Tag Archives: lighting

Small but mighty

5 steps to make your small bathroom look bigger

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5 steps to make your small bathroom look bigger

Photos: Bre King Photography


Faucet by Pfister. Vanity by Foremost. The Home Depot. thehomedepot.ca
Faucet by Pfister. Vanity by Foremost. The Home Depot. thehomedepot.ca

With any space, I always choose the biggest piece of furniture first – even in a small area. In a bathroom, that would be the vanity. Always remember to measure to allow for the biggest vanity possible because of, well… storage. That’s my main priority, anyways.

Faucets & hardware

Up next, it’s time to choose your faucets and hardware. This can be a daunting task, but think about how these items will work with your overall aesthetic. When in doubt, select a classic design. Once you decide on the faucet and the configuration, you’ll need to decide on the finish. I like to choose a finish that has spot defence. This prevents fingerprints and watermarks – woohoo! So, for a bathroom that’s going to get a ton of use, it’s a wise choice.


When it comes to tile, you’ll want to work with the tones of your vanity. My biggest tip for choosing tile for a small space is to keep it consistent. When you use the same tile on the floor and in the entire room, it makes the space look bigger. Another tip is to use a lighter colour on the floor, so it draws your eye upwards. This can also give the illusion of a larger space. I ended up going with a large, warm grey tile. I needed something that would be easy to clean, as I know this bathroom will get a lot of traffic. Bigger tiles and less grout was the way to go.


Time to choose your bathroom lighting. First, start by deciding which type of light will work best in your space. Don’t feel like you need to choose small light fixtures for a small room. This can actually enhance how petite your area looks and feels. Instead, select options that allow the most light into the space and help to enhance the overall design. My rule of thumb for finishes is to stick with two in a bathroom. When you start to add more than that, it can make things look busy and cluttered.

Wall treatments & accessories

The last thing you’ll want to decide on is the accessories and wall treatments for your space. Wallpaper always adds so much character and can be so cost effective in small spaces. I love using baskets as garbage cans or just as decoration. A really simple trick is to fill one with toilet paper rolls – practical, pretty and a little extra storage, too.

Jaclyn Harper is a TV host, interior stylist and new mom living in Burlington, Ont. When Jaclyn’s not on TV or creating beautiful designs you’ll find her latest projects on her blog: jaclynharperdesigns.com. From DIYs, design projects to life as a new mom her lifestyle blog and Youtube channel give her fans a peek into her family life.


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Quaint quarters

5 ways to make your pint-sized pad feel more spacious

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5 ways to make your pint-sized pad feel more spacious

Photos: Larry Arnal


Add some spice with a patterned tile, maybe a mini-mosaic or even bold geometric design. Play with the application, why not bring them from the floor to the wall to create a full-on moment. Make sure you grab samples so you can try out some interesting patterns and configurations. Make it unique. A smaller space requires less product, so even if you’re designing something one of a kind, it likely won’t cost you an arm and a leg.


Wallpaper is amazing with a capital A when it comes to creating a wham, bam, pop or pow in your small space. Our design firm believes you can never go wrong with a bold floral wallpaper. There are thousands out there to choose from. Try to think of some of the things you like the most, such as colour, style, pattern, material or texture, before you start to look for your perfect wall covering. You don’t want to get sucked down the wallpaper rabbit hole. Trust us when we say you will blink and it will be four hours later, you won’t know where you are, what your name is, or what you’re having for dinner. Consider this a friendly warning!


Splash that colour! If you have a pint-sized space, why not use it as an opportunity to splash a beautiful colour that makes your heart happy. We love to incorporate pops of colour on cabinetry, walls and even ceilings. Paint is the quickest and most cost-effective way to transform any space. Don’t be afraid of dark colours in small spaces – they can make a teeny-tiny space look even bigger, as long as there is contrast.

Wall decor

Don’t forget the earrings, and by earrings, we mean wall decor. Think of it like this: You aren’t going to get all dressed up but not put on earrings. They’re a must! Wall decor is important; however, in a small space, you have to be mindful of the scale of the piece you are putting up. Try using large white matting and a thin metal frame to keep your art piece simple, updated and stylish.


