Lighting + Illumination

Create Ambience and Interest In A Dark Room

Create Ambience and Interest In A Dark Room

To create ambience in a room you need just a few expert tips. If you have a room that receives little natural light or you use the room mostly at night, create ambience and interest to stop dark-and-dingy-itis.

Many modern apartments and houses on small blocks of land will have at least one room that doesn’t get an abundance of natural light. And with the advent of separate media rooms, the ability to create ambience is often overlooked because you are in semi-darkness most of the time.

create ambience

Plush Design Interiors

However, these rooms will still benefit from a few expert interior design tips because dark doesn’t mean dull. In fact, you can create ambience and interest in a dark room to the point it becomes your fave place to hang out – so treat these tips with caution; you might get addicted.

How To Create Ambience and Interest In A Dark Room

  • Audit from where the natural light comes and create a lighting plan to generate ambient, accent and any task lighting.
  • Lighting shouldn’t simply centre around lamps and pendants. A lighting plan will help you to cast light where and when it’s needed. Combine ceiling lights, uplights, floor lamps, strip lighting and table lamps where you need them. Place lights on different circuits and dimmers so you can regulate as desired.
  • Create a focal point such as a rug or feature wall and take cues for your decorating. For example, a feature stone wall may have different tones of black, brown, mocha, and cream so replicate these tones in the furnishings.
create ambience

Plush Design Interiors

 

  • Mix block colour and textured fabrics in the same colour family to entertain the eye and create ambience.
  • Use different textures such as stone, granite, wood and glass. Soften with a rough textured rug, soft fabrics and art work.
  • In addition to lights and lighting, add candles and tealights to soften the mood, depending on the use of the room.
  • Don’t be afraid to add dark wood, paint or fabric to the room, but balance darker shades with more light hues.

 

create ambience

Plush Design Interiors

If you have a dark room in your home, create ambience and interest with these expert tips.

Want More?

For more advice on your personal interior design, please contact Plush Design Interiors. Visit the website www.plushdesigninteriors.com.au or contact penelope@plushdesigninteriors.com.au

Essential Tips for A Well-Lit Home

Essential Tips for A Well-Lit Home

A well-lit home makes your living, sleeping, work and relaxation spaces more functional and enjoyable than most people realise. Yet creating a lighting plan or giving consideration to suitable lighting is often last-minute or forgotten completely. Not with these expert tips.

When homes and additions are designed, many owner-builders can forget about the important role played by lighting. A well-lit home will create a cosy atmosphere where desired, make a room look larger, enable tasks to be more functional, and be used to highlight features or key points in a room (not to mention, making it a nicer place in which to be).

Bad lighting can make a room look smaller, dull, drab, and make the colours of the room look different or uncoordinated. So to make your home look its best, being well-lit is key, and it isn’t all just about the lightbulbs that you use. So here are some tips to help brighten the look of your home.

well-lit home

Plush Design Interiors

 

Light in Layers

The key to having a well-lit home is about the layers of light of which there are three in a room.

The first is the ambient light that comes in from the windows, pendant lights or overhead lights when it is nighttime. They disperse the light evenly.

The second is task lighting using spotlights to highlight certain areas, such as wall lights, or countertop spotlights.

The third layer is accent lighting which is more decorative including like table lamps or chandeliers. So bear this all in mind when you are choosing the kind of light you want in a home.

well-lit home

Plush Design Interiors

 

Make the Most of Daylight

Daylight, or natural light, is always going to be the best source when it comes to having a well-lit home. So although the daylight only half of the day, being able to maximize it when it is there is the ideal way to get a light and bright home.

Looking for a blinds and curtains sale can be a good idea if you want to add some extra features to your windows. You just need to make sure that they aren’t going to block out the daylight or can be pulled back and away fully from the window area.

So a blind and curtain combo can be a good idea, as the blinds can be opened in the daytime, and the curtains used to frame the window. For the best well-lit home, avoid curtains that are too thick and heavy unless you can draw them right back revealing the whole window and maximising the natural light.

Use Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches installed into a home can be a great way to save energy, as well as control how well-lit the room is. You can create the ambience that you want in the room, as well as being able to tone-down any ambient lighting that is a little bright.

Another benefit of them is that they are a good way to extend the life of your light bulbs. When they’re not working flat out each time, they will last longer.

well-lit home

Plush Design Interiors

 

Vary the Wattage

If you want a light and bright room, then naturally, you are likely to think that just getting some high-wattage light bulbs is the answer.

But in reality, it can be a good idea to vary the wattage bulbs that you have, especially in the same room. Take a kitchen, for example.

You don’t need to have the same wattage in each bulb. Having lower wattage in the wall lights, and pendant lights are a good idea, and then a higher wattage in the countertop lighting.

Need More Lighting Help?

As an Interior Designer, I can help you plan your lighting for a well-lit home via my Plush Design Interiors business. Please feel free to contact me on 0421 043 505 or penelope@plushdesigninteriors.com.au. I’ll be happy to help you.

Energy Efficient Homes And Why You Need One

Energy Efficient Homes And Why You Need One

Our energy efficient homes will not only save money but they’ll save the planet too. Yes, it’s becoming a common mantra.

It’s hard not to care about the planet and now it’s more imperative to save money. So having energy efficient homes has benefits for your budget; the planet saving is a welcome side effect.

So if you’re not already doing your part simply to save on your money pityou should. Here are all the reasons why.

energy efficient homes

Energy Efficient Homes Are The New Black

It’s good for the environment

If your home is sustainable it won’t use as much energy as it once did assuming you’ve got rid of elements including oil and gas.

Because of this, you are able to reduce your carbon footprint with fewer emissions – which is essentially what everyone should be trying to do. Simple things like replacing regular globes with LED lights, using the dryer less, only putting on the dishwasher when there’s a full load, and little actions like these will help reduce emissions.

This means that you’re doing your part to help save our natural resources and cut down on pollution.

energy efficient homes

It saves you money

You can end up cutting chunks out of your monthly bills. Take heating your home as an example. This eats up a lot of energy and can cost you an awful lot.

If you replace your systems with Cola Solar, you can have your own solar panels to produce natural energy, or even solar hot water systems that use innovative technology to help save our planet, and your bank accounts.

