June 10, 2013
If you have a wall in your home that’s looking a little empty and you’re not a fan of wallpaper and either can’t or don’t want to re-paint, then why not create a display wall.
It’s perfect way to display photos, artworks and even plants.
(market stall at the Surry Hills Markets in Sydney)
To get you started, there’s some preparation that should happen prior showing off your finalised display….
Firstly, think about having a theme – deciding upon a theme will help to create a harmonious and cohesive display. When I say theme, I don’t mean that all images must contain the same subject matter or should all originate from the same source or timeframe.
Your theme might simply be linked by a colour scheme or a favourite holiday destination.
Next, determine what you want to display – do you want only photos on display or a mix of photos and artworks? Mixing it up a little bit can create a more dynamic display (see below).
(image via Simon Watson/Architectural Digest)
Then, select your frames – frames of varying sizes work best, as it makes the display more visually dynamic. Also frames of different colours and/textures work well too!
Not sure where to find frames? Ikea have a fantastic range of frames at very reasonable prices, in a variety of colours and styles – so they’re a good starting point. If you prefer you can always visit a professional picture framer who will mount, back and frame your images to your exact specifications. It costs a little more, but the customised and professional look that it gives is definitely worth it (see example below).
(image via Roseland Greene)
After that, finalise your layout – arranging your display on the floor first is a good place to start. That way you can move things around, add and subtract until you have your display looking exactly as you want it.
Also, it’s a great idea to have a focal point. Creating a focal point will give you a more visually balanced display. There are a number of ways that you can achieve this, for example having one of your images larger than the others will instantly make that picture the focal point of your display. Alternatively, your focal point could be an image that’s a different colour or texture to the other pictures in your display, which will make it stand-out (in the example below the cameo becomes the focal point as it not only is a different colour and texture to the remaining items, but it’s also the only sculptural element present in this display).
(image via Domino Magazine)
Finally, once you’re happy that your display looks as you want it to, you’re ready to fix your images to the wall. A ruler and/or spirit level are a good idea to help with this and always make sure that you use hooks that are capable of handling the weight of the picture that they’re holding (I’ve learnt this lesson the hard way myself ).
If you can’t nail hooks into the wall, and need to use removable hooks then always make sure you follow the application instructions thoroughly, you don’t want your hard work to come crashing down after a few hours have passed.
Most importantly, the display should be meaningful and aesthetically pleasing to you. The really great thing about these types of displays is that (unlike paint and wallpaper) you can easily change them when you want to.
(image taken at Pieno – cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney)
June 5, 2013
While in Sydney recently, I was fortunate enough to see an artwork (untitled [heads or tails]) by Indigenous Australian Artist, Jonathan Jones.
Jones works across a range of mediums and is widely known for his use of light, shadow and repetition of shape and form in his artworks.
His light installations and sculptures (below) are an experience – not only are they beautiful but they also possess an incredibly serene energy which draws you in, and makes his work unforgettable.
(untitled [heads or tails])
June 3, 2013
Vivid is a festival of light, music and ideas that is held in Sydney each year. The light installations and projections are absolutely incredible – and the majority of the events on offer are free!
The festival runs until 10 June, so if you’re in Sydney and have the opportunity to check it out, you really should – you won’t be disappointed!
I’ve included some images that I captured of the Sydney Opera House on Friday night below:
May 27, 2013
American Artist, Doug Aitken is famous for a range of works from photography, to live performance and film installations, but his sculptures made with resin, lights, plants and kaleidoscopic mirrors are definitely my personal favourites.
A selection of his incredible works are below:
May 26, 2013
Want to save $$ on lighting running costs?
Low voltage doesn’t necessarily mean low energy when it comes to downlights. Often times low voltage downlights use halogen light globes (and these are definitely not classed as energy efficient), so take care to investigate options and speak with a qualified lighting consultant if uncertain.
1) Remove clutter
Studies have shown that having mess and disorder around us can cause mental distress, so take some time to organise and de-clutter your living space.
2) Natural Light
Research has proven that natural light can help alleviate stress, so if you’re wanting a quick pick me up open curtains and blinds and let the light in. If you have heavy curtains and drapes perhaps give some consideration to replacing these with sheers or blinds that let in more natural light.
(image via infoteli)
3) Photographs and artworks
Surrounding ourselves with imagery that is familiar, inspirational or meaningful to us is a sure fire way to make us feel more connected with our surroundings. Take some time to go through your old photographs and holiday snaps and have some framed for display, or bring out some artworks that you’ve had hidden away for a while and re-introduce them back into your living space. Perhaps even consider purchasing some artworks or prints that you find inspirational, or why not create your own.
