Tag: interior designer hills district

In what ORDER do I choose new lighting?

Which light first? Another very confusing question we get from clients. Today we will give you a brief overview on the order in which to choose your lights. Not focussing on style or colour, but just the order of importance to help you make the right decisions.

1.  UTILITY AREAS

Yes, you have to choose the boring ones first! They might not be the prettiest, but they are the ones you will switch on the most and they will help you in your daily tasks. Focus on what you will be doing in each room. For e.g. In the kitchen you might need lights over the benchtops, in the bathroom you need lights to be able to put on your make-up and brush your teeth. Most people install downlights in all their rooms. Do you also need dimmers? Where must the lights be switch on or off? Do you need two-way switches? Do you want wall lights or ceiling lights on your staircase? Once you have specified all of these, you will know how many room are left with spots for fancy focal lights.

How to choose lighting, decor tips australia, decor blog australia, interior designers hills district, functional lighting, electrical layout, renovation lighting

2.  KEY PIECES OF FURNITURE

Certain pieces of furniture need specific lighting options. The furniture will determine where the power points and lights will be installed. You have to think about your furniture placements when your electrician and/or builder is on site. For e.g.: Where will the dining room table be placed? What size will the table be?  It will probably need a pendant light. What size is your TV cabinet? Maybe you need strip lighting or lights in the cupboards behind glass doors. Decide where you will place your side tables in the living room, because you might need power points there for table lights. If you have are planning to place a coffee table, you will probably need a pendant light placed above the coffee table. Make sure in your bedrooms where the study nooks and bedside tables will be. You need lamps, pendant lights or USB ports. This list is endless, but the important thing is to go through each room, think about the where the key pieces of furniture will be placed, and make sure you have enough power points and that the size of each light suits the furniture piece it accentuates.

dining table light, wicker light, dining room wicker, country dining table, kitchen dining table, electrical plan

3.  ART WORK AND ORNAMENTS

Even though many clients don’t think about art work and ornaments during the building process, it is very important to think about where you might place feature items, to get the lighting specifications right. By now you know where all the utility lights and featured lights will be placed, so you can start making decisions about the art work. These lights should not be as prominent as those in point nr2. Think of where you might need this understated lights for e.g. in the hallway, foyer, inside cupboards, above key furnitue pieces like sofas or beds. They are not meant to be prominent as they should rather complement the art and ornaments in stead of the lighting being the feature piece.

How to choose lighting, decor tips australia, decor blog australia, interior designers hills district, functional lighting, electrical layout, renovation lighting

It is important to spend time on a proper electrical layout plan when renovating or decorating. This cost can be more than you expect, and a good electrician can easily cost a few thousand dollers to install your preferred new layout. (Then you haven’t even bought any lights yet!)

We usually include an electrical layout plan when we quote for Interior Design projects. We believe this will save the client money in the long run. It also forces the client to think and plan about the future decorating options even though the construction is still under way. Make sure your lighting planning is just as important as choosing your new flooring, wall colours or tiles.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

Please follow and like us:

5 Kitchen gadgets you haven’t thought of

Are you busy planning your new kitchen? There are so many new kitchen gadgets on the market, but they are all rather expensive. In the end you need to spend money where it may improve the way you use your kitchen within your daily routine.

Here are a few gadgets that are not necessarily new, but we’ve seen how they’ve really added value to clients’ kitchen design.

1.  PULL OUT SPICE RACK

There are many awkward little corners and gaps when a kitchen is in the design process. It’s always a good idea to use standard measurements as far as possible, but once in a while you end up with these little areas that are really messing with your design layout. So why not use them as fillers? We are talking about the very under rated pull out spice rack. We love using them on both sides of a stove, but also in between bigger cupboards to create symmetry or add interest. You can fill them with spices, cutting boards or oils.

vanilla slate designs, interior designer hills district, sydney, kitchen designers, new kitchen gadgets, kitchen layout, spice rack

2. PULL OUT WORK SURFACE

Sometimes the layout of the kitchen doesn’t allow a lot of bench top space. For those busy days in the kitchen you can always use an extra pull out work surface. It’s hidden when not needed, but will give you that extra bench top space for placing utensils or food while preparing dinner.

vanilla slate designs, interior designer hills district, sydney, kitchen designers, new kitchen gadgets, kitchen layout, spice rack, pull out shelf kitchen, coffee machine shelf

3.  BREAD CRUMB CATCHER

Yes, the brother of a pull out work surface. A great feature when you have (messy) kids that don’t know how to contain breadcrumbs! You can gather them during the day, and empty the tray at the end of the day.

