Tag Archives: Linda Mazur Design Group

DESIGN: Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches – Many inspiring options await when it’s time for a kitchen upgrade

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Finishing Touches – Many inspiring options await when it’s time for a kitchen upgrade

Planning a kitchen renovation is always exciting, and often overwhelming. The enthusiasm of pouring over the multitude of Pinterest inspirations often morphs into the stress of decision making of cabinet styles, colours, layouts and product selections.

Today, we have hundreds of options available to us when it comes to all of the finishing touches. Our sinks and faucets are no longer simply utilitarian, countertops come in an array of colours, textures, patterns and product compositions – whether natural or man-made, and appliances have taken an almost artful approach to complement our kitchens. Even accessories such as lighting, stools and hardware have upped their ante to become statement makers in today’s kitchen.

Classic white kitchens will always remain, but right now it’s all about colour! Whether it’s a deep rich green or charcoal grey for our cabinetry, or perhaps richly antiqued brass lighting, the new popularity of injecting colour into our kitchens is creating a character and style all its own. Warm metals can be found everywhere, from custom range hoods making dramatic statements to our kitchen faucets, now being designed as “showpieces.” Faucets have matured beyond simple chrome or satin nickel to a modern vibe of matte black, the warmth of aged golds and the new revival of blackened pewters. One of the hottest new trends in faucets is the two-tone blending of black and metals – and companies such as Blanco have a great selection. Also, and a favourite of mine, are their Silgranit composite sinks that come in a variety of colours and styles. Not only durable, heat and stain resistant, these sinks are also a step up in style, finish and colour from their stainless counterparts.

Black remains a powerful force in kitchen design, and it is moving past the accessories to become a strong colour for cabinetry as well as appliances. Black has the ability to add an element of drama and yet simplicity, modernism and yet a traditionally classic feel to any room – and the kitchen is no exception. Whether your comfort level allows for matte black appliances, or simply a touch of it with your faucet, sink or lighting, matte black undeniably will elevate your kitchen from lifeless neutrals to bold and impactful.

Regardless of your personal style, one thing is for certain – our finishing touches have become strong influencers in the kitchen. Find your own inspiration and comfort when it comes to colour, metals and textures, and look to inject some life into your kitchen space. These accessories have progressed from being just functional. With the choices available to us today, they have been designed to be statement-makers that not only elevate our kitchens but create stunning focal points in what was once simply a practical room. Kitchens remain the heart of any home, but that does not mean they need to be boring!

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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Velux skylight featured

Win a skylight makeover and in-home design consultation!

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Win a skylight makeover and in-home design consultation!

Velux skylight

Ever dream of adding a beautiful skylight to your home? Or how about having an in-home design consultation with an award-winning designer?

Well, now you can! Enter for your chance to win a $5,800 skylight makeover from VELUX, and an in-home design consultation with award-winning interior designer Linda Mazur!

Click here for details!

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DESIGN: The Kitchens of 2019

The Kitchens of 2019: From vintage vibes to modern drama

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The Kitchens of 2019: From vintage vibes to modern drama

Each year sees the introduction of new colours, finishes and trends. Some are easy to blend into our existing decor and others far more costly or complex. Kitchens are one of my favourite rooms to design, and this year we are seeing kitchens continue on their pared-back journey, giving us a well-loved, well-used aesthetic that is not only comfortable but invites you to stay, relax and entertain.

Wood plays a large part in the kitchens of 2019. Natural wood and white kitchen combinations are making a large impact in kitchen design. The two-tone kitchen looks warm up the plain white-on-white kitchens of late and, paired with open shelving and well-curated accessories, your kitchen will be sure to be a statement maker. As much as white maintains its coarse this year, black is boldly settling in as a stable force in kitchen design. Whether it’s black faucets, hardware, accessories or cabinetry, we just can’t get enough of it. Matte black cabinetry is a current favourite of mine; to say that it is striking seems to be an understatement. As in fashion, black goes with everything! Whether your style is classic, modern, industrial or rustic, adding black to your kitchen will definitely create drama.

