Style Guide: Living Room and Home Office Lighting

Decorating expert, Jennifer Berno, shares her solutions for lighting your living spaces.


Hi, I'm Jennifer. Associate Decorating Editor at Southern Living. Lighting can change the whole feel of a room. The right combination of fixtures not only illuminates a room but makes a style statement as well. In a living room or an office. [MUSIC] The key to good lighting is flexibility. A variety of light sources in a living room helps to create pockets for reading and conversation. This living room benefits from lots of natural light and a generous lantern overhead. The sconces above the sofa make for great reading nooks. In a living room, the primary light source is often a floor lamp or maybe a pair of lamps. They not only supply good general light, but also help to create pleasing symmetry in the room. To illuminate a large living space, you might try a custom light pillar to supplement natural light. [MUSIC] Mix table lamps into the lighting scheme to vary the brightness and add color. If you want to open up a space, another trick is to place sconces around the edges of the room. An office is where you take care of business. So direct task lighting is important. Use task lamps to direct light where you need it the most. Metal shades will funnel light onto a specific work area. It's helpful to have multiple sources of light in a work area to avoid eye strain. [MUSIC] Overhead lights work well with table lamps. Together they really light up the room. A task light fixed to the wall carves an office space out of the living room. Just curl up in the corner with your laptop and adjust the lamp's arm to direct the light. Be practical with your lighting choices, but don't be afraid to choose fixtures that reflect your personal style. For more decorating ideas, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine, and visit
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