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The Blog Of Light

Breathing New Life Into Smaller Home Kitchens

 

Images courtesy of Diane Berry Kitchens

The humble kitchen is without a doubt the hub of the household, the room in which daily exploits are planned and often ended.

It is therefore somewhat frustrating when this space is much smaller than needed.

Without having to contemplate house renovations and extensions, there are very simple ways to breathe life into your kitchen making it feel brand new.

Here are a few introductory tips which are hugely effective:

SCALE DOWN

The kitchen most importantly must be viewed as a functional living space. Creating a visual dream kitchen is of no worth or help if it is impractical and awkward to work in.

Consider scaling things down a little.

Clear out those things you may have never used or no longer need and think about having smaller appliances.

Going back to basics will help to realise what is genuinely essential and highlight what you can live without in the kitchen.

OPEN THINGS UP

When the space you have is already full to bursting and you don’t have room to tidy away things neatly, it’s time to think outside the box…..or the kitchen units. 

Using open storage not only solves a practical problem, it also adds decoration and character. Be smart when choosing items such as ceiling racks for pots and pans, magnetic knife holders and a good variety of shelves etc etc.

This not only allows your kitchen to be decorative but also fabulously functional!!

NEGATIVE SPACE

This term “negative space” is used regularly by designers. It refers to how one can create a sense of enhanced spaciousness by simply incorporating glass and plastic.

Because these materials can be seen through they add an illusion of space and brightness. For example, glass panels in cupboard doors or a glass top table. This doesn’t require a large degree of effort or indeed the need to change the space but the benefits are marvellous and the end result is a kitchen with added brightness and sparkle.

LIGHT IT UP

When lighting your kitchen, it is key to follow to the same guidelines as you would for other interior living spaces.

For the more petite sized kitchen, an installation of additional task and feature lighting would bring about the most immediate and effective changes. This would light the areas of the room which are dark or affected by shadows.

Additionally, consider the colour of lighting used in your kitchen. There is such a huge difference between the effect of a fluorescent strip bulb to that of a coloured LED bulb.

Explore the different choices you have and why not try something different?

GET COLOURFUL

Finally, you must recognise that the colour of everything in your kitchen impacts the way it looks and feels.

If you want to make your kitchen look and feel more spacious then you definitely need to use bright colours.

Potentially bright colours can help even the smallest of spaces feel larger than they are, so keep your kitchen as light and airy as possible.

To find out more about getting the most from your lighting, download our Definitive Guide To Lighting HERE.  It's incredibly user friendly and includes lots of top tips, basics of indoor and outdoor lighting, all the technical stuff explained and our unique printable Walk Through Guide! 

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Essential Tips for Beautiful Garden Lighting

There is a very important difference between illuminating the garden for the sake of visibility and lighting a garden to make it spectacularly beautiful. 

This is best illustrated in the way some gardens are bathed in the ultra bright light from a single floodlight while others take time to plan and carefully consider the installation of lighting features across the whole outdoor environment to create something spectacular.

All of the above leads to the obvious question of what should a homeowner do if planning to go about a bit of DIY lighting in their own garden? For larger and more complicated spaces it is often best left to the professionals, but there are a few ways that allows anyone to easily transform their garden into an amazing outdoor space.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick look at a few tips to getting the most out of your garden and indeed the lighting you install:

Focus on Features
Immediately forget about the garden as a whole and to begin thinking of its primary features and most attractive features as separate entities. You may have certain plants or trees that you would consider to be the centrepiece of the garden or perhaps one specific area which is your favourite place to sit and relax. Focus your efforts on these features as the way they are illuminated will bring them to life, creating a feature and talking point of your garden.

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Create Atmosphere
Think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to create. It is a much better idea to know in advance what kind of atmosphere and mood you would like to create at your garden, and this is best done at the early planning stages.

Keep It Restrained
Remember, less is more. With garden lighting it’s not so much about what you decide to illuminate with light, it’s more about what you choose not to light that will create depth, interest and a balanced lighting scheme. 

