Showing posts with label lighting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lighting. Show all posts

17 October 2020

Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations Coquitlam


Do you sometimes feel that your bathroom has lost the stylish touch and appeal that it used to have? Or that your kitchen lacks enough space for you to move around freely? 

The solution lies in a renovation. Things change over time hence the need to remodel according to your new needs. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes all you need is to rearrange and organize various items in a better way. 

Depending on the type of task to be done, there are lots of factors to be considered. Here are some of the most important tips that might help you for kitchen renovation in Coquitlam.

Factors to consider to ensure successful renovations

  • Amount of work required

    If you are in need of extra space around the room then most of the time reorganizing the items to free up space will do just fine. This is a one-person job that you can do by yourself within a day or two.

    On the other hand, if it entails tearing down cabinets and other structures then it is best if you hire professional contractors to do the job. They’ll certainly have the labor force required and skills to do the job without interfering with other parts of your house.

    Before you hire them make sure that they are experienced and well-trained to handle the job effectively.

  • Estimated total cost

    Proper planning entails estimating the total cost expected to be incurred. This includes the prices of materials that will be used and the fees charged by the workers.

    It will allow you to adjust your budget accordingly and avoid surprises. Make sure to cater to any additional costs that may arise in your plan. You should also use the locally available resources to save some money.

    For example, if done properly, some of the materials from torn-down structures can still be re-used. If you have to buy new materials do so from the local market if possible to avoid importation costs.

  • The reason for revamping

    There are plenty of reasons to do so. For instance, you might be in need of new items that provide better functionality than your current ones or that are more desirable.

    Therefore, you must make sure that whatever you go for will satisfy the need. This makes the process a bit easier since it serves as a guide.

    Otherwise, using the trial-and-error method can cost you a lot of money and waste your time. Click here to see a few reasons why you  might consider doing some renovation.

  • Your taste

    Perhaps this can be considered as the most important factor when it comes to interior designing. The interior of your house should depict who you are as a person right from the walls to the floors.

    For instance, if you like the modern aesthetic appeal then the type of tiles you use on the surfaces should be sleek and modern.

    If you are more of a vintage kind of person then you can go for the classic traditional look which usually entails wooden and marble surfaces with intricate pattern designs. In all, make sure that your renovation doesn’t interfere with your personal style.

Tips to help you with your renovations

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of it.

  • Utilize your space effectively

    One of the most common reasons why people renovate is to create space. Whether in your bathroom or kitchen, you need to be able to move around freely without any obstacles getting in your way.

    Most of the space is consumed by storage. Therefore, once you find a way around that you will definitely have ample room. A good way is to utilize the wall storage units. Wall cabinets come in handy and will help you organize your things properly.

    Avoid throwing things all over the room as they will eventually pile up and take the much-needed space. See this link for some ideas on how you can create more storage space in your kitchen 

  • Choose your colors wisely

    They tend to affect perceptual vision and can also influence your mood. Dark colors have been found to make the room feel small. Most people like light colors, especially, white. For other items such as toilets, sinks, and bathtub you should consider warm colors that radiate positive energy within you. For such equipment, some people dislike white color because it gets stained easily.

  • Get good lighting

    When preparing to start with the renovation, you should include proper lighting as well. In the bathroom, in addition to the general bulb from the ceiling, you should have some on the walls and around the mirror to be specific.

    The latter should provide just enough light to enable you to look yourself in the mirror comfortably. As such, it should not be very bright.

    The central lighting, on the other hand, should be able to illuminate the whole room but also have a dimmer switch for when you want dim light. In general, the lighting should blend in smoothly with the colors of the room.

  • Use a pot filler

    Instead of going to the sink every time you need water then coming back to the cooker, you can use an adjustable tap that can be swung all the way to fill the pot while it is on the cooker. This saves you time and makes your cooking more enjoyable.

  • Use racks 

    There are plenty of stylish racks that you can use to store your cutleries in an organized way and conserve space too.

