Well-chosen and correctly positioned lighting can make all the difference to a space. The most common mistake is that a light is chosen predominantly for its appearance, whereas its effectiveness in the room should be the foremost consideration. Task lighting for instance should be bright and focussed, such as the placement of a lamp next to a chair for reading.
A central ceiling pendant can be a stunning focal point to a room. However, this generally provides only ambient light when used alone, making the space appear ‘flat’. Adding a dimmer switch provides an opportunity to vary the light quality. This used together with other light sources in the room, allows layering of the light and shade. I find this particularly effective when employed in a room with flat painted walls.
Down lighters are currently popular. They are simple and modern. Choose ones that swivel in their sockets in order to focus light onto areas that you wish to accentuate, such as pictures or artefacts.
As a general rule, pools of light used to highlight objects and areas, created by a variety of light sources will look much softer and more interesting than a single ceiling pendant. Imaginative use of lighting gives your scheme depth and interest.