Author

Lana Hawkins

Bio: Lana is a student of Architecture and a food lover from Sydney, Australia. She loves writing about interiors, but her specialty is landscape design. She enjoys playing in kitchen and cooking for her friends and family, spending time in nature and learning about other cultures by travelling.

Lighting is one of the most important elements to consider when planning the design of your kitchen. Not only does it add a touch of magic and personality to the space, but it can complement and even transform the overall feel and energy of your kitchen. Options range from fluorescent lights to modern-day LED ceiling lights and chandeliers. All which you can use in different parts of the kitchen to create visual appeal and increased efficiency.

Hanging Lights

These conversation starters are ideal for an open plan kitchen, especially if you have high ceilings. They attract attention and add a dramatic feel to the whole space. You can even have them colored to suit your décor palette, or keep them simple if you’re going for a clean aesthetic.

There are plenty of options to choose from here, with the most popular being glamorous chandeliers and colorful pendants. Whichever style you go for, just make sure to match the size of the light fitting to the scale of your kitchen so that it looks aligned and attractive.

Task-specific Lights

As I mentioned earlier, you can mix and match lighting options in your kitchen for efficiency and aesthetic appeal. However, the most important thing about task lighting is that it’s meant to make life easier for you in the kitchen. That’s why you’ll find task lights in places like above the hob area, over the sink, below cabinets and over the central island.

These are the areas where you’ll be preparing your food, mixing things, washing up or just eating and hanging out with loved ones. You can even add lights inside your pantry as well, as this will make it easier to find things when cooking at night. Sensor lights work great for the pantry, while fluorescent tube fittings and strip lights are stunning options for the other task areas mentioned.

Accent Lights

Accent lights can be a sensational addition to an entertainer’s kitchen. They’re typically utilised to highlight or bring attention to beautiful objects like artwork and sculptures, but you can also use them to emphasize other areas like the stairs leading to your pantry or wine cellar (if you have one).

Accent lights come in different styles, including wall scones, wired lighting and directional eyeball fittings. All of these create a 3D effect on the object, transforming your kitchen into a completely different space during the evenings.

Ambient Lighting

If you want your kitchen to feel light and cheerful throughout the day and night, then ambient lighting is the way to go. Ambient lighting carries the tone of natural light which comes into your kitchen, often incorporating ethereal looking LED strip lights or cheeky puck fitting under the cabinets, to create a buoyant atmosphere.

Using semi-flush and recessed light fixtures is ideal for achieving ambient lighting in large areas, while LED tape lighting provides non-invasive light to smaller areas like under the sink and cabinets. My personal favourite is to just let nature do her thing, by incorporating natural light from the sun through glass doors and skylights.

Decorative Lights

Decorative lights in my opinion, are great for accentuating particular details that you’re most proud of in your kitchen. Like that marble countertop on the island, or special fixtures on the cabinets. Either way, decorative lights can add some serious whimsical effects to a kitchen when done right. Your options here include striking chandeliers, a mixture of differently shaped and colored pendant lights, as well as flush mounts or beautifully designed lamps.

Layered Lighting

With layered lighting, you can use a combination of ambient, accent and task lighting solutions to create an effortlessly comfortable space. Having a combination of lighting solutions is the way to go if you want to get the most out of your kitchen, and the idea here is to ensure that the fixtures you choose actually complement one another.

Era Specific

You can easily incorporate a light fixture from the roaring 20s to a contemporary kitchen, not only to create an interesting contrast, but also to pay homage to that particular era. This detail also brings an eclectic feel to the kitchen, while the fixture itself can easily become a conversation starter in a space with otherwise clean lines.

Conclusion

As you can see, the devil is in the details when it comes to kitchen lighting. There are plenty of options to choose from to help transform an ordinary kitchen into ‘the heart of the home’, where everyone feels welcome and comfortable.

Our homes are our refuges. They’re providers of respite from external stress and chaos. Home is where we retreat after a long day, to sit back and watch our favorite series or cook a healthy dinner. In an age when we’re constantly plugged in, it’s crucial to have a physical space in which to breathe and mentally unwind.

Attaining peace of mind is difficult, though, when our would-be havens are actually anything but. This is also an era of accumulation, after all, where impulse buys are available at the tap of a button.

