Tag Archives: light

Little touches that make a huge difference

Little touches that make a huge difference

Latest News


Little touches that make a huge difference

Decorating a small space isn’t actually that different than decorating a large one: It just requires a bit of ingenuity and understanding what works in the space and what doesn’t. While your focus will be different when you’re working with less square footage, the basic rules of design are very much the same.

I’ve taken this challenge to task with a recent property development I’m working on in conjunction with Dunpar Homes – the Kingsway Village Square. This luxury building offers upscale condominium living in a carefully-crafted boutique rental residence, and as creative designer, it’s my job to decorate our first two model suites – with all the right interiors and finishes. It’s proven to be a really fun project to manage because it’s made me look at design differently. Naturally, I have less room to work with so it means I have to think about furniture, finishes and lighting in a way that works for a smaller space.

Whether you’re looking to update a condominium, studio apartment or small home, check out these tips on ways to optimize your space.

Find the right light

First, if you have plenty of natural light, let it shine through! Keep window treatments airy with sheer fabrics so light can come through easily, and you’re not weighing down your space with heavy curtains or blinds. Add additional lighting throughout your space but avoid any big floor or table lamps – they just add “bulk” – and opt for wall sconces, pendant lights or string lights that don’t take up too much real estate.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

If you aren’t blessed with a lot of natural light in a room, mirrors can add additional light and the feeling of additional space by reflecting back any natural and non-natural lighting you do have. It will give the illusion of more square footage, so think about using one large mirror in your room or arrange a few smaller ones throughout.

Try ‘floating’ pieces

Shelves and nightstands that are built into the walls can keep your floor clear of any cluttering obstacles and free up some extra space as well.

The bigger the rug, the better

Believe it or not, you don’t want to skimp on size with your rug. A tiny rug just makes the room feel equally as small, so pick a floor covering that’s large enough so most of the furniture will sit on it, or go wall-to-wall.

Avoid heavy furniture

When dressing a small space, your furniture has to look light. For example, instead of investing in a sturdy, block of a coffee table, opt for a piece that has legs on it. Why? It helps carry the eye in and around your space, which gives the impression of a bigger room.

Keep colours neutral

This feels fairly obvious, but lighter walls give the illusion of a bigger space, where darker walls do the opposite. My favourite hues are from Benjamin Moore: CC40 or Chantilly Lace. I use both of them in design often.

Use furniture that is multi-purpose

For the Kingsway Village Square, I also picked pieces that are multi-purpose, such as a high top table that I put in the kitchen area that acts as a work station as well as an eating area. You can get creative with storage options, too: Ottomans that can store your linens, or built-in cabinetry under your bed. Nowadays, there are so many chic storage options that work double-duty as a piece of decor.

Add some colour

Yes, you can! Use colour for your pillows, bedding, artwork or carpets, but I always caution about going too overboard with really bold patterns of palettes. You want to minimize the “noise,” as it were, so my advice is to add your colour, but keep it fresh, light and harmonious.

Lisa Rogers is Executive Vice-President of Design for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel. Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline, a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health, wellness and design.


SHARE  

Featured Products


R_Lighting_JJ20_fi

Into the light, optimize your outdoor lighting with these four tips

Latest News


Into the light, optimize your outdoor lighting with these four tips

Product images courtesy of Dolce Lighting

As homeowners, we take pride in our homes. So, why put all of your efforts to waste by leaving your home in the dark? Outdoor lighting can be used to highlight your home’s architecture, bring depth to the design, and enhance its safety and security. Remember, your home’s exterior makes its first impression. Ensure the outside world is seeing it in the right light, with an outdoor lighting plan.

Now, before you go and get intimidated, know that your outdoor lighting plan can be as simple as a few spotlights, or it can be as complex as a fully integrated and automated lighting system. Budget is as varied as the products on the market. Your only boundary is your (or your designer’s) imagination. Here are my four key tips to get you started.

1 – Choose the focus

Identify the exterior features that you’d like to draw attention to. These are the focal points. Perhaps it’s a water feature, a beautiful tree, or a striking architectural feature. Use lighting to make that special feature “pop.”

Soffit lighting is one of my favourites, and it can have quite a dramatic and beautiful effect. Stretch a row of soffit pot lights across your home’s front facade and along its roof line, placed every few feet apart. To be more cost-efficient, a few pot lights along the sides of the home may be all that’s required.

2 – A different light

Add drama to features or an area of the yard that might not stand out during the day. A simple stone wall can take on a whole new personality at night, when grazed with light and shadow. I love the look of up-lighting a lush tree, or illuminating feature plants in garden beds with a few strategically placed spotlights.

