Tag Archives: fixtures


Active Home: Suspended BRILLIANCE

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Active Home: Suspended BRILLIANCE

THE DICTIONARY’S DESCRIPTION OF A CHANDELIER IS QUITE SIMPLE – an ornamental hanging light with branches and holders for several candles or bulbs. However, with the endless styles, shapes and sizes now available, shopping for a chandelier is anything but simple. As lighting technology and design elements continue to grow at lightening speed, choosing that perfect fixture can be overwhelming. Here’s how to break it down and cut through the confusion.

right chandelier


It’s important to size your chandelier so that it is the focal point of the room.

  • Measure the length and the width of the room in feet.
  • Add those two numbers together.
  • The sum of those two numbers should be the diameter of your chandelier in inches. When in doubt, err on a larger size, since chandeliers are statement pieces.
  • In a dining room, the goal is to suspend the fixture(s) low enough so that you don’t catch any glare from the light source, but high enough so that it doesn’t obstruct your vision.
  • A good rule of thumb is to hang the fixture 30 to 36 inches from the top of the table.


Chandeliers are decorative fixtures. With this in mind, they aren’t meant to be a room’s primary light source. Instead, they create ambiance and augment the style of a room. It would be unrealistic to expect a single fixture hanging in the centre of a room to light the entire space. The chandelier is a supplementary light source that should be incorporated into a layered lighting scheme. As part of the overall plan, consider integrating cove lighting, recessed pot lights, wall sconces and/or lamps. In addition, accent lighting can highlight paintings, countertops and cabinets.

When selecting a fixture, ensure that it provides the right kind of light. There’s nothing worse than sitting at a table with a glaring bulb shining in your eyes. If the bulbs are exposed on your fixture of choice, check to see what kind of bulbs would work best. Lean towards a warmer, ambient light that can be balanced with the cooler light of recessed options. In all cases, instal a dimmer switch so that you can control the light output.


Chandelier styles tend to fit into one of four categories – traditional, transitional, modern or rustic. The style of the fixture doesn’t have to follow the other style elements in the room. Since it’s a statement piece, perhaps an unexpected look would be more enlightening, rather than playing it safe.

For a more modern look, focus on satin nickel or chrome finishes. Traditional fixtures often feature brass (brushed or bright), and transitional options combine design elements from both traditional and contemporary styling. Wood, resin and metal are preferred materials for rustic fixtures. Mixed metals are very popular, including various combinations of black, bronze, silver, gold, glass – whatever. When adding jewellery to an outfit, one piece can change the whole look. Selecting a light fixture is similar. Choose a chandelier that provides a pleasing light quality, helps to balance the room, and is also appealing to your design sensibilities.

By Cobi Ladner



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The Basics of Lighting Design

The Basics of Lighting Design

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The Basics of Lighting Design

by Samantha Sannella

Ensuring that your space looks and functions requires the perfect lighting. Light is the key ingredient in the space and influences our safety, health and mood. Layering three types of lighting is critical for good lighting design. Providing flexibility in how lights are activated is important as well. Whether old-fashioned switches or a digital smart system, the guiding rule about how lighting is used should be common sense.

Ambient Lighting

This is the general lighting that must be provided to ensure that a space is well lit. It provides illumination for general tasks and it is always better to provide more, rather than less, ambient lighting. It’s easy these lights on dimmers or to zone it on switches if you believe that you might over-light a space. The psychological aspect of lighting is an important element throughout the design. Ensuring that spaces are devoid of shadows and dark corners helps us to circumvent our mental triggers of looming danger, according to Kristina Zarembo, a lighting consultant at Nemetz.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is critical in workspaces such as offices, kitchens and bathrooms. Under-counter lighting, bathroom vanity lights and desk lighting should be carefully calculated. Foot-candles measure the amount of light on a surface while lumens measure the amount of light emitted from a source. It is important to know the meaning of both of these terms since there can be significant loss of light as it travels to a surface due to distance, direction and other factors, such as the colour of the surface.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting brings added visual interest to a room by creating different focal points and is another important element of lighting design. Accent lighting highlights specific objects like art, sculptures and bookcases. It can also be used to highlight a textured wall, or other architectural features. Classic track lighting and picture lights are often used to provide accent lighting.