Energy efficient homes will be well insulated from the cold weather and hot sun. So check the insulation in your ceiling and walls, install blockout curtains, or have windows double glazed.

energy efficient homes

Don’t Call Me Penny Interior Design

It helps improve the economy

It’s not only you that benefits from the drop in your monthly energy bills. It can make a difference on an even bigger scale, from small businesses right up to the top levels of government.

Just think how much faster we can save the planet if everyone started being more energy efficient within their own home or workplace. Of course, all the providers into the energy efficient supply chain will contribute to employment, taxes, and money back into the economy.

It’s even possible to create more jobs if more renovations and repairs were done from an energy efficient angle. So hire an interior designer and get cracking 😉

energy efficient homes

It helps improve the security

Being energy efficient can help keep a country safer, and this is because it decreases the overall demand for energy use which consists of having to import and then transport dangerous fossil fuels.

Also, the act of using less energy means that you – as a country – are able to be more independent because you aren’t relying on other countries to supply you with their resources.

energy efficient homes

It enhances the quality of life

Why bother complicating things when you can get all the same benefits, if not more, when living a sustainable lifestyle?

This won’t just make a difference to your home and your bills, but it will have a positive effect on your mind too.

Even if you can’t visibly see them, you will be able to feel a difference. Like having constant access to electricity, but knowing that it’s all down to the solar panel that is soaking up all the energy from the sun… – Isn’t that just amazing?

So think of the bigger picture! It starts in the comfort of your own home; using less hot water and turning the temperature down. It’s that simple.

Tell your friends and family what you’re doing, and suggest they all do the same. Even if you just start by changing one neighborhood – that’s an incredible start.

energy efficient homes

Lighting Matters: Don’t Go To The Dark Side

Lighting Matters: Don’t Go To The Dark Side

Of course, lighting matters in the home. It’s one of the fundamentals of interior design and decoration.

We’ve already looked at various lighting matters including how to improve your home lighting, increase the amount of natural light your home gets, and how to create a lighting plan.

However, we haven’t yet addressed an issue that many homeowners have when tackling the tricky subject of lighting; Balance.

The truth is that there are plenty of mistakes to make when adding natural light, decorating with light, and choosing fixtures. Here, we’re going to address some of the most common lighting issues and the tips you can use to bring balance to your lighting plan.

 

lighting matters

Lighting Matters – general, task, ambient, and much more

Let the sun shine in

It’s one of the most common lighting matters and the most simple – Let natural sunlight in to yuor home and grab as much of it as you can. Get greedy with it if you have to. It’s better for the home and better for your health. That’s all true, to an extent.

The truth is that adding more windows and maximising natural light can have some negative consequences. For one, too many windows can mean that a home is harder to keep cool in the summer and harder to retain heat in the winter. It can also invite sunlight that will fade your furniture. If you’re adding more windows to let in a lot more natural light, offset the negatives with glass tinting.

This can be done to existing windows with the use of a window film that can increase insulation properties almost as much as double glazing.

Treat your light right

Unless you’re going for a contemporary, minimalist design, there’s a chance that increasing natural lighting with more windows introduces another problem. It can look a little bare.

The solution to that issue is in choosing the right window treatments. The appropriate solutions differ depending on the room and style you’re going for. Plush curtains can make a cosy bedroom feel even more relaxing while wooden slat blinds can keep a kitchen looking clean while ensuring the maximum amount of light gets in.

Adding a houseplant on a window sill of the living room or kitchen will give the window a bit more Japandi personality while livening up the room a little, too.

 

lighting matters

Colour me impressed

Another concern with adding more lighting to a room is how it’s going to change the entire dynamic of its aesthetic. That maroon colour you once loved is now garish and overly dark. A bamboo floor might look downright dull under more lighting.

If you’re changing the lighting, it’s best to be prepared to rethink both the floor materials and the colour scheme of the room. There are plenty of colours that work better with light, help distribute it around the room and keep their appeal. It depends on which side the room gets its light from, too.

East-facing rooms catch warm yellows in the morning then soft, un-abrasive blues in the afternoon, for instance, meaning that vibrant, warm colours like oranges and reds work best here. Consider the light the room catches and how your fixtures change that to find the right balance.

A light for every space

Moving on from natural lighting, let’s look at the main job that your interior lighting should be doing. The obvious answer is that it should be keeping the darkness at bay. But this isn’t just about how much light you use but where you put it.

When lighting a kitchen, for instance, recessed ceiling lights can be a great choice. Going overboard with them, however, can mean entirely missing the walls. Lighting matters so fixtures should be a fit to every space, not just a broader sense of more light.

In a kitchen, consider general lighting (in the ceiling), task lighting (with a focus on the bench top) and ambient or accent lighting (that which creates ambience, such as for dining).

 

lighting matters

Heat it up and cool it down

Just as sunlight changes how your room looks, so too will the different electronic lights you’re using. The benefit of electronic lighting is that you have some say in what kind of change it has.

In particular, by learning the different colour temperatures of the lights available, you can choose those which provide the best possible look to the room as you know it. LED lights have the greatest diversity of colour temperature options, so if you’re feeling like turning on the lights at night gives your room a strange, new, unpleasant tint, look at replacing your bulbs instead of repainting the walls.

Give your home an accent

Hitting every space that needs to be hit is only a part of the lighting plan for each room. You have to know the different kinds of lights that you should be using to maximum effect, too.

General lighting is the primary light source, usually from the ceiling. Accent lighting is used to add more moodiness and perhaps drama to a room. It can also be used when you feel like a cosier, darker night without the task lighting.

You don’t want the room steeped in darkness. Ambient lighting in the garden can also help you improve the usability and aesthetic of your outdoor spaces.

 

lighting matters

Set to task

After general and accent lighting matters, the third layer is task. As the name suggests, task lighting is primarily a choice of substance over style. But it’s one that many people will forget when they’re designing a room.

For instance, if you’re in the kitchen and you’re working at the sink, you want to see what you’re doing, but the central general light might be right behind you, so you’re working in shadow.

The same goes for being in the home office, opening a wardrobe to pick an outfit, and so on. Task lighting is about ensuring visibility throughout the home. It’s a lot easier to install a recessed light directly above the sink than it is to move the sink around.

