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December 5, 2018 – Published in Design & Decor Winter 2018 issue

The importance of light, space & art

Words Justine Bartolo

Being an interior designer, and after years of speaking with clients and getting to know them, one may notice patterns forming in the way most people feel what is important when creating a beautiful space.

The most common misconception that I find today is that it is all about the furniture, and not about the space. It is more about the style and design concept, rather than the actual flow and movement of a space, and more about expensive pieces rather than the way the space actually makes one feel.

Light, Space & Art are three of the most vital elements when it comes to creating a beautiful home, or office or any space for that matter. Without the right lighting you could have the most fantastic design concept, but in a dim setting, it loses half of its actual potential.

You may notice going through international interior magazines that some of the homes are stunning, and you may wonder why you just cannot seem to get the same result in your own home. Interiors run way deeper than furniture style and colour of the walls. Here are a few of the things to consider when it comes to making a home that is timeless and interesting.

Architectural Moldings

Architectural moldings make a huge difference to any space. It could be a simple coving that gives that extra interest, warmth and classical feel, or even beading on walls that beautifully frame art pieces. Nowadays we are completely moving away from this and are opting for modern spaces that are ultimately bare, yet I always notice that a home with character in its bones is the easiest to design!


As I mentioned above, the importance of lighting has been underestimated. Always make sure that the correct lighting has been put in place, from the temperate to the position of lighting. For ambience and warmth, dimmable lighting is a must. Wall lights also bring in that deep and mysterious lighting, perfect for an exterior path or along a corridor. Layered lighting also works beautifully as it creates movement in the space and adds interest and takes the eye along a journey by adding focus in different places.


Art can bring a place up or take it down. Choosing the perfect pieces to fit the space is a huge task, but it can honestly make or break the room.

With the correct style, colour, concept and mood, a piece of art in a room can transform the space and give it movement and mystery. Sometimes one piece of art is all you need, whilst sometimes you might want to create a gallery wall.

You may use calming colours for a timeless elegance, or big and bold colours as a statement piece. You might go for classical paintings, typography or abstract art, the options are endless yet it doesn’t mean you should pick and choose based on what ever you feel like at that moment, with no real reason. Art must serve a purpose and finding out what you are trying to achieve is the first step to making the correct decisions.



Designing a home is like walking through a storybook. You can start at the entrance, move on to the bedroom and bathroom, but the ultimate goal is that one room leads into the other, it is consistent and blends well together, without being repetitive and always keeping the viewer interested.

The phrase ‘less is more’ really does run deeply here. It is so easy to feel that we need to fill a space to the brim. Every corner, wall and empty area needs to be set up in some way. The hard thing to do is create a beautiful room where this does not need to be done, and where each piece has a purpose.

Statements in furniture can look beautiful, like that one chair in a corner with no wall art over it. It is bare but somehow it just works, and not only can it work but it can also evoke emotion from the person in the room.

Have you ever walked into a room and because it was so cluttered you felt that you needed to walk straight back out? This is the exact opposite of what a space should make you feel like, but nonetheless, it did awake some kind of emotion in you, which takes me to my first point, that design is not just about furniture, but more about space, it’s movement and the feelings it brings to those living in the area.

Light, Space and Art are three of the most important elements when thinking about designing a space, so always keep that in mind if you are looking at doing some DIY upgrades to your home. If you start thinking this way you will find that the end result is so much more pleasing than you would have initially expected, and more importantly, you will be living in a home that makes you feel good as you walk through it!

For more information about design and sustainability, like my Facebook page Lillie Helena

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