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The light fantastic; Brighten up gloomy rooms this winter with beautiful lighting. Gabrielle Fagan finds illuminating answers for every area of the house.

SPLASHING OUT Bathroom''s need to be practical in the day and a home spa in the evenings. TIP: Waterproof or sealed fittings are essential, especially in small bathrooms and showers. Tiny spots or downlights recessed into the ceiling around the perimeter of the room will bring a feeling of spaciousness. STAR LIGHTS: John Lewis' bathroom lighting selection is comprehensive and includes a Lucca four-spotlight bathroom ceiling bar, PS80. For those want to impress there's a Multimedia mirror with inbuilt LED lighting, radio, clock, speakers, USB and memory card port, and touch controls, PS399.

> MORE INTERIORS PAGES 8&9 IT'S all too easy to be baffled by lighting, because the choice today is dazzling.

Faced with spotlights, downlighters, uplighters, lamps and chandeliers, not to mention all the advancing technology in light bulbs, it's enough to make you retire to a darkened room and forget the whole business.

But that would be a big mistake because lighting has enormous power to transform rooms and alter atmosphere and mood.

A sensitive lighting system can go a long way to redress spatial limitations - by tricking the eye into thinking there's more room than there actually is.

"Too many people treat lighting as an afterthought, or place it a long way down the list of priorities," says Peter Bowles, managing director of Davey Lighting.

"Ideally, lighting should be considered at the planning stage of a renovation or new build. You need to look at each area of your home at different times of the day so you can see where the natural light falls and its quality."

Winter's long dark nights and early evenings leave us craving well-lit, welcoming spaces, so follow the room-by-room guide to lighting up your life.

FEAST OF LIGHT Kitchens require lighting to work hard so it's bright and focused in preparation and cooking areas but intimate in eating and dining zones.

TIP: Look for flexible lights which can be angled and adjusted to effectively control direction or spread of light.

STAR LIGHTS: Complement industrial style with a Diner 125 pendant, PS658 (top), with its weathered brass and glass oblong shade and four bulbs, Davey Lighting (0207 351 2130/www.davey-lighting.co.uk).

The fashion for metallics is reflected in the Celeste pendant light, PS80, available in a gold or copper finish, John Lewis (middle).

Punchy colour brightens and Dwell has lamps in vibrant shades including a a tubby Shroom table lamp (bottom), from PS29 (0845 675 9090/www.dwell.co.uk).

LIGHT AND LOUNGING Living rooms are often multi-functional spaces which require a variety of lighting to suit different activities at varying times of the day.

TIP: Pendants hung over sofas will create a dramatic seating zone in a room.

STAR LIGHTS: For elegant, contemporary style it's hard to beat an Elsa six-arm ceiling light, PS180, or a slender Lily floor lamp with five curved stems branching outwards, PS190, and matching table lamp, PS75 (above), all John Lewis (0845 6049 049/www.johnlewis.

com). Scandi appeal endures and John Lewis' Secto Victo pendant ceiling lights, from PS650, made from laminated birch slats, are classics (below left).

For a truly different light it's hard to beat the Favourite Things Suspension Lamp Cloud, PS295 (above centre), The Conran Shop (0844 848 4000/www.conranshop.

co.uk), which allows objects to be displayed in a clear bowl beneath the fitting.

NIGHT NIGHT LIGHTS Bedrooms benefit from lighting which is bright and appropriate for dressing, but can be soft and intimate to conjure a soothing, sensual space. TIP: In small bedrooms use wall rather than table lights to avoid cluttering surfaces. To create a relaxed mood, consider lighting hidden behind cornices and bookshelves or illuminate bed plinths and headboards. STAR LIGHTS: Chandeliers and light-reflecting glass pendants add glamour. A Chelsea three-tiered pendant with layers of leaf design glass pieces, PS175, and Hayworth cluster ceiling pendant, PS250, featuring glass vintage-style decanters (top), both Laura Ashley (0871 230 2301/www.lauraashley.

com). Dunelm Mill offers affordable style including a five-arm Romance chandelier style-light, PS59.99 (08451 65 65 65/www.dunelm-mill.com).
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 17, 2012
Words:676
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