Interior Lighting and Its Effect on Your Colour Scheme

Every interior designer knows that a carefully conceived and chosen colour scheme can be ruined, either by a single or cluster of glaring interior lights, and if your entire room is lit only with dim lights, there will be a depressing mood in the room, asides the fact that there will be insufficient lighting in different zones of the room’s interior.

When a room is lit effectively, you will observe that colour tones change with different lighting illuminates. This is why any interior space will have a completely different colour palette and ambience when viewed under different types of lighting like daylight, incandescent lights, warm (or cool) fluorescent light fixtures, and halogen lights.

Effects of Daylight on Colour Scheme

A good design job demands you consider the effects of natural light on colours, textures, and patterns. For instance, bright sunlight conveys a wonderful feel on both warm and cold colours. Its effect on lighter colours and pastels is radiant and bright, and on darker colours, bright light makes them look crisp and ‘illuminated’.

Effects of Incandescent Interior Lights

Rich, bold and intense colour schemes that look pleasing during the daytime are usually dulled by incandescent lights at night. And though incandescent lights emphasise colours like yellow and red, which means they accentuate red, orange, and tan, they, however, produce a dulling effect on blue, burgundy, and violet tones.

Fluorescent Light and Its Effect on Colours

There are two types of fluorescent lighting, warm and cool. Both types are popularly used by interior designers in their lighting designs. Fluorescent lights have a different spectral energy distribution of light which makes them emphasise blue and green colours while blunting reds and orange tones.

Halogen Light Effects on Interior Design Colour Scheme

They are white lights which bear a resemblance to natural light. Halogen lights make all chosen colours appear more vibrant and have a way of making the transition from daylight to artificial light a bit less ‘jarring’ like it does with incandescent lights especially.

On a final note, because of the different way differing lights affect colour schemes, it may be wise for an interior designer to select colour samples in the rooms or spaces in which they are to be used, under both day and night light.

And if for any reason this is not possible, the next best thing is to choose colours under an identical lighting source using approximately the same illumination level . . . bright, mood enhancing, or dim.

Lighting and Interior Design

As a professional interior designer you’ll most likely know how important lighting design is to your project and how lights can be used in highly effective ways to enhance any type of interior space.

Though some major projects may require the serviced of a professional lighting designer, smaller residential interior design projects can always be implemented without the services or input of a lighting designer.

Creating great lighting effects within a home is simple, once a lighting plan is created. And for most interior designers, professionally presented proposals generally touch on topics related to lighting design and light fittings/fixtures placement and installations.

With commercial design projects however, it’s good to work in conjunction with a lighting designer, knowing the fact that there are differences in variables with colour schemes illuminated by different lighting elements.

This is quite varied and vast in commercial projects like hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, institutions, clubs, and the like.

Why Is a Lighting Plan Important?

It is important to draw a lighting fixture plan when an interior concept is being conceived. Even a simple plan will show your clients where you plan to place what. It will also show how effective use of light means highlighting what needs to be highlighted, toning down areas that need to be soft and subtle, and spotlighting choice items like oil paintings and statues.

Simple lighting plan for an interior design project

Without a good concept plan, lighting of an interior can be ineffective. For instance, the use of excessive interior lights (or insufficient lighting) can distort or even destroy the ambience of a room and make nonsense of the creative works of an interior designer.

The wrong kind of interior lighting choice and/or placement can ruin a room's theme at the flick of the switch at nightfall.

Lighting - An Important Part of Interior Design

Lighting is the most practical, exciting and mysterious of all design mediums. It is exciting because of its ability to transform everything; any interior space and any physical object it illuminates.

It is a mysterious medium because light rays are invisible to the naked eye until they touch an object, practical because of its value to our lives, and exciting because of the aesthetics value it provides if utilised effectively.

Light not only possesses the absolute power to show, enhance and display objects and things to human view, it is virtually impossible to evaluate any visual effect without the presence of lights.

The long and short of it is that lighting is an important element of interior design. 

Hanging Artwork - 7 Displaying Mistakes to Avoid

Having wall art and paintings make a whole lot of difference to an interior space. Not only does it make your vertical surfaces interesting, it also adds style to your room. But if you thing hanging wall art is easy as pie . . . well is not that easy to get it right.

Created by Viryabo@Polyvore
Many homeowners don’t know that hanging art on walls is an art in itself. So it’s not uncommon to find that people make mistakes which are not quite easy to once you’ve punched holes in the walls, or framed some painting that looks best unframed.

These are 7 of the most common art displaying mistakes to avoid.
  1. Thinking that all art paintings require framing – Not all paintings, posters and the like need to be framed as some art work look better unframed
  2. Using the wrong scale of frame for your paintings
  3. Artwork is hung either too low or too high. Hang paintings 60 inches midpoint from the floor to the middle of the art.
  4. Art is hung lopsided or crooked making it visually un-levelled.
  5. When forming a gallery, collage, or grouping of art works on the wall, you failed to plan beforehand.
  6. You don’t realise that the size of artwork in relationship to the size of the wall it is mounted on is important. Hanging a small picture on a large wall or a large work of art on a small wall is a no-no.
  7. Filling all walls in the room with pictures, paintings, and posters.