This may seem like an obvious tip, but sometimes it’s overlooked. Make sure you are choosing lighting that will appropriately illuminate your space. Try to allow multi-layered lighting; we find that in smaller spaces, there are sometimes more shadow spots. Focus on how your room functions for you; keep in mind task, ambient and decorative lighting can all be used to create an amazing lighting scheme.

Don’t be afraid to take a few risks in a small space. More than likely you will be rewarded with a special little spot that packs a punch! Make it beautiful and make it yours.


SOURCE: CONTRACTING AND MILLWORK by Hartley Built. Hartleybuilt.com | PAINT: FIRST LIGHT (pink), CHANTILLY lace (white), VINTAGE VOGUE (darker green), Hollingworth GREEN (light green) by Benjamin Moore. benjaminmoore.ca | FURNITURE by Article. article.com | DRAPERY AND ROMAN BLINDS, custom design | FAUCETS by Delta. delta.ca | LIGHTING by Kuzco. kuzcolighting.com | LIGHTING by Matteo. lightingcanada.com

Award-winning Designer Michelle Berwick is the Principal & Creative Founder of Michelle Berwick Design. This notable GTA firm has become sought after for providing livable, stylish and uniquely personal interiors.


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4 simple home upgrades you can do yourself

4 simple DIY projects for the home

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4 simple DIY projects for the home

DIY projects are both super exciting and a great way to save some money. After all, you will be doing all of the work yourself and learn quite a bit about home maintenance. Simple home upgrades are not complicated at all, but they might take some time to complete. So if you are willing to put in the work, the results will be stunning.

We live in a time when everything is available online, including home upgrade tutorials. Many websites will offer you step by step guidance with these projects. But remember to keep your private information safe while browsing. One of the best tools for that is a VPN. What is a VPN? This nifty tool will secure your internet connection. It can also give you a warning when you try to load a potentially dangerous website.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best home projects you can do yourself!

Change your room with a fresh coat of paint

You can give a full makeover to any room in your home by simply painting the walls. This DIY project is not complicated at all, and you can complete it in just one weekend. If the current state of your walls is not great and you want to refresh them a bit, pick a color that you like, and get ready for some work.

The right color can completely change the mood of your home. For instance, bright colours such as peach and white can open up space and make it appear bigger. Of course, there are some guidelines you need to follow along the way. You will need to invest in some painting tools as well. Buy different types of brushes, tape, and floor covers. The whole process is fun, and your entire family can help out.

More yellow light

New light fixtures can also do wonders for the ambiance in general. White light bulbs have become a standard in the last couple of years, but they could sometimes be too bright. Yellow light bulbs give more warmth to a room and make you feel relaxed. This DIY hack will not take too much time as you only have to change the bulbs around your home. However, go for LED ones because they are durable and will last longer.

If you are set on improving the lighting situation in your home, consider installing dimmers. These allow you to select the right brightness in each room. Plus, the dimmers are not too expensive but will improve your quality of life. Replace your standard light switches with dimmers and create the perfect mood, regardless of the time of the day.

Decorate your space with plants

Greenery can make any space look more polished and beautiful. Place a couple of potted plants on your shelves or around your home, and you will notice the difference right away. You can start by selecting house plants that are easy to keep alive. These don’t need too much attention, so you can occasionally forget about them. Succulents are another great option because they are small and can survive long periods without water.

Those of you who travel a lot can also go for faux flowers. There is no need to worry about watering these plants all the time. And the best part about faux greenery is that you can pick and choose flowers and create unique decorations or bouquets. But make sure you buy high-quality artificial plants. They could be more expensive but are also super realistic.

Organize your closet

It might seem like a basic home improvement project, but a well-organized closet can make a huge difference. Plus, you won’t be needing any tools unless you want to build more shelves or rearrange the existing ones. Start by cleaning out your entire closet and then sort out the clothes. There are probably some garments you don’t wear anymore, so donate them if they are in good shape.

