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Blog posts tagged with 'exterior lighting'

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.

Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home for a Party

There are all kinds of different parties, so how you decorate your party will depend quite a bit on what kind of party you're hosting.

One thing that's sure, though, is people will enjoy the party much more if you make at least some effort toward decorating.

Just how lavish and imaginative you can be may be subject to budget limitations, but below you will find ideas to select from that cover a broad range of party situations. Just pick and mix the ideas that will work best for your own party.

 

Make the décor fit the theme of the party

This one is stating the obvious a bit, but using Christmas decorations for a Halloween party won't work well at all. Halloween decorations at a wedding reception probably aren't such a good idea either.

So the first thing you need to think about before you do anything else is the nature of the party you're hosting, and determine an appropriate theme that will suit. You then have the basis from which to proceed with the rest of your decorating.

 

Partying outdoors can sometimes be the best option

Halloween, Christmas, and New Year parties may be the exception here due to the weather we can expect at that time of year, but in general if you have the space and the weather is decent enough, then an outdoor party is often a great idea.

Marquee hire is inexpensive and it's much easier to clean up after an outdoor party than a party you host inside your home so it's worth thinking about. Choosing the right exterior lighting and ensuring you have enough space for all of your guests to move freely are just two elements that you need to get right if your party is to be a success.

If you're feeling arty and crafty, American home-making guru Martha Stewart has compiled 58 interesting ideas on her website for making your outdoor party more interesting. While you're there, check out the piñata ideas, because everyone loves hitting things with sticks!

 

Make streamers that look just like in the movies

Have you ever seen those perfectly crafted streamers that decorate parties in movies and wondered why you never see them in real life? Want to make your streamers look like that? Of course you do. Fortunately the secret to streamer perfection is revealed by craft blogger Dana at Made EveryDay, and you won't believe how incredibly simple it is to do.

 

Flowers are nature's own (almost) perfect decoration

The key word here is "almost", and that's because some people may have allergies, but other than that, flowers are a brilliant way to add colour and a sense of "life" to a room. You can also have flowers and other plants strategically placed through and around your outdoor party for the same reason (just be alert to whether they're attracting too many bees).

Be creative with flowers or pay a professional florist to put flowers together in compellingly beautiful arrangements.

You could also try more advanced DIY flower craft ideas like this hydrangea wreath for the front door suggested by Heidi at The Frugal Girls blog.

 

If you're going to do formal, do it properly

Some parties are just naturally more suited to a more formal kind of atmosphere. Wedding receptions, for example, are usually going to follow the tradition of formal dress and formal place settings.

One problem is that the art of throwing a formal party is not taught as much as it once was, and so it's actually quite easy to make mistakes. The entire point of formal parties is that they should follow the correct form, but first you need to know what that is.

The good thing about formal parties is your home is far less likely to get trashed by the attendees than can be the case with many other kinds of parties. If you'd like to host a formal party but you're not sure how, Jennifer Davenport has a reasonably comprehensive list of tips at her blog, Jennifer Decorates.

 

Table runners make plain tables look more impressive

The human eye is quite amazing, but one of the most amazing things about it is how easily it can deceive us. Adding something as simple as a strip of fabric along the length of a table shouldn't make it seem more impressive, but it does.

The reason is because our eyes are tuned to seek out contrast and symmetry. When you add a table runner (a table cloth that covers the whole length but only a portion of the width of the table) you instantly add contrast.

To enhance the effect even more, place it closer to one edge of the table than the other. This will create asymmetry, so the eye is drawn to it. Run the table runner down the exact centre of the table if you'd prefer a symmetric look.

Here's the impression that gets created:

  •          Symmetric – orderly, neat, precise... conveys a sense of trustworthiness and dependability. A person who can get things done without bending the rules or cutting corners.
  •          Asymmetric – arty, bold, challenging... conveys that you're not afraid to do things your own way, and that you probably are an interesting person with an interesting life.