  • Maintain the plumbing configurations

    This will save you both time and money. Trying to change the plumbing can also interfere with the whole system and result in leaks. Only allow professional plumbers to do this. Click here to see a few bathroom renovation tips.


Renovation can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. If you do it wrong you might end up having an even more messed up room. For this reason, proper planning is key. You have to determine the amount of work required and plan your budget based on this. It is also very important that you only deal with qualified experts to ensure satisfactory work. As much as you should invest in good quality, take care to avoid overspending. Also, feel free to experiment and try out different things.

22 May 2014

Making your house a home


Finding a new house to call your own can be, in one, simple word: challenging. Whether you’re moving to a new city, or just to a new neighbourhood, you want to be able to find a great place that you can grow in and add your own, personal touches to truly make your house a home. Finding your unique style and vision for your new home can be intimidating, but you will find yourself attracted to some pieces more than others, and this will help shape your niche.

If you’re still not sure what your ‘niche’ may be, or just starting at the first step of figuring out your ideal home décor, then check out some great suggestions on how to find your style below:

Find Your Colour

Think of the colours, stains, and finishes that really catch your eye, and which ones don’t really ‘tickle your fancy’. Some people prefer pine over oak, and nobody will hold that against you because it’s your home and you’re allowed to be picky. So, don’t feel pressured to settle on a colour or stain that you don’t really like but feel obliged to select because it goes with what’s already in your house, or that it is popular.

An example of a unique piece would be the Rustic Wooden Cabinet from Uniche Interior Furnishings, made out of pine with a soft, antique-looking stain to create a rustic look. You’ll want to find something that goes with almost everything, in case you decide to paint or move the item to another room.

Consider the Trends

Considering the current, and even past, trends is a crucial step in deciding which colours, stains, and finishes you like; if you are a big fan of the distressed look, then a piece with a rustic or antique look to it may just be the right furnishing to catch your eye. This could be a conversation piece, like Uniche’s Rustic Wooden Cabinet, or it could be something a bit smaller and less of a statement item.

As the rustic and antique trends have enjoyed a long life and are almost positive that they will never go out of style, there are also current fads that may not have the same effect and appeal in a few years that they have now. Home fads can echo life-spans of fads within the clothing and fashion world, so you might want to consider your style and tastes when it comes to fashion, too; are there certain articles of clothing that you won’t buy because you know that they are part of a short-lived fad? This kind of discretion can help you when picking out furniture and other home accessories.

Let There Be Light!

Lighting is a luxury that we often take for granted, but it is essential to fill our homes with bright, energizing, light to help us feel right at home. There are so many lampshades, lamps, fixtures - you name it – that are available to include in your new house, and, while finding lighting may seem like a breeze, it actually can be quite daunting.

You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before shopping around for the perfect light fixture:

  • Which colour or finish do I want?
  • What style do I want?
  • Hanging, mounted, or standing?
  • What kind of light do I want? (e.g. white, yellow, or fluorescent)
  • Where am I going to put it?

Look for something special and different, as long as it fits within your own vision and sense of style. An example from Uniche Interior Furnishings is The Jali, a unique take on the traditional hanging lamp featuring hand-blown glass and antique-style chainmail without a strictly medieval theme. Light fixtures can also double as conversation pieces, and help to set the tone for any kitchen, dining room, or other room that you have big plans for.

Your home is your safe place and where you can express your personality and tastes through different pieces that really capture your own, personal style and preferences. Adding vintage, rustic, antique, or any other kinds of home furniture and fittings to help you express yourself can make all the difference between arriving at your house and truly coming home.

30 September 2011

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and some amazing lighting

I spent last Sunday at London's Design Centre Chelsea Harbour along with my fellow participants in Modenus' Blog Tour 2011. The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is a trade-only super mall of home products, furniture, carpets, fabrics, lighting a whole lot more.

The building itself is pretty spectacular, here's a shot I took through one of the building's atriums as the clouds rolled over London on Sunday afternoon.

