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4 Expert Lighting Tips for Apartments

The right lighting in your apartment can make or break the balance between having a spacious well-lit abode or a dark and dreary space that has a massive effect on how much you enjoy your home.

Apartments in the UK, in general, can be quite tight for space and are known to come with a particular lack of natural light because of small windows and high rise buildings blocking out the light.

Luckily, there is a whole lot that you can do with the lighting in your apartment that will help to make it look more spacious.

If you want your apartment to contradict its actual size and feel warm and inviting, then you have to ensure you know what you’re doing with the lighting.

Here are our expert tips on how to get the lighting for your apartment just right.

 

  1.        Utilise natural light

Before we get into the amazing lighting fixtures that you can add to your apartment, the first thing you should do is consider the natural light that you have available.

Natural light can be pretty limited in small apartments, so it’s imperative to take advantage of as much as you can. Natural light is one of the best ways to make an apartment feel a bit bigger, and it eliminates dark shadows that can make your space feel more claustrophobic.

Make use of mirrors to play with the natural light that you do have and reflect it into areas that it might not reach; this will amplify the space and make it seem much bigger than it really is.

 

  1.        Use ceiling fixtures

If there’s one kind of light that will really help your apartment to seem more spacious, it’s the use of ceiling fixtures. This style of lighting fixture directs the attention of your space upwards to make a room seem more open; they also add a bit of drama and flair that can deceive the eye into thinking it’s much bigger than it really is.

However, don’t only use ceiling lights, and ensure that you have other fixtures to compliment your chosen fixture(s). A single ceiling fixture can detract from your room and make it seem smaller, so remember to pair it with something else.

 

  1.        Task lighting

When selecting lighting for your apartment it’s also really important to consider what you are going to be using each room for. The brightness and position of your lights should be determined by the activities that are taking place in each room in question.

For example, the kitchen is going to be used for chopping and cooking and therefore it’s important to have bright lights that allow enough illumination for what you’re going to be doing.

Whereas the dining room might need a little less brightness and a little more warmth to create the kind of ambience that you are looking for over mealtimes and socialising.

 

  1.        Dimmers

Don’t shy away from incorporating dimmers in the lighting design of your apartment, as they offer a kind of flexibility that allows a room to have multiple uses.

For example, your dining room may be used by your children to do homework, or for you to read, and this requires bright lighting. However, you can use a dimmer to turn down the stark white light and turn it into something a little more ambient when you have people over for dinner or drinks.

These are just some of our top tips on lighting for your apartment. Feel free to contact us if you need more advice and we will be more than happy to help you find the best light for your home.

How to Light Artwork in your Home

There’s nothing quite like getting your new favourite piece of artwork mounted on your wall. However, many homeowners struggle to find the right fixture to light their new art in a way that accentuates the piece without detracting from the décor of the rest of the room.

Ensuring that you get the right picture lighting for your home’s artwork comes down to fine planning on how you are going to get it looking as good on your wall as it did in the gallery.

 

The following guide is to help you get the basics right when it comes to ensuring the artwork on your wall is seen in the best light.

 

LED lighting

Most of the world’s most famous art galleries and other institutions are making the move over to LED lighting, which isn’t just incredibly effective and advanced, but also uses less energy and emits less heat than a normal bulb.

The wonderful thing about LED lighting is that it’s so modern and advanced that its features allow you to do almost exactly as you wish to the artwork and also adjust it for different situations. For example, you could set the light to adjust for the number of people that are in a room or to match the exact quality of natural light that should be coming in at a specific time of day.

LED lighting is innovative and exciting and if are serious about displaying your artwork in the best light, then LED is certainly the way to go.

 

Picture lights

If you really want your visitors to gravitate towards a piece of artwork in your home, then you should definitely consider investing in some high quality picture lights. The lights are mounted on the wall incredibly close to a painting and it tends to magnify the intimacy and magnificence of the artwork.

The great thing is that picture lights are also decorative fixtures, which means that while they illuminate and magnify the focus on your artwork, they themselves add to the general décor and ambience of your home.

Picture lights are also incredibly practical for people who are renting homes or apartments and are not allowed to put fittings onto the walls.

 

Keep the surface and type of light in mind

Firstly, remember that if you have framed your artwork and its located behind class, then it is going to react to light and flare in some spots. This means you will have to adjust your lights in such a way that it doesn’t create problems in the glass; another big pitfall to avoid with artwork behind glass is using natural light as your source.