As a result, clutter has an unfortunate tendency to conquer our homes and transform our surroundings. Dwellings morph from sources of relief to causes of anxiety. It’s difficult to cook a nourishing meal when the fridge is crammed with wilting veggies. And you can’t exactly recline on the sofa when it’s covered with last week’s laundry.

Sounds familiar?

Maybe it’s a fear of letting go that’s preventing you from donating unworn items in your closet. Or perhaps you’ve accrued a morning blindness to a collection of chipped mugs in the cabinet. Either way, piles of stuff can quickly convert to clutter, preventing you from attaining total tranquility.
Not convinced that stack of tissues is standing between you and mental clarity?

Have a look at this intriguing infographic from full-service storage company MakeSpace (here’s their website). It details the hazards of over-accumulation, which range from safety threats to relationship stressors.

For all of you remote employees and freelancers out there, finding a nice working space can be harder than finding a job. Sure, you can work from home, but you will need a hell of a discipline for it. After all, who can resist the magic of TV, sofa and popcorn?

Your next option is a coffee shop. Yes, it sounds cute and classy, really gives that Carrie Bradshaw vibe, but you will spend a lot of money on drinks (one latte is approximately $6 or more), your seating is limited, it is noisy, and of course, Wi-Fi is just awful.

You now realize that the best option is definitely a co-working space. For the amount of money you would spend on that fancy latte, you can enjoy the comfort of an office every day like you are a regular employee. You will have people to talk to, you will get a daily routine and just when you think it can’t get better, you will realize that you don’t work in the same place as your boss.

With all this being said, here is a list of the coolest modern co-working places you should definitely check out.

Image source: travellingforbusiness.com

Bat Haus, New York

If you are a New Yorker who loves that laid-back atmosphere and a cool environment, Bat Haus is a perfect place for you. What makes this place beautiful is the fact that it doesn’t look like an office at all. It is a 2000 square foot open quirky space with various unusual ceiling decorations and a huge backyard. Some people even had their wedding here. They offer you a Monday through Friday access to the office, and the best part is that you will never be able to work overnight. Why? Well, at about 7 pm, a party starts (wink) – literally. For example, there’s a weekly theme party called Drink n’ Draw.

Image source: wework.com

WeWork, San Francisco

Oh my, where should I start? Should I start with happy hours? Parties? Friday brunches? Maybe cupcakes? Wait, I know, I’ll start with its simple and straightforward structure and pleasant minimalistic interior. There are huge portal windows that let sunlight in, and we all know that sunlight can increase our energy. The prices are more than affordable, and not just that – they also organize summer camps (with rock climbing and everything, just like the ones you went to while you were in primary school!).

Image source: amazonaws.com

Paramount, Sydney

It is probably the most beautiful co-working space in the entire Australia, for sure. It was once the home of the Paramount Studios and now, it keeps everything in place with its 22 private suites for up to 5 people. You can also find boardrooms for up to 8 people, meeting rooms for up to 5 people, a centralized kitchen area with a brass bar etc. The interior is classy and luxurious and fulfills all the requirements of an office space.

Image source: wsj.net

NeueHouse, New York

This is the place where a social club meets co-working space. It is a modernly designed place which is suitable for every taste. Why? Well, first of all, it is really spacious. Second, it is packed with books and the interior is really pleasant because of the countless shades of warm brown, which give you a homey feeling.

Image source: wecandoitnow.com

Aeona, Sydney

It is located at the top level of a beautiful part of Devonshire Street. Although the interior design isn’t as glamorous and flashy as other ones on the list, this place has something that other places don’t have – a rooftop terrace which gives you the best Sydney skyline view you will ever see. However, you could make the interior a little bit better by getting yourself a sturdy desk, like one of these fantastic office desks. It is perfect for corporate parties, barbecues, weekly gatherings and happy hours. Not to mention that it is a perfect place for at-work relaxation and thinking. Aeona also provides you with showers, boardrooms and private offices.

Knowing that 40 percent of US workforce consists of freelance workers, the need for co-working spaces has become much bigger over the last few years. If you want to know more about these workplaces, have in mind that many of them offer tours and free trials where you’ll be able to experience that environment first hand.

