Change your world with light.

In Ilse Crawford’s beautiful book, The Sensual Home, she places an important emphasis on natural light in the home.

Personally, after spending the last 22-years in real estate and seeing thousands of homes, one of the last things I see homeowners think about is the lighting and shadows created in their space. Light is the most important aspect to address when it comes to making the home feel right.

According to Ilse, “if you want a stimulating environment, you need variation, texture, and shadows.”

Here is a list of suggestions detailed in The Sensual Home:


1. Make the Most of Daylight

Rely as little as possible on artificial light and make the most of natural light. Consider the light when deciding which rooms, you use when.

2. Diffuse It

Keep windows completely clear or use minimal covering to maximize the light. Use half curtains in a lightweight fabric on the lower half only for privacy. Try sand-blasted glass, or even tracing paper on photographic gels on the lower panes.

3. More Windows

The more windows you have, the better. If you are in an existing built home, add clerestory windows and skylights if your natural light is limited.

4. In Praise of More Shadows

Keep windows completely clear or use minimal covering to maximize the light. Use half curtains in a lightweight fabric on the lower half only for privacy. Try sand-blasted glass, or even tracing paper on photographic gels on the lower panes.

5. Eternal Flames

Candles are our allies, bringing magical light into darkness. They have a remarkable effect on a room, by day or night, creating ever-shifting patterns of light and shadows. They mix well with modern lighting, especially when this is dimmed, and have a hypnotic, soothing quality that encourages us to rest and meditate.

6. Bring Light to Life with Glass

Glass and mirrors, reflect, multiply, and energize light. A mirror above a door or a fireplace can transform a space. Glass seems to float. It’s part of the Western love of light; in the Orient they prefer the shadowy luster of ceramics to the glitter of glass.

7. Task Lighting

Use for reading and working. Good, clear task light is important.

8. Ambient Lighting

Light is generally better when used to light a vertical surface than a horizontal one. Dimmer switches give you control.

9. Mood Lighting

Low-level warm lights for a relaxed feeling create intimate areas of light. Use gentle diffused light.

10. Artificial Lightbulbs

The demi-silvered tungsten bulb is a brilliant solution for hanging lamps. Full spectrum bulbs contain the same balance of colours as natural sunlight. They are supposed to help stave off lethargy and tiredness.


If you are on the search for specialty lighting visit www.thelightingguyontario.com. They have a fabulous selection of both vintage and modern lighting. This is your go-to lighting place for shades, parts, and repair.

Ilse Crawford is a British interior and furniture designer. She worked in an architects firm and for the Architects’ Journal before being chosen as the launch editor of Elle Decoration and then the short-lived Bare magazine. In 1998, she left to work for Donna Karan,[3] soon moving on to designing interiors and setting up her own design studio, StudioIlse, in London in 2001.[1]


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