Texture is a big influencer in kitchens this year as well. Our fondness for barnboard continues to be apparent as its worn look creates a calm yet welcoming environment that is both versatile and timeless. Iron, steel and other raw metals are also making appearances this year. Their raw finish adds a beautiful patina and accents the pared-down look we are seeing in kitchens. Also popular are countertops which have taken on an industrial vibe resembling concrete, iron and amazing textural finishes as seen here with this countertop by Dekton from Cosentino.

While on the topic of metals, mixing metals is a hot topic not just in kitchens but in design for 2019. When it comes to hardware, lighting or accessories, pewter, copper, black and gunmetal are the new favourites and mix well with the continuing popularity of aged brass. The blending of different metals and finishes adds to the trend towards a vintage vibe in our kitchens. Mixed wood tones, rattans, vintage inspired lighting, hand-made tiles and worn-look accessories all create a beautiful retro inspired aesthetic that exudes comfort.

When it comes to our millwork, 2019 sees us continuing with the movement towards creatively concealed storage, seamlessly integrated vents that artfully charm our kitchens; and lots and lots of open shelving. Removing the upper cabinetry and installing opening shelving lets us display well-appointed collections of worn pottery, aged silver pieces or an array of vintage stemware. This creates a relaxed, edgy yet sophisticated look to our spaces.

Colour has and will be a big show-stopper when it comes to cabinetry. While white is always classic, and matte black cabinetry is the hot new kitchen craze, we also have amazing earthy greens and blues making their appearance, and rich deep greys continue to be a favourite. Accent these fabulous colours with geometric tiles – everything from hexagons to triangles, or a simple square tile in a beautiful hand-made finish.

Whatever inspires you this year in the world of kitchen design you are sure to find that the choices are abundant, the combinations are endless and they all encourage us to create livable spaces that are still luxurious but with a personality that exudes an inviting, “laid-back” charm!

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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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DESIGN: Small Space Living

Embrace your small space living and be realistic about the space you have

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Embrace your small space living and be realistic about the space you have

Small space living is rapidly growing in popularity. Whether it’s the appeal of enjoying the many amenities and charm of urban dwelling in lieu of square footage, or perhaps you are a first-time buyer or a downsizer, whatever your own reasons, many of us happily live in much smaller homes where space is at a premium.

Having a well-appointed home is not about the size of our living spaces but in fact how well our spaces are designed and organized. Many condos and lofts are now being built between 350 to 450 square feet or even smaller. Creating a well-designed, beautiful home in such small surroundings can be have its limitations, but it may not be as challenging as you first believe. Living in these smaller footprints forces us to be organized, creative and efficient with both our space and our belongings.

When living in smaller spaces, it’s important to remember that though you do not necessarily have an abundance of floor space for either furniture or storage, you do however have wall space. Thinking vertically is one key trick to maximize the comforts of small space living. Whether you use the space over your doorways for bookshelves, or you find hidden space for shelving – there is space available for you and ways to access it.

Fortunately, manufacturers have realized that this is quickly becoming the new reality and are designing products that allow for easier access to the once restrictive areas of our homes to reach. We are now able to have our televisions mount and store on the ceiling or, from companies like Panasonic, we can have easy access to those high reaching cabinets with shelving units that fold down to a workable height; just to name a few.

Another key point to consider in small space living is to purchase multi-functional furniture items. A simple coffee table ottoman can also facilitate storage, and in some cases are constructed with a pop-up desk for those days you may be working from home. However, this concept of being multi-functional also applies to items outside of furniture. In your kitchen, for example, companies such as Blanco have taken your simple sink to a whole new level. Their Quatrus Gourmet Series workstation enables you to create added work space – and counterspace – at your sink … a great feature for small kitchens.

When all else fails, another possibility is to outsource your storage. Companies such as Second Closet are available to facilitate off-site storage of even the simplest of things as your change of season wardrobe, thereby eliminating any clutter or congestion in your home.