Mood matters, too

Choosing light fixtures is about function first, but the mood of those fixtures matters too. For instance, adding a Klaylife chandelier to a room is going to instantly make a focal point of the ceiling and contribute to a rustic appeal in the room.

When you’re choosing light fixtures, consider how it affects the distribution. Yes, lighting matters so think about what theme or interior décor style they can help you achieve.For example, a metallic industrial light versus an extravagent chandelier.

On the other hand, be careful about buying for décor appeal alone. We’ve all spotted lamps that we thought would look perfect in this space or in that room. But if you’re not sure about how it plays a role in actually lighting the room, you’re just adding pointless clutter.

 

lighting matters

Banishing shadows

The other furniture and fixtures of the home will also have a role to play when it comes to determining the effectiveness of your lighting. In particular, every object is a barrier, and when the light hits them, they create shadows.

Too much shadow in the room can give the feeling that it’s claustrophobic, spooky, even a little dirty. Arrange your furniture around the lighting carefully.

There are furniture planning apps that can help you see exactly how they work in accordance with lighting matters. If it’s not flush to the wall, then think about placing it directly beneath the general lighting instead or use accent lighting to banish the shadows it might otherwise create.

Lighting and privacy

When it comes to lighting matters, there’s one room that has to work harder than all the others combined. That’s the bathroom. Privacy is going to be an issue with every room in the home. However, in the bathroom it’s the difference between a nice, relaxing shower and giving the whole neighbourhood a show.

You don’t want to cut off the light and make the bathroom feel darker and smaller, but you want the peace of mind to enjoy it without feeling like there are eyes on you.

Applying a frosted window film can let in as much light as possible while making sure they’re not entirely transparent. If you want a bit more privacy, light fabric, moisture resistant treatment, avoiding silk and linen. Similarly, think about switching shower curtains for sliding glass doors that don’t take up any more space, but keep the inside bright and comfortable.

 

lighting matters

Staying in control

For interior lights, we mentioned that you have a lot more control on how well they play with a room. Lighting colour temperature is another part of it, but installing wall dimmers can be even better.

For one, they give you control over exactly how much light you want in a room, which means you get to specify the aesthetic a few degrees further. But they have the added benefit of being a great energy saving device, as well.

If you have lots of general, ambient or accent, and task lighting, it’s easy to get the impression that you’re not being very environmentally or financially friendly. Dimmers can help you balance that out so you don’t have everything on at full power, all the time.

A wrong-headed or one-sided approach to lighting matters can end in disaster. You can find yourself dealing with glare, too much shadow, obscure, dark spaces, and rooms that look faded or pale under natural light. The tips above will help you stay in control and bring a little balance.

Living Room Lighting With Three Illuminating Tips

Living Room Lighting With Three Illuminating Tips

Living room lighting is such an important part of your lighting plan because you have the potential to incorporate fabulously diverse elements.

The living room is probably the most used room in the house. It’s the place where people come in at the end of a long day and flop down, exhausted. It’s also usually the largest room in the house, as it’s where everyone socialises and entertains.

So, when you decorate your lounge, you have to really think of the light that naturally comes in before you choose colours. If you are going for a dark colour, you want to hope you have a lot of light streaming so that space isn’t moody and oppressive (unless that’s the look you’re going for).

Do you have large and airy rooms that have huge windows? Those are the ones that get the most natural light streaming through.

Plan the use of your living room before you bring in the professionals at Logan City Electrical to start fitting new living room lighting fixtures and wiring. A lounge that is well thought-out will usually have three different types of lighting: general, task and accent.

living room lighting

General Lighting

  • centre ceiling lights
  • chandeliers
  • pendants
  • track lighting
  • spotlights
  • LED downlights

You may call it ‘the big light’, but it’s the one that lights the entire room and is usually on the ceiling. Not all homes have a ceiling light in the lounge, but if you do have one, you can choose what type of fitting it is.

Do you want the standard central light or a strip of spotlights down the centre of the room? Do you want a luxurious chandelier or a large, arced light like this one?

Either way, your main living room lighting should set the tone for your interior design beautifully. If you choose not to have a ceiling light at all, then your lounge lights must be well placed to stop glare on the television and till manage to light the room as a whole.

living room lighting

 

Task Lighting

  • desk lamps
  • floor lamps
  • table lamps

Reading lamps, desk lamps and low lighting to enjoy watching a film are all important for living room lighting. If you love to curl up in a chair with a good book, then having the right wattage of light in the lamp beside you is important so you don’t strain your eyes.

If you work in the living room, your desk lamps should be similar so you don’t overdo it staring at a computer all day long! You should never just rely on the main lights of the room. A well-lit work area is always going to look beautiful as well as being functional.

living room lighting

living room lighting

Accent Lighting

  • wall sconces
  • step lights
  • cabinet lights
  • table lamps
  • flameless candles

Let’s think about those evenings you curl up with a loved one to watch your favourite show on television or play board games. Mood and accent lighting are important here.

Evenly spacing mood lighting through the room is going to give the whole room balance and create an ambience in the atmosphere. You want to make the room look warm and glowing, so spacing the lights evenly to achieve this is going to help.

Be creative with the lighting and install dimmer switches for that extra ambience.

For a beautful selection of indoor and outdoor lighting, try Go Lights for modern designs, replica lighting, and discounted lights. Australian owned, 30-day returns, and fee shipping over $99. Header image supplied by Go Lights.

living room lights

How To Add More Natural Sunlight To Your Home

How To Add More Natural Sunlight To Your Home

When you add more natural sunlight to your home your mood immediately lifts. It’s why people in Scandinavian countries, for example, go to cafes with special lights in the winter.

It’s part of their Hygge lifestyle because natural sunlight is something we all crave. And in cold climates when winter days are overcast and dark, people get a bit cranky without natural sunlight. Whilst it is important, the ability to add more natural sunlight is sometimes overlooked when house hunting.

If your house suffers from a lack of natural sunlight you could move or go where the sun goes (which in fact you can do in a transportable home). OR… you can add more natural sunlight with a few key interior decorating tips. The difference these ideas offer is well worth the investment in time, and a little money.

add more natural sunlight

Add More Natural Sunlight by Changing The Room Colours

Natural light bounces off the walls… light coloured walls. So if your room has dark walls you will inhibit the level of light that will be reflected. A room with very large windows through which there is lots of natural sunlight can be darker. However, most living areas will come alive when painted or wallpapered in light tones from which light will bounce.