It will create more room and you will be able to sort out the clothes in a way you find useful. You can make a whole system that could help you find what you are looking for right away. Sort out your clothes by seasons, colours, use or anything you want. Closet organizers and boxes can help you make more space in your closet and keep everything nice and tidy. Don’t forget to wipe the shelves and clean the dust before you put the clothes back in.


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Dinner date

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Dinner date

There is no doubt that entertaining at home has changed. While dreams of wining and dining with a large group of family and friends maybe be put on pause for the time being, a thoughtfully planned, small group dining experience is a great way to socialize. You’ll want to keep everything on an intimate scale, staying within your bubble, with lots of room for everyone to feel comfortably apart.


Here are some easy tips for creating a dining space that is entertaining ready!

Table talk


Whether you choose round, square or rectangular, your dining table should comfortably fit in your space, match your home’s aesthetic and stay on budget. It’s important to measure the table-to-wall distance so that diners can get out of their seats easily. The general rule of thumb is to leave 42 to 48 in. between the table and the walls.

We don’t often think of a tabletop as loud or quiet, but metal and glass tend to amplify noise, whereas wood tends to absorb noise for a more comfortable dining experience. And, the best way to keep guests at the table is with comfortable chairs, so it’s a good idea to test out seating options before you buy.

Layering isn’t just for fashion

To design an entertaining dining experience, think about layers when you’re choosing textiles for the table, the dishware, decor and lighting. The tabletop is the base of your canvas. If it’s beautiful, show it off and consider using chargers rather than placemats. Chargers tend to add a sense of formality, and they’re easier to clean up after use. Use your best dishware and serving ware. I’m a big fan of using the “good” dishes year-round. If you enjoy them on special occasions, why not treat yourself and bring them out more often.


Add multiple lighting styles and brightness to your dining space to help set the mood. Lighting on dimmers is a great way to control lighting. If you have a centre chandelier over the table, keep the light low and add candles on the table. An easy decor trick is to put battery powered LED candles into a large glass vase or add in seasonal items or greenery for an extra special touch.

RASKOG UTILITY CART in grey-green. $39.99. ikea.ca

Tip: One of the most versatile and
stylish items in home decor is
the bar cart. A rolling bar cart
can be your busboy! It can
help you serve courses and
load up dishes when clearing
the table. Just roll the cart into
the kitchen for fast and easy

Enjoy entertaining

Especially during these unprecedented times, you want your guests to feel extra special and pampered. But, don’t get caught up in the formalities of being a host. Prepare as much as you can beforehand. Set your table the night before and pre-make any apps and desserts. That way, you ensure you truly enjoy what entertaining is all about – being together.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com


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Product Showcase: Dyson

The things that Dyson does

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The things that Dyson does

Fresh, clean, and on top of technology, Dyson Canada continues to bring new products to consumers that are a step above. First it was vacuums, then cordless ones. Now there is lighting, air purifiers, fans, and – wait for it – a curling iron wrapped, not in heat, but in air. All useful, all innovative. For further information on the following products visit the website.


Getting the look without extreme heat

The Dyson Airwrap multi-styler curls, waves, smooths, and dries your hair without excessive heat. And with powerful airflow and controlled heat, you can dry and style your hair from damp at the same time. Featuring multiple attachments, any look is achievable, from bouncy curls to a voluminous blow out.

Intelligent lighting in multiple formats

The Dyson Lightcycle Morph combines versatility and intelligence. One light fixture with four different formats to suit your varying needs – as an indirect, task, feature, or ambient light. Engineered to support well-being, it continually adjusts with your daylight, age, and task to support optimal illumination throughout the day. With Dyson’s heat pipe technology, which draws heat away from LEDs, it maintains light quality for 60 years.

Engineered to deep clean everywhere

The Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum offers powerful Dyson suction power without the hassle of a cord. It intelligently optimizes suction power and run time, sensing and adapting to all floor types, offering up to 60 minutes run time. With different attachments, it’s engineered to deep clean everywhere – from the floor to the ceiling and everywhere in between.