When you are going about your plan, consider splitting the garden into a number of separate zones and focusing on one at a time with a unique plan for each.

Keep It Hidden
In some cases’ it is more visually attractive to hid the source of the light. This is often easier said than done and isn’t always practical, but if you can light up any features in your garden without the light source itself being visible, the effect is intensified many times over. In all instances however, it is crucial to minimise or eliminate glare by ensuring the lighting sources are not pointed directly at a visitor viewing the garden. Indirect lighting techniques and anti-glare guards are simple and cost effective methods of reducing uncomfortable glare. 

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Silhouettes
Last but not least, by deciding to bring lighting into your garden this gives you a unique opportunity to play with bold shadows and silhouettes. A light source which either projects a dramatic shadow on another surface or one that is obscured by an object can in turn create impressive silhouettes and shadowing.

This isn’t an easy technique to pull off but is by far one of the most fun to experiment with – simply take your lighting sources and experiment with shadows or silhouettes across the garden and see how they look both up close and from a distance.

To find out more about getting the most from your lighting, download our Definitive Guide To Lighting HERE.  It's incredibly user friendly and includes lots of top tips, basics of indoor and outdoor lighting, all the technical stuff explained and our unique printable Walk Through Guide! 

 

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How To Breathe New Life Into Your Home with Light

In the battle to breathe new life into the home and make each of its rooms into a wonderful new dynamic space, many home owners find themselves overlooking some of the simplest changes of all.


Lighting is one of the simplest and least expensive changes that you can make and the impact on how each room looks, increased vibrancy of colours, the comfort of each room and even the ambience will be noticeable instantly.


Of course it’s easier said than done to make s sift through the of the thousands of different types of lights, lighting products and accessories on the market, So, here is a quick look at a few tips on how to do exactly that:


1 – The Benefits Of Soaking Up Natural Light
Quite simply there isn’t any form of lighting on earth that comes close in terms of beauty and effect to natural light. The vast majority of interior lighting products and strategies are put together to help replicate and enhance the beautiful of natural light. Not only is natural light the most attractive, but it is also the healthiest to human in terms of beneficial effects to body and soul alike. So it goes without saying that one of the first things any home owner looking to go about revamping their home should be to ensure each room is soaking up as much natural light as possible.


2 – Be Clever With Mirrors and Windows
To really make the most of the natural light that enters the home, the effect can be intensified with strategic use of mirrors and window treatments. If, for example, your current window dressings are rather on the thick and heavy side, there’s a chance they could be blocking plenty of light even when they are open as dark fabrics and colours can absorb as much as 70% of visible light. As for incorporating mirrors, there’s really nothing more effective for creating a feeling of space while at the same time reflecting and intensifying the available natural light.

3 - Multiple Light Sources
One of the most important rules when thinking about lighting any living space is to ensure the environment is lit using a variety of lighting sources. A room that features only one single type of lighting fixture rarely results in a particularly pleasant effect and will typically leave certain areas that create far too much contrast, leading to some areas that are too bright and others that are left in the dark or overcast with shadows. So again unless this particular effect is desired it’s worth thinking about introducing multiple lighting sources.


4 – Exploring Different Lighting Technologies
When it comes to interior lighting for residential environments it is important to remember that things have come an incredibly long way over the last 10 years. Traditional incandescent light bulbs have now been phased out of the market entirely and the same is being said for pretty much any form of lighting including Halogen (to be phased out in 2018). If you haven’t yet considered LED fixtures or the latest examples of CFLs (compact fluorescents), now is the time to see just how these lighting technologies could improve your home’s interiors with a greatly reduced carbon footprint.


5 – Bespoke Lighting Design
Last but not least, it’s worth remembering that there are a few lighting suppliers that offer a custom, bespoke lighting service, allowing complete creative control while offering a fitting that is unique to your project. So if you’re looking for something a little different that is guaranteed to bring a new dimension to a room or living space, get in touch with us here to discuss your design concepts and ideas.