London's the only city where I've ever been that gives New York a real run for its money when it comes to sophistication and the amount of stuff available. In a lot of ways London exceeds what's possible in New York but don't tell any of my New York friends I said that.

We started off the day with Samuel Heath, a purveyor of amazing bath fixtures and accessories. They're worth three or four posts of their own and I'll get back to them over the next few weeks. If you want a preview though, click on that link but be prepared to salivate.

After a series of meeting in and around the Design Centre, we were free to explore on our own. What I saw in total is fuel for more posts than I can count but something that really stood out was a series of deconstructed chandeliers from Vos Kristall.

I love a deconstructed chandelier. It epitomizes the impulse to take an iconic object and reduce it to its parts and then put something back together that invokes the original but is entirely new on its own.

Here are some of my admittedly bad photos of Vos Kristall's work.

Each component that would make up the chandelier (candle, bobeche, candle cup, prisms and pendalogue) is suspended by a single filament and lit from an LED in the ceiling directly above. The effect is both massive and ethereal at the same time.

For more lighting inspiration, check out the rest of the lighting in Vos Kristall's web gallery.

08 August 2011

Open Source meets design

Ronen Kadushin is a Berlin-based industrial designer who's onto something he calls Open Design.

Through Open Design, Kadushin distributes his household objects under a Creative Commons license. Anything you see in the Open Design catalog can be downloaded and recreated, shared and owned by anybody who adheres to the agreements spelled out in Creative Commons.

Creative Commons holds that anything made available through it can be used by anybody so long as the originator gets credit for his or her work. This website is published under a Creative Commons license and it's something I support wholeheartedly.

I'd always thought of Creative Commons as it relates to internet content and I think it's exciting that a highly-regarded industrial designer is distributing chairs and lamps to the world through it.

All you need is AutoCAD and access to a CNC router and you can have any of the items in the Open Design catalog. Just download the .dxf file and you're ready to go.

I'm fascinated by this idea of course, but Kadushin seems to have included something in his Open Design catalog that's intended to be a lure for me specifically. Here it is.

Does it look familiar? It ought to.

It's a light fixture based on the centerpiece of Picasso's Guernica. Click on this photo to expand the painting.

Guernica is the first painting I ever studied and through it I learned just about everything I know now about art appreciation.

Pablo Picasso painted Guernica for the Paris Expo in 1937. It was his response to the German and Italian bombing of the Basque village of Guernica at 4:30 in the afternoon on a market day. The men, women and children killed that day were innocent civilians and Picasso's painting drew worldwide attention to the bloodbath that was the Spanish Civil War.

In the years since 1937, Picasso's Guernica has become an emblem of the futility of war and the unacceptable toll it takes on innocent civilians. It's one of the most profound pacifist statements of the 20th Century. Look past the Cubist conventions Picasso used in this painting and read a bit about what he's saying.

As an interesting and nearly unknown aside, the estate of Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a tapestry replica of Guernica for the United Nations. From 1985 through 2009 it hung in the UN's headquarters in New York. However in February 2003, when Colin Powell arrived to make the case for the US's invasion of Iraq, the tapestry was covered by a blue tarp so that it wouldn't be the backdrop when he appeared on camera to address the press.

It's since been placed on permanent loan to the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Presumably so as not to embarrass any more war-mongers.

Anyhow, check out Ronen Kadushin's entire Open Design catalog. If you have access to a CNC machine, I'd love to see some results of your downloads. If you find yourself short of a CNC, you can buy Kadushin's stuff already made at Movisi.

16 May 2011

Beautiful lighting from Flos

One of the reasons I like going to New York so much is that all of the objects I normally see only in catalogs are there, in person, in a showroom somewhere. I spend a lot of time poking through lighting showrooms in Manhattan and a couple of weeks ago I walked into Italian Manufacturer Flos' showroom on Greene Street in Soho.

There I met Marcel Wanders' Skygarden.

