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.

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(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.

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(image via from the right bank)

4) Scents

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.

5) Colour

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.

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(image via home klondike)

 

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).

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(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.

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(Coltrane Lights by Delightfull)

Legislative/Energy Efficiency

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.

Room Dimensions

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. 

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(Victoria Tower)

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.

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(Linear indirect lighting by David Groppi)

Reflective Surfaces

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.

Budget

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.

 

 

I can’t tell you how excited I was to find these beautiful artworks created entirely using paint chips.

Not only do they look incredible, but they’re inexpensive and easy for just about anyone to make.

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(Image via How About Orange)

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(Image via The Bac Student Design Blog)

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(Image via Sutton Grace)

Colour me Autumn

April 4, 2013

We’re moving into Autumn here in Australia and for cooler weather, and for this time of the year I believe that yellow and grey are an amazing colour combination for just about any room in the house. 

Yellow is such a vibrant and happy colour, however when used in large quantities it can make us feel overwhelmed. Grey is one of my favourite colours, I find it so calming, however it can make us feel a little depressed if it’s not balanced with something more ‘lively’.

I love to counter-balance some of the lively energy that is associated with yellow with a soothing, neutral colour like grey. It makes a room feel warm and welcoming, yet also refined. 

It’s a winning colour combination!

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(Image via Colefacts)

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(Image via Color Chats)

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(Image via Olive et Oriel)

 

 

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(Image via Polly Wreford)

 

 

 

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