table lamp

Photo: Tessa Neustadt/Homepolish

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Fix Your Bare-Minimum Lighting Situation
Figure out the perfect wattage for a space with this handy formula: "Multiply the length of the room by the width of the room (in feet) then multiply that number by 1.5 to get the total watts needed for a space. So, for a room that is 10 feet by 10 feet that would be 10 times 10, which equals 100; then 100 times 1.5, which equals 150 watts. Lastly, divide the 150 watts among all your fixtures appropriately," Weidenbaum says. Remember that every space should have three layers of light: (1) recessed or ambient lighting; (2) task lighting; and, (3) accent lighting. "In rental apartments, there's usually a lack of recessed lighting," Weidenbaum says. To come close to that look without losing a security deposit, renters can use floors lamp that provide diffused light. For task lighting, try a table lamp next to a chair in the living room. Accent lighting, which a lot of people skip, makes a room feel more comfortable. Weidenbaum recommends illuminating a bookcase with rental-friendly plug-in sconces, which require no additional electrical hardware.

Design by Homepolish interior designer Haley Weidenbaum