lighting for small spaces

5 Big Lighting Ideas for Small Spaces

Minimalism. Downsizing. Micro homes. Phrases like these have been lighting up our collective lexicon in recent years. With the ever-rising price tags of larger dwellings, it's not shocking that so many of us have started thinking small. But there's no reason fewer square feet should necessarily feel cramped if you know a few good tricks for making the most of every inch. A smart lighting choice is a brilliant way to open up a compact space as quick as flipping a switch.

Below, we've gathered five of our brightest ideas for lighting small spaces.

1. Aim High

For your main overhead light source, choose a statement-making pendant lamp, chandelier or ceiling light. The key to making a room appear larger is to eliminate shadows that visually enclose the space. Styles like the one above featuring arms that "reach" to illuminate more area are extra useful in shadow-busting.

We love exposed light bulbs or anything with glass shades, which widely disperse light rather than narrow it. A dimmer switch is a good idea for when you do actually want to create a moodier ambiance. An eye-catching ceiling light also lends loads of personal style to the overall design of your pad.

2. Separate Your Spaces

A handy trick that in-the-know home decorators employ when working with tight quarters is using lighting to designate certain areas for specific uses. Say you live in an open urban studio apartment and you want to create the illusion of a separate bedroom space or dining nook. Hang a light at the center of the area to create an illuminated focal point for your furniture pieces. Anything that falls within the glow of the lighted space becomes "separated"  visually from the rest of the room.

 3. Be Flexible

A small space calls for multipurpose and adaptable versions of everything. Go for accent lights that can flex, swivel, rotate, or generally be repositioned easily to accommodate more than just a single area. For example, a light that can illuminate a workspace or shelving but also swing out to hover above your nearby reading chair is what we in the industry like to call a "two-for" — lighting that can pull double duty is an ingenious space saver.  

And on the topic of space savers...

4. Spotlight a Sconce

We are BIG fans of wall sconces for small space living. Not only do wall sconces add a fun design element, they also require absolutely none of your precious floor real estate. Many can be aimed both upward to bounce light off a white ceiling for added brightness, or downward to spotlight whatever task is at hand.

5. Reflect Your Style

Mirrors are a miracle cure-all for any claustrophobic abode. They work hand in hand with your lighting scheme and the available natural light to magically expand the look of your home's dimensions. Use them strategically to reflect light throughout your small space and create an enormous visual impact that won't cramp your style. 

Shop Poly & Bark:
All lighting | Ceiling lights | Table lamps | Floor lamps | Wall sconces | Light bulbs

Follow us on Instagram for fun home style inspiration and join our mailing list for exclusive offers, the latest Poly & Bark scoop and more!