Don’t think only in terms of whites. Neutrals such as beige, pale blues and greens, soft pinks and yellows, will also reflect natural sunlight. Paint the ceiling white or a lighter shade of your wall colour, add glass pendant fixtures and you’ll have an abundance of beautiful light to enjoy.

Consider adding glass or French doors to help the light travel and you’ll see a huge difference in the room. Add warmth by including wood in the flooring, furniture, or accents and texture in accessories such as sheepskin rugs, wool throws, linen cushions, or velvet drapes.

add more natural sunlight

Add More Natural Sunlight by Allowing More Assess To Windows

By moving large pieces of furniture away from windows and changing heavy window treatments you’ll invite in more natural sunlight. Change your current curtains and blinds if they take up too much window area. For example, heavy drapes that can’t be pulled right back away from the window. If there is enough fabric to ensure the drapes can still fully close, reposition them back towards the side walls so, when open, the drapes don’t restrict the light coming in from the window.  Otherwise, replace them and the curtain rod to suit.

add more natural sunlight

Add More Natural Sunlight by Using Mirrors

If gaining more natural light is a real challenge, use the tips above as much as you can AND add mirrors. This will allow the available light to bounce off and cast more light. you are unable to get any natural light into certain rooms in the house, you need to increase the shine factor.

Placing mirrors opposite each other in a hallway naturally reflects light back into the room, and shiny materials like brass and silver will give the impression of a lighter room. The larger the mirror, the more light will be reflected. And a large mirror doubles up as a centerpiece for big rooms, and there are so many styles to choose from to suit your living space. From antique mirrors, Venetian, or a beveled mirror do the job.

add more natural sunlight

Add More Natural Light by Installing Sun Tunnels or Skylights

Skylights and sun tunnels (or light wells) are perfect for getting more natural sunlight into hard to access areas of a room. Skylights tend to follow the roof line while sun tunnels come from the top of the roof, through the roof cavity and into any room. Sun tunnels can be installed with a rigid duct, which allows the most natural sunlight to enter, or with a flexible duct to fit around fixtures in the roof. Skylights can also be solar powered with wireless remote control, rain sensor, and time functions. For more information contact premier suppliers VELUX.

Add More Natural Light by Installing Solar Power

Installing solar tubes in your ceilings is a great way to bring some natural light down into the rooms that may not have any windows. They are useful because they don’t use electricity, are easy to install, and they bring in natural light! As an environmentally friendly choice and a way to cut back on your household bills, it’s a useful option.

add more natural sunlight

 

Three Top Ways To A Light Filled Home

Three Top Ways To A Light Filled Home

A light filled home will always put a skip in your step and add to the enjoyable ambiance of your home. So how do you take advantage of natural light even when the weather is overcast? Here are three simple ways.

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel when the days are longer, and the sky is brighter? Rain, wind, and snow can easily get a lot of people down. After all, who wants to leave the house when it’s blowing a gale, and you’re only going to get soaked to the skin anyway?

light filled home

Kim E Courtney Interiors and Design

Many of us live for a change of season because sunshine is proven to make us a feel more alive. Natural light does wonders for our mood and physical health thanks to all the vitamin D that the sun provides. So, with that in mind, it only makes sense to make sure your house is as light and bright as it can be. Homes that are overly darkened can end up feeling dank and cramped – here are some ways you can create a lighter, brighter and airier home ready for the summer.

light filled home

Enjoy A Light Filled Home By Felling Some Trees

We all love having a pretty garden, full of flora and fauna. But if your home is severely overlooked by a large tree (or even a selection of trees) it can make your place feel quite enclosed. Plus, it could put your property at risk of damage if a tree could fall into your home during a spell of bad weather. In either of these scenarios, it can often be best to look into tree removal. Providing the tree in question is on your own land, it shouldn’t be an issue for you to get it trimmed or felled. But if the tree is actually in your neighbour’s garden, and it has become overgrown into yours, you will need to get permission from them first before you fell it.

Check wth your local Council or relevant authority as you may be able to trim large branches that overhang into your property without the permission of your neighbour.

light filled home

Melton Design Build

Enjoy A Light Filled Home by Redecorating With Pale Colours

Light needs pale colours to bounce off. So naturally pale and neutral shades will create a brighter room. So if you paint all your rooms in dark shades your home will feel more enclosed. You can normally get away with one dark wall as a feature wall, but try and opt for lighter colours for the rest of the room. Natural light bounces off colours such as white, cream and pale blue, which is what helps to give your place that airy, loft-apartment kind of feel. You can also use mirrors to help reflect the light from one wall to another, and also reflective surfaces such as metal.

light filled home

Emily Ruddo

Enjoy A Light Filled Home by Cleaning Your Windows

The art of window cleaning is something that has been lost in recent years – it really isn’t something many of us think about anymore, especially if you pay a company to come and do it for you. However, it can be worth keeping on top of the dirt and dust that gathers on your windows, as having them crystal clear automatically means that more natural light gets into your home. Learn how to clean them properly and always buff them with pieces of newspaper – this is the secret to getting that amazing shine of which your neighbors will be envious.

Also, keep furniture from blocking windows as this further inhibits the natural light entering the room. If you have heavy drapes to keep out winter cold, does this also keep your room dark even during the day? If so, consider installing double-glazed windows and use much lighter drapes for privacy only. You can then still enjoy your beautiful outdoor space even when it’s raining.

light filled home

Tim Ditchfield Architects

Home Styling and Decluttering

Do you need Adelaide home styling and decluttering services? Great news. We now offer these services in Adelaide. Please contact us for more details.

Header image courtesy of Bowral Bricks. Additional images courtesy of Kim E Courtney Interiors and Design, Melton Design Build, Emma Ruddo, and Tim Ditchfield Architecture. Please click the image and you’ll be taken to their website.

Add Unique Style To Create A Home You’ll Love

Add Unique Style To Create A Home You’ll Love

Unique style is not the exclusive preserve of interior designers. Whilst we can all redecorate our homes, does that reflect a unique style?

Choosing a colour palette and furnishings are very personal, so does your home look effortlessly ‘styled’? Would you like it to be? Unique style is personal to you, however some styling tips never go astray.