Drawing and painting can be quite an intense activities that normally begin with enthusiasm. They are supposed to be a great escape from boredom,a relaxing several hours you take only for yourself and a great thing to do when you need to take a break from everyday life. However, as one gets deeper in the craft, things may become more demanding, so challenging in fact that people forget to have fun while doing it. In everything we do, it is important to work with an open mind and enjoy it in order to get maximum results. With more experience we get better and we progress faster, starting to enjoy more the process of creating.

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Play with Colours and Techniques

One of the things you can do in order to make drawing or painting more fun, is to play with new supplies, new painting surfaces and new ideas. Start by using only basic colours and slowly learn how to mix up tones and create transitions. Don’t be afraid to try out different types of paint, painting techniques and accessories. Experiment by combining classical painting techniques with a brush with some other objects in order to create unusual textures. Combine acrylics, water colours, chalk or even a spray paint with newspaper, yarn or glitter if sparkle is what you prefer.Use stencils to create a unique art which you can display in your home afterwords.

The other thing you could do is play with pastels and try out new things like having a limited colour palette. Challenge yourself and make the experience of creating a whole lot interesting. You could also just open your box of pastels and try using as many colors as possible. At times, the painting will come out fantastic but other times it won’t. However it is, as long as you are excited to try out new things and enjoy the experience of creating, chances are that you’ll be successful at it.

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Create in a Good Atmosphere

Filling the studio or the room where you draw and paint with music can emphasize the whole creative experience. A colorful setting, a lot of natural light and a cozy atmosphere will put you in a happy mood. One thing is sure: it is when you are having the most fun that you create some of the best works of art!

If in the middle of painting or drawing you get tired, demotivated or feel lack of inspiration, there is nothing to worry about. Permit yourself to have fun and play with paint or even the subject matter. You can put green or blue in the faces of the portraits you are creating, which might transcend into something surreal, infinitely creative and interesting. In case the subject matter becomes predictable, try selecting one section of the piece and have fun with new textures and materials. Don’t over think the process, just be spontaneous and you will find new creative possibilities emerging.

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The same goes for drawing where you could use colouring pencils and experiment with new things. Try drawing abstracts as they can be very exciting, as well. Be sure to use quality colouring pencils that are smooth and pigmented and that will make the whole drawing process easier and more enjoyable.

Push yourself into the dimension of infinite creativity and allow yourself to get lost in it. Through combination of colours, textures and patterns, the thrill will follow.

Like everything else in 2017, it is expected that kitchen design trends are about to undergo a proper revolution when it comes to design. While in the past, glamour and aestheticism were all the rage, in the following year the focus is going to be on simplicity and practicality. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a few kitchen trends that are bound to make the biggest splash in 2017.

Modern Kitchen Decor

Niche Appliances

As we already mentioned, one of the greatest focus shifts is going to concern practicality. One of the ways to achieve this is by placing your kitchen appliances in niches. In this way, they will still be easy to access while leaving your kitchen with more free space. This means that you will have enough room to add a dining table in the kitchen and make a crossover between the kitchen and the dining area. It simply doesn’t get any more practical than that.

Equipment is What Matters

Unlike living room or the hallway, kitchen has one practical function that overshadows all else. It is a place where you prepare food for you and your family. Therefore, anything that adds to its functionality is a welcome addition. This means that you should be more concerned with the specific characteristics of each appliance than its appearance. It also means that you should heavily invest in multi-purpose devices like toaster ovens. In order to find out which fits your needs the best, you might want to check out some blender reviews, toaster oven reviews as well as microwave reviews prior to making a purchase.
Grey Kitchen Elements

Shades of Kitchen Gray

For as long as anyone can remember, white was the favorite color of kitchen decorators all over the world. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that most kitchen appliances come in white by default. Frankly speaking, white does look impressive while everything is clean, but in the kitchen things get messy in no time. This is why, it might be a better idea to go with grey instead. In this way, you make your kitchen much easier to maintain without sacrificing its elegance. One of the rare win-win scenarios there are. Grey kitchen ideas are quite numerous, which means that you can find plenty of inspiration online.
Modern Kitchen

Maximizing Storage

Finally, you may want to maximize your kitchen storage capacities and therefore clear up the countertops. Believe it or not, no matter how much clear space you have in your home, the neatness of your countertop is something that makes the strongest impression on anyone who steps into your kitchen. There are several ways to solve this and one of them is going with multi-tiered drawers. If these drawers seem too big, you may want to add few drawer dividers to the mix and adjust them to your needs.

