the showpiece of this space – the dining table. Here, a common error is to crank up this fixture’s intensity to illuminate the entire room. Resist the urge and let your layered lighting plan do its thing. The chandelier will provide a warm glow to your dining table, while the other light sources such as table or floor lamps can help illuminate the rest of the room. Check out Hudson Valley Lighting to see the current stylish lighting options available today.

Lighting is a subtle yet essential element in every home, which all too often becomes an afterthought. The right lighting has the power to bring life, warmth, and add a little (or a lot of!) personality to any space or home. If done right, lighting can become the functional accessory that takes your room to the next level. And the best part is, compared to other home improvement projects, lighting can offer instant results and be affordable.