Wherever you live, everyone can think like a decorator with some expert tips and design basics. Sure, redecorating involves colour choices, furniture positioning, and flow but does that reflect your unique style and the ambience you wish to create?

If you’d like an effortlessly stylish home that looks like you hired an interior designer then this essential redecorating guide will help. In this quick guide I’ll cover flooring, lighting, furniture and soft furnishings.

Important factors also include;

  • the view from the room or home you are decorating – should it be enhanced or minimised?
  • the air flow for heating and cooling
  • the sound generated (wooden floors, loud children) or inhibited (media room or outdoor noise)
  • the light sources with natural light being the most important
  • the space itself and for what function it exists

 

unique style

 

Create Unique Style With Flooring

The flooring in any home is a big part of its unique style. Yet it can be a forgotten feature or just an afterthought. With something covering such a huge surface area, why wouldn’t you take some time on it?

This is where transforming the flooring can change the whole look of a room and your home Consider flooring options such as statement tiling or sustainable bamboo flooring which have an interesting design edge.

Flooring must be compatible with what you have on the walls – paint, wallpaper, concrete, tiles, etc. For example, if you have pale walls you may wish to choose a darker flooring for contrast. However, if you want a Scandi look then pale walls with pale floors is the answer.

One of the key elements is to choose the right flooring for the use of the room. Is it high traffic? If so, choose a tough option such as high-quality carpet, heavy duty tiles, polished concrete, hardwood, or terrazzo.

For a Nordic look with pale, painted floorboards use a tough exterior patio paint on high-traffic interior spaces.

Tread carefully (pun intended) with patterned carpet as you don’t want your home to look like a casino. If you want to make the flooring or a beautiful rug the hero piece in the room, then keep walls understated.

Add wall art that reflects the things you love. Also, consider the heating and cooling in your home and choose a flooring to reflect this.

unique style

unique style

Create Unique Style With Lighting

The best lighting in a room is natural light. However, for a variety of reasons – media room, sleeping, creating a mood – you will want to maximize and minimize light at will.

Flexible lighting will give your room a stylish finish. Consider creating a lighting plan which is what a professional interior designer would do.

There are three key lighting aspects; General, Accent, and Task. For expert tips on optimising the lighting in your home, read the article by MatrixLed written exclusively for this website.

Lighting totally changes the dynamic in a room. There is now so much lighting choice you can choose stylish spotlights, pendant lights, table lamps, floor lamps, and even hidden lighting under cabinets to cast light on to benches, or along kickers to shine light upwards.

When up-lighting is placed along the kicker of a cabinet it gives the appearance of the cabinet floating. This is a beautiful option for kitchens and bathrooms especially.

For an industrial look choose metallics like copper, brass, and rose gold. Country style decor may require fabric covered lampshades. Pendant lights are perfect for kitchen benches, dining room tables, and also as a cluster in a corner.

For a Scandi look choose woven or cane shades. Glass is great for modern decor.

unique style

Andrew Snow Photography

unique style

Emma Blomfield

unique style

Create Unique Style With Furniture

Furniture is key to styling your home. Strike a balance by having the right amount of furniture in a room for the style you desire.

If you’re going for a Victorian look then overstuffed sofas and picture-frame cluttered side tables may be to your liking. However, if you’re into more minimalist look then less is definitely more.

Balance the furniture with the room size. Don’t put big pieces in a small room or small pieces in a big room. Keep it balanced for the most stylish result.

Add your personality with pieces and colours you love. Your style is also your comfort level so don’t try to style a room that doesn’t reflect what you love.

If you find an old chair at a garage sale and you LOVE it but don’t know where to put it, buy it anyway. You’ll find a spot for it, which may mean moving something else out.

unique style

unique style

Create Unique Style With Soft Furnishings

I am crazy for soft furnishings. Velvet, sheepskin, leather, cushions, textiles – they add such dynamism and texture to a room.

You’ll find many interior designers have soft furnishing contacts on speed dial as there is NOTHING you can’t buy to add unique style to your home.

Cushions and throws are perfect for adding a splash of colour and they can easily be changed each season to reflect season colours. Add sheepskin rugs to the floor or over chairs for a touch of rustic luxe. Recover a second-hand sofa with a beautiful fabric and make it truly yours.

Styling your home is as much about how the space makes you ‘feel’ as how it looks.

unique style

Five Simple Tips for Optimised Lighting in Your Home

Five Simple Tips for Optimised Lighting in Your Home

From the number of fixtures to the intensity of illumination of each fixture, finding out how you can optimise indoor lighting during installations and retrofitting can be painstaking. To make it a bit easier for you, here are five simple expert tips from MatrixLED that you should consider.

optimised lighting

Darren James Interiors

1. Use layers

Lighting balance is the key to a well-illuminated living space, and the best way to achieve this is by employing three layers of lighting, which are general, task and accent lighting.

  • General lighting provides overall illumination for a space, acting as the background lighting for accent and task lighting.
  • Accent lighting highlights interior details and decorations such as art and furnishings, which all contribute to the theme or feel of the space.
  • Task lighting provides illumination for specific activities, and is placed in areas where detail-heavy activities such as eating and reading take place.
optimised lighting

Cuppett Architects

2. Ensure the right number of fixtures

The Building Code of Australia section J6 states that as of May 2011, buildings and homes are only allowed up to 5 watts per square metre (W/sqm) when it comes to indoor lighting, 3 W/sqm for lighting in garages, and 4 W/sqm of lighting for outdoor areas. Being able to meet these guidelines ensures that your indoor lights don’t go beyond what you need in terms of lumen output and power consumption.

3. Harness natural lighting using reflective surfaces such as mirrors

Harnessing natural light reduces costs associated with lighting up your living space. Decorate your interiors in such a way that daylight coming from windows is not obstructed. If your home only has a few windows, you can place mirrors of varying sizes in different places so that daylight is reflected within the area. Aside from being able to distribute daylight evenly inside your home, a well-placed mirror can also make a room seem larger.

optimised lighting

DKOR Interiors

4. Don’t forget about smart controls and dimming

Smart controls can make your interior lighting more human-centric. With it, lighting can be configured to work around the movements of people within the home. Motion sensors, for example, allow for lights to be turned on in a room as you enter that room and then turn off automatically when you leave.