3 – Safety first

Use lighting to enhance your home’s overall function and safety. Feeling around in the dark is not ideal – especially when there are products now to reduce the risk of injury by illuminating stairways and the footpaths, the front entrance, the garage/driveway and deck areas.

Another safety benefit is your home’s security. Having well-lit front and rear entrances, garage, and windows can help deter unwelcome visitors.

TIP – Be sure to view your outdoor lighting from a few perspectives within the home. The last thing you want is a spotlight blinding you as you open the front door, or gaze out your kitchen window. Doing this will ensure there are no glaring errors, pun intended.

4 – Layered lighting

Similar to your indoor lighting plan, your exterior lights should be layered and include a combination of ambient, task and decorative lights. Where do you congregate, socialize and relax? Do you barbecue by evening, or tinker in the garage late into the night? What type of lighting would best accommodate your use of the outdoors?

A detailed lighting plan will bring function, balance and depth to your home, and help you rediscover one of its best features – the outdoors. Look to lighting stores and talk to experts to familiarize yourself with the right products you will need to gear up for a beautiful spring and summer season ahead. Put your outdoor lighting plan into action as it will be the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade with the biggest impact.

All lighitng products are available at Dolce Lighting

Andrea Colman is Principal of Fine Finishes Design Inc. With almost two decades of renovation and design experience, her full-service firm services clientele throughout the GTA. The growing boutique design firm is known for creating stylish, harmonious, livable environments finefinishes.ca

SHARE  

Featured Products


Design: Transforming Your Space with Light

Design: Transforming Your Space with Light

Latest News


Design: Transforming Your Space with Light

by Linda Mazur

Lighting is an essential part of any interior space, and achieving good lighting in your space can elevate and transform your design aesthetic.

There are many considerations such as functionality, mood and atmosphere that should be taken into account to ensure you are successful when tackling lighting. When you are starting to develop the layout for the lighting in your living space, a good approach to consider is to layer various types of lighting, as it affords you a greater flexibility. There are four basic categories of lighting layers: Ambient, Task, Accent and Decorative.

The first layer of lighting is known as ambient lighting, which illuminates a space, allowing you easy mobility throughout a room. The second layer of illumination is task lighting and, as the name states, it affords you added lighting in a specific area devoted to a particular undertaking such as reading, a kitchen counter space, etc. Accent lighting, is the third layer and is used to highlight artwork, decor or perhaps architectural features within a space. And, finally, there’s decorative lighting, the fourth layer of illumination, which is simply an accessory to your room. It is sometimes referred to as the “jewelry” in the room or the finishing touches.

Another source of lighting that sometimes gets missed when designing a plan is natural light. Natural light is the most beneficial, inexpensive and environmentally friendly light available to us. Many condos today are being designed to maximize natural light with an abundance of windows that not only offer us a fantastic source of light, but great views and design aesthetic. If you are considering a major renovation of your home be sure to incorporate as much natural light as possible, be it through enlarging your current window size, adding a transom window above a walkout if space permits, or perhaps adding a skylight.

Light is essential to interior spaces. It is a powerful tool that has the ability to transform the feeling of a space by simply altering its intensity, colour or placement. It can be one of the greatest challenges in a home…but knowing and understanding the effects light has on your space will help you gain both a balanced and an impressive light plan in your home.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • The general rule for an eight-foot ceiling height is that a chandelier should be hung approximately 29 to 34 inches above a dining table for each added foot of ceiling height increase by three inches.
  • Be sure to add the proper amount of pot lights to your space. Too little will under light your room; too many can create glare and make your ceiling look very busy.
  • Dimmer switches are a great asset; not only can they reduce your electrical usage but they also add to creating ambience in your room.
  • Consult a design professional to help ensure you achieve the best lighting possible in your home.

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.

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup


SHARE  

Featured Products


rc_jun26_2017_fi

Top tools: DeWalt Cordless/Corded Large Area Light

Latest News


Top tools: DeWalt Cordless/Corded Large Area Light

DeWalt newest jobsite light operates on its new FlexVolt platform, which provides up to 7,000 lumens of light output. The unit also comes with an A/C adapter for situations where a power supply is readily available, and it doubles as a battery charger. The light can be controlled via DeWalt’s Tool Connect app, including programmable settings to automatically turn on or off.
DeWalt.com

rc_jun26_2017_2

This is an excerpt from “Power to the People,” our annual compilation of top new power tools for 2017 in the February/March issue.

rc_jun26_2017_1

SHARE  

Featured Products