Calculating Lighting Requirements

Lighting calculations can get technical. Fortunately, many suppliers offer these services at no additional cost. However, it is still essential that designers understand the terminology and can ensure that the space is lit appropriately.

Lumen: A lumen (lm) is a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source in any particular direction.

Lux: Lux (lx) is the metric measure of illuminance. This is a measure of how much light there is over a given surface area. One lux is equal to one lumen per square metre.

Foot-candle: A foot-candle (fc) is the imperial measure of illuminance for those who prefer to work in imperial feet. One foot-candle is equal to one lumen per square foot.

There are charts recommended by the Illumination Engineering Society (IES) that recommend the number of foot-candles or lux required for a space.

Lighting fixtures and their lamps indicate how many lumens they emit. After calculating how much area you are lighting, and how many lumens are needed, then you must search for fixtures and lamps that meet your requirements. It is recommended that you over-light and use dimmers. As people age, they need more light.

Photography: Loft BBY SDJ Design
Photography: Loft BBY SDJ Design


Indirect hidden light is a trend on the market today made possible by advances in lighting such as LEDs, OLEDs and fiber optic lighting. It is possible to hide the light sources and illuminate walls and ceilings without ever seeing a single fixture. Lights have become more powerful and laser technology has influenced lighting development.

Also important to note are the advances in lighting control systems. In short, everything can be controlled through WI-FI and a smart phone or iPad, even when you are not home. While some of these applications are great, when the Wi-Fi is down frustration can increase. While many designers dream of never seeing a light switch mounted on a beautiful wall again, reliability over form is highly recommended and at this time redundancy is needed.

SAMANTHA SANNELLA, BFA ID, M ARCH, is a designer, educator and principal at Urban Retreat Homes.

She is an expert in the field of design and construction and is a columnist for RENO & DECOR and editor of the Ontario Design Trade Sourcebook.



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Design: The New Look of Brass

Design: The New Look of Brass

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Design: The New Look of Brass

by Linda Mazur

What’s hot in bathroom finishes? Believe it or not it’s brass.

This is not the shiny yellow brass of decades past, but unlacquered brass that highlights a beautifully aged, slightly antiqued finish. After making an impressive resurgence in popularity from their peak in the 90s, brass fixtures are among the hottest trends now in bathroom design, with today’s styles showcasing a warmer, more sophisticated vibe, than bold brass of decades past.

Unlacquered brass has an attractive look and feel all its own. Its warm, less formal than polished nickel, less typical than chrome. This unparalleled finish is organic, and is sometimes referred to as a “living finish”. Due to the absence of the lacquer, this durable solid brass finish is allowed to naturally age over time and develop a beautiful patina of colour and texture unique only to itself.

As a designer, I find that this ever-evolving finish is beyond adaptable. When designing bath spaces I find I’m drawn to the unlacquered brass finish for bathroom fittings and accessories. It offers sophistication, old world charm and yet modernism. It can be used in an upscale setting, more rustic inspired spaces, or if you’re creating a more bohemian vibe.

One of the hardest working elements in any bathroom are your faucets; they sustain a large amount of daily use and abuse. As such, choosing the right one goes beyond simply looks. You should consider functionality, durability. Look to ensure that the finish will last and look as beautiful as the day it was installed. As obviously functional bathroom fittings and accessories are, they can also be considered the finishing touches or “jewellery” to your bathroom renovation. Making the right selections can be the difference between a moderately successful bathroom design and renovation, or a truly remarkable one.

When looking for beautiful bathroom fittings and superior quality, one company that always delivers is Victoria + Albert. Their impressively designed faucets are made using traditional techniques with high quality materials. Here you will find transitional styles that boast a graceful combination of classical traditionalism with modern lines, to one of my personal favourites, the Florin collection, that captures the essence of the Art Deco aesthetic in a fresh new way. You are sure to find a look to enhance your bathroom designs, while perhaps entertaining their latest unlacquered brass as the finish.