Once you've decided whether you're more of a fan of symmetry or asymmetry, you'll find a list of DIY table runners compiled by Michael Wurm Jr at The Spruce.

 

Don't forget about balloons

Balloons are another festive party tradition that are right up there with streamers and flowers as easy ways to temporarily brighten up a room with colour. Balloons also allow you an additional dimension of creative outlet due to their larger size once inflated.

Here are some more tips from The Spruce, this time about novel ideas for balloons, and compiled by Stephanie White.

 

That's a wrap

We've just looked at some easy ways to make your next party be a little more successful than the average party. Really it's all about how much thought you put into planning, because the best parties are parties that are planned well.

Getting your home ready for a party need not be expensive or difficult; you just need to be willing to think like a master decorator. Inspiration is all around us but if you really get stuck, just watch a few good movies that have parties in them and you will find ideas jumping out at you.

Meanwhile, for tips of what not to do, there are not many movies that could beat Project X for showing how easily things can go wrong if you don't manage your party well.

Make Your Décor Bloom This Spring

Spring is a time of revival. We celebrate the return of warmth and sunshine after the bleakness of winter. It's almost funny how we greet those first flakes of snow in December with such joy, then by February we are glad to see them well gone.

Your home can celebrate Spring too, with a décor revival that matches the mood of the season. Best of all, your newly created Spring décor will retain most of its charm and joy all year round, so you won't have to break out the paintbrushes and other tools once Summer arrives.

 

Is it time to repaint the kitchen and bathroom?

The kitchen and bathroom are the rooms of your house that will usually benefit most from repainting, and that is especially so in Spring. Adding a dash of Spring colour to your kitchen will make it a bright and cheery space, and almost nobody enjoys spending time in a dull and colourless bathroom.

Perfect colour choices for walls include:

  •          light yellow (R255/G234/B112)- sunny and bright, a colour associated with happiness and warmth
  •          light blue (R112/G181/B255)- the colour of the sky on a warm Spring day, evoking memories of lazy days spent resting on grassy hill sides staring up at the sky
  •          light green (R114/G255/B182) – reminiscent of the freshness of mint and newly cut grass, but you don't want a green that's too intense
  •          light purple (R102/G127/B255) – the colour of lavender, also associated with love, tranquility, and spiritual purity
  •          light pink (R255/G163/B224) – the colour of cherry blossoms, reminding us of that the subtle beauty of nature can affect us most intensely

When it comes to the trim and secondary areas, you'll want some contrast. Here are the best trim colours to use:

  •          When the main colour is blue, green, purple or pink, it is simplest to just trim with white (R255/G255/B255).
  •          When the main colour is yellow, the best trim colour is either blue-grey (R122/G136/B170) or salmon (R255/G112/B134) or brick (R128/G42/B55).

In all cases, the best ceiling colour is white, except when you intentionally want to reduce ceiling reflection (which most interior designers wouldn’t recommend doing in a kitchen or bathroom).

 

How about a greenhouse or conservatory?

If you have enough yard space, installing a greenhouse or conservatory can be rewarding, as you'll be able to grow exotic plants and get your plants off to a thriving start. There is something about wandering into a greenhouse that feels very special.

 

Window boxes: beautiful even when they're not on windows

You may expect that the only suitable place to put window boxes is under windows, but you'd be surprised to learn you can put window box style boxes anywhere on any wall, either indoors or outdoor as you please.

Cleverly building and placing elegantly styled boxes to hold your favourite houseplants will bring the walls to life literally.

Of course it is also fantastic to put window boxes on windows too, but we just wanted you to know it's not the only option.

 

Update your furniture

If your furniture has seen better days or you'd just like a fresh look, shopping for replacements is exciting.

In our King's Road shop you'll find wonderfully interesting furniture choices such as our Jerred and Kildoran chaise lounges, Cleveland high wing sofa, or even the playfully named "Sex" sofa suite. Furniture shopping is never boring at Christopher Wray.