Glass has an even bigger propensity to reflect and bounce light off from natural window light than artificial light.

It’s also imperative to remember that some lights can harm your artwork and you should position your lights with this in mind. If you leave a halogen light in one spot on your artwork, it is essentially going to burn it away over time and make it more faded than the rest of the artwork.

Remember to always adjust the angles of your lights and ensure that they are at a distance that is far enough away to prevent damage.

Whether you’re looking to light up a friend’s piece that you bought at their recent exhibition or you have spent hundreds of thousands on a particularly popular artwork at the gallery – all artwork deserves to be appreciated.

Contact us if you have any more questions on the best way to light artwork in your home.

 

The Many Benefits of Choosing a Professional Interior Designer vs. Doing a DIY Renovation

Remodelling or starting to decorate your home from scratch is never the easiest thing. It takes time, money and the vision to create something that you will love for many years ahead. With all this in mind, it’s little wonder that many people hire interior designers to decorate their dream home.

In this article we outline just some of the benefits of hiring a professional interior designer vs. doing it all by yourself.

 

Time is money

There are no two ways about it: time is money and redecorating or building your home is going to take time regardless of whether you go alone or use a professional interior decorator. The big question is: How much time do you have to spare?

When doing a DIY project, you’ll have to take a very hands-on approach and it’s likely that you and your partner/family will be doing all the hard work yourself. This can be incredibly time-consuming if you have a full-time job and have to rely on after hours or weekends to get the decorating done.

When you hire a professional interior designer, he/she will usually come with a whole team of hands. The added bonus is that interior decorating is their full-time job and this means while you have to leave for your daily employment, you know that they are at your home doing the work for you.

 

Cost

The factor that puts most people off hiring professional interior decorators is the cost factor and the truth of the matter is, that if you are looking purely at per hour pay then sure, professionals are going to cost you a whole lot more than taking a DIY approach.

However, what many people tend to forget are the connections that professionals bring with them when it comes to building or sourcing items. Most professionals have preferred suppliers that they work with and this often comes with special prices.

Instead of shopping around and spending hours finding the perfect lighting fixture and getting charged full price, interior decorators can save you time and money through their well-used suppliers.

 

Your vision

Your home is your special place and whether you are decorating a modern marvel or a quaint cottage, you are undoubtedly going to have visions of what you want your space to look like.

The right interior designer will listen to your vision and put a professional take on it. He/she will be able to recognise all of the issues that someone who’s not experienced in design would overlook.

From incorporating the perfect colour palate and blend of different styles to making sure your space is both stylish and practical, you can be sure that your vision will be brought to life in the best way possible.

 

Less stress

Not sure what kind of furniture would match your chosen wallpaper? Confused about which style of bath would look great with your new luxury vinyl tiles and bathroom lighting fixtures? It can be stressful knowing which elements of your design will complement one another.

Working with a professional interior designer will make the process of decorating your space much less stressful so you can enjoy seeing your dream space come together before your eyes.

How To Plan And Design A Contemporary Bedroom

Contemporary design is an excellent style if you want a fresh, new look for your bedroom. That’s because this design aesthetic is all about what is popular right now. It combines elements of every style of design, bringing them together in a way that is, well, contemporary.

At Christopher Wray, we’re dedicated to helping you design perfect spaces. That’s why we’ve put together the following information to guide you through creating a contemporary bedroom.

 

Here’s everything you need to know to get started:

Designing the Perfect Contemporary Bedroom

Since contemporary design is all about what’s happening right now, it is a very fluid and changeable style. That’s part of what makes this style so much fun to work with. You are not limited to any one aesthetic as contemporary design can pull from any style. And, if you plan properly, you can easily adjust the look and feel of the room in the future.

Contemporary Design is All About Blending the Right Elements

Since this is such a smooth and changeable style, one of the most important things to get right is how you blend the various elements. To keep your design current throughout the coming years, you may want to leave room to change and grow.

Here are some tips to help you realise your design dreams:

Choose a Focal Point to Design Around

Many people begin with a foundation in modern design styles. You can think of this as kind of like light shading in a canvas. You’re setting the stage for the accents that will fully form the picture. However, unlike in modern design, contemporary pieces have more rounded lines. Of course, your focal point doesn’t have to be modern design, or even a design style.

Your focal point could be a vibrant colour or pattern that you absolutely adore. It could be the beautiful windows, or artistic crown moulding in your bedroom. The idea is to create a common thread to your design so that you can more easily bring together different styles.