Staying indoors, with cleaner air

The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link is a triple-function unit, featuring year-round air purification, while cooling you in the summer and heating you in the winter. The intelligent air purifier senses particles and gases from the air, such as PM2.5 and NO2, and traps them within its 360˚ sealed filtration system. Set it to auto-mode so it automatically removes pollutants and maintains your target temperature, whatever the season.


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Easy ways to decorate your student dorm room

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Easy ways to decorate your student dorm room


In normal, pre-COVID-19 times, university students spend a lot of time in their dorm rooms, so sooner or later, even the most comfortable environment bores and starts to annoy. A person’s mood much depends on the place where he or she lives, so if you’ve noticed some changes in your mindset and behavior, consider making amendments in your interior. Before you begin, you should ask the corresponding authority permission to change the room because the rules of some colleges and universities prohibit it.

Finding inspiration is also a challenging task, so explore the following student room ideas, select the most appealing ones and make your room look more beautiful.

1. Change the wall color

You may paint the whole room or choose one wall to change its design. If you’re good at painting, you may create a picture on your wall. It may become the perfect background for photoshoots, so be sure that all your neighbors will like it. It’s the easiest way to refresh your room, but it takes time. That’s why we advise you to type in the search query “Help me with my science homework” and find the expert who’ll help you to deal with assignments.

2. Hang up a light string

Stop thinking that this decor is relevant only during Christmas. You may order an RGB diode strip that can change the colors and create a neon light to make your room look more futuristic and modern. Or give preference to calm and light colors that won’t distract the attention.

3. Buy a poster

The image doesn’t matter. It can be your favourite motivational quote, the portrait of a favourite actor, or the poster of the movie. Your task is to fill in some free space on the wall, and the picture is the best way to do it.

4. Place a full-length mirror

It’s not only the cool room decor for college students but also a useful thing. When you’re selecting the outfit for the day, you need to see yourself in full growth to understand whether the clothes match or not. Free some place for it in any part of the room and enjoy this decor.

5. Use an organizer

If you have a lot of stuff and don’t have a place to store it, it’s better to buy an organizer. This item lets you place cosmetics, textbooks, office supplies, jewelry and other little goodies. They are quite cheap and look stylish, so organizers can easily decorate your dorm room.

6.Create a photo wall

You surely have a lot of photos of your family and friends that remind you about the great times. Capture the moment and print them out, who knows what will happen to your phone. Place the photos under your bed in any order to keep these moments in memory.

7. Write a schedule board

If you’re not used to having a planner and mobile apps are also inconvenient, creating a schedule and hanging it over the desk is a great way to keep track of things. Students have lots of duties and work to do, so forgetting about important events is natural. Likewise, many of them forget about their assignments and miss the deadline. If you face such a situation, the best solution is to ask Google, “I need to pay someone to do my homework online,” and use the proposed options.

8. Lay a cosy carpet

Those people who adore sitting on the floor will appreciate this idea. Buy a nice shaggy carpet to make your floor warmer. Having this thing will let you organize the workspace right on the floor. Gather your friends and play games while sitting on the floor, if your bed is too small to accommodate all people.


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

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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


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Getting the most out of your lighting

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Getting the most out of your lighting

Lighting can have a major impact on the look and feel of your home. While lighting obviously has a function and purpose, it can also become a great feature in your home to highlight focal points and create ambiance.

To create a successful lighting plan for your renovation you need to consider a layered approach. By layering lighting in a space, you are able to create the flexibility of different vibes and functions. However, to do so you need to have a general understanding of the four basic categories of lighting: ambient, task, accent and decorative.

Ambient lighting illuminates any given space and permits an ease of mobility throughout a room. Task lighting, as seems obvious, affords you additional lighting in specific areas devoted to a particular task or function. Accent lighting can be used to highlight artwork, decor or perhaps architectural features within a space; it can be a great way to highlight a focal point in a room. Finally, we have decorative lighting, which is simply an accessory to your room, or the finishing touch. However, another source of lighting that should not be dismissed in design is natural light. It’s the most inexpensive, environmentally friendly and sought-after form of light available. Many new condo and home builds today are being designed and constructed with wonderfully large window features that allow for maximum natural light even in small spaces. Natural light not only services the functional aspect of light in design, it also helps to create a warm and inviting aesthetic for your home.