If you really feel like spoiling yourself with indulgent luxury furniture, you’ll love what’s available in the Christopher Wray VIP furniture collection. You'll find a fabulous assortment of classic and contemporary designs clad in luxurious fabrics and leather.

Freshen up your windows

You would be amazed how even something as simple as changing the curtains hanging in the window can completely alter the character of a room. Since it's Spring, bright colours and subtle floral patterns are the best choices.

 

Plant a garden

Perhaps the most obvious of Springtime activities, planting a new garden and investing in some beautiful exterior lighting will give your home an instant lift. This beautifies the outside of your home and can also add value to your property.

While you're at it, you might want to do a bit of indoor gardening as well. Many plants thrive indoors, and there are also terrariums, bonsai trees, and orchids if you want something truly exotic.

 

Celebrate your newly invigorated décor in style

Once you've completed your Spring home update, the best way to celebrate the changes you've made is to invite your best friends to dinner. In keeping with the whole Spring theme you may wish to include some generous helpings of herb roasted Spring vegetables, fresh crusty bread, and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil in your dishes.

Outdoor Lighting Basics for Your Home

It’s pretty easy to know great outdoor lighting when you lay eyes on it. When the sun is no longer the source of light, the house still looks warm and welcoming. The property is devoid of dark shadows, and the entrance and other essential areas are well-lit and you wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to walk outside - it looks safe, secure and stunning.

 

 

The thing is that it’s really not that difficult to make your outside lighting just as effective for your own home, however, you do need to know what you are doing and have a proper plan in place. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve from your outdoor lighting before you begin.

Here are four ways to ensure that you get your exterior lighting just right:

 

Security first

The first thing that you need to consider when it comes to outdoor lighting is how you can use it to make your property even more safe and secure. Well-lit entrances, paths and walkways are essential for a safe property; you want to ensure that no shadows fall on your front entrance, garden, side doors and any other important part of your home.

Motion sensors are a popular type of lighting for security, as they light up every time that they detect movement. Keep in mind, however, that they will light up for pets too - so if Rover is constantly moving past your bedroom window at night, then it may not be the best idea.

Another great option is investing in smart lighting apps that pair your phone to your lights at home and this means that even when you are away you can turn them on in the evenings and off again in the mornings.

 

Safety

Gardens tend to be incredibly dark once the sun goes down and without adequate lighting, you or a visitor could trip and fall when walking through. It’s important, not just for security, but for safety that your paths and entrance way are well-lit. This is especially true for areas of your garden or an entranceway that has stairs.

You could use individual stair lights, LED stripping, under-tread lights or even post lights on your stairs to ensure that they are easy to go up and down without the worry of injury at night.

 

The features in your garden

One of our favourite parts about exterior lighting plans is deciding which parts of the garden are going to stand out most. Do you have an unusual tree? A beautiful flowering bush? Or a medieval-style wall? Whatever it is, we can use different lighting features to highlight them.

Aspects such as sculpture or terraced gardens can look particularly beautiful when lit up correctly at night.

Water features can also look spectacular with the right lighting; whether you’ve got a pool, a pond or a fountain, you can use new waterproof LED lights combined with more traditional lighting features to take them to the next level.

 

 

Lifestyle and climate

It makes sense that, if you are living in a warmer climate, the chances are that you’ll be spending more time in your outdoor area. If you love to spend time outdoors and entertain guests, then it’s important to put together a welcoming, comfortable outside area that is well-lit.

There are so many things that you can do to your outside area depending on the space and vibe that you want but have a look at some our signature exterior lights for an example of the amazing contemporary and signature lights that you could use to wow your guests.

Whether you are thinking about designing your new outdoor space or you’re simply decorating a space for a client of yours, then it’s best to speak to professionals that can help you make the right choices.

Contact us for an expert opinion on getting your exterior lighting perfect.