Examples: Focal Points for Bedroom Design

So, a focal point should not overpower the room. It doesn’t even have to be the focus of the room. It is the focus of what you design around. For example, let’s say your favourite colour is plum purple. You wouldn’t want to paint your walls plum purple as that would be overwhelming! But you could choose a good base colour for your walls that would make a plum purple really pop. Then, add the plum colour as your primary accent.

The Cosmo Suite No. 1 bed is a great way to add strong colour accents to your bedroom. The quilted headboard can be upholstered in almost any shade, so you can create just the right effect without overwhelming the room.

 

Know What is Popular Right Now

Contemporary is all about what’s trending right now so you might need to refresh yourself on currently popular styles and trends. While it is often a good rule of thumb to ground your contemporary design in classic or modern styles, you should always have strong elements of what is popular right now.

Here’s what’s in at the moment:

  •         Cleverly disguised technology integration
  •         Natural fabrics and finishes
  •         Clean, smooth lines
  •         Cream-based neutral tones with isolated pops of vibrant colours and stark whites
  •         Rooms with a spacious and airy feel

Examples: Currently Popular Trends

The Dinard chest of drawers  features the simple, rounded lines that are the current hallmarks of contemporary design. Choose your own finish to make this piece a background element or a vibrant accent.

Use Lighting to Highlight and Accentuate the Design

Lighting is very important in contemporary design. It should compliment the overall aesthetic while also creating the right atmosphere in terms of illumination. Currently, lamps with metallic bases and natural shapes are in style. You can also invest in lighting that has an artistic flair, though these should be used sparingly so they don’t compete with the rest of the room. Track lighting is also often used to highlight different focal points in the room.

Examples: Accenting a Room with Lighting

For a bedroom, look into floor lamps and table lamps to add in accents. The  Abbey floor lamp is a great accent for contemporary design. It has a modern design with a retro look and feel. This perfect balance of styles creates a look that blends in while also standing out, and that is the heart of contemporary design.

Keep it Contemporary with Easily Changeable Accents

By now you should have a feel for how to get started on your bedroom design project. Contemporary is all about balancing what is in now with design aesthetics from styles that appeals to you. It’s about balancing between personal style and popular style, and that means you may want to change up your space in the future.

So, make sure you create a good foundation for your room that can easily absorb different styles. You can then change the overall look and feel simply by investing in new decorations, reupholstering, or changing out smaller furniture.

Contemporary Design is Fluid and Changeable

The best thing about contemporary design is fluidity. It is all about using what has come before to create what is now. This gives you huge creative authorisation as you play around with balancing all the different styles. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your design today so you can rest in comfort and style tomorrow.

Secrets For Mastering The Art Of Interior Design

While it might help, you don’t need a degree in interior design to become a design master. Interior design is an art form, and any art form can be improved with a little bit of knowledge and a lot of practice.

Here’s what you need to know about learning the art of designing beautiful rooms:

How to Master the Art of Interior Design

Interior design doesn’t have to be complicated but, to keep it simple, you are going to have to do a little research as it really is an art form. Once you learn the basics, you are in a better position to decide how you are going to build on them. The best place to start is by educating yourself on the science of visual perception.

Understanding the Basics of Visual Perception

Design plays on established rules that were created around how the human eye tends to perceive an object. Take some time to read up on how design can be used to draw the eye towards a central point without losing the overall picture. That is the most basic place from which you should begin. It is also beneficial to understand how lines and colour are used to create optical illusions, such as making a small room appear larger.

 

This solid foundation is what you need to ensure you create designs that are beautiful and timeless. Knowing the basics of how form, shape, and colour are used is essential to interior design.

Learn How to Read the Room

Like any artist, you are limited by the size and shape of your canvas. If you are grounded in the basics of visual perception, it becomes easier to see how these limitations can become the inspiration that creates truly magnificent design. To be able to do that, however, you have to read the room.

Reading the room means that you have spent time in it. You know just how the light enters through the windows at different times of the day. You are aware of how sound travels through the space, and of how people will likely move through the space to reach other areas of your home. This allows you to design for the use of the room, and also to choose design elements that compliment the natural lighting and shape of the space.

Learn the Rules of Design so You’ll Know When to Bend Them

Knowing the rules of design is different than knowing the science behind visual perception. This is about learning what styles traditionally blend well, and what is considered to be a mismatch. You can play on these basic rules, bending and breaking them occasionally to allow for a unique and fun twist on something classic.

For example, mixing too many styles is generally not recommended for interior design. If you understand enough about visual perception and the art of design, however, you might be able to get away with it.