(image via from the right bank)
There are a number of fragrances that have been proven to elevate mood. Among these are lavender and citrus. Consider incorporating these scents into your home via candles or in oil burners. One of my favourite scents is jasmine, which I love planting in pots outside my bedroom and living room windows to let that gorgeous fragrance fill my home in spring.
Colour can have profound effects on our mental health and certain colours have been proven to have more positive impacts than others. For example, yellow has been shown to make us feel energetic and optimistic and red can increase our heart rate, so perhaps consider breathing some life into your living space with the introduction of bright and lively coloured furniture and accessories.
(image via home klondike)
April 23, 2013
Lighting is one of the most important elements in any space. It heavily influences the atmosphere in a room and can impact upon our mood.
There are some very important questions to ask yourself when making choices regarding lighting:
Needs and Preferences
Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to lighting. Some of us prefer spaces to be very brightly lit, while others prefer lower light levels in their homes. Many light globes also come in different colour temperatures which will alter their appearance. For example, fluorescent light globes can be either cool white (which is a whiter and brighter light) or warm white (which is a more golden tone, more in-keeping with the appearance of incandescent light).
(1840s Greek Revival by Alexa Hampton)
Use of Space
One of the first and most important points to consider is what the space is going to be used for. For example, if the room is a kitchen there needs to be enough lighting present to be able to comfortably and safely perform tasks, whereas in a loungeroom lower levels of light would be more suitable especially if the room is used to rest and relax or if it’s a multi-purpose living space then perhaps consider installing a dimmable light source that can be adjusted to suit your needs.
(Coltrane Lights by Delightfull)
This is an important consideration as in all states of Australia, as there are laws which dictate the percentage or quantity of energy efficient lighting that must be included in all new homes. Some lighting choices, such as halogen are not considered to be energy efficient light sources and therefore care must be taken in making selections. If you have concerns about reducing energy and running costs then fluorescent or LED lighting may be better options for you, however these light sources may not be suitable in all applications.
The size of a room and the height of the ceiling in a space must be considered when making decisions about which light fittings to choose, as this will directly influence not only the number of fittings needed but also their type and placement.
Ceiling Structural Features
This is one of the most important considerations in designing any lighting concept, especially if you’re considering installing downlights. Unfortunately, in most cases if the ceiling is made of concrete then recessed downlights are not an option and surface/ceiling mount fittings or pendants will need to be used in their place.
If you’re wanting to add additional lights into a room that has a concrete ceiling then this is also not always possible (as running extra cabling through a concrete ceiling is generally not an option), so wall sconces and/or floor lamps may be a great choice to help introduce additional lighting for you.
(Linear indirect lighting by David Groppi)
Different substances, such as carpet and timber will absorb light while others, such as high sheen tiles will reflect it. The reflectance of surfaces within a home will influence the quantity and brightness lighting needed.
Probably to most important consideration of all is budget. Budget encompasses not only initial outlay costs, but also ongoing maintenance and energy costs are well. For example, halogen downlights may be a fairly low cost option to purchase (approx. $10), but they are not a long-life globe and will need to be regularly replaced (depending upon use), they are also not an energy saving option and if you have a lot of these lights within your home then their running costs can really add-up. Whereas, LED lighting may cost more to purchase (eg $50), however they may not need replacing for years and use approximately 70% less energy than their halogen equivalent.
None of these factors can be considered in isolation and there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to lighting a home. The best option is to discuss your requirements with a lighting professional and let them create a lighting plan that will best suit your needs.
April 16, 2013
March 15, 2013
Tradespeople and suppliers are some of the best ‘resources’ that an Interior Designer can have.
In speaking with a plumbing supplier yesterday, I was disappointed to hear that some of the Interior Designers that he deals with are reluctant to take on-board his professional advice regarding the suitability of fixtures and fittings for certain applications.
One example that was provided was that a designer had opted for a kitchen tap for use over a bath tub. It was explained to the designer that this tap was not the best option as it would take approximately 30 minutes to fill a bathtub with water. The designer responded by saying that it was aesthetically the best option for their design – never mind the poor client!
As Interior Design professionals it’s impossible for us to know the ins and outs of each and every fixture and fitting in the marketplace at all times (because it changes so frequently), this is where the knowledge and expertise of our tradespeople and suppliers is so critical and we need to listen to what they have to say to ensure that we are providing our clients with the best design possible, both functionally and aesthetically.
If we fail to do this, then in my opinion our designs cannot be successful, and not only that we risk looking unprofessional and foolish.
Tradies and suppliers are a wealth of experience and knowledge, and this is a message that I aim to instill in all of the students that I have the priviledge of teaching.