In most renovations today we find that recessed pot lights are the go-to option when looking to upgrade lighting in a home. However, for condo-dwellers this is not necessarily feasible as ceilings are mostly concrete. When looking to renovate your condo there are some ceiling details that may allow you to add pot lights. If your ceiling height permits, such features as a tray ceiling or a coffered ceiling can be a nice way to not only add interest to your space, but also provide the space required to add recessed pot lighting. If this is not an option for you, consider the addition of track lighting. The track lighting systems on the market today have a far more upscale look to them, with many more size and style options than we have previously seen, while being far more user-friendly for the condo environment.

Whatever your lighting inspiration, be sure to pay adequate attention to your lighting plan and needs so that you not only create a space that is safe and functional but use light to create a warm and inviting ambiance in your home.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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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Get cooking, The recipe for a fabulous and functional kitchen

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Get cooking, The recipe for a fabulous and functional kitchen

Photography by Stephani Buchman

When it comes to dream home designs, a fabulous kitchen always tops my clients’ must-have list. The kitchen is, by far, the hardest-working room in the home. It’s used multiple times a day, for a variety of tasks from cooking and dining, to homework and entertaining. Needless to say, it has to be functional. Kitchens also yield the best return on your investment in terms of resale value.

For these homeowners, the kitchen design project began with a simple request: function. This family with two busy boys and a hectic lifestyle were in need of some order in the form of flow and storage and we added some style for good measure.

Kitchen challenges

Right off the bat, there were some obstacles to address. The kitchen was dark, dated and very orange. The cooking area was closed off, which made it impossible to watch the boys while tending to kitchen chores – and let’s face it, parents with young kids spend a disproportionately large amount of time in the kitchen. We removed the wall to the living room to open sight lines and improve flow.

This kitchen was burdened by a big bulkhead between the cooking and eating area, which housed a beam from a previous renovation. We were also faced with a large, irregular height island, very limited wall storage, virtually no upper cabinets, two odd little windows, and an awkwardly positioned refrigerator that obviously ignored the “golden triangle” theory.

Despite its flaws, this kitchen had some good bones that laid the groundwork for a stunning, fully functional hub of the home.

“A custom built-in banquette becomes the perfect setting for meals, homework and crafts.”

Footprint improvements

We began the transformation by re-jigging the kitchen’s footprint. Admittedly, this isn’t always what a client wants to hear, as re-routing electrical and plumbing come at a somewhat hefty cost. But ultimately, most people will also agree that the functional lift you’ll see from a more efficient kitchen footprint is worth the expense. By changing the floor plan, we improved flow, closed off the two windows, and added a cooktop with an efficient range-hood insert.

The placement of the fridge was also problematic, so we recommended relocating it to an area that offered more open access. The homeowners were surprised and delighted with the suggestion, and ultimately this small move was a game-changer for how they now use the kitchen.

Embrace custom features

“Custom” is another word that puts the scare in budget-minded clients, but custom cabinets can be found in a range of materials, colours, finishes and price points, and they’re generally a worthwhile investment in the name of function. Custom kitchen cabinets in this space allowed us to amp up the storage capacity, which in turn opened up the rest of the space and made it that much more functional.

A custom built-in banquette becomes the perfect setting for meals, homework and crafts. We selected a durable vinyl for the seat with a small-print fabric for the back, which makes it feel cosier all around. Toss cushions add comfort and colour. Storage underneath is a perfect hideaway.

Fixtures and finishes

Beyond function, esthetics always play a vital role in good design. The kitchen cabinets offer a dark, almost-black look, which contrasts beautifully with the unlacquered brass pulls. The brass kitchen faucet by Rubinet adds sparkle with the added local bonus as they are made here in Canada.

We added some character and warmth with the walnut bar cabinet, which also serves to conceal a support post for the beam above. This provided a clever solution to hide this unsightly structural element.

Brass architectural mesh on the cabinet doors allow ventilation for the coffee machine situated inside, as well as quartz counter inside to protect the cabinet from coffee spills.