Use Visuals to Play Around with Combinations

There’s a reason pinterest has become so popular: it allows people to better visualise an idea before bringing it to fruition. There are plenty of ways you can better visualise your space before actually creating it. Some websites even offer 3D design programs that allow you to literally build your room in virtual reality.

Start simple. Choose a colour palette and different styles of furniture. Create a scrapbook or pinterest board where you can see these different elements side-by-side. Take a couple of weeks to plan everything, and be willing to walk away for a bit so you can see it with fresh eyes. This will help you spot inconsistencies and make adjustments before you apply paint or purchase furniture.

Be The Master of Your Interior Design Project

All you need is the resolve to learn the basics and an artistic flair to help inspire you along the way when it comes to mastering your interior design project. If you’d like a helping hand to unlock the potential of your home when it comes to its interior design, hire a professional interior design expert to help you make the right choices for your space.

10 Zen home office ideas to inspire productivity and peace of mind

Working from home has become a new “norm” in today’s workplace. For those fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the perks of flexible working conditions, having a suitable space is key to make this arrangement work. For some, the ideal of working from home does not always translate in reality and the space they are working from can be the determining factor in the success of this.

It is no coincidence that the most multinational organisations invest heavily into the design, layout and ergonomics of their offices. It has been shown that cleverly designed workspaces directly impact the productivity, creativity and overall happiness of employees. And we all know happy employees make for happy balance sheets. Your own home space should be created with this in mind.

There are many factors to consider when creating a home office; you want to create a Zen environment to tap into your creative potential.

The following are 10 easy steps to bring more Zen into your home working space;

2. Lighting

One of the key factors in designing any space – but especially a home office – is lighting. Studies have proved that lighting can improve mood, energy, alertness, productivity and decrease depression. 

Phillips Systems carried out research highlighting how light affects our circadian rhythms, determining your sleep cycle, moods, stimulation and relaxation. Getting the correct lighting is so much more than creating a pretty space as it can be the determining factor in whether you can work efficiently in your home office or not.

There are two aspects to consider when it comes to lighting, and they are natural and artificial. The space you have will determine how much natural light you can maximise. If you are fortunate to have a lot of natural light in your office, use it!

If you have big windows, try positioning your desk by the window or in direct sunlight. This will help keep you alert and focused. Dark, dim spaces will not only make you feel sluggish but it will make it much harder to stay motivated for any length of time.

Even with good natural light you should consider clever wall lighting to keep your office bright as the afternoon kicks in to avoid any mid-afternoon slumps in productivity. Wall features such as this Bamburgh light are fantastic for ensuring a bright space whatever the time or weather.

 

 

For those of us who aren’t blessed with great natural lighting, don’t stress as there are fantastic ways to brighten up a dark space with clever lighting.  Light features such as button ceiling lights are really clever ways to transform a dark dreary office space. The creative design of such feature not only brighten your home office but it cultivates an inspired feeling, adding a touch of Zen.

The beauty of multipurpose features like the button light (can be used internally and externally) are the ambience they create. Soft, subtle lighting will transform any office into a dreamy, bright, open space that you will enjoy spending time in.

2. Define the space

The most common pitfall of those working from home is that they fall into the trap of not having a designated space to work from. The novelty of working from home will quickly wear off if the lines between home life and work commitments are not defined. The secret to making this work is it has to feel like an office.

3. Desk Lights

Make sure to invest in a desk light if you plan on spending hours looking at a computer screen. Minimalist features such as the Yvon desk lamp will create a zen feeling to your home office. Make sure the lamp is bright but doesn’t take up a lot of space, the less cluttered your home office desk is the more productive you will feel.

4. Storage

Ensuring you have adequate storage will create a more organised environment. A cluttered space will clutter your mind. Clutter is a form of stuck energy and you do not want to have an energy block in the midst of work deadlines, clearing this will create the mental space needed to meet your deadlines and achieve your goals. You can remove this barrier to productivity by having clever storage solutions.

Have a specific desk, storage area (filing cabinets, folders, paper trays etc.). Once you have a space dedicated to work you can make it feel inspired without compromising on design. Be ruthless in clearing your desk every day, store what needs to be stored and dump the rest. By organising your documents into clever storage solutions will keep your desk and mind clear, sharp and focused on the task at hand.

5. Ambience

In order to make your office at home feel more zen like it is important to cultivate a creative ambience. Lighting as we have mentioned is key to pulling this off however there are other tricks that can transform your home office.