Small space living can be fabulous. This does not mean that you need to make any concessions on style or comfort, it simply means strategic thought should go into your design. When designing your space identify and implement hidden areas and remember to choose wisely when purchasing items for your home. Embrace your small space living and be realistic about the space you have to ensure that your storage needs are met without compromising on the aesthetics of 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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DESIGN: Breathing Life into Your Windows and Walls

Breathing new life into your windows and walls

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Breathing new life into your windows and walls

by Linda Mazur

Today’s windows and walls seem to have a new lease on life. With fabrics and wall coverings exploding with colours and patterns, it’s easy to garner a bit of “design inspo” and take your windows and walls from a simple blank canvas to an inspiration of creativity and style.

From impactful geometrics to bold vintage floral, beautiful opulent metallic finishes to leathers and cork, the world of fabric and wall coverings has a new direction and a new excitement! The patterns are endless, the colours are beautiful, the textures are rich. What more could we want to inspire us?

Fabrics and wallpapers are not the only mediums to have a new and bold look. Tile, wood, concrete and wall panelling also have a new direction that sparks our interest.

Tile, for example, has gone the direction of fabric and wallpaper with a new look and texture; there are bold colours and patterns and fantastic 3-D effects that simple no longer belong just in the bathrooms or on small backsplashes. They can be incorporated into creative wall finishes in every space from a living room fireplace wall, to an entry way, to an impactful wall in your dining room. If you’re looking to the more traditional uses of tile, such as your kitchen backsplash, then why not select a statement tile and use it on the entire wall, eliminating your upper cabinets and replacing them with open shelving? Or perhaps use a great patterned tile to create a feature wall in a tiny powder room; it will make more of a statement on your wall than on the tiny floor space.

Both fabrics and wall finishes can make a huge impact in any space. A few rolls of wallpaper can transform and define a space in dramatic and luxurious ways. far beyond that of just paint. Whether your room is large or small, creating attention to your walls can instantly set a style, make a bold statement or add character and personality to an otherwise basic design. They can change a vastly spacious room by making it feel more intimate and cozy, just the same way a bold and busy pattern can transform a small room in your home to a charming and dynamic space.

Wall coverings can address a blank wall in your home. However, many condo-dwellers today have a greater amount of windows than walls – the view and light is fantastic but it can also be challenging. With the volume of windows some of my clients have in their condos, window treatments can become a costly venture. When looking to add some type of window coverings to your home why not consider a combination of blinds and sheers? Motorized blinds are an easy option for condo-dwellers, providing privacy and sun control. However, blinds alone can sometimes seem unfinished in a room — with the addition of sheers this can become an attractive option. Much like wallpaper, sheers fabrics have come a long way in recent years! These are not the sheers you may remember from your childhood. Instead, the sheer fabric options available today are exciting, colourful, incredibly patterned and textured; just the perfect thing to frame out your vista.

Inspiring windows and walls will be on-trend moving forward, so take advantage of the bold patterns, great colours and fantastic product options available and add some character and personality to 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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DESIGN: All Fired Up!

DESIGN: All Fired Up!

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DESIGN: All Fired Up!

by Linda Mazur

We all are aware that fireplaces are a great design feature in any space. They visually enhance the aesthetic of a room and create a warm and cozy environment in the colder months. If you reside in a house, adding a fireplace to your home can be a relatively simple process; however, condo-dwellers may encounter a few challenges from space to accessibility, ventilation to finding an electric fireplace that “looks like a real fire.”

Many condos and lofts are outfitted with gas, or even wood-burning fireplaces, but if this is not the case for your particular condo all is not lost, as there are many different possibilities that would still give you the beautiful ambiance a fireplace can create while facilitating any structural or venting limitations you are facing.

Electric fireplaces have come a long way in appearance and functionality since they first entered the market. Today, electric fireplaces can boast designs that use revolutionary ultrasonic technology to create a lifelike flame and smoke effect simulating a real wood-burning fire, as well as designs that create a three-dimensional flame. You can also have an “open flame” electric fireplace, which is a great design should you want to incorporate a more traditional looking mantel and add a lovely fireplace screen to enhance the look. And recently, we have seen the introduction of a two-sided electric fireplace — a fantastic element to add and enjoy in two different rooms. Dimplex is one of my favourite go-to suppliers when I am designing a space that requires an electric fireplace. They have created unparalleled flame technology that is designed to suit any style, decor or application.