Conclusion

As you can see, while none of these ideas are 100 percent new, they all represent an important step towards increased functionality of your kitchen. In other words, when decorating your kitchen, all you need to do is ask in what way is this innovation going to improve my kitchen-experience or make my job in the kitchen easier. It really is that simple.

When it comes to interior and exterior design everything has a role in making it successful, from large surfaces such as walls and floors to the tinniest pieces like knobs and light switches. On the other hand, as the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. The first thing everyone will  notice when entering your home is the front door and anything you did in making your house not-so-basic will be in vain if the entrance is not representative, as well. These are the front door paint trends that guarantee you the ‘wow’ every time.

Stone gray and a contemporary surrounding

When it comes to contemporary exterior and design in general, the choice of color plays an equally important role as it does with traditional environment. Still, from a somewhat different angle. Since contemporary design tends to be somewhat harsh, a proper choice of color will soften the intensity without taking anything away from the aesthetics. Stone gray with its untimely elegance will do the  job. Adding matte black hardware will further harmonize everything and reinforce the overall effect.
Stone gray door

Eclectic design solution

Mixture of various styles that the eclectic design successfully embodies is often the choice for people who want to own a not-so-basic house. Sporting all of the various design influences without taking away any of them or emphasizing a single one at the expense of the others can be rather tricky. The safest bet when it comes to front door paint would be to opt of a soft yellow paint. Its low-key finish will be perfectly neutral and at the same time contribute with a freshening and welcoming effect.
soft Yellow door

Red brick emphasis

Making a difference when it comes to homeowners fond of red brick facades or living in a row of ones surely is challenging. The usual mistake that is made is trying to do something bold with the front door design and color which ends up in a complete mishmash in the majority of cases. Taking just the opposite direction promises more success. A calming shade of charcoal gray is the perfect color to impart the traditional red brick exterior making it stand from other houses in a row, without ruining the neighborhood compactness.
charcoal gray door

Ivy exterior

If you happen to own a house that is fully covered in ivy, choosing a suitable front door color is another specific task. Narrow your choice to contrasting color palette. Even though ivy changes its color throughout the year, for the majority of time it has one of the shades of green. Having this in mind, the best choice would be either full white or black. The proper choice depends on the rest of your exterior design and the message you wish to send. White is more inviting and warm, while black radiates elegance and distance. Reinforce idea with the hardware in the same color.
Black froont door

Rustic looks

Sometimes the best paint is no paint at all. If you own a traditional design house that has a wooden front door, rustic looks will feel perfectly at home. Peel the paint off the wood all the way down to its natural paint. Then apply a protective layer of transparent wood lacquer. It will protect the door and at the same emphasize the natural grain and bring out the patina, adding a touch of class to the entire house.

Rustic wooden door

The proper choice of the front door paint will have a strong positive impact on the overall outlook of the house and make your not-so-basic house even more extraordinary. Still, the style dictates the choice of color and it is strongly advisable to follow the standards. Being too bold will only take away from the house instead of contributing to it.

A star on the rise in the world of interior design, Caleb Anderson, started expressing his affinity towards all things beautiful and mysterious even as a young Texan boy. Flowers were the first thing his artistic child’s hands obsessed about. Also, some of the first signs that his career in adult life is going to be something special and unique arose from his early devotion to spend his allowance on shelter magazines and accessories for his room, instead on toys and gadgets that most other boys spent their money on. It seems that Caleb was blessed with clear understanding of what he was meant to do in this life as soon as he was able to talk.

Caleb Anderson in his masculine vignette

Image credits: Loony

First steps to success

As he grew up, he became a student of interior design at Texas State and a refined young man whose soft and gentle appearance left a lot to be imagined compared to his wild and extraordinary designs. Not a lot of time has passed until his talent was spotted by the designer Jamie Drake. Caleb got the internship with Drake in New York which eventually turned into a full-time job and great cooperation. At the end of 2015, they announced the opening of their new firm, called Drake + Anderson.