At first glance it looks like any number of half-dome suspended lights on the market. Upon closer inspection however, Skygarden's underside is a riot of nearly baroque activity.

Stunning work. What do you think?

14 April 2011

Who's ready for an Onion?

Danish manufacturer Verpan has brought back their 1970s iconic Onion lamp for a new generation.

This time around they've added a table lamp to the collection.

What do we think? Are some things better left in the past or is this a lamp that needs to be seen again?

09 December 2010

Compelling, modern lighting from Leucos

Leucos USA is a family of distinctive lighting brands that includes Leucos, ITRE, LUXIT and the FDV Collection. Hand-crafted in Italy, all of the Leucos USA products represent the very best blend of traditional hand-blown glass techniques combined with innovative, modern design.

The Leucos brands represent a staggering number of lighting options, many of which are in stock in a warehouse just outside of New York.

Leucos just announced the addition of five new designs and here are their highlights.

Block S100 and Block P100
Sleek rectangular fixtures created by the Leucos design team, the Block S100, suspension modeland the Block P100 wall unit complete the Block suite of lights with great élan. Composed of beautifully silk-screened glass on bright steel structures, their fluorescent light sources create a warm and lustrous glow. Block is available in three color combinations: platinum with 3D effect,platinum pattern on white base and pure white. Block S100 measures 39 3/8” in length and 4 3/8” in height with a drop of 78 ¾”. Block P100 measures 39 3/8” in length and 4 3/8” in height.

Laguna S75 and Laguna S105
Collaboratively designed by Design R. Toso and N. Massari & Associates with Giusto Toso,these suspension fixtures complement the sconce and ceiling models already available in this grouping. The Laguna models are both ornamental and modern, combining an external glass profile with a decorative centerpiece. These glass suspension lights are available in Canal with a decorative pattern of amber or white embellished with gold leaf and glass shavings or Platino, which is adorned with silk-screened platinum spirals. Both the Canal and Platino versions utilize energy-efficient fluorescent lamps. Laguna S75 measures 29 1/2” in length and 8 1/4” in height and the longer S105 is 41 3/8” in length and 8 1/4” in height.

This blown glass suspension light has an enchanting quality, as its incandescent light source glows expressively through its center. Designed by Marco Piva, it is available in four color palettes: transparent black with black painted metal structure; mirrored crystal on chrome plated metal structure; white on chrome plated metal structure; or gray on chrome plated metal structure. It hangs from a white painted metal canopy and measures 17 3/4” in diameter and 9 7/8” in height.

22 November 2010

What well-dressed lighting will be wearing this season

These are real products.

Would you? Could you?

Yet another nightmare brought to you by Trendir.

14 November 2010

Autumn re-runs; Break a CFL? Don't panic.

This post ran originally on 23 April 2009. Few things irritate me more than panic spawned by ignorance and scientific illiteracy. A shocking amount of pseudo-scientific nonsense gets run as gospel by the Huffington Post, almost as much as the nonsense spewed out by Fox News. Ignorance and panic peddling know no politics.

Math and science are how human beings come to understand the world. For some reason that perspective's considered to be suspect by a lot of people. I will never understand that suspicion. The world's a dangerous place and removing all danger is impossible. Furthermore, everything is a potential toxin, everything. So much so that the term toxin is meaningless. Toxicity is dose. Period. Sure, drinking a cup of mercury will kill you, but so will drinking a gallon of water in a half an hour. Should we ban water because it's a toxin? Individual CFLs aren't a problem. A landfill full of them is. So use them, be sensible and recycle them once they're burned out.

The key to all of this is to understand what level of exposure to something is unlikely to cause harm. That's not information you're going to get from the Huffington Post, Fox News or anybody else who has an interest in you being scared. Science is your friend.

Lisa Sharkey had a piece in yesterday's Huffington Post where she described her panic over a broken compact fluorescent light bulb in her home. She then listed a series of clean up procedures that could only have been written by a personal injury attorney. Sheesh. Calm down already!

