Surviving Grey Winter Days in Small Space with Lighting
I've found that having as much light as possible in a small space is very helpful for comfort and sanity. Natural light is always best but when natural light isn't in abundance like on dark grey Vancouver winter days, the glow from lamps helps to brighten. When I'm home in the day I keep every light in the house on, hydro bill be damned. I also find that having many lighting options in a small space helps create defined areas in an otherwise undefined space. By different lighting options I mean, overhead lighting to light the entire space and then specific task lights like table or floor lamps to add more light or to provide softer directional light when the overhead lights are off.
Over the years we have added task lighting in different corners of the home to create zones and flexibility. This became increasingly important with one kid and now even more so with two kids. For example we have a floor lamp that points down onto the corner of the couch that allows us to light the living room without light spreading too far into the kids' room. This allows us to turn off the track lighting in the kitchen that would shine into the kids' room but still have our living room comfortably lit at night. While we have trained both kids to sleep with a certain amount of light I don't think it is fair to have bright lights shining on them while they sleep.
Recently I was finding that after turning off the kitchen and hallway lights after the kids' bedtime (approximately 7-8pm) that our living room felt too dark. So I took the gorgeous brass Cedar and Moss light (Tile Cone Sconce) that was not being put to good use in the kids' room and hung it on our gallery wall. I initially hung the beautiful handmade sconce in the kids' room (previous post and thoughts here) thinking I would be attending to Mae in the night there and would need some low directional light. At 5 months old I still have her beside our bed even though she regularly sleeps to 5am (please don't ask about naps... they are almost always on me... and it is not working for me) I am not quite ready to move her into the room. Also I think that when I do move her into the shared room and have to deal with any middle of the night issues, I will quickly bring her out into the living area so as not to disturb Theo.
Our small living room now has a soft glow in all corners at night without disturbing the sleeping babes. And back to my original point, on gloomy Vancouver days I also turn on this light to add brightness to an otherwise unlit corner. Funny how one small change can brighten my days.