 

To find out more about getting the most from your lighting, download our Definitive Guide To Lighting HERE.  It's incredibly user friendly and includes lots of top tips, basics of indoor and outdoor lighting, all the technical stuff explained and our unique printable Walk Through Guide! 

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Buying Lighting Products Online – How to Make the Right Choice

There really isn’t a great deal or bargain you cannot pick up from an online lighting retailer and save a small fortune in the process. Interior designer lighting is no exception and there are now more retailers selling high-end lighting products online than ever before. Unsurprisingly, not all of these retailers are of quite the same quality, which means that buying online is something that certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted.

So if you are looking to go online and spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds, it’s imperative to make sure you are buying from the right people and purchasing the right products.


In terms of making this happen, it isn’t all that difficult and it involves carrying out just a few simple checks prior to going ahead with your purchase. If you are considering investing in the highest quality lighting products in the near future and plan to buy online, just be sure to tick the following boxes before going ahead and making a purchase:

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Dedicated Lighting Suppliers
First of all, we would advise that if you are looking to buy the very best when it comes to home lighting products, you should shop exclusively with dedicated lighting suppliers. The time might come when you need to ask a few questions or address a few concerns, so it’s worth shopping with dedicated specialists that have the right kind of experience and knowledge.


Quality Brand Dedication
It’s advisable to look for those retailers who supply a few superior quality brands rather than the heavily discounted stores that sell thousands of products from every single brand on the market. Of course there needs to be plenty of choice on offer when it comes to the choice of products, but when you find a retailer that sticks to just a few industry leading brands and suppliers, you can be assured that they have personally selected and vetted every item they sell.


Bespoke Orders
A few specialist lighting suppliers will often offer a bespoke lighting solution. Although not always necessary, when a retailer is able to offer the service, it is usually a sign that they are operating at the very top of their game. And of course, should you want something very specific and unique to your own needs, a customised light fitting can bring a very unique element to any design or renovation.

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Guarantees & Warranties
It’s important to carry out checks prior to buying any light fitting to determine the exact extent of the product guarantee. When purchasing high-end lighting for the home or the garden, expect to find fittings with at least a 2 year guarantee and some even offer as much as a 25 year. Be sure to ask as many questions as necessary to understand the fitting you are purchasing and don’t be put off with feeling like you have to understand the technical jargon. Any good quality dedicated supplier should be only too happy to give clear and simple explanations and instruction.

Customer Feedback
Last but by no means least, is to look for evidence of feedback and reviews that clarify exactly how the retailer operates. Customer testimonials should include not only the customer service and quality of the products purchased, but also look for feedback of the overall customer buying experience.

 

To find out more about getting the most from your lighting, download our Definitive Guide To Lighting HERE.  It's incredibly user friendly and includes lots of top tips, basics of indoor and outdoor lighting, all the technical stuff explained and our unique printable Walk Through Guide! 

Continue reading

Five Simple Home Lighting Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Few would argue that when it comes to home decorating, it is uniqueness and that all-important personal touch that help transform a house into a home. As such, writing a rule book with regard to what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ on the subject of home decorating is tricky to say the least – different strokes for different folks, and all that.

However, when it comes to the slightly more specific subject of interior lighting, there are indeed several important rules to follow and points to heed. The reason being that to miss the mark in terms of lighting can potentially dilute and dissolve the effect and impact of the property’s interior styling in general.

So for those looking to take control of their own interior lighting needs with a little DIY, here’s a quick overview of just a few of the most commonly made mistakes of all which should be avoided at all costs:

1 – Overuse of Recessed Lighting

At the top of the table comes the installation of far too much recessed lighting which may have been approached and implemented with little to no strategic planning. Recessed lighting can play a fantastic role around the home while looking great at the same time, but only when complemented with other types of lighting. You could for example invest heavily in high quality recessed lighting for living room, but you may still end up feeling as if you are sitting in the dark with the walls of the room receiving no light whatsoever.