All fluorescent light bulbs contain elemental mercury. That includes the long, skinny ones in offices and schools. Elemental mercury is a naturally-occurring heavy metal that's also a neurotoxin in high enough doses. Elemental mercury is a liquid at room temperature and it evaporates into a gas easily. That gas glows when electricity passes through it. Hence its use in light bulbs. Mercury has a long list of practical uses and is found in everything from Mercurochrome to mascara. High concentrations of elemental mercury are more damaging as a gas than as a solid, so there are some sensible precautions you'll want to take should you break one of these bulbs.

But let's get a little perspective first and do some math.

Let's say you break a CFL containing five milligrams of mercury in your child’s bedroom. Further, let's say that bedroom has a volume of 25 cubic meters (that's a medium-sized bedroom). For the sake of illustration, let's assume that the entire five milligrams of mercury in the bulb vaporizes immediately. This would result in an airborn concentration of 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter. This concentration will decrease with time, as air in the room leaves and is replaced by air from outside or from a different room. So even if you do nothing, the concentrations of mercury in the room will likely approach zero after about an hour or so.

Under these relatively conservative assumptions, this level and duration of mercury exposure is not dangerous, since it's lower than the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard of 0.05 milligrams per cubic meter of metallic mercury vapor averaged over eight hours. 

To equate the level of exposure in our broken bulb scenario with OSHA's eight-hour standard Imagine the immediate level of mercury in the room immediately after the bulb broke to be 0.2 milligrams of mercury per cubic meter. If we assume the air in the room changes every hour, then the eight-hour average concentration would be .025 milligrams per cubic meter.

See? No need to panic. While I wouldn't call it harmless exactly, it's not something you need to call a Hazmat team over.

So, in the event that you break a CFL, open a window to speed up the dispersal of the mercury vapor. If it makes you feel better, leave the room for a half an hour. Then come back and clean up the broken glass. 

08 November 2010

A new, new Tolomeo. Sort of.

I present for your consideration the Tolomeo lamp.

Tolomeo was designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina in 1986 for the Artemide company. The took the articulated architect's lamp and raised the design quotient by a couple of notches. The Tolomeo launched a renewed interest in the shape of an articulated desk lamp and 24 years after De Lucchi and Fassina unleashed the original Tolomeo, everybody it seems has a version of it floating around out there.

In 2006, Philippe Starck designed a series of Tolomeo-inspired articulated lamps for FLOS, and Starck called the series Archimoon.

Well Starck and FLOS just joined forces with another German company, Dedon to breathe some new life into the Archimoon series.

I love the Archimoon Grande outdoor and the addition of the Dedon flourish really throws these lamps over the edge. Dedon makes exquisite rattan furniture and shades and the use of a natural shade with this mechanical lamp is a winner all around.

That patio in Chelsea's not hurting matters either.

So I ask you, is this an homage to the Tolomeo or is it a knock off?

13 October 2010

Black stripes are always right

I get hundreds of press releases and product announcements every week, it comes with the territory. That's not a complaint. Not at all. I welcome those things and I find they are the easiest way for me to keep up with what's going on in my field.

I received one yesterday from Flambeau Lighting and the release featured this photo.

I love it. I love the pendants, I love the room. I love how the stripes from the shade continue up the rods to the ceiling. Here's a close up of the pendant itself.

It's the stripes, the back stripes, that get me every time. Flambeau has all kind of other great lighting designs, and I encourage you to check out their catalog.

I've always loved black and white color schemes because they remind me of Tim Burton's work. In 1985 I saw a short film by an unknown filmmaker. The film was called Frankenweenie and it was Tim Burton's first movie. It was a Disney production, as hard as that is to believe. You can find it on YouTube these days. Anyhow, I was struck by the visual style of that movie, I'd never seen anything like it. Burton ended up getting fired from Disney over the film and the world owes Disney a debt of gratitude for their wise decision. Though I'm sure it was traumatic for Burton at the time, that firing unleashed a breathtaking talent on the world.

photo courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Burton did a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art last year and it was cool to see how his style had evolved over the years and it was even more cool to see how much he'd held onto. Here's the ad MoMA put together while Burton's retrospective was running at the museum.

