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Creating Ambience with Mood Lighting

by | Oct 8, 2019 | Decorating Inspiration | 35 comments

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This post is in partnership with Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting

We have always done quite bit of lamp shuffling in our house. Do you do this, too? Every time we move the furniture around, or change anything up for the season, I reassess and rearrange the lighting. I’m so impacted by the mood of our home.

In the early years of being married, my husband and I probably bought more lamps and light fixtures than any other home accessory. We have always loved being on the hunt for just the right charming fixtures as well as setting a warm and comfortable mood for our home!

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Even now, if my husband walks into the room when it’s getting dark and I haven’t gotten up from my computer to turn on any lamps yet he’ll say “hey, girlfriend, why are you sitting in the dark?!” Ha! The evening lighting ritual is still a big deal in our house.

I want to make sure each room is well lit in the evenings, with just the right amount of ambient lighting near every seating area, as well as around the perimeter of the room. I don’t feel comfortable in a room with dark shadowy corners.

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Brynn Table Lamp

While it’s important to have functional task lighting in a living room or bedroom, too, I also like to incorporate lighting that will bring a cozy and inviting ambience to a specific area of the room. Sometimes all you need is a small accent lamp to bring the right mood.

For example, I have two narrow cabinets/dressers in our living room. I recently found a new pair of table lamps that are perfect for these two spots (the new brass and white lamps featured in this post are the Brynn Table Lamps from Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting.) They are so pretty and a great compact size and shape for these narrow cabinets.

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We have no overhead lighting in our living room and no wall lights, so it gets very dark at night! I would love to add ceiling fixtures and install sconces around the room someday, but for now we solely rely on our lamps.

The new lamps are the first two I turn on every night!

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You can see some adorable light fixtures I would love to have in my home in the inspiration board at the end of this post. Lighting can add so much personality to a space, I definitely think that lighting is worth getting right (lightbulbs are another consideration worth thinking through, I’ll share my tip at the end of the post).

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Brynn Table Lamp
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I found some other really beautiful lighting from Hudson Valley Lighting that I would love to add to my home at some point!

You’ll find a few of my favorites along with source links in the inspiration board, below.

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Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Lightbulb tip: I know a lot of bloggers recommend white or cool lightbulbs, presumably because it removes the yellow cast from their images and keeps the room looking bright white. But I’m still old school and recommend warm lightbulbs for most lighting situations because that’s what I actually prefer in my home.

My contractor bought the lightbulbs for our overhead lights in our kitchen and they are bright white, but it makes the mood feel like we are in an operating room! Consequently, I never turn them on. I always prefer cozy wall sconces with the warm light bulbs.

Do you think about how lighting impacts the mood of your rooms?

35 Comments

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    I totally agree about lighting every corner. And I go a step further and put almost EVERY lamp on a timer so it comes on just at the right time…including the dark mornings so I don’t come downstairs to dark rooms.

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    Your new lamps are lovely! I will be measuring a place in my Butler’s Pantry to determine if it will fit there. I visited the Hudson Valley website you recommend, and it has a wonderful selection! Thank you!

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    I struggle with getting the light right after dark in my living room. It’s rather open concept with little furniture against walls where are plugs, so I do have some “dark corners” that irritate me to no end. The addition of sconces would help, but right now cannot justify the expense of installation and I do not like seeing a cord exposed from a sconce. I’ll have to keep working on it.
    I agree with your light bulb assessment. I don’t like the bright white bulbs. I have the softer, warmer light all over my house, including the kitchen, even under the upper cabinets.

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    My girls laugh at me because I had flameless candles set on timers (and use as nightlights too) but it gets so dreary here in Washington during the wet winter so I like the soft flicker and glow. We’re renovating our whole house (we haven’t lived in it yet) so I have no idea what to do about the lighting yet.

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    Love your new lamps. I really need to update mine but I always struggle with what size to get, our rooms are large with high ceilings.

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    I love the warm light bulbs too! Do you have a warm bulb you always buy? Love those little white lamps with the brass feet. :) I found a floor lamp for $5 at the thrift store last week and it made our dining area feel completely different and so much cozier!

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    I love the warm ambiance lamps give off also. I never use our overhead lighting in the living room or the bedrooms. I have several lamps throughout our home and they are all used way more than the overhead lighting,. I think it creates such a warm and cozy environment,

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    I found two lamps I absolutely loved at Home Goods but I didn’t buy them….went back the next day, and they were gone. Learned my lesson!

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    Never met a lamp I did not love. I have to remind myself that enough is enough as not every flat surface needs one, but early morning and early evenings are fun to get that cozy feeling from just the right light in the room.

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    That is a nice small lamp you have, Im looking for an unobtrusive floor lamp and a similar size table lamp for a sofa table against a wall. Do you think one should match the lamp shade colors? I am picky about matching the bulbs. I prefer warm white as well.