Another energy-efficient and “eco-smart” option would be ethanol burners. Ethanol burners do not require a chimney or a flue; there are no restrictive gas connections, which means they can be installed just about anywhere, providing you with endless design possibilities for your home.

Choosing the right design and function for your fireplace is key to maximizing the usage and enjoyment of your investment. As space can sometimes be limited, the addition of a fireplace to your condo should be well-planned. If properly designed, you may find that the fireplace feature can often become a multi-functional element, possibly serving as storage space as well as beautifying your home. With many of the options available today, you may find that incorporating your fireplace into a media console, or a built-in wall unit can facilitate the extra storage space you may need.

Today’s fireplace options and functionalities can vary greatly. Whether you prefer the traditional, formal mantel, or a more contemporary design approach is more your style, whether you need to incorporate added storage, or simply have enough space for a small table top unit – the atmosphere a fireplace can create in your home should not be lost. With the season changing, and the colder days soon approaching, why not consider adding a fireplace to your space and create for yourself that relaxed, inviting place to come home to?

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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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DESIGN: Staying Neutral

DESIGN: Staying Neutral

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DESIGN: Staying Neutral

by Linda Mazur

There is often a misconception that decorating in neutrals can be boring. A neutral palette can be far more dynamic than you may believe while creating a calm yet chic space that allows you to introduce drama and personality by way of furniture, lighting, artwork, accessories or design elements such as texture or architecture.

Photo courtesy AlendelFabrics.com
Photo courtesy AlendelFabrics.com

When working with neutrals one important design element to remember is texture. Texture is a wonderful addition to any space, and a great little design secret. Texture has the ability to add both powerful and simultaneously subtle dimension to a room. Staying in the calmer neutral tones can create a canvass for many great textures such as lush velvets, rough-hewn woods, beautiful natural marbles or richly antiqued metals to name a few. Sometimes, the use of bold colours for your walls can overpower or minimize the textural elements of your space, as opposed to highlighting them. There are a multitude of options available to create your own personality when decorating with neutrals. Reclaimed barnboard and cement accents may be desired by some of us, while others have an affinity for the plushness of a lovely velvet fabric and the elegance of beautiful silks for drapery.

One benefits to working with neutrals is the sense of timelessness that it creates. These subtle tones can enable you to easily highlight new trending colours, accessories and even finishes. The introduction of some boldly coloured toss cushions, great accessories, well-curated furnishings or fun patterns could be just the touch needed to elevate your neutral space to place of distinction.

TIPS:

  • Texture is of the utmost importance when keeping it neutral as it adds interest to your space
  • There are a multitude of shades and hues to work with in the realm of neutrals, don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit
  • Add pops of colour to your neutral spaces
  • Incorporate a wide selection of fabric types and patterns when working with neutrals
  • A touch of black can go a long way when working with neutrals

As a designer I do like to work in neutrals when designing for my clients. I enjoy creating spaces that appear effortless and timeless, offering the flexibility to easily alter the look of their spaces depending on the season, mood or current design trends. A neutral colour scheme can be an investment in your home. Think of it as a stepping stone to an abundant amount of design possibilities when blended with textures, patterns, accent colour, architectural detailing. Whether designing a main living space, bathroom or kitchen staying in a neutral colour palette opens up a world of options that are far from the mundane.

Neutrals create a calmness to our home. A warm and inviting space in which to relax, entertain and live. This classic and lasting approach to design can be far more dramatic than you may have originally thought. When planning your next project consider the charm of the neutrals. You may be surprised by the chic results!

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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Trend Showcase: Texture Injects Interest Into Furniture And Decor This Year

Trend Showcase: Texture Injects Interest Into Furniture And Decor This Year

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Trend Showcase: Texture Injects Interest Into Furniture And Decor This Year

by Linda Mazur
Photos courtesy of Larry Arnal of Arnal Photography

Here’s what we found at the Furniture Show.