Dimming capabilities are also important when it comes to interior lighting. It allows you to adjust the intensity of light coming from the fixtures, which makes it easy for you to achieve the level of lighting that matches your current needs.

optimised lighting

Echelon Custom Homes

5. Use energy-efficient LEDs

LEDs have a number of qualities that make them superior over other interior lighting fixtures such as fluorescent lamps, halogen flood lights and incandescent bulbs. Not only are they brighter than traditional luminaries, they also consume up to 80 percent less power. Additionally, LEDs are environment-friendly with a lower carbon footprint and don’t contain toxic components such as mercury. LEDs have long lifespans, lasting five times longer than other indoor lights with much less heat output.

LEDs are also versatile. They are available in different colours, sizes and shapes, and you can buy one that has a specific colour temperature to match your interiors or the purpose of the room. They are also compatible with smart controls.

optimised lighting

McKay Landscape Lighting

An important note

Before everything else, it’s important that you first know what your home really needs before looking for lighting fixtures. If you need help with the review of your interior lighting system, MatrixLED offers lighting assessments and free consultations to help you assess your current lighting conditions and identify the right decisions for optimisation. You can get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page.

Header image courtesy of Earl Smith Photography (UK). For all other images, as labeled, please click the image to go directly to the provider’s website.

How to Create a Lighting Plan for Your Home

How to Create a Lighting Plan for Your Home

Have you ever considered a lighting plan or how light affects the enjoyment of your home?

Although a lighting plan may not seem like a priority when you are renovating or building a new home; it adds ambience, workable spaces, and a focus on accents. Moreover, a lighting plan is not simply about the natural light and the positioning of a house in relation to the sun. It also refers to both internal and external electrical lighting of your home.

lighting plan

So whether you’re planning for your new home or looking to renovate your space, having a lighting plan is one of the things you need to consider. If you’re looking for advice, here are a few ideas to get you started.

  1. The Basics

It’s not complicated, as there are just three basic lighting layers to consider.

  • Lighting for tasks, such as cooking and studying
  • Lighting to create ambience or visual comfort
  • Lighting to create an accent, such as a focus on an art work
  1. Consider the Space

People often consider a space when buying furniture, but not when choosing lighting. Take an audit of each room and understand its function.

  • For what is the room used?
  • Who will use the room?
  • What furnishings will be in the room?
  • Where will furnishings be placed?
  • Will there be any mirrors?
  • Are there other reflective surfaces?
  • From where does the most natural light come, and at what time of the day?

lighting plan

  1. Create a Lighting Plan

Task considerations are usually the first priority when creating a lighting plan. What tasks will take place in the room? A kitchen or study will likely have different lighting needs from an entry foyer, for example.

The theme and tone of your home is also important. Do you have a very modern home? Are you seeking industrial chic? Is traditional or vintage more to your taste?

  • Draw a floor plan of each room, as close to scale as possible. Include details such as doors, windows, fireplace, architectural features, and built-ins
  • Mark your floor plan with a small X or circle where you think you’ll need task lighting
  • Add known or desired furniture positioning
  • Consider ambient and accent lighting
  • Will you want to light a feature wall or ceiling?
  • Do you want up-lights from the floor or recessed down-lights from under a cupboard to illuminate a flat surface underneath?
  • Will you only have ceilings lights and wall sconces, or will you also have standard and table lamps?
  • Do you need dimmers on any or all light switches?

Consider the outdoors too. Will you need to illuminate pathways, garage or sheds, the front door, entertaining areas, swimming pool or spa? Could some of these lights be movement activated? These are some of the questions that will help you clarify the suitable lighting solution for your home. And if you’re unsure about design choices, you can visit websites like www.urbanlighting.com.au to find beautiful lighting products that can perfectly match with your requirements.

lighting plan

  1. Have a Budget

It is important to have a budget, as lights are one area that can get out of control. But don’t fret. There are a lot of incredible lighting options so you’re sure to achieve beautiful results and still stick to your budget.

  1. Select your Lights

With a competent lighting plan in hand and a budget to guide you, enjoy the process of selecting the right lights for your home. Of course, the experts in your local lighting store will be able to help you too.

The right lighting advice will add more enjoyment to your home than perhaps you imagine. Creating a lighting plan will ensure you enjoy your new lights for longer, as they will be doing the job for which they were designed.

lighting plan

Don’t Call Me Penny collaborated with Urban Lighting on this article.

Header image courtesy of White Pebble Interiors. Additional images from Pixabay, White Pebble Interiors, and Key Piece Interior Architecture.  Please click on the image and go directly to the provider’s website.

lighting plan

Plush Design Interiors

Need Help With Your Lighting?

Ask the interior design experts at Plush Design Interiors, Adelaide-based creators of beautiful interiors for help with your lighting plan. Plush Design Interiors provide services including floor-plan re-design, colour consultation, selections, furniture placement, flow, and sourcing unique products for your home.

Simple Lighting Solutions for Your Home

Simple Lighting Solutions for Your Home

Lighting solutions can be one of the hardest elements to get right in a home. You need the right advice for YOUR home.

At this time of year, you may be thinking about your Christmas styling. However, getting the perfect amount of light in your home can be hard at anytime of the year. There are lighting tips everywhere, but to get the best lighting solutions you need to look at YOUR home and it’s layout, function, and needs not generic advice.

lighting solutions

To create light that suits your home, it’s best to create a lighting plan before you purchase any fittings. Begin by going around the house with a notepad. As you hit each room ask yourself “what do I use this space for”? Think about the varying uses – your lounge might have to double up as a study so you’d need effective reading light. Your children might need to do their homework there or you might knit or sew or use part of the room as a studio.

What’s on display in each room? Do you have a specific picture to which you’d like to draw attention? Make a note, as this will help you decide where to to put your lighting. Think about what times of day people use the room and, whilst you consider that, ponder from where where the natural light comes.

lighting solutions

Once you have considered everything you can go shopping. Make sure you go to a quality store with a range of different bespoke lighting options, Amonson Lighting Online Shop  is a good place to start. Once you’ve chosen your lights, consider your circuits. You could have one switch to operate multiple lights or decide to have a switch each. You can also install a dimmer switch if that suits your needs. Circuitry can be quite delicate and complicated so here’s how you can get to grips with them so you can be better informed.

