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13 Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Home

The lighting in your home is a major contributor to the overall mood of your home. If you’re seeking some creative inspiration and unique lighting ideas, our designers are here to help. Explore some of the lighting solutions we’ve installed in our Seattle area remodeling projects over the years. From LED strips to fancy sconces, there’s many ways to brighten up your home. Some lighting works better in certain rooms, but the wide array of lighting options out there might surprise you!

Lighting Ideas for Kitchens

Lighting ideas for the kitchen require careful consideration of both layout and design. Important aspects to consider are the lighting intensity on your countertops (so you can see!), the color temperature of the lights, and creating layers of lighting. You’ll want at least two lighting options to customize your kitchen lighting to the task at hand.

wood open shelving with brackets and under-shelf light strip built-in
  1. Undershelf Lighting: Installing lighting beneath your kitchen cabinets is a great way to direct light down toward your work surface. As many modern kitchens are moving from enclosed upper cabinets to open shelving, there are still options for task lighting! These sleek LED strip lights offer a modern aesthetic with a functional purpose, and can be built directly into wood shelves. A perfect design choice for a Scandinavian Kitchen.
  1. Recessed Lighting: Whether it is a minimalist, sleek space or an colorful and bold space, recessed lights offer ambient light where you need it most. Because they have a variety of trimmed and trimless varieties, sizes, and styles, they can easily integrate into any space without calling much attention to themselves. The flush recessed lights from this Contemporary Downtown Condo remodel are barely even there, but provide valuable light in the evenings.
  1. Mix-and-Match Pendants: Each space in a open-concept kitchen requires something a little different, but adding a series of different fixtures that share a common finish or detail can add personality to your home. The light fixtures in our Fresh Baby Blue Kitchen remodel are all tied together with brass and white glass details. Despite the different shades and styles, they work perfectly together.

Lighting Ideas for Basements

Basements often get a bad wrap for being dark, but this can easily be remedied with some thoughtful and creative lighting solutions. We love sleek, architecturally integrated solutions for these spaces that make a big impact. Both LED strip lighting and recessed lights can make a big difference for a dark basement.

  1. LED Strip Lighting: Basements are notorious for having limited space to install lighting and other necessities in the ceiling, but LED lights have changed that. In this Timeless Black and White Remodel (left), LED tape lights were tucked away into small reveals around the columns and beams to add a soft glow without overpowering the space. Similarly, in this Scandinavian Home Gym & Sauna a ceiling perimeter LED wall channel adds accent lighting around the mirrors.
  1. Slim Downlights: Now that LED has a stronghold in the marketplace, more manufacturers than ever are offering slim downlights that can fit into ceilings with as little as two-and-a-half inches of clearance. What’s great is that they don’t get hot to the touch – they can even be installed where little ones might get a bit wild, like in this Multi-Purpose Basement renovation.

For more basement-specific lighting ideas, visit our How to Brighten Up a Dark Basement post.

Lighting Ideas for Bathrooms

Bathrooms may primarily be about functionality, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. By getting innovative with your lighting, you can elevate your space and brighten the experience. Plus, for most primary bathrooms good lighting is essential to getting ready in the morning and completing your self-care routine in the evening.

  1. Wall Sconces: While the standard wall light over a mirror is a tried and true approach, opting for sconces adjacent to the mirror can be an easy way to elevate the aesthetic in your bathroom. Wall sconces add a bit of style with far more options to select from. As a bonus, they provide more even lighting for makeup, skincare, and shaving by reducing shadows from overhead lights. These thin sconces from our Stylish Bathroom Upgrade in Maple Leaf, elevate the bathroom design and add just the right of ambient light for a moody powder room.
  1. Pendant Fixtures: Pendants in a bathroom? If you have a large frameless mirror or a specialty backsplash that you’d hate to intrude on, pendants may be the solution.  Because they are suspended from the ceiling, there is flexibility in their placement, and just like sconces, pendants in a bathroom provide more even lighting where you need it most.. Adjustable pendants can always be changed later, both in distance from the mirror and height. We chose the pendants in this Relaxing Master Suite Haven for specific reasons. We wanted to accentuate the vaulted ceiling and create symmetry in the design.
  1. LED Light Mirrors: Want the best in bathroom lighting on top of an impactful aesthetic? Consider an LED mirror where the lighting is integrated into the perimeter of the mirror itself. These fixtures diffuse lighting in a meaningful way that complements overhead lighting, while providing the most natural light-like conditions for makeup application or self-care. The best part is that they are offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to align with your bathroom design. This large round LED bathroom mirror is a statement, but it also provides the extra light needed for a Moody Black Bathroom.

Lighting Ideas for Bedrooms

Bedrooms aren’t just another room in the home. They are a respite, an escape, and perhaps the most intimate physical representation of who you are; don’t be afraid to go bold and outside the box here. Lighting can add tons of personality to a space, so make sure you consider these bedroom lighting ideas when you’re refreshing or remodeling.

  1. Pendant Fixtures: Tired of traditional table lamps that take up valuable space on your nightstand? Consider pendant lights hung from either the wall or ceiling. They can be suspended at any height and exude a hotel-luxe vibe. Or if minimalism is your thing, opt for pendants and no nightstand at all like these homeowners did in their Relaxing Master Suite Haven.
  1. Asymmetrical Lighting: Looking for something fresh that considers each person’s personality? Consider mix-and-matching your bedside lighting. In this sleek Early 20th-century Home remodel, she got a delicate, boho-inspired pendant fixture, while he chose a modern table lamb. Both are perfect for reading at night. Let lighting be an extension of your individual personality and opt for an asymmetrical look. You might be surprised how cool it looks!

General Lighting Considerations for Your Home

No matter the space, there is always a way to enhance the experience with lighting. Below are a few of our favorite lighting tips to keep in mind for every space in your home.

  1. Natural Light: When you’re able, don’t be afraid to harness the beauty and health benefits of natural light in your home. From windows and clerestories to skylights and light tubes, there are ways to get daylight into nearly any space of your home.
  2. Layers of Lighting: There are three main types of lighting in any space, ambient (overall), accent (decorative), and task (functional). Always give proper consideration to each, taking into account the different activities that happen in each space and how you would use lighting in each way.
  3. Lighting Controls: Never underestimate the power of a dimmer switch to offer flexibility in how you use your space. Also important, always consider your lighting controls carefully. Having accent, task, and ambient lighting on separate switches provides maximum flexibility in lighting your space.


Written by Model Remodel

Model Remodel is a design-build, remodeling contractor located in Seattle, WA. For over 20 years we’ve been building with purpose, craftsmanship and sustainability in mind. We are proud to continually make the list of top Seattle contractors for our beautiful interior designs and homeowner-focused remodeling process.

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