Get to know your lighting types
Lighting plays an important part in an interior and not just from a practical point of view. Lighting has the ability change the atmosphere, mood and size of a room.
Eli Kalmi, owner of K. Light Import, has provided some enlightening tips for décor and design.
“Regardless of the trend, there are three basic types of lighting that will feature in the home – ambient, task and accent lighting,” explained Kalmi. “It’s important to determine which lighting you need first, before considering the various options.”
1. Ambient (or general) lighting:
provides an area with overall illumination, radiating a comfortable level of brightness without glare, allowing you to see clearly and walk about safely. It can be achieved using chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fittings, as well as recessed or track lights. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.
2. Task lighting:
helps you perform specific tasks such as reading and grooming or preparing and cooking food. This is offered through recessed and track lighting; pendant lighting; under-cabinet lighting; as well as by free-standing floor and desk lamps. In the kitchen the light over your work area is most important and the best options are pendant, or cluster of pendants, hanging above an island, counter or table. Pendant is best fixed overhead so as to avoid any blockage of light.
3. Accent lighting:
adds focus to a specific area or point in a room. It is used to draw the eye to house plants, paintings, sculptures, or any other decorative object. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, as well as landscaping elements such as at the base of a large tree. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed, spot and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.
The best choice for bathroom lighting
Correct lighting throughout the home is optimal, but the one room where homeowners often get the lighting incorrect is the bathroom. There are few different types of light which can be used to enhance the bathroom atmosphere.
Natural light is always the preferred option, but the addition of different types of light fittings can also play an important role in the outcome of the appearance and the feel of a bathroom. Always remember to ensure your fittings are moisture proof.
Task lighting is important near the mirror as this is needed for up-close functions such as applying make-up and shaving. Avoid adding a light to the ceiling above a mirror, including recessed ceiling lights, as this light throws the light on your forehead and nose, but shadows your full reflection. Rather use a pair of sconces mounted at eye level on either side of the mirror, or on the wall above the mirror, to provide a shadow-less illumination.
Welcome spring with a dash of
Looking for decor inspiration this spring? What better way to welcome the season than to celebrate yellow, a colour long associated with the sun and its bright, life-giving qualities.
In colour psychology, yellow is one of the happiest colours in the spectrum, it has an air of radiance and cheerfulness. Yellow represents a desire to start fresh and hope for a new tomorrow. Yellow is mentally stimulating, inspiring our need for knowledge and to see things more clearly. It is linked to confidence and the intellect. For more information on the psychology of colours see How colour therapy can be used in your home.
A desire for fun in the sun and a brighter future could be the reason yellow is so popular right now. if you are a fan of instagram or pinterest you will see shades of yellow – from mustard to pale lemon – popping up everywhere.
In decor, bright yellow represents joy, wisdom and power, while its paler shades are associated with calm and inner peace.
Yellow works with neutrals, adding some warmth and energy and will brighten up a neutral scheme. It works well with other colours too. The complementary colour to yellow is violet. Pale yellows with lavender makes a wonderful soft colour combination while bright yellow and violet can create quite an impact. Blue combined with yellow makes a very happy marriage, one only has to look at nature the sunflowers against summer skies or the sea and the sand.
When selecting yellow as a wall colour, go for buttery or golden yellows as yellows which are too acidic or have hints of green in them can be too overpowering. It is also advisable to go for a lighter tint of the colour you like on the paint chart, as yellow looks much brighter when painted on a wall than how it looks on a small paint swatch. If you have a dark passage or room, yellow is a good colour to use to brighten and lighten the space.
Steer clear of bright yellows on the walls in a bedroom as the energy from bright yellow is too mentally stimulating. It may cause your mind to work overtime and you won’t get much sleep. For a more relaxing, yet fresh atmosphere, selecting a pastel yellow in a soft buttery or ochre colour will create a warm, sunny atmosphere.
If you are looking for a colour for your front door, yellow is a great choice. It creates a warm, welcoming and friendly colour to come home to each day, it is also great for welcoming guests.
Yellow makes a wonderful accent colour, to bring a bit of sunshine into a room, yellow daffodils or vase of yellow lemons will go a long way to lifting a rather dull environment. Yellow roses are the perfect choice to send friends, newlyweds and new mothers. They represent enduring friendship, faithful attention and devotion. What a better way to brighten up someone’s day.
How to decorate a small apartment
Generally speaking, property sizes are shrinking in line with the rising cost of living. Gone are the days when the average person could afford a large four or five bedroom house complete with wrap-around garden and pool. Nowadays, semi-detached units, studio apartments and communal clubhouses and pools are the norm. Depending on how these smaller spaces are decorated, they can either feel cramped and stuffy or well-proportioned, welcoming and airy.
For those living in small, open plan living areas such as studio or loft apartments, there are several ways in which you can make the most of your space. It’s important to keep in mind that typically, every part of these types of apartments are visible at the same time so it’s important to plan properly straight off the bat with a view to creating a cohesive, attractive space.
Arguably the first step to take is to start with a blank canvas. Try to avoid moving all of your furniture and belongings in and only then deciding how to plan and decorate your space as you will feel compelled to find a place for everything you own, resulting in a cluttered, poky space.
You will essentially need to create rooms within a room so start by drawing an outline of the space you’re dealing with and play around with defining the various areas. Areas such as your kitchen and bathroom should be easy enough to define given the associated fixtures and fittings and you should be able to plan and integrate these areas relatively easily. Defining your bedroom and living space may prove tricky though.