I began this task in the living room with what I think are the three most important items; The sofa, chairs and a cocktail or coffee table. Here I will talk a bit about lighting.
Lighting is what sets the mood, and I say this first even above being able to see. A candle is the simplest form of light, yet it has the alluring effect of brightening up the mind and setting a warm mood. Its fire.
Second to the candle is old tungsten filament bulbs. Not quite fire, but almost. These bulbs send a current through fine tungsten which glows creating a warm light.
I would put halogen bulbs about here. They are more common in spot type lights and in the bathroom over the vanity.
From here most current efficient bulbs tend to light a room with a cool spectrum. Florescent lights are familiar to a lot of people as they are used in everything from schools, to offices to public buildings. They are cheap, efficient and powerful. They make bulb sizes and can be fine in the home, though I would suggest using these sparingly.
LED is the most recent addition to home lighting and they have come a long way. They are no longer just a cool light, but can also be warm glowing as well. They are cheap, last a very long time, and draw very little power. They can come in all sorts of sizes and shapes and are perfect for accent lighting.
Now that the lighting itself is covered, I will talk about the different types of lighting fixtures that men should consider when setting up their living space.
I mention this first because its right up there with the sofa and chair in importance. This will be the reading light. Because of this, function takes a high priority as does the light bulb used. A warmer light will be easier on the eyes and also helps create a mood of comfort. A close second to function is its form. Again this should be a piece that takes into account the life of the product. A good balanced lamp made if high quality materials is something that can be owned over an entire life. I have a brass reading light that is over 60 years old and where the shade has been changed and the brass polished but otherwise it fits in any decade.
The wall sconce is one thing that I find lacking in modern urban living. I remember living in Sweden and having access to great wiring locations on the walls in which to put sconces. These are strictly mood lighting and are mainly used to light hallways. However they have the added advantage of directing light upwards and giving the illusion of raising the ceiling. This is great when living in small spaces at gives the brain an illusion to larger space. The ceiling does not feel so oppressive.
Often the sconce light is replace by ceiling based spot lighting which is used to light features in a home. Artwork is a great one to take advantage of spot lights. Spots are usually halogen so find themselves nicely balanced between warm and cool. Spot lights also do not necessarily have to be ceiling mounted and one timeless design is the spot on a tripod. This is usually a conversation piece more than anything and is used to give some masculine charm to a room. Tripods are very technical and many men have hobbies where tripods are necessary- photography, astronomy as well as being a necessary part of building construction.
These types of lighting are for the living room although not necessarily recommended to be only used here. The idea is to show the importance of good lighting in the most used space of the home, and then keep repeating these elements throughout. Lighting is just as important in all rooms, so look at this as just being a primer.