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Interior Design Concepts - Mood Simply Furnishings Design Index - Mood 






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Design Tips


Colour is the obvious thing we think about when we talk about ‘mood’ in interior design. However, light is equally important in the way we feel from day to day, particularly if we live in a cool climate with short summers and the long grey days of winter to endure. Do try and maximise the amount of natural light that comes into a room. As the sun moves around the house it will change the atmosphere in each room. A bright sunny room in the morning will look completely different in the early evening. Think about how light affects you and use it to your advantage. It may well be that you feel at your most comfortable in a sitting room on a winter evening with lots of subdued artificial light and a fire blazing in the hearth!

Artificial light

You should consider how to use artificial light as well as natural light and, where possible, should try to have it coming from more than one source or direction.  Consider centre lights i.e. chandeliers and pendants, low voltage halogen down lighters, table lamps and up lighters. Dimmers are also very useful, as most lighting is more effective when dimmed slightly. Artificial lighting in rooms in which you cook or wash should be somewhat stronger. Kitchens, for example, often benefit from down lighters focused on the vertical surfaces.

TIP: Keep the lighting softer in rooms you live in most, with 'task lighting' for added direct light when required (see examples above).

Modern lighting works equally well in traditional settings, as long as the fittings are concealed as much as possible. Traditional fittings, lanterns, wall sconces and table tamps can then be used for atmosphere.


Bathrooms need to be bright and light and not too fussy. Aim to keep them clean and simple for maximum effect. I personally prefer to see an all white bathroom suite, with colour being introduced in bright towels and accessories and finished off with a fairly minimalist window treatment.

TIP: For artificial lighting, low voltage halogen spots will make already shiny tiles positively glisten at any time of the day.

Making the best of what you have

Trying too hard to change the mood of a room is not always successful. If it is dark, don’t exhaust yourself by trying to make it too light or vice versa. Homes should have rooms with different feels, that is part of their appeal. Sometimes it is best to try and live with what you have and work at enhancing it rather than changing it!

When considering ‘mood’, if you think about the five senses you will not go far wrong!

Sight - colour, pattern, light etc.

Touch - texture and the feel of hard and soft surfaces

Hearing - sounds from music, a ticking clock, running water etc.

Taste - a bowl of interesting nibbles, the smell of brewing coffee or a box of your favourite chocolates!

Smell - a vase of fragrant flowers, a scented candle or a discreet pot pourri, or the smell of a burning log fire


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  Last modified: January 04, 2009