Other Picture Hanging Blunders to Avoid

Don’t restrict yourself to hanging artwork that has a mix of all colours of the interior space. It’s best to use them to break free from the confines of colour palette choice. And don’t create a dull boring effect by hanging the same type of art on the walls.

Hang a mix of artwork . . . framed paintings, metal art, works on stretch canvas, ceramic plates, tapestries, and other wall art pieces. A variety of types and sizes of wall hangings will spice up the room and ensure it is aesthetically pleasing.

And finally, not layering your wall art to connect them to the rest of the room’s décor is a mistake most people make.
Create exciting layers by positioning a floor lamp right in front of a hung painting or place a potted plant to its side. Let a few fronds float in front of the art. This form of layering helps connect your art to the rest of the room, creating a more stylish look in the process.

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Difference Between Fixtures and Fittings in Interior Design

Fittings and fixtures are items and equipment that have no permanent connection to the main structure of a building but come up every so often in the interior design and decoration profession.

Not many homeowners know the difference between the two terms (interior fixtures and fittings), but they both represent different things and therefore cannot always be used interchangeably.

Some may say there are no set definitions for what makes a home décor item a fitting or a fixture but normally a fixture is understood to be a fixed item that’s firmly installed and immovable while a fitting is a free standing, screwed on, or hung interior décor item.

For clarification and for those who aren’t quite sure of the differences, find below is a list of items that fall under each category.

Interior Fixtures

  • Lighting fixtures such as ceiling mounted lights, wall sconces, recessed, and cove lights
  • Dimmer, timer, and touch switches
  • Heat radiators, ceiling fans, fireplaces and surrounds
  • Built-in wardrobes units, cupboards, built-in shelves, staircase railings, balustrades
  • Floating wood floors 
  • Bathtubs, vanity units, water closets, shower enclosures, Jacuzzis, and
  • Entrance and interior doors
  • Indoor water fountains
  • Curtain rods, rails, blinds, and shades
  • Kitchen units including island units and breakfast counters

Interior Fittings

  • Paintings, wall art, mirror, partitioning; items that are not bolted but hung or screwed on to a wall.
  • Carpets, curtains, and drapery
  • Wall mounted entertainment systems, televisions, including audio and video equipment
  • Free-standing ovens, refrigerators and washers and driers (also referred to as appliances)
  • Moveable furniture like beds, sofas, tables, consoles, etc..., and others of such free standing items
  • Portable light fittings such as table, desk, and floor lamps

Majorly, the method of installation, placement, and attachment determines whether an item is one or the other.

For instance, is the item permanently affixed to a floor, wall, or ceiling by using screws, nails, cement, or glue? On the other hand, is the item moveable or removable with ease? It it’s easy to move, like taking down a wall painting, or hard to remove like floating shelves, the method used to attach it might make it a fixture or a fitting.

If the item becomes an integral part of the home, like a floating laminate floor, even though it is snapped together by a simple tongue and groove method, it still remains a fixture. In other words, if an item is installed as a permanent feature, like a built-in bookcase, it becomes a fixture; while a free standing (standalone) bookcase is termed a fitting.

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How to Use Utility Rooms Efficiently

Most people’s utility room is an extension off the kitchen area and there is good reason for this.

The kitchen is the busiest room in the home and some functions that take place in a kitchen can be extended into a utility room. Not only that, it can serve as additional area to an already limited kitchen space.

This close proximity allows for efficient and functional use of both rooms. On the one hand, an extra freezer (if you have a large family) can be placed in a utility room. It can have fitted shelves where you can store things like homemade preserves, tins, chinaware, spare glasses, etc..., a good way to de-clutter the home.

On the other hand, a utility room can be used for your laundry tasks that range from sorting dirty laundry to washing, drying, and ironing, and folding-away.

This is not to say you can’t have a utility room in another area of the house. Some homes have the room in the basement yet others have it a converted attic.

Reasons Why You Need a Utility Room

If you are building your home from scratch, it is good to plan the best position to site your utility room.

Of course the most obvious function of a utility room is for laundry tasks so if yours is meant to serve this purpose, make sure your design has an exterior wall because of plumbing pipe work needed for the washing machine and utility sink.

If you need this room for something multi-purpose, for instance, if you need it to serve as a handy workshop, closet organiser, and storage seasonal clothing such as winter coats, then it can be situated anywhere from next to the garage to an extra bedroom.

And if you need one to serve as an extra kitchen area, a pantry and wine cellar, site the room adjoining the kitchen. It all depends on the function you’ll need the space for, both now and in the future.

There are some other reasons why you need to incorporate a utility room into your home’s design. They can also function as:
  • Your DIY craft workstation – a set-up with a work table that doubles up as an ironing surface
  • A room to store stepladders, tool boxes, vacuum cleaner, and carpet/curtains steamer
On a final note, not only are utility rooms great places to do your washing and ironing, crafting, storing, etc..., they allow for a more efficient use of other spaces in the home thus giving homeowners the opportunity to divide work functions into specific areas.

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