6. Scent

Scents can evoke a special feeling in a room so use your favourite scented candles as a way to create a relaxed feeling while stimulating your brain at the same time.

7. Plants

Plants, bring the outdoors indoors to create a zen vibe. There is nothing quite like nature and greenery to invoke an instant injection of zen and this feeling can do wonders for rebooted a stressed mind and improving your mindset and productivity. A couple of cleverly positioned green plants or your favourite flowers can add a zen like feeling to your home office, as with all features in your home office when creating a zen feeling remember less is more.

8. Water Feature

In Zen philosophy water symbolises the dual nature of the human mind and energy. We all know how calming time spent by the ocean is for the soul. By bringing a water feature into your home office it will tap into your subconscious mind throughout the day evoking a feeling of relaxation, calm and increased productivity.  Paired with one of the beautiful lighting features from Christopher Wray can create a beautiful aesthetic focus point in your home office.

9. Motivational Images

The power of nature and motivational mantras are key components in Zen philosophy and there is no reason why this can not be integrated into your home office. A quick and easy way of doing this is placing a picture or canvas of a beautiful sunset or ocean, or better still a memory that is very special to you. The power of the emotion triggered by these images or mantras can bring a sense of contentment, calm, peace which will translate by bringing a sense of mindfulness and perspective to your work.

10. Meditation Space

Creating a quiet space in your home office will allow you to make the transition from work to home life with ease. An easy way to do this is to have a corner of your room dedicated to this. Using cushions, candles, incense and soft light features from our collection will create a beautiful space for you to tap into your fullest potential both professionally and personally.

A meditation space may not be the first thing that comes to mind when designing an office but when you are spending most of your day exhausting your mental energy, creating, innovating it is important that you have the mental space to recharge. A regular meditation practice will increase productivity and serve as the secret ingredient to your success.

The 10 Up-and-Coming Property Hotspots in London

 

With London property prices as expensive as ever, despite the challenges of high stamp duty and Brexit uncertainty, it is possible to still find some value in the most coveted up and coming property hotspots if you are in the market for a new home.

Given the predicted housing prices in the central zone are showing no signs of slowing down, house buyers are looking to some up and coming hotspots being primarily in pre-development areas. All of these locations provide the amenities of good transport systems into central London, affordable housing and regeneration schemes.

Here are 10 of the hottest property locations in London right now.

 

1.  Tottenham

From an investment perceptive it would be hard to look past Tottenham. With a massive £1 billion investment into the regeneration project ‘High Road West’ and plans for 10,000 new homes, Tottenham is certainly a future hotspot that could yield high ROI’s on properties. Currently a one- bedroom apartment will cost approximately £300,000 compared to the average London property costing over £400,000.

Famous for the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium and being in close proximity to central London coupled with the regeneration plan make Tottenham one of the hottest places to invest right now.

 

2.  Wembley

The regeneration of Wembley Park and investment in infrastructure are driving prices up in Wembley. In addition to this, Brent Cross shopping centre is undergoing a massive facelift with over 200 new shops, restaurants and cinemas. The combination of these developments and a good transport system thanks to Wembley Stadium are making this location an appealing area to live and invest in.

 

3.  Southall

From 2019 Southall will be serviced by Crossrail trains making this a spot to watch as property prices are sure to rise. With low house prices, this new transport connection, high end retailers and amazing food options, this West London location is set to be injected with a new lease of life and attract new buyers into the area.

 

4.  Lisson Grove

Lisson Grove is an area to watch, with properties cheaper than its affluent neighbours Regent’s Park and Marylebone. Known for its arts, culture and The Beatles and their Abbey Road famous photo, the area has long attracted young, artsy individuals.

With a 20-year regeneration plan by Westminister Council for the area, house prices are forecasted to skyrocket.

 

5.  Sydenham

South East London suburb Sydenham is benefiting in a surge of first time buyers in recent years. With its proximity to Crystal Palace and accessibility to central London, this is one to watch.

Whether it’s a first time buy or an investment property, Sydenham has a lot to offer. Boasting large green spaces, an up and coming foodie scene and independent coffee shops, this location has great potential for commuters. With direct access to London Bridge in 21 minutes and Victoria in just 14 minutes, buyers can have the best of both worlds here.

 

6.  White City

The development of White City is putting this area on the radar of investors and homebuyers alike. The famous BBC headquarters building is being regenerated into offices and living spaces. The development of this area is being targeted to affluent, trendy young professionals with a Soho House hotel and private members club being built there too. With rents cheaper than those in Notting Hill, White City is soon to be a very desirable postcode.