Unique brass brackets for the counter overhang add character, while the cognac leather stools are a rich complement to the dark-coloured island.

Easy, breezy style

A farmhouse sink and square subway tile keep the space feeling relaxed and much to the homeowners’ delight, make it easy to keep clean. After all, isn’t low-to-no-maintenance the ultimate in “function?”

The homeowners love their new kitchen and marvel at how much simpler their day-to-day life is post-renovation. A little function goes a long way.

Designer Rebecca Hay is principal of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., a Toronto-based Design firm specializing in classically livable family homes. Offering complete decorating and renovating services for over a decade, Rebecca and her team manage all of the details from start to finish. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca is an active YouTuber, you can also follow her daily design adventures on Instagram. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, Muskoka and throughout Canada. RebeccaHayDesigns.com

SOURCES PENDANT LIGHTS, CB2, Globe pendant light – large CABINETS, custom designed by Rebecca Hay Designs STOOLS, CB2, Roadhouse 24″ Leather counter stool SINK, Franke farmhouse sink KITCHEN FAUCET, Rubinet CABINET HARDWARE, Rejuvenation Mission drawer handle, Mission pyramid cabinet knob, Mission bin pull CABINET COLOURS, Racoon Fur, Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore QUARTZ COUNTER, Silestone – Eternal Statuario (suede finish) APPLIANCES, GAS COOKTOP, Kitchenaid 30″ OVEN COMBO, KITCHENAID FRIDGE, SIRIUS HOOD FAN, Miele DISHWASHER (panel ready) AREA RUG, Custom by Studio BANQUETTE, custom DINING PENDANT, Matteo Particles BACKSPLASH TILE, Olympia tile, Max white 6″ x 6″ subway tile


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DESIGN: The Basics of Lighting

The basics of lighting

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The basics of lighting

The excitement of starting a design project in your home can often find you getting caught up in the details of colours, furnishings and finishes. These are all obviously of great importance to the overall aesthetics of our space, however, equally or quite often even more importantly is lighting. Light is a vital element of any good design. Good lighting will enhance any space. However, great lighting can elevate it.

For your lighting plan to be a success you need to consider a layered approach to your lighting. Layering your lighting is advantageous as it enables you the flexibility of creating different vibes and functions within a given space. There are four basic categories of lighting layers to be aware of: Ambient, Task, Accent and Decorative.

Ambient lighting illuminates a space and allows you an ease of mobility throughout a room. Task lighting, as seems obvious, affords you added lighting in a specific area devoted to a particular task or function. Accent lighting can be used to highlight artwork, decor or perhaps architectural features within a space. Finally there’s decorative lighting, the fourth layer of illumination, which simply is an accessory to your room, or the finishing touch.

Another source of light that should never be forgotten in design is natural light, what I like to consider to be a fifth layer of lighting. Natural light is the most inexpensive and environmentally friendly light available. Many new condo and home builds today are being constructed with wonderfully large window features that allow for maximum natural light, even in smaller spaces. Not only does this feature provide you with great source of natural light as well as a wonderful view, it also helps to create the illusion of a larger rather elevated space.

Here are a few design tips to get you started:

  • Work with a reputable lighting store when purchasing your lighting, and spend some time inquiring about the various types of lighting that are currently available. With the recent developments in LED lighting there is far more available than you may be aware of.
  • Incorporate a different style of light in to your space, something a bit modern in a more traditional environment or a beautiful crystal chandelier paired with a rustic farmhouse table.
  • The general rule for an eight-ft. ceiling height is that a chandelier should be hung approximately 29 to 33 inches above a dining table; for each added foot of ceiling height increase by three inches.
  • Recessed pot lights are a lovely addition in a room, however, be sure to add the proper amount; too many can be overwhelming and appear messy on your ceiling. If you reside in a condo, pot lights may be restricted. Consider the addition of track lighting in this case; there are many great track light systems on the market now that have a very high-end look to them and are far more user-friendly for a condo environment.
  • Use dimmer switches where possible. Not only can it reduce your electrical usage, but it also adds to the ambience of a room.
Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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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