If there's one quick, easy way to set the tone for a room, it's choosing the right lighting. Whether it's a funky chandelier or dimmable recessed can lights, how you illuminate your home depends on how you use your space.
And while lighting trends change from year to year, the biggest factor in determining the lighting you pick should be your own personal style. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when choosing lighting for your home. Traditional lighting is great -- and necessary -- but there are many fun alternatives for homeowners looking to get creative.
The following are some of our favorites.
Glow-in-the-dark mosaic tile
A great addition to any bathroom, these glowing tiles from Susan Jablon Mosaics are made entirely of recycled car windshields. They look normal during the day, but turn off the lights and they'll illuminate your entire bathroom.
Try them in the shower for a calming, otherworldly effect, or as a backsplash behind the bathroom sink (above). An added bonus to these tiles? You won't need a light to find the bathroom in the middle of the night.
A fun and functional way to brighten your room, light-up furniture doesn't have to be tacky. If you're looking for seating that's in keeping with your minimalist décor, check out this piece from SLIDE design (above).
It comes in a variety of bright colors and more muted tones like gray, white and black. By day, this couch looks like any other minimalist piece of furniture. But by night, it lights up with two 25-watt energy saving bulbs.
(Photo: Signature Surfaces)
When most homeowners think about kitchen lighting they think about the usual pendants, cans and small chandeliers. But for folks who want something a little different, these glowing countertops from ThinkGlass are an absolute must.
Beautiful on their own, these four-inch thick countertops are just the unique detail your kitchen needs. Powerful LED lights are embedded in the glass, so with a touch of the remote your countertop can become a light show. Lights are available in a variety of colors and the glass comes in many different designs, so you're sure to find something that fits your current décor.
Try these light-up countertops in the kitchen (above), bathroom (above) or even your bar area for a touch of unexpected light. If the thought of glass countertops makes you nervous, try Corian. The Illumination series from Signature Surfaces can be lit in a number of ways and used in the kitchen, bathroom, bar area or even outdoors.
We're not talking your average blues and pinks here. The fabrics from designer Kathy Schicker (see photos on her website) are woven from yarn that actually glows in the dark. While you probably shouldn't use it to cover everything in a room, the fabric is a great way to help your space come alive at night.
The patterns are pretty subdued during the day, so try them on curtains, pillows or -- if you're feeling really bold -- one big piece like a couch or chair. Don't overdo it, because when the lights go out the material will begin to glow.
Schicker also creates pieces that are light-reactive, meaning colors change and patterns emerge depending on the light. While they won't add light to your home, they're certainly a neat way to change your design.