Anderson and Drake join forces

Image credits: Architectural Digest (left – Anderson, right – Drake)

Anderson’s peculiar style

One might have trouble putting into words the expression and style Caleb provides in his designs. Sophistication and elegance are a clear part of his work but that is not nearly the end of description. Anderson loves to add a mix of antique in the modern elements of today’s world. Even though he enjoys vivid colors he tends to combine different textures instead of patterns. Also, his incredible eye for detail allows him to incorporate pieces of furniture that would look completely misplaced at the first glance. But he uses this as an interesting twist and a dose of originality that perfectly melts in with all other pieces. Together with Drake, he is set on adding some more avant-garde details to the future work while keeping the unbreakable flow and harmony of the entire room.

PicMonkey Collage

Image credits: Franklin Report, Caleb Anderson’s Portfolio

Ability to listen and create

Anderson’s great success is definitely not some kind of fluke since he has years of experience both as a designer and architect to show off his skills perfectly and catch the essence of people’s hearts thus providing them with exactly what they want even when they themselves are not quite sure what that is. This is one of the most valuable characteristics when it comes to hiring people for this kind of job. For example, he managed to persuade conservative clients to add sculptural Oggetti coffee table in the living room of their beach house and even though they were unsure at first, now they love this piece the most.

One can expect a lot from this inspiring young man, especially with joint work and guidance of Jamie Drake. Together, they are bound to make some beautiful and unique interiors in their perfectly uniformed matchless style.

Given the market price on homes a lot of first time buyers look for fixer uppers to save on the purchase price or do up and flip. No matter what your reason for doing up your home, this is a great way to take stock and see what improvements you can do to make your home more energy efficient.

Follow the list

  • Ensuring the shell of your home is prepared for whatever the season will throw at you would be the first step. Check and see if your walls and roof are insulated, this is the first step to trapping in that warm or cool air.
  • Next check your windows and doors, if you can feel air coming through the gap your warm/cool air is leaking out. Air leakage can account for up to 10% of your heating and cooling bills. You don’t always have to replace the windows and doors in your home, simply sealing up these gaps and cracks will prevent the air escaping. It can be as simple as getting the right sealant from your local DIY store and applying it yourself. Ensure you do your research and use the correct sealant for the material you are working with. If your applying it outside ensure that the sealant you are using is water proof.
  • Once your walls and windows are taken care of look through your home and ensure any loft hatches or fireplaces are correctly sealed up. Fire places are great in winter but can end up costing you during the warmer moths when all the cool air is being sucked out.
  • If you don’t have them already, install celling fans and ensure they have a reverse function so you can use them to circulate cool air in summer and push warm air down in winter. While you’re on the renovating journey get all or your appliances serviced annually to ensure they are working efficiently.
  • Any appliances you find haven’t aged well should be replaced for a more energy efficient model. Save Energy, Save Money (SESM) allows you to not only compare prices on thousands of electrical appliances, you can also compare the energy consumption at the same time. If you’re in doubt you can use the SESM website to compare the annual running cost of your old appliance and the new appliance you wish to buy.

Seek help from experts

If you’re luck enough to be building your own home you should consult a sustainable builder who can talk you through your options for passive cooling and other great design attributes you can incorporate into your new build.

Good Luck renovating and reducing those energy bills!

Julie Moore director of Save Energy Save Money

During summer we spend most of our days outside, hanging out with people or just chilling by ourselves. This is also the time of summer parties and any way you look at it, patio is the perfect place for such events. To make the experience even more comfortable and enjoyable, we can upgrade our patio in many simple ways. When thinking about what you could do to improve the look of your patio, you should choose something that will look nice, be functional and safe, and preferably affordable and low-maintenance. Here are a few of our favourite ideas.

