Don’t limit lighting to downlights. Depending on the location consider wall sconces or uplighting to create a softer ambiance and avoid potentially harsh downlighting that can cast ominous shadows.
Instead of or in addition to sconces hidden lights can add a general glow that bounces off the wall and into the room in an even subtler and more diffuse way. Cove lights are built into niches that hide the light source (often a plain LED strip) but hidden lights can also be obscured by medicine cabinets shelving or storage units.
Consider your lighting preferences during the initial design phase of a new build or renovation. For example if you want three pendant lights over your dining table instead of one or two that should be taken into account before construction starts.