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    Lighting affects everything, not just the feel in our home! I went to a mom group last year where we were in an airy sunlit room, it felt so good and so cheerful to be there. Now we’ve moved to a dark auditorium and it has truly changed the feel of our meetings.

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    I’m the lamp queen, and I ADORE the hunt for beautiful lighting. I’ve never been able to tolerate overhead lighting because they trigger migraines for me. Even if I could, I wouldn’t use them. The indirect glow of lamps brings the enchantment of cozy to every nook and cranny – even the kitchen. And, a pox on bright white lights!

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    I truly dislike overhead lighting and I love lamp shopping. The problem for me is I cannot bring myself to get rid of older lamps. Maybe I should have a yard sale with just lamps. Then I can buy more lamps with the money I make…you see my dilemma! Is there a 12 step program for detoxing off lamps?

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    Melissa, I had to laugh upon reading your post and your husband’s comments. So often I will have been working at MY computer and suddenly, it has become dark! I mentioned it to my husband and he went out to Home Depot or Loews and purchased a kit that solved this problem. The kit has two parts: a plug-in that is put into the wall outlet for the lamp and a small hand-held remote or “clicker.” First, the plug-in goes into the wall outlet and then the plug which is attached to the lamp cord is plugged into the plug-in. Then I keep the remote “clicker” on my desk. When dusk falls and I can barely see what I am working on I just grab the remote clicker and push and the light comes on! What a wonderful thing this has been for me as my light source is a floor lamp which is located a few feet away from my desk.

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      My son in law got me one of those the year my husband had to live out of town. I would often come home from work after dark and as I pulled in the driveway I could click the button and lamps came on in the house. No more walking into a dark house.

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    My kitchen has these terrible fluorescent bar/tube lights, and it would be a big undertaking to fix all that, so we live with them, at least for now. But I agree that warmer lights are nicer – I enjoy them the other places we have them.

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    Do you need to match color of lamps/shades in a room? I have a cream colored lamp with a tad lighter shade. I love the size and shape of the lamps you have but being white am not sure if it would work. Most of the room is navy with shades of cream. Thanks.

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    Several of the “lamp posts” have brought a smile to my face. I thought I was alone with my lamp fetish! Happy to learn I am in good company. I love beautiful lamps and find they add so much to a room. When I am out shopping I just naturally gravitate to the lamp section. They are my fav accessory! I recently discovered some outside led warm light bulbs that mimick flames. It is my answer to doing away with the cold white lights the builder used. I hope we like the look- cheaper than adding new gas lines!

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        Amazon: LED Flame Effect Fire E26 Light Bulbs,Creative with Flickering Emulation Lamps,Simulated Nature Fire in Antique Lantern Atmosphere for Holiday Hotel/Bars/Home Decoration Restaurants

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            Walmart.com has them too, and they come in little ones for chandeliers and in different colors, are around $12 to $15 per pair. Worth checking out!

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    There’s something about light just from lamps…it’s super cozy! Beautiful!

    ~Kim

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    I do like your new lamps and also the many interesting ones you have throughout your house. I also like the warm white light.

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    A few years ago, you had a large white birch tree for your holiday tree. I bought some smaller ones and I keep them in my bedroom in the corner. Of course I decorate them for the holidays, but most of the time, they are just the trees. I love using the timer in the winter, so there is soft light when I walk into the room.

    I also have a bunch of candles with timers/remotes that I can place around the home and it is so nice to walk into a room with those candles. It’s probably time to check the battery supply and start turning them on in the evening.

    In some rooms, I just small lamps with a 40 watt bulb that I leave on all day/night. It costs the same as using a wall timer and a stronger light bulb. But, it is nice to have the soft light in the corner during the winter months or on stormy days.

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    I greatly dislike cool lights as well, I’m all for warm light. I’m currently searching for a new floor lamp for my family room.

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    Yes ! Lamps and shades also? Can you talk about switching shades? I do this . Even with chandelier shades.

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      Oh yes! I used to do that all the time with my chandelier when I lived in Portland. I loved that! Great idea for a topic!

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    I agree, I like the warm light bulbs so much better then the cool light bulbs.

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    I’m with you on the light bulbs, those bright white ones make me feel like I’m in an operating room!

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    I completely agree with you on the bulbs! I hate the white ones! They make the house feel cold and everything looks awful with such harsh lights.

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    I love the coziness of soft lighting! I especially like the gold base of your new lamps.

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    Off-topic, but can you tell me about your roman shades? Thanks!

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    Let me know when you find one, please. Love lamps, love how just the right one ties in a whole room. But I have quite the collection in the attic. I also love putting a new shade on a lamp so that it changes the whole look. I have one lamp in particular that is a classic. It has worn more styles than you can imagine but always looks great. I also loved using pink light bulbs back in the day when you could get a regular incandescent bulb. They gave the room a soft glow without yellowing everything.

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