Remember, you can use light to make your home look bigger. Try using wall washers to create a bright wall, or uplighters to do the same trick. If you wanted to go for the cosy option try using more than one lamp. This way you create multiple dim light sources to give you that low-lit cosy feel. This works especially well when you use two lamps to flank a sofa or chair.

lighting solutions

Create the illusion of visual height by adding lighting to the top layer of your kitchen cabinets. It will ensure space feels larger by guiding your eye toward the ceiling and cutting out dark shadows that may otherwise concentrate in the corners. The more your guests can see the more there seems to be.

Lighting is particularly important in the bedroom. Use task lighting but on both sides of the bed, giving you each a lamp to use in case one wants to go to sleep before the other. You’ll still need a main overhead light though, so be sure to keep one there. The same for the children’s’ rooms. It’s also worthwhile installing a night light or reading lamps.

lighting solutions

There are many other creative ways to light your home, but here I’ve outlined the basics. Good luck, and don’t forget your plan; that’s the most important part. You wouldn’t want to install it all and then realise you need more lighting or that it’s too bright. Ask the professionals, engage a qualified electrician, and create lighting solutions that suit YOU.

Header image from Amonson Lighting. Other images courtesy of Anderson Construction Group, Fleischman Garcia, Randell Design Group.

Ready To Go Green? How To Create An Eco-Friendly Home

Ready To Go Green? How To Create An Eco-Friendly Home

So you’d like to investigate creating an eco-friendly home? Have you thought about what it means to ‘Go Green’?

These days, being eco-friendly is very much in fashion. So many of us are looking for environmentally friendly clothing lines and helping the planet by eating organic. But one of the best places you can start going green is in your very own home. Not only will creating an eco-friendly home help you to do something useful in the battle against climate change, but it can also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Ready to go green, then? Here are some of the first steps you can take to turn your home into an environmentally friendlier space.

eco-friendly home

An Eco-Friendly Home : Sort Out Insulation

Your home needs to be insulated. This will help it stay a lot warmer during the winter. That’s because less hot air will be able to escape through the walls. One of the best ways to insulate your home is to add special insulation materials into the walls and roof. Even if your home has been insulated, it is a good idea to continually check the condition of the insulation. Many roofing companies specialize in adding and checking insulation in roofs, so you can always get one of the to do it for you. You can find out more at roofingservicesqld.com.au.

eco-friendly home

An Eco-Friendly Home : Buy Furniture Made From Recycled Materials

Do you need some more furniture for one of your rooms? If so, the best eco-friendly furniture out there is that that has been produced using recycled materials. Sure, heading to IKEA for your furniture might be the cheapest option, but it isn’t doing the planet any good. Investing in good quality furniture is extremely worth it, especially when it is helping to protect the planet against further climate change. You can find out more about this special type of furniture at sites like recycledlane.com.au

eco-friendly home

An Eco-Friendly Home : Invest In Solar Panels

Solar power is one of the best sustainable energies that we can utilise in our homes right now. And you may be surprised to learn just how cost effective it is as well. Sure, there is an initial cost of setting up your new solar panels. But over time, you will recoup this money because of the reduction in all your energy bills. Some energy companies even let people with solar power sell energy to them. So you may even be able to make a bit of cash from selling all the solar energy that you harvest!

eco-friendly home

An Eco-Friendly Home : Monitor Electricity Consumption

Do you know exactly how much electricity you use on a daily basis in your home? If you did find out, I’m sure you would be totally shocked! So it really pays off to monitor your electricity consumption. You can limit the amount you use in a number of ways. One of the best is to buy a device that can limit surges of electricity to all your appliances and electronics. Another thing you can do is to simply turn off an appliance that you aren’t currently using. That way, it won’t be using any electricity at all.

Images courtesy of White Pebble Interiors, and Pixabay.

Luxury LUXXU Lighting

Luxury LUXXU Lighting

Luxxu by name and luxury by nature, LUXXU Lighting is a brand that is dedicated to giving you a new lighting experience. European by design, this luxury lighting combines classical forms with a modern attitude.

 

LUXXU Lighting selects only the finest materials including brass, glass and Swarovski crystals combined with rare handwork techniques and contemporary design. Their vision is to become the international benchmark for luxury design and contemporary lighting. Presented in the world’s most fashionable capital cities, and exposed in some of the finest galleries, LUXXU Lighting wants to be desired as the chosen lighting for every household.

Whilst LUXXU does design and manufacture amazing pendants, sconces and lamps, it’s their latest collection of chandeliers I have chosen to showcase here. If you are looking for glamorous and unique décor LUXXU is the most elegant way to illuminate your home.

Waterfall Pendant Chandelier

A masterpiece of gold-plated brass, this sparkling chandelier has been designed to emulate a waterfall. Fine ribbed tubes of crystal glass are handcrafted by glass masters to give the sensation of falling water.

Alexander McQueen

Yes, these are wall lights from the design house of Alexander McQueen. These unique creations from LUXXU Lighting are gold-plated with handmade butterflies and majestic flowers each touched with beautiful Swarovski crystals. Dramatic and eccentric, these incredible lights provide a sensation of beauty, and art, for your wall.

 

Empire Pendant Chandelier

This stunning architectural chandelier is modeled on the Empire State Building. In two styles, Empire and Empire XL, this extravagant masterpiece fits beautifully into a modern environment transforming every space into a stunning room. Featuring gold-plated brass, glass and Swarovski crystals these OTT examples of the LUXXU Lighting are perfect for many of Australia’s premier mansions… or a home with an expansive stairwell.

 

The Style Podcast

Did you know you can listen to Fashion. Beauty. Living interviews on The Style Podcast?

Our sister site, The Style Podcast, is now live. Listen to interviews from trend-setters, designers, stylists, artisans, celebrities and experts in the fields of Fashion. Beauty. Home.

Burj Chandelier

Inspired by the Burj Al Arab, one of the most stunning hotels in the world, this chandelier is a symbol of modern age and luxury. It combines a strong structure with highly decorative elements fully made of gold-plated brass and delicate, handmade glass tubes.

 

Whilst many of the LUXXU Lighting chandeliers shown have been presented in gold-plated brass, there are other finishes available including nickel, copper, black nickel and brushed brass.

