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Sacha's Guide to Layered Lighting

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you know I’m just a little bit obsessed with good lighting. Lighting can and will elevate any space. Consider lighting as the ‘jewels’ of your home—it not only adds dimension and directs the eye, but can also highlight architectural details, enhance the ambiance, and anchor the style of your space.

Different types of lighting have specific uses. Some can promote productivity, while others evoke a sense of relaxation and comfort. Lighting can also impact the way we perceive textures and colours and can be the focal point of a room in and of itself.

Photos: Leclair Home Lighting Moments

Layered lighting considers all uses of a given space and ensures it is lit from multiple sources and angles. I witnessed this approach in design hotels we’ve stayed in around the world and I noticed how much interest, depth, and mood it adds to the space. It drew me to incorporate layered lighting into our residential design projects.

This approach typically includes ambient lighting, accent lighting, task lighting, and general overhead lighting. To achieve this look, it’s important to factor lighting into the planning phase of your design project, so it can be seamlessly integrated throughout.

DESIGNER TIP: There are endless opportunities to integrate layered lighting in kitchens and bathrooms, but every room should have multiple sources of light.

Photos: Leclair Home Kitchen

We used a layered lighting approach throughout our home. Even via Instagram, you’ll notice the ambiance that integrated lighting adds to our kitchen. We have under-counter lighting, in-shelf lighting, wall sconces, over-island pendants, and finally, general area pot lights—which we use the least!

If I had to choose, my very favourite example of layered lighting in our home is our ensuite. The backlit wall in the shower, the under-counter glow, and the vanity sconces work together to create a serene, spa-like feeling when dimmed.

Photos: Leclair Home Ensuite

Overall, having the option to alter the ambience of your home throughout the day with strategic lighting choices is the key to a calm, comforting, and intentional space.

DESIGNER TIP: While it’s ideal to integrate layered lighting into your early design plans, there are certainly ways to achieve a similar effect in a completed space. The first step is simple—don’t ever rely solely on ceiling lighting! Make sure you have table lamps and floor lamps in every living and bedroom space and add sconces and/or strip lighting to kitchens and bathrooms. And make it all dimmable!

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