Kitchen Design Trends for 2015

We wanted to share this great Infographic about Kitchen Design Trends for 2015. Of particular interest is the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important design elements especially in kitchens and is too often not paid proper attention in the overall design plan.

LED Lighting: Pros and Kind of a Con

led light

Below is a guest post on the subject of using LED lighting options for the interior and exterior of your home (or office for that matter!). S Interior Design specifies LED light options for all of our client projects.    Even if it is simply replacing existing recessed can light bulbs with an LED option, the new light output can make a big difference in how the space looks. Continue reading

101 Designer Secrets — #60, #65 and #70-71

The May issue of House Beautiful magazine has a 4 page spread of 101 Designer Secrets.  We read them and decided to share along with some commentary.  Not all 101 will be shared, but you can click on the link above to HB, or subscribe to their hard copy magazine to read them all if you wish to.

These ‘secrets’ or tips, as I prefer to label them are related to the most important and often overlooked design element—LIGHTING–

#60: Lighting is everything.  It creates drama, and intrigue in a room. The easiest way to accomplish this is with  a dimmer switch.  I always use dimmers even in the powder room-Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Absolutely agree with Mr. Bullard on this one.  You can easily add dimmers to your existing lights!


#65: To create flattering light, have your lampshades lined in soft pink or use GE soft pink 100-watt bulbs-David Scott

Definitely a good idea to use in entertaining spaces and dining rooms

#70: We locate light switches about 36″ above the floor.  That way they stay out of the way of the art on your walls.  We put switches about 1 1/2″ to 2″ off the right side of door casing for the same reason-Gil Schafer

#71: Install an outlet 28″ high behind a console tables.  This allows you to add lamps with out an unsightly tangle of cords-Ashley Whittaker

When you are doing a new build or remodel, this is excellent advice !

Optimizing Natural Light In Your Home

When I got asked if I would enjoy a guest blog post on the subject of Natural Light I immediately said YES!  I am a firm believer in the power of light and how it impacts how a room looks and feels, and often say to my clients that we need to leverage natural lighting in our design work together.  Of course living and working in perpetually sunny Arizona brings great options to work with natural light.  So assess your home and see where you can install a Solar Tube or get rid of heavy window coverings and let in some of nature’s bounty—LIGHT.

Guest post below:

The effects of natural lighting on a room can be very subtle, but that doesn’t detract from its importance. Ideally whenever you design a room you need to consider what light it will get from the outside and how best to utilize it. There is a large number of factors you will need to think about when planning the lighting for a room, too many for this article to cover. But hopefully it will give you an overview of how to make the most of natural lighting for your home.

The first and most important factor is the direction from which the light is coming from. Whilst I’m writing in the northern hemisphere, if you live in the southern hemisphere you can swap north and south around.

  • North: Because north facing rooms never receive direct sunlight the light often has a cold flattening quality. For this reason artists often prefer north facing studios as they allow you to see the true colour of your paints.
  • East: East facing rooms get direct light in the morning as the sun rises but far less light in the evening.
  • South: South facing rooms get the benefits of direct sunlight on them for most of the day making them warmer and better lit than others.
  • West: West facing rooms will be dark in the morning but brighten up as the sun moves to the west. They will often get the most heat as not only does the early afternoon sun tends to be the warmest but the setting sun will often shine directly into them.

Natural History Museum by Stephen Boisvert (used under CC licence)

This picture gives a nice illustration of how much stronger light from the southern window is. (South on the left)

You should take the factors above into consideration when considering the purpose of a room. For example east and north facing rooms will tend to be colder and darker than south and west facing rooms. This means that you will need use artificial lighting not only to brighten the room and to counter the flat effect the reflected sunlight often gives. For south and west facing rooms then window treatments such as blinds or curtains will help you to control how much light gets in and reduce glare.

South Facing Bedroom by Tom Parnell (used under CC Licence)

Functional rooms like kitchens and studies will benefit from large windows so as to let in as much light as possible. Often you can increase the drop of a window without affecting the structural integrity of a wall. Though if you want to replace the wall with say French doors then you will need to get a builder in. In rooms where you want to relax small and medium sized windows tend to give you a more relaxing atmosphere and privacy.

Natural light can have surprising effects on the colours that you paint your walls. For example you might well find that bright colours used in a south facing room are overwhelming, while pastels in a north facing room can appear washed out. In general though you can use paints to either counter or enhance the effects of the natural light. For example if your north facing room is too cold and dark then bright colours will help to liven it up.

East and west facing rooms need the most thought as the amount of light in these rooms will change dramatically through the day. In general you will to design east facing rooms for morning use and west facing for the afternoon. Therefore I prefer bright colours in eastern rooms to help you wake up and warm or darker colours in the west to help you relax.

Author Bio: Daniel is a UK blogger and copywriter with an interest in interior design. He is writing on behalf of Wooden Blinds Direct a specialist online supplier of wooden venetian blinds.