Lighting is such an important element in any room. Planning must include the visual impact of different lights but also where light is cast and the ambience desired. Consider how the room will be used – bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, media room – how much light you need, positioning in relation to natural light, and perhaps even your power bill. Interior design and lighting design go hand in hand so seek professional help when renovating or building.

For more information on LUXXU Lighting including dimensions, pricing and materials please visit their website.

Are you a fan of chandeliers? Would you have such an extravagant chandelier if you had a large stairwell? Do you have room? Do you have a ball room? 😉

For more inspiring decor ideas you might like to read things of stone and wood, an amazing underwater ‘mosaic’ bathroom and crushing on gold and white interiors. I’d love to join Don’t Call Me Penny on social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Klaylife Chandeliers That Shine A Special Light

Klaylife Chandeliers That Shine A Special Light

You can now furnish your home with unique, custom-made, hand-beaded chandeliers direct from South Africa. Klaylife Chandeliers are different not only because each is hand-made but because their launch is helping a community in need.

shining a light

shining a light

Klaylife chandeliers are imported by Melbourne-based father-daughter duo Phillip Jones and Kerri Wallace, who migrated to Australia in 1989. Wanting to keep ties with their South African heritage, they found a unique way to give back to a needy community in their former homeland. in 2014 Kerrie came across an Instagram post of clay-beaded chandeliers and fell in love with their stunning rustic beauty.

shining a light

shining a light

Her efforts to find out more about the product led her to South African native Merewyn De Heer, who designs and produces the centrepieces from a farm in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

“My dad and I had already booked a trip to South Africa, so arranged to meet Merewyn face-to-face to see if there was a way we could work together, and import the chandeliers to Australia to reach a wider audience,” exlains Kerri.

Kerri and Phillip soon learned that Merewyn, a former advertising executive, gave up her occupation to pursue her passion for design and social responsibility.

“Merewyn is a brilliant designer and business woman but hadn’t considered exporting to an overseas market. Fortunately, my dad had spent his entire life in the industry, so from there, we entered into a really great partnership,” says Kerri.

shining a light

shining a light

Located close to an African HIV centre, Merewyn’s farm sought to find a way to help the local HIV impacted women, They couldn’t find work due to the stigma attached to HIV so Merewyn offered them employment.

Starting with eight HIV impacted staff; the team quickly grew to 65 women of varying backgrounds and circumstances who all wanted to work for Merewyn to produce the hanging masterpieces.

shining a light

shining a ight

Each bead is hand-rolled, using raw clay from the region, then dried, kiln fired and dip-dyed before being masterfully strung onto unique wrought iron frames. This handcrafted process ensures no two lights will ever be the same. Every chandelier is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity, in addition to being fully compliant with Australia’s electrical requirements.

The chandeliers are available to order from Curious Grace here in Australia. Chandeliers  come in a range of colours and sizes, with a 12 to 16 week turnaround time from order to delivery.

shining a light

“We hope those looking for a unique and show-stopping centrepiece – whether it be for a home, hotel or restaurant – will consider klaylife chandeliers as a beautiful addition to their space,” says Phillip.

“Not only are the Klaylife chandeliers stunning creations, they go a long way in helping a small group of South African women be self-sufficient to support their families and local community.”

You can see more of the work and unique designs from Klaylife Chandeliers on klaylifecom, follow then Faceboook : klaylife, Twitter : @klay_life and Instagram : @klaylife

shining a light

Do you like these beautiful Klaylife chandeliers? Would you have one in your home? How do you feel about supporting a  community in need?

If you liked this article, then check out the amazing butterfly paper pendant lamps from Curious Grace.

While you are here, why not SUBSCRIBE (scroll back up) to this website and receive notification of all new posts. AND you are automatically in the draw for all competitions run on the site. Don’t worry, I won’t sell or giveaway your info and I WON’T send you advertising or spam.

As heard on my Fashion + Home radio show 2

Curious About Pendant Lighting?

Curious About Pendant Lighting?

Pendant lighting is as versatile as you are. Modern pendant lights are suitable for any room because they can be used in a row above a kitchen island, in clumps around a corner of the lounge room or hanging above bedside tables – singularly or in a set of three on each side. Pendant lighting can be displayed with uniform shades or different sizes or colours.

http://www.stylehunterhome.com.au

I also love finding new ways to decorate interiors, so I was excited to see a new range of pendant lighting arrive at Curious Grace. Simply stunning, the Studio Snowpuppe collection comes in very on-trend colours including mint, baby pink, white and grey, and are handmade in the Netherlands from FSC certified butterfly paper. One of my favourite on-line stores for beautiful furniture nd homewares, Curious Grace  specialises in Danish furniture style, Scandinavian & Modern Industrial designs and Australian & imported homewares, furniture and art.

These clever new designs won’t over-power a delicate palette, in fact they will add intrigue working with a variety of decor. Suitable for living, kitchen, dining and bedroom areas equally as beautifully. Collections work well in odd numbers. You can hang pendant lighting three or five in a row of the same colour and design or mix ‘n match colours, shapes and sizes to create a ceiling art installation.

http://www.stylehunterhome.com.au

Interior Design by Massimo Interiors. Pendant lights from Curious Grace

 

After seeing the beautiful SnowPuppe range, I went searching for some different decor ideas for which the pendant lighting would be a perfect match. I have found interior designs that will suit the SnowPuppe shades to show you how easily they can be incorporated.

http://www.stylehunterhome.com.au

Interior Design by Plyroom.com.au. Pendant lights from Curious Grace

Very on-trend with block colours and gradients tints in white, black, cream, mint, pink and grey. I’m loving the mint; it’s very unexpected but looks right at home with other cool blues and fresh whites.

http://www.stylehunterhome.com.au

Interior Design by Scott Weston Architecture + Design. Pendant lights from Curious Grace

 

Starting at just $159, this artistic pendant lighting comes with a 3m long grey fabric cable and E27 porcelain socket. If you are thinking of using versatile pendant lighting in your home, then visit Curious Grace and see more of this new and innovative range.

Are you a fan of pendant lighting? Do you have them at your home? What’s the best feature of pendant lighting for you? What do you think of the beautiful pastel colour selection and gradient look?