STYLING Kate Nixon | PHOTOGRAPHY Maree Homer

Shining Stars

When it comes to interiors, lighting plays a bigger role than you might think, writes Kate Nixon.

A powerful decorating tool, lighting has an innate ability to affect mood; get it wrong, and it can impact the overall success of an interior. A layered approach is key, combining overhead, accent and task lighting to create flexible solutions and ambience appropriate to the time of day and task at hand. Perimeter lighting in the form of decorative wall sconces or architectural style fittings along the edge of the ceiling or recessed into pelmets creates a gentle wash of light on walls, curtains and art, drawing the eye out and expanding the space. Sculptural pendants centre a room and define key areas such as the dining table, kitchen island bench, bedside tables or a statement bath. Table and floor lamps next to seating create conversation corners or quiet reading nooks – have fun with the shades and remember to hide the seams!

A table lamp is not just a source of illumination. It can form a sculptural element too, with both the base and shade adding shape and texture to a living room tableau. Wall sculpture by Tracey Deep.

Source Book

  • About Space

    Extensive range of decorative and architectural fixtures.

  • The Montauk Lighting Co

    A line-up of the who’s who in lighting from the US.

  • Fanuli

    Italian lighting with purpose and pedigree.

  • Articolo Lighting

    Australian designed and made, internationally recognised lighting design studio.

  • In Good Company

    A huge range of designer lines, including the lovely Workstead collection.

  • Est Lighting

    Fabulous options to suit every space

Lighting has an innate ability to affect mood


STYLING Kate Nixon

Fresh ideas & easy updates

  • Transform an awkward corner with a sculptural floor lamp in a complementary style and finish to the surrounding interior.
  • Light key artworks with decorative wall sconces or ceilingmounted spotlights.
  • Consider motion-sensor strip lighting under bathroom vanities. It’s much gentler on the eyes for nocturnal visits.
  • Install or retrofit dimmers to set the ambient mood and adjust the amount of light as required according to the season, time of day and use of space.
  • Don’t forget your bulbs. For a warm, inviting feel opt for bulbs with a colour temperature of 2700-3000 kelvins (also known as warm white). The higher the colour temperature range, the bluer (or ‘cooler’), the light.

Glow getters

Lovely lighting options for ceilings, walls and brightening dark corners.

1 Mirela jute pendant light, Domayne;
2 Aura wall sconce by Barbara Barry, The Montauk Lighting Co;
3 Glaze floor lamp, Casa by Kate Nixon;
4 Foscarini ‘Birdie’ floor lamp by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba, Space;
5 Mika table lamp, McMullin & Co;

Kate Nixon for Australian House & Garden