Boosting a room’s ambiance can make a space inviting, heighten a romantic moment, or calm a mood. Control your lighting and set it up in layers in order to add and subtract light levels and adjust the ambiance just right.
“(Lighting) definitely makes a huge difference in a room,” says Cathy Miller, public relations for Crate and Barrel Canada. “I think when the lights are dimmer it signals downtime, it automatically gives an emotional cue to people to slow down and take it easy, that they can relax — the opposite being alert and awake and work time.”
Miller says to look for lamps that can take a three-way bulb or a dimmer switch for lights. Candles can be lit in abundance or just a few. Place them anywhere and play with levels — low on the coffee table, high on a window sill.
“When you light candles or dim the lights or arrange the lights a little bit differently, it shows you are thinking about the atmosphere and it’s very welcoming to guests,” says Miller. “I think a mix of both (candles and soft lighting) is ideal. Candles add a little mystery and a little excitement to the atmosphere. People can interact and see each other comfortably but the light level is reduced so it has an ambient feeling.
“Traditionally, people used to sit down at the dining table in front of tall tapered candles. Now you see a coffee table candle tray with a cluster of candles, (or) hurricanes and lanterns popping up in people’s homes.”
A room’s environment can also be heightened through “softening the hard edges of the room,” accessories that show some extra tender loving care — a few extra pillows, a soft throw for the sofa, fresh flowers and plants and scents, mirrors and definitely some mood-enhancing music. Candles however will always be the No. 1 go-to item to sprinkle a little passion into one’s decor.
“(Candles are) sort of a miniature version of how people like to watch the flame in a fireplace.”