2 – Not Considering Task Lights

Of course the beauty of task lights these days is the way in which they can be installed at any time without the need to extensively remodel your kitchen.  Nevertheless, it is always preferable for the sake of convenience, performance and aesthetics in general to install task lights at the same time as any other work you might be doing. The kitchen is the perfect example of a room where focused and built-for-purpose lighting can make the room more practical, functional and attractive in general.

3 – Poor Vanity Lighting

As for the vanity in the bathroom, try to avoid falling into the trap of having just a single ultra-bright spotlight above the mirror. The reason being that if you blast your face and body with a hugely bright source of light pointing in just one direction, you’ll end up with far too many unfortunate shadows being cast to gain a genuinely accurate picture of what it is you looking at…as in you.

4 – Overlooking Lighting Controls

Without any shadow of doubt, one of the simplest and most effective ways of revamping the lighting around the home is to install more effective and independent lighting controls. For example, if you have five different sources of light around the living room and the whole system is controlled with one simple on/off switch, consider installing a few separate dimmer switches for each different lighting type. This will allow you to play around with various settings and create all manner of moods that could transform the look and feel of the room exponentially.

5 – Form Over Function…Or Vice Versa

Last but not least, the key to successful lighting choices in terms of interior design at home is to strike that ideal balance of both form and function. Try to remember that modern lighting doesn’t exist simply to light your home, but at the same time the choices you make when purchasing lighting products should take into account more than physical aesthetics alone. Make sure the practical lighting needs of the home are covered, but at the same time look to additional decorative lighting to ‘garnish’ and a little something extra to the affair.

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How the Power of Light Can Transform Your Home

Home decorating – two words that have the potential to inspire, excite or potentially put the fear of God in the modern homeowner. Some will always relish the challenge of giving their homes a much needed overhaul, while for others there’s little on Earth they’d rather avoid given the opportunity.

But regardless of personal opinions on the subject of home decorating, it’s usually fair to say that lighting often ends up taking a backseat. Nevertheless, with a little proactivity and a few tips from the professionals, it’s perfectly possible to breathe new life into any and every room of the home, simply by harnessing the extraordinary power of light.

Here’s a quick look at a few expert insights:

1 – Natural Light Is Priceless

First of all, there isn’t a lighting professional in the world that would dispute the fact that the very best kind of light will always be natural light. There are so many incredibly advanced lighting products on the market right now which are designed to recreate the effect of natural light, though in many respects never even come close. Never forget that natural light is the healthiest and most beneficial type of light there is, therefore the number one rule is that of harnessing and soaking up as much natural light around the home as possible.

2 – The Illusion of Light and Space

Perhaps the single oldest trick in the book when it comes to maximising light around the home and creating the illusion of added space is by strategically installing mirrors. Mirrors can be particularly effective in rooms where plenty of natural light finds its way indoors, or in smaller rooms where multiple or large mirrors can bring about a welcome feeling of freshness and spaciousness.

3 – Use Several Sources

If looking to harness the power of lighting to inject new life into your home, one of the best ways of going about it is to experiment with various lighting sources.  Take for example the living room – it’s one thing to have a single ultra-bright lighting source slap-bang in the centre of the room, but this will never create the same ambient cosiness as you’d feel were you to light the room with four or five strategically placed low-power lamps. The key therefore being to get out of the habit of relying on a single high-power bulb and instead introducing multiple lighting sources.

4 – Toy with Technology

It’s natural to become somewhat set in your ways when you have been using the same lighting products for decades and they seem to have serve you well enough.  However, there are been so many spectacular advances in the field of lighting technology over recent years that there has never been a better or more important time to try out something new. From wonderfully warming compact fluorescents to the most spectacularly economical and effective LED fixtures, you’d be surprised just how beneficial a simple switch could be in terms of performance, improved interior aesthetics and cost effectiveness.

5 – Create Something Unique

Last up, if you are really looking to step away from convention and would like to create something unique, you have every opportunity to do so. Custom lighting no longer have to be something of an exclusive and outlandish investment, but can instead to be every bit as affordable as investing in standard premium lighting products. So if there’s nothing on the shelves that really inspires you, why not use your inspiration to dream up something absolutely unique?

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