This year’s Trend Showcase at the Canadian Furniture Show, May 25th to 27th, 2018 boasted a multitude of trends that we will see sweeping the retail industry in 2018 and beyond.

The industry is making a serious shift back to simplicity and organic design, and that was evident in many of the pieces on display this past weekend. Smooth curves and rounded edges are prominent in furniture and decor, giving sofas, tables, chairs, and consoles a relaxed element; we’ve said goodbye to harsh modern angles and are welcoming an influx of softer pieces. Scandinavian design continues to be hot in 2018, as well as bold influences from the 70s.

The mixture of blonde wood with stylish and functional furniture will make a striking feature in the homes of many this year. Pops of black and white, and mixed metals finishes are also on the rise; we saw eye catching accessories, and decor pieces such as toss cushions and light fixtures created dramatic looks on the show floor.

A common theme amongst all of these incoming design trends is that of texture; whether it’s a plush velvet, a lovely wood grain, or a rough and industrial concrete finish, visual and tactile texture is injecting interest into furniture and decor this year. Lastly, technology continues to play a large part in trend-setting design.

Automation and ease of use is driving the furniture industry toward pieces that are not only on trend but are functional for the user. Whether you’re renovating your home or just looking for a fresh spring update, this year’s Trend Showcase was the perfect queue for what’s to come for retail in 2018 and 2019.

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

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup


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Lighting up our summer!

Lighting up our summer!

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Lighting up our summer!

by Linda Mazur

Proper illumination is vital for obvious reasons.

The warm weather has finally arrived and many of us will be working on outdoor living spaces for our clients. Creating a beautiful, well-curated backyard oasis, with lush gardens can be an exciting project. However, an outdoor space cannot be truly complete without proper lighting. It not only adds value to the home, it can bring great enjoyment and value to life.

Proper illumination is vital for obvious reasons such as safety and ease of mobility. Whether it’s an entryway, pathway lighting, recessed deck lighting, a security light or beautiful sconces outside doorways, we require basic lighting to assist us in the dark. However, good outdoor lighting also carries an aesthetic value.

When planned properly, exterior entryway lights can highlight architecture features, whether at the front or rear of the home. As we know, there are multitudes of styles and lighting options available from modern to traditional to period pieces — wall sconces to pendant lighting. Decide what may be the most complementary to enhance the exterior of your home. Recessed soffit lights may be another option to consider and are a great way to “wall-wash” the house, casting a warm glow and highlighting the architectural details.

Photo Courtesy DOT Furniture
Photo Courtesy DOT Furniture

Deck lighting and pathway lighting not only improves the aesthetics of your outdoor space, it obviously also enables us to move freely and safely in the dark. When creating pathway lighting remember to keep your lights well balanced and staggered to avoid the “landing strip” effect that we so often see. When lighting a staircase, I’m often asked by clients how many lights are enough? For a relatively narrow staircase, a single step light centred in each riser may be sufficient, for wider steps you may feel that you require a series of lights along each riser, or perhaps they can be positioned in the stringers.

Photo Courtesy Pier1.ca
Photo Courtesy Pier1.ca

Accent lighting is also important when planning an outdoor project. Consider adding lighting to garden beds, up lighting trees, architectural features like pergolas, arbours or gazebos, or perhaps a wall or water feature. And, let’s not forget that fire is a great feature for the outdoors. Whether it’s an actual formal fireplace or simply one of the various other options such as columns, bowls, pits, lanterns or tables, the addition of fire to your space is a wonderful feature to cozy up and enjoy the summer evening outdoors.

Photo Courtesy HomeSense.ca
Photo Courtesy HomeSense.ca

When planning and designing your outdoor living spaces, keep in mind that the drive to Smart Home automation is not lost outdoors. Consider Control4 for your lighting, sound, water features, security and more, to enhance your space with ease, as well as maintain usage control.

Our time outdoors in the summer is so short-lived; however, with the addition of proper lighting you can extend and enhance your stay to really soak in the relaxation and pleasures that the summer months have to offer.

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

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup


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