The faucets and fittings are the “crown jewel” of any bathroom renovation.


Follow some of my important design tips;

  • Decide early on if you are wanting counter top mounted faucets or wall mounted faucets as critical to your plumbing rough-ins;
  • Lavatory, bath and shower faucets and fittings do not necessarily need to match in style as many different looks can complement each other, however the closer the combination of styles the more pleasing the overall look;
  • Do your research select the best quality faucets your budget permits to ensure longevity and durability.

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Victoria + Albert perfects the brass finish

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Victoria + Albert perfects the brass finish

Some things really do improve over time. After making an impressive resurgence in popularity from their peak in the 1990s, brass fixtures are among the hottest trends in bathroom design with today’s styles showcasing a warmer and more sophisticated vibe than the bold brass of decades past.

Victoria + Albert Baths is pleased to meet customer requests for this exciting trend with a beautiful new unlacquered brass finish that is now available for all Florin and Staffordshire faucets.

Known as a “living finish,” unlacquered brass ages naturally, developing a unique patina over the lifespan of the fixture. The absence of lacquer allows the durable solid brass to gradually darken and reveal subtle undertones of colour and texture.

The evolving look may be used to create a feeling of “Old World” elegance in a traditional setting or to contrast with the clean lines of contemporary decor. If desired, the finish can be maintained in a polished state with the regular use of a metal cleaner. The Florin and Staffordshire Collections are smart choices to showcase this exceptional new finish, each making its own distinctive statement.

The Staffordshire line celebrates “New Traditional” design and its graceful combination of classic styles and modern lines, while Florin faucets capture the essence of the Art Deco aesthetic in a fresh way. Both collections are available in a wide range of faucet designs for the tub, basin and shower, making it easy to create a cohesive look that is pulled together down to the drains and foot finishes on the clawfoot tub. All of Victoria + Albert’s faucets are made in the U.K. using traditional techniques.


Victoria + Albert is pleased to announce its foray into the world of built-in bathtubs. “Our aim was simple – to create the world’s best built-in bathtub,” said Jonathan Carter, marketing director for Victoria + Albert. “We wanted to keep the elegance and superior quality that is part of our brand and add to that the ease and practicality of a built-in tub. We couldn’t be more pleased with the end results.”

The two new designs, the Gordano 6032 and Rossendale 6636, are beautiful in any setting, with sophisticated lines and exceptional design flexibility. Both may be installed as a drop-in or under-mount and have four adjustable feet for perfect leveling and easy installation. The tubs may be set into a custom surround built to complement any bathroom decor, making them a smart choice for hospitality settings as well as residential use.

These remarkable tubs have been designed with comfort in mind. Each has a 32° angle of recline and integrated arm rests for a relaxing soak. As with all Victoria + Albert baths, they are crafted from their signature Englishcast material, hand-finished to a glossy white shine. The material is naturally strong, which means that the tubs won’t creak or flex.


Freestanding baths: The original core product and what it is best known for. There are two collections, traditional and modern, in a wide range of styles and sizes with six exterior paint finishes.

Freestanding vessel basins: Launched to complement the bathtubs. Modern and traditional styles, made from Victoria + Albert’s English cast composite. Designed to be mounted on a solid countertop and available in six exterior paint finishes.

Faucets: Including basin faucets, tub fillers, shower units. All made in England using traditional techniques. The tree collections include modern, traditional and Art Deco.

Furniture: Both countertop units and vanities with inset Englishcast basins. All made in England using traditional techniques and solid hardwoods.

Accessories: Practical things like garbage bins, but also luxurious bath racks and luxury backrests. Notable is the new Kit 40 “intelli-waste,” the self-emptying plug that guarantees flood protection.

Victoria + Albert is a global brand with a worldwide reputation for creating beautiful baths and luxurious, lasting products.



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