by Nina Makofsky
Decor trends come and go, but your bedroom lighting should transcend the look-of-the-moment to suit your bedroom's various functions. When planning bedroom lighting design, consider the space's natural lighting first, and then determine which parts of the room benefit most from general lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and ceiling fans.
General lighting: Most bedrooms come equipped with overhead lighting. However, your overhead lighting may be far from adequate, from both a design and a functionality standpoint. Many overhead lights flatten spaces, making your bedroom's diverse textures, colors and patterns look muddy. Make your general lighting more stylish by replacing a plain fixture with a chandelier. Recessed or track lighting has a more contemporary edge in the bedroom and works well for small interiors. For a quick burst of color, cover a ceiling fixture with a paper lantern or a translucent paper parasol, but make sure that your light does not burn too hot close to any paper.
Task lighting: Some bedrooms also serve as home offices, toddler play areas, studies, libraries or craft rooms. These multiple functions demand good task lighting for bedroom decor. Track lighting and recessed lighting with brighter bulbs can function as task lighting. More typically, people use table lamps or floor lamps. An ornately styled floor lamp next to an armchair or brightly painted desk makes an elegant, traditional statement, while a streamlined lamp with a chrome or stainless steel finish gives a contemporary edge. For a burst of color and sculptural detail, try a pendant light, or a series of pendants, with bright shades hung over a specific task area.
Accent lighting: One of the best ways to set a mood or complement a bedroom decor theme is through accent lighting. Designing accent lighting may involve little more than stringing party lights in a window. However, you can also spend a great deal of time and money designing a sophisticated accent lighting plan. Hang a chandelier, mini-chandelier or ceiling fan above your bed and mount wall sconces on both sides of a prominent display shelf, mantel or large piece of wall art.