The pendant lights I started with have a Burton-esque feel to them and I like them all the more for it.

As the offerings in Flambeau Lighting's catalog show, black stripes are always right. They've certainly served Tim Burton well.

06 October 2010

Jeeves and Wooster go under cover as pendant lights

This is a series of pendant lights made by London-based Jake Phipps.

They're made from actual bowler and top hats and they take their name from an early '90s BBC show of the same name. By the way, the show starred now US TV star Hugh Laurie and current Twitter celebrity Stephen Fry.

Anyhow, any time I see a bowler hat I think of Belgian Surrealist René Magritte. I like Magritte a lot and I've probably said so before on this blog. Here's why I have bowler hats and René Magritte linked so tightly in my mind.

Golconde, 1953

The Mysteries of the Horizon, 1955

The Son of Man, 1964

As much as I love his art, what I love even more was his perspective on it.
visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'What does that mean?' It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.
Words to live by if you ask me and not just a description of paintings.

So back to Jeeves and Wooster pendants, what do you think? Would you hang something like this in your home?

30 September 2010

Amusing British night light

This is the Martyr, designed by The Play Coalition.

It makes me laugh. It fits those enormous British wall sockets perfectly. I wonder if there's a North American version in the works.

13 July 2010

Beginning this August, IKEA will start phasing out incandescent light bulbs

On August 1, 2010 IKEA stores in North America will being phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and by January 1st, 2011 IKEA will stop selling them all together. Here's the link to IKEA's press release.

IKEA's move makes it the first US retailer to end its sale of incandescents and it's doing so a year ahead of the federally mandated timeline to begin. As I understand it, the mandated timeline in the US is a phase out that starts in 2012 and ends the sale of incandescents all together in 2014 and please correct me if I'm wrong.

Frankly I applaud them just as I applaud the move away from incandescents in general. I made the switch several years ago and the difference in my electric bill was as obvious as it was instantaneous. Then again, I don't have any light fixtures that feature exposed, decorative bulbs.

Have you guys given any thought to this scheduled phase out? Do you plan to make the switch or do you plan to stockpile incandescents before they're gone for good? Is this news?

I'm very fond of the warm-tone CFLs I use and if enough people would find it useful, I'll start rerunning my earlier material about how to buy a warm CFL. On second thought, here's a breakdown of lumens, footcandles and degrees Kelvin.

In the meantime though, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is IKEA's phase out too soon or is the rest of the country's too late?

21 June 2010

Re-imagined indoor and outdoor lights from Vibia

Vibia is a lighting brand made by in Grupo T Diffusion in Barcelona. I saw this light fixture in a hotel lobby in New York a couple of months ago and I was really taken with it.

It turns out that the fixture I saw was the Ameba by Vibia and it's a modular lighting system. You mix and match five interlocking shapes to make an infinite variety of lighting fixtures. They use compact fluorescent bulbs, come prewired and fit together easily. I think they're arresting to see and the design behind them is bordering on genius.

Once I figured out who the manufacturer was, digging around on their website felt like Christmas morning. These people do some amazing stuff.

What impressed me more than anything else was their take on outdoor lighting, Vibia's Tree series in particular. The shapes take their cue from poplar and cypress trees that ring the Mediterranean and I've never seen anything like them.

These outdoor fixtures are weather resistant and use either CFLs or LEDs so they're energy-efficient as well.

But it gets even cooler with the Halley fixtures. The Halley fixtures are all LED, low-voltage lights and I know I've never seen anything like them. As interesting as the walkway lights are, the dining lights take outdoor lighting into a new place all together.

I'm not kidding when I say that Vibia has re-imagined indoor and outdoor lights. Poke around on their site.