Plants

Although this one is rather obvious, getting plants for your patio should always be your number one task. If you don’t have space to make patio planter pockets, then the easiest way to bring plants in is in container gardens. These can range from small plants to real young trees, like lemon or orange tree, growing in a big flower pot. The best thing about them is that you can keep them indoors all year round and simply take them out to the patio when the weather is warm enough.
Patio plants

Floor cushions

Since you will spend a lot of time on your deck, you want it to be comfy and accommodate many people. In addition to getting soft cushions for your outdoors furniture, you can go a step further and get some floor cushions or even big floor cushion couches, in the Oriental style. Kids will love it and it is a perfect way to relax and chill out outside. Alternatively, you can get a thick rug and put some standard cushions on it, or get a few lazy bags.
Cusions

Hammocks

There probably isn’t a single person who dislikes hammocks. There is just something so inviting and special about them. You don’t need to go to a tropical beach in Thailand to enjoy all the pleasures of a hammock, you can set them up on your patio. There are many versions to choose from – from standard hammock, chair hammock for one person, to hanging chairs. There are even hanging tents if you plan on sleeping outside.
Hammock

Wreaths

Decorative wreaths are a great way to improve the esthetics of your deck. You can make them out of many different kinds of materials, but those made from flowers and branches will look most natural and fit into the outdoors setting perfectly. Luckily, flowers are abundant in summer, so you can use roses or flowers from shrubs like Dogwood, Hydrangeas, Lilacs, Ninebarks and Spireas. DIY wreaths can also be made from old clothes and rags woven into a nice decorative circle, from burlap, old bandanas and cardboard. They can be colored, wrapped in yarn and decorated with small toys and things like cocktail umbrellas.
Wreath

Stones

Arranging stones in decorative patterns on the ground can really create a beautiful setting. You can make various combinations and floor paintings with stones in different colours and sizes. If you don’t mind putting in some extra effort, you can come up with mosaic pathways that will simply look magical.

Stones

All of these simple ideas will transform your patio deck into the coolest place to be this summer, and all you need to add is some music and soft lighting and you are all set for your summer party season. Use it well!

Candles can be used as a sensitive home décor items, and they acquire some care and maintenance if you want them to last longer. But, generally, we don’t bother much about candle decor.  Instead, we usually neglect them, and replace them when it’s needed. This should not be the way to treat your candles. They can help you bring a Zen bliss into your home, so you need to consider them as an important part of home decoration. Here are given few tips worth following if you want to add some life to your decorative candles.

Wick Trimming

At some point debris will collect at the top of the wick. This will cause poor and flickering flame, and in some cases even a bad smell.  To prevent this, trim the top of the wick up to 6 millimeters. That will give you a nice and odour free flame.
Candles in Your Home

Avoid Draught

Scientifically, candle flames appear because of the presence of air. If there is not enough air, the flame will either become uneven or it will convert into smoke.  To avoid such problems, consider to find a location with a proper air flow or ventilation. Candles, when lit correctly, will provide lovely ambiance for your home. Also, avoid placing them in the corners because the air flow there is often inappropriate for burning of the wick.

A candle melting

Consider Temperature & Light

You all know the fact that wax (from which candle was made of) is sensitive to temperature and heat of light. With the increase of temperature or increase of light, the candle starts to melt, causing a bad structure. So, try to keep your candles in a slightly cold and calm place. Select a spot where you think the temperature is low enough so it will not affect the candles. Storing your candles at such places will not only protect them from melting, but will also save the color and fragrance of your candles for a long time.

Candle decor

Use Tapers

A whiff of fresh air diverts the flame and makes it appear wobbly and unstable. To make your candlelight in a vertical position only, use candle tapers. The tappers not only prevent the flames from getting moved by air, but will also help to protect the surrounding from catching on fire. You can buy dusk candle cradles or similar candle holders to support the tappers without compromising the overall beauty and charm.
Decorative candles

Use Candle Snuffer

Most often, candles are placed higher from the ground, so they can provide better lightning. When this is the case it’s not so easy to light them or to put them out. This is where you can use candle snuffer to ease this task, to reach those high places and it’s even good to use them to avoid smoke or wax splatter. Different types of decorative snuffers are available online, so you can check out the offer before you decide what to buy for your re-birthed home.
Candle decor

So, it’s time to go out and search for the candle that will suit your home style. Maybe you like your decor to be inspired by shabby chic trends.  Mix and match and always keep in mind all of the given advice about candle decor.

Enjoy Lightning Your Home!