 

7.  Gidea Park

The northwest suburb of Gidea Park has grown in popularity with the improved transport options. The suburban appeal of Gidea Park with easy access to London and great amenities make this a popular spot.

 

8.  Lewisham

Another area of regeneration, Lewisham is primed to become another hotspot in London. Lewisham is undergoing fast growth in properties in the area, with development of key amenities making the area more desirable for young professionals. The proposed transport developments in the pipeline of the Bakerloo Line will make zone 1 more accessible and properties here more desirable.

 

9.  Luton

Traditionally not the most obvious or popular choice of commuter towns for those looking to live and work in London, Luton is not to be snubbed. With a regeneration programme in place for the area, Luton is an affordable option when it comes to getting a foot on the property ladder.

 

10.  Camden

Camden is experiencing a big resurgence in popularity and properties in the area are back in the spotlight. Camden’s rich culture and individuality has long been its appeal and it is this uniqueness that is drawing people back to the area.

With Camden Market, a fantastic location close to King’s Cross and St Pancras all adding to the appeal of investment in the area for both private properties and businesses, it might be a great investment for the right person. Staying through to its roots, a large portion of the investments are occurring in factories and converting industrial premises.

 

 

How to Give Your Bedroom a Fabulous Summer Makeover

A new season brings new inspiration, and sometimes all you need to feel more invigorated and energetic is to switch up your styles. This summer, you might consider making some interior decoration changes, and the bedroom is a great place to get started.

Forget about those winter blues that had you wanting to dive back under the covers where it was still toasty and warm. With a brighter, breezier look to your bedroom, you will want to bounce out of bed to greet the beauty of a warm summer morning.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at how to makeover your bedroom the Christopher Wray way.

1. Boost your bed

The most obvious piece of bedroom furniture that can provide huge benefit from an upgrade is the bed. It's normally the biggest thing in the room, and the choices you make can have a big impact on your comfort and lifestyle.

It really is best to go for the biggest bed you can get. That's because nothing beats a king sized bed for comfort and luxury. The larger mattress size means you have more room to roll around and find the perfect position for sleeping.

The parts of the bed that matter are the base, the mattress, and the bed head. For those who tend to be a bit accident-prone, there's a wonderful Christopher Wray bedroom solution especially for you.

It's called the Alexo, and one of the nicest features is it has a bit of extra padding all the way around, plus there are no sharp corners to bang your knees on when you're stumbling around in the dark.

The padded bead head of the Alexo bed is also great for those who have a tendency to sit up suddenly and accidentally bang their head on the wall. No more sudden shocks.

A stylish modern look can be achieved with the range of Cosmo Suites. The elegant, simple, rectangular style is so minimalist, it almost has a Zen quality to it. The result is a very clean look that can make a room feel more lively and energetic.

When the rest of your décor or architecture is more on the classic side, the Crest or Oaker beds will not seem out of place. These are sturdy, low profile bed choices that feel just as luxurious as they look.

The first thing you'll notice about the Crest design is that rather than the usual padded bed head, this one has an elegant hand carved design that looks quite ornate and regal. The Oaker is just a basic comfortable design that will look at home in almost any room. It is a very sturdy design with a large padded bed head.

Onto these beds you will need an excellent mattress, and one of the best choices you can get is the Simba mattress.

It's made right here in the UK, and provides cool comfort with excellent support. It's also the perfect size and shape to complement any of the Christopher Wray beds.

2. Top your bed with quality bedding

Just because winter is over doesn't mean you should toss your duvet away. You may want to switch to a lighter one for summer, however. If even a very light duvet feels too hot, there are specially made knitted blankets you can buy that may feel more comfortable. The holes between the stitches help air to circulate better, which can be a great relief if you've been suffering night sweats.

Sheets are also important, and while there are many choices, for summer what will feel the most luxurious and cool will be either genuine Egyptian cotton or authentic flax-based linen in the highest thread count you can find. A high thread count helps to make the fabric stronger and more durable. Using sheets made from these natural fibres will help you feel more cool and comfortable.

What most people will want to avoid is synthetic materials in sheets, because these can feel quite the opposite. Lacking the excellent moisture wicking capabilities and generous pores for air circulation that you find in the natural products, synthetic fibres can feel hot and unpleasant. They will do a poor job of absorbing sweat, thus allowing it to pool and create dampness.