vanilla slate designs, interior designer hills district, sydney, kitchen designers, new kitchen gadgets, kitchen layout, spice rack

4.  TABLET MOUNT

You don’t need special cupboards for this luxury, and it can be ordered online from various stores. Again, it saves you bench top space and prevent spilling your glass of wine over your tablet while preparing dinner. (Been there, done that!) You can now watch Netflix or follow a recipe without having to search for your tablet on the bench top.

vanilla slate designs, interior designer hills district, sydney, kitchen designers, new kitchen gadgets, kitchen layout, spice rack, tablet kitchen, ipad in kitchen

 5.  CORNER SWIVEL CUPBOARDS

Only if you have a galley kitchen you can escape those nasty corner cupboards. There are a few solutions on the market, and yes, they are all a bit expensive. They are well worth spending money on as you loose a lot of real estate when you have unused cupboards in your kitchen. This design is our favourite, when you don’t even realise it’s a corner cupboard.

vanilla slate designs, interior designer hills district, sydney, kitchen designers, new kitchen gadgets, kitchen layout, spice rack

We design and install at least one kitchen per month. There are many similarities between some kitchens, but in the end each client has their own style, different available layout space, a different budget and a unique way on how their family use the kitchen and living space areas. We work with the family’s needs as it is now, but we also think about what the family might need in 5 or 10 years from now. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it is expensive. If you get this wrong, you might feel disappointed about your whole renovation process. It’s important to look at the architecture and style of the rest of the house when designing a kitchen.

Happy renovating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Please follow and like us:

How Australia plays a small part in the biggest shopping mall in New York

I have just returned from a 6 week whirlwind around the world trip. Except that I probably need two new feet, I am totally broke as well as exhausted. Then again, I haven’t felt this alive, excited and motivated in a long time! Over the next few weeks I will share a few of the things I learned on my trip. As I had two teenagers in tow, there wasn’t much of a “design element” to my trip, but still, being exposed to other countries and cultures you always learn a few new tricks.

Today I want to kick off with my visit to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York. Yes, most of us know exactly where we were the day the aeroplanes hit the twin towers. However, being an outsider I could never imagined the impact on New Yorkers and the Manhatten skyline.  This museum has probably touched me more than any other museum I’ve ever been in.  It was extremely well presented. (One day I will tell you how it took 7 years to build this structure, but it fell down in 20min) What I actually want to discuss today is not the museum, but the shopping mall on the memorial site. At the time of the attacks, there was a Westfield shopping mall on the site already. This was damaged and demolished during the clean up operation. As we know, Westfield is an Australian owned shopping mall group. I was blown away by the amazing new mall that Westfield built on the same site. (Imagine the new Castle Towers could look like this!) It only openend in August 2016, so it’s brand new. It is architecturally stunning, with its’ huge white gleaming structures. However, the symbolisation of the fallen towers are breathtaking. At the moment it’s the biggest shopping mall in Manhattan.

twin towers fallen, september 11 memorial, westfield centre new york, 9/11 museum, shopping mall twin towers, reflection pools ny shopping

The photo on the left is one of the most well known images the day after the attacks. The image on the right is the inside of the new Westfield centre. It is an amazing and huge structure. It’s supposed to represent the fallen building. I think it was very well done, especially because it is extremely white and bright and feels like a new, fresh beginning for the people of New York. This white structure is called the Oculus. Many people have mixed feelings about it as some people have never set foot on the site again after 2001.

twin towers fallen, september 11 memorial, westfield centre new york, 9/11 museum, shopping mall twin towers, reflection pools ny shopping

The shopping mall is mostly underground, except for the top of the huge Oculus that sticks out above the ground. The Oculus is designed so that every year on 9/11 at exactly 10:28 a beam of light will penetrate the opening in the roof of the building, dividing the structure in half.

twin towers fallen, september 11 memorial, westfield centre new york, 9/11 museum, shopping mall twin towers, reflection pools ny shopping

With a project so close to so many people’s hearts, one can understand that some love it and others prefer not to shop in a mall that reminds them of the fallen towers. I’m not a New Yorker, but from an emotional and architectural point of view, I really like it. I love that it has a story. So this is why Australia plays a small part in part of the 9/11 memorial site. The mall/Ocuclus hosts a huge subway station and entrances to the Memorial site. The two reflection pools are right outside the exit of the mall.

twin towers fallen, september 11 memorial, westfield centre new york, 9/11 museum, shopping mall twin towers, reflection pools ny shopping

What I thought was going to be an hour visit to the World Trade Centre museum, turned out to be a life changing and architecturally inspiring 5 hours . When Americans go big, they go big!

I wish I had more time and space to tell you more!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: