Ask The Experts:

The article below appeared in Time & Leisure May 2017. Readers submitted interior questions to Debbie Blott, founder of decorbuddi and interiors writer for Time & Leisure.

Q: I am planning a new loft, but it will have a low ceiling. What is the best light?

It is perfectly possible to achieve fabulous lighting in a loft with low ceilings, the key is to take time to plan how you are going to use the space. Lovely lighting is all about creating mood and atmosphere and making sure that you have bright light just where you need it, carefully positioned for the activities that are taking place. What will the room be used for? If it is going to be a bedroom you will need general lighting for getting dressed and undressed and task lighting for reading in bed. An office or playroom is likely to be used more during the day requiring stronger general lighting and task lighting at your desk.

Avoid pendant or surface-mounted lights that restrict your headroom and make the ceiling feel even lower. A grid of evenly spaced spotlights across the ceiling is a popular solution but will create a flat, bright light that doesn’t look great and can feel quite exhausting. Much better to angle your spotlights to wash light up and down the walls. This will provide a good source of general lighting and create a more interesting mix of light and shade, making the space feel lively and appealing. LED lights tucked in-front of books, or behind artwork on shelves work well also.

Dimmers are essential, giving you the flexibility to adjust the level of light to the time of day and the mood that you want to achieve. If you have a large loft space, think about zoning, making good use of plug in solutions. LED lighting tucked inside cupboards and shelves is a better option than ceiling lights positioned behind you, which create a shadow precisely where you need your light to fall.

The loft is also a great space for having some fun with lighting. Use a spotlight to create a focal point highlighting a favourite piece of artwork or choose decorative lighting instead. Fairy lights and playful designs are the perfect finishing touch for children’s bedrooms and playrooms.

This article feature in the May 2017 issue of Time & Leisure