Pillows are important too. Most people prefer a firm pillow for good neck support, and in recent years latex has become the most fashionable choice in pillows. One thing you should be careful of if you are considering upgrading to a latex pillow is that some people have allergic reactions to this material. "Try before you buy" is not a bad idea, especially when you consider the high cost of latex pillows.

3. Other furnishings

What type of additional furniture and how much you use depends on how much space you have available.

Bedside tables are good for helping you keep needed items within easy reach while you sleep, and of course, they're an excellent spot for adding a table lamp.

The styles can range from extra simple (Vaux) to extremely ornate (Grimaud). When choosing, think about the height of the bed. Your bedside tables should never tower over the bed, or it will be difficult to reach the objects you place on them. Also make sure you have enough room beside the bed to fit the tables.

When you need some extra storage space, a chest of drawers is a step up from the humble bedside table. These too, can be either simple or ornate, and they should ideally be a good match for your décor.

Features to consider apart from the look include whether or not the design includes handles for the drawers, the height and width of the chest body, and of course the number of drawers provided. Popular styles include Justine, Ouistre, and Wilsford.

A wardrobe is primarily intended for storing clothes, especially suits, jackets, trousers, etc. If you are buying a new wardrobe, think about things like whether it has hinged or sliding doors, the ratio of shelf to rail space, and any additional special features that you like in the design.

4. Light up your life

Of course the bedroom is usually a place where you'll be relaxing just before you go to sleep, so it's a perfect place to enjoy the benefits of a table lamp or reading lamp. This will make it easy for you to turn off the light, and also allows you a more comfortable personal light source don't need to rely on primary ambient light.

The Abazi lamps by Christopher Wray offer a wonderful choice of colours, and their modern lines make them an excellent choice for a contemporary or futuristic style bedroom. For a more elegant retro look, the Alicia range of table lamps is simply gorgeous.

We have a special fondness for the classic Art Nouveau look, which is revived in modern form with designs such as Garthurst and Neywood. These will add a practical light source for you to enjoy while also beautifying and enhancing your room.

The above tips hopefully have provided you with some inspiration for updating your room for the summer season. We'll be back with more home decorating tips and lighting suggestions, so be sure to visit the Christopher Wray blog often.

Explore the Many Facets of Exterior Home Lighting

Every room in your home is important, but what about the room outside your home? Your exterior spaces are an extension of your interior and they should be treated with the very same care and attention when it comes to decorating. With the right choices in decor, you’ll create a seamless integration between the two spaces and your home’s exterior and interior will have a much more cohesive atmosphere.

Lighting is essential for both the comfort of your outdoor spaces and their ability to mimic the same artistic harmony of your interior decorating. It is, therefore, one of the most important aspects to get right when it comes to designing your outdoor space.

On that note; let’s explore the many facets of exterior home lighting.

Using Outdoor Lighting to Create an Atmosphere

As the sun sets, your lights become the functional element that allows you to see and the level of lighting you choose for your outdoors will determine what you’re able to do in each space. It also determines how you feel about being in that space so it’s important to choose different types of lighting for different areas, matching the style and level of light that you need for the space to be functional.

No matter what lighting you choose, it should be beautifully designed whether illuminated or not. You want your spaces to look great whether it’s day or night, so choose lighting that looks good whether or not it’s being used. The Abruzzo period style lantern collection is a perfect example.

 

Let Path Lights Guide the Way

Path lights are generally small and fit neatly into the ground or along fence posts. They’re made to illuminate pathways through your yard or along your fencing, but you can also use them to mark out the edges of ponds and pools as an added safety feature. They’re lovely additions along garden walks, and they’ll keep guests from trampling on your prized flowers!

Another great use for path lighting is to illuminate the walk up to your entryways. Be sure to place lighting in a uniform pattern and use additional lighting to draw focus towards featured design elements. This really increases the impact your entrance has as people arrive at your home and it’s a wonderful way to make your main entrance feel welcoming and inviting.

Our Gnome modern exterior wall light and miniature floor lamp collection can be used as a modern and stylish alternative to traditional path lights. They have been designed on the concept of a Garden Gnome and the frame is finished in white high resistant paint for maximum outdoor protection.

Illuminate Your Favourite Focal Points and Features

You’ve put time into designing your perfect outdoor space and that deserves a spotlight! If you have statuary, topiaries or other impressive design features you can use path lights and spotlights to draw attention to them. One way to really make things stand out is to use path lighting around your home, but choose a light with a contrasting and more understated design to draw attention to various features. Our Gnome exterior light would be ideal for this.

Additionally, your path lighting and features lighting should radiate different types of light. Path lighting should provide a soft glow that creates a cone of light. Feature lighting, on the other hand, should be illuminated with a bright beam that is directed at the feature itself.

Make a Statement with Standing Lamps and Pendant Lighting

Using large, standing lights outdoors is a great way to make simple design into something amazing. Items such as the AMAX exterior floor lamp are statement pieces unto themselves and make perfect accents for gathering spaces on the lawn or pool deck.

Pendant lighting does the same for your porches and balconies, creating an elegant and relaxing space for people to sit and relax after a long day.

Make your Outdoor Space your new Favourite Room

You can make the most of your lawn and outdoor spaces with signature lighting that keeps your exterior functional day and night. Not only that, carefully placed lighting provides extra security and allows you to illuminate your favourite outdoor features once the sun sets.

We have a wide range of lighting that opens up a world of opportunities for you to make your yard the best room in the house.

Foscarini Is Fast Becoming One of the UK’s Best-Loved Lighting Brands

Lighting is one of the most basic elements of design and it represents a central point where style meets functionality. Lighting completely changes the way a room looks and feels by using the interplay between light and shadow. When you add in beautifully creative design, lighting becomes an artistic element that brings out the overall originality of the room it illuminates.

Foscarini is an Italian lighting design company that is known for their bold and innovative products. They wholeheartedly embrace the mastery that Italian design is known for throughout many industries.

Each lamp is carefully planned to create interplay of light and shadow that evokes emotion while providing the perfect levels of illumination necessary for different types of space. They’re quickly rising in popularity in the UK, and it’s all because of their commitment to artistry in the lighting industry.

Lamps Worthy of the Louvre

Foscarini has changed the way we view lighting for 30 years and counting. Their designs focus as much on the artistry of their overall product as on the quality of light each item produces. You’ll find stunning explorations of geometrics and natural shapes, as well as some truly imaginative feats of engineering.

Whether it’s their gravity-defying Twiggy lamp by Marc Sadler or the delicate Caboche ceiling and wall set by Urguiola and Gerotto, their pieces become the fine details that truly heighten the overall aesthetic of a space.

Their Caboche ceiling lamp actually reflects the appearance of the sun in a clear sky. The way light refracts across the spheres that compose the body of the piece creates delicate fractal patterns reminiscent of an Indian Mandala drawing. This attention to detail is what sets Foscarini lighting apart from other companies, relegating them to the realms of fine art as well as fine lighting.

Innovation Begins with the Bulb

The Mandala patterns created by the Caboche ceiling light are made possible by a combination of the overall structure of the piece and also Foscarini’s choice in lighting mechanics.

Everything is carefully planned so that the strength and quality of light matches and enhances the design of each product. That’s how Foscarini is able to create unique pieces that seamlessly integrate into a room. Fine art should only dominate a space when it’s meant to do so, after all.

The mechanics of lighting have shifted greatly over the years, and Foscarini has been keen to keep their creative vision current with new technologies. Their company began when the halogen bulb was still the mainstay in lighting fixtures. Today, the company continues to explore incandescents while also responding to the growing interest in LED lighting.

Production Comes Second to Concept

At Foscarini, everything they make is a way to give form to a concept. The Twiggy lamp by Marc Sadler began with an idea based around the way fishing boats are lighted along the helm. This basic concept grew into an exploration of weights and levers, finally resulting in the heavy head of the lamp gracefully extending from an impossibly thin base.

Their products are not designed according to ease of production. Instead, they’re constructed to give form to a concept. There is no shortage of concepts at Foscarini, either. The company works with a long list of impressive designers who are given creative license to fully explore their ideas. That’s why they continue to offer some of the most forward-thinking and truly innovative lighting products in the industry.

Emotion Sets the Tone

Lighting has always been an important feature in what kind of mood a room creates. Design increasingly weighs this factor in the creation of beautiful interior and exterior spaces. Foscarini values emotion above all else, citing this as a primary feature of good lighting design.

Their products are a practice in crafting experience, and that’s exactly why they’re quickly becoming one of the best-loved lighting brands in the UK.

From concept to the finished product, this company keeps a close eye on quality of design. Their products fully explore not only how lighting can change your life, but also what lighting can mean in terms of good design.

With their focus on innovation, emotion and artistry; this company will likely continue to dominate the industry for many years and we’re proud to stock some of the brand’s wonderful designs.