Blog posts tagged with 'interior design'

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.

Tips for Adding a Pop of Summer Colour to Your Interior Design

Everyone in the UK loves summer. The abundant daylight and warmer temperatures are a welcome change for at least three months of the year. Updating your décor with a summer vibe can help prolong that summery feeling for as long as possible, and may even cheer up the gloomiest winter day. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the desired result.


1. Floral arrangements

Of all the options, the simplest one is also the most obvious. Flowers will always brighten up a room. During summer, fresh flowers will give the best result, though the effect will be fleeting.


You can also consider using artificial flowers, which are abundantly available, inexpensive, and often quite difficult to tell apart visually from the real thing. Dried flowers are an alternative, but they can be messy. On the upside, they may still have some of their original aroma, and the drying process can intensify their aroma for the first few months.

The lovely colours of nature will have create an effect that is simultaneously soothing and uplifting.

Fresh flowers should have the stems cut at a 45 degree angle to allow for maximum water intake. This will allow the flowers to survive for a longer time.

Once your flowers do start to look like they've seen better days, amazingly enough adding a few drops of vodka to the water will perk them back up again.

To stop the vase water from going bad, a copper coin dropped in the water will help. The older the coin, the better.

Avoid allowing dried flowers to become wet, as moisture can ruin them. Yes, what is good for live flowers is terrible for dried flowers (and paper flowers, too).

You can easily change the colour of fresh flowers by adding food colouring to the water. The flowers will absorb the colouring and change colour accordingly.


2. Repainting

It is a massive task to repaint a room, but the result can be worth it. Sometimes all it takes to completely change a room's character is to alter the colour.

For a summer effect, it is hard to go past yellow – a colour associated with warmth and happiness. For some people, it also represents prosperity, which is all the more reason to consider it. Other colours that can be used alone or in combination include: light blue, cream, and mint green.

You don't necessarily need to repaint all the walls. Sometimes just repainting one wall is sufficient. You can use your own judgement on this, as you'll be able to see how the result feels as you're working.

You might also consider adding a mural, especially one that features a scenic vista. You can even "cheat" by using specially made stickers or transfers in place of paint. The best mural will always be a bespoke one created for you by a genuine artist, but that is not an affordable option for everyone.

Before repainting, you can use software to check how it would look. There are specialist software applications designed exclusively for the purpose, but you could also use GIMP or PhotoShop to do the job. Start by taking a photo of the room as it currently exists, then select a wall using a selection tool, and adjust the colours using the colour adjustment settings.


3. Update your furniture

We saved the most expensive tip for last, and it's certainly not a commitment to be entered into lightly. Just as altering the colours of a room can have a huge impact on the character of the room, so too can altering your upholstery and furnishing style.

Apart from the fabric colour, with lighter colours usually being best, it can also help to choose furniture that has a Mediterranean look, usually defined by thing graceful lines and more generous curves. This imparts a breezy feeling of lightness and may help evoke those seaside holiday memories.

A good example is Christopher Wray's Adorn series. For the best summer effect, choose the beechwood option, and a lighter coloured fabric. You could even use white, provided that the rest of the room isn't white (otherwise the effect will be more "surgical" than "summery").

In the bedroom, the simple elegance of the Thomas Suite 11 is a perfect framework to decorate with your favourite summer-themed quilt covers and pillow cases. The idea is that furniture with light and thin styles will impart an effect of the breezy casualness we associate with summer. The result can be truly invigorating.

Slamp is Now Available from Christopher Wray

Fine design is our business, so we know it when we see it. That’s why we’re glad to be welcoming Slamp to our team! Slamp’s elegant lighting design has been at the forefront of the industry since their 1992 debut. Today the company continues to lead with bold, eye-catching design.

Decorative Lamps that Bring Nature to Light

Much of Slamp’s design mirrors the natural world. By using shapes, colour schemes, and aesthetics that reflect elements of nature; Slamp creates designs that blend perfectly into any decorating theme. Their rich textures and shapes make for completely unique pieces of art. The delicate grace of a Jellyfish, the golden glow of a sunset cast through leaves, ripples in a pool of water: these are all called to mind when admiring Slamp’s work.

Their expertise extends far beyond designs that mirror the natural world. Slamp works with dozens of big-name designers to create artistic styles of all kinds. Their early work often incorporated visual art printed on the lamps and illuminated by their glow.

Innovative Beginnings

In 1992 Roberto Ziliani, founder and owner of Slamp, decided to create something new. Ziliani wanted to revolutionize the lighting industry, and he did it with the tube lamp. This unique lamp was a simple illuminated cylinder at first. But by 1994 Ziliani had begun to incorporate artistic designs on the sides of the lamp. These ranged from classic prints, to the works of contemporary and classic artists.

Unique Materials

It was not he artistic prints that made such a splash at first, however. Ziliani set out to revolutionize the industry, and it was the materials he used to create the lamps that did so. Ziliani uses a material called Opalflex, which is made from glass crystals and techno-polymers. This not only leaves a surface that is perfect for printing artistic designs, it’s also unbreakable. So, Ziliani managed to create an unbreakable lamp that could fit multiple design aesthetics, depending on what is printed on the lamp.

Slamp Branches Out

By the late 90s, Slamp had moved forward and began exploring other areas of lighting design. Since then, they have embraced a number of unique styles. Some of their work appears unbelievably delicate. Their work can make flowers blossom from your tabletop, and it brings the delicate curves of a snowflake to life with light.

It has a magical and surreal quality precisely because it looks so breakable. But the durability of Opalflex makes the finest designs strong enough to last generations. These are truly works of art that can be appreciated for years to come.

A Return to Humble Beginnings

In 2017 Slamp announced they would begin making their unique Tube Lamps again. Of course, it wouldn’t be Slamp if they hadn’t made a few changes. While the original designs were quite small, newer versions can be purchased in much larger sizes. It’s only a bigger canvas for the artwork printed along the sides, after all.

We Know Quality, Craftsmanship, and Innovation

At Christopher Wray, we’re dedicated to every subtle nuance of interior design. Lighting sets the tone for the room. It determines what will stand out, and what will blend in. It is an essential part of creating your perfect space.

That’s why we’re happy to carry Slamp lighting products for our customers. Contact us today for a consultation and see how we can transform your home with some of the most beautiful lighting designs in the world.

Christopher Wray is Proud to Offer Designs from one of the World’s Leaders in Lighting Design; Foscarini

Italian design has long been synonymous with style, elegance, and innovation. Christopher Wray is proud to announce the arrival of lighting designs by the celebrated Italian company Foscarini. Foscarini has a long history of being at the forefront of art and design, with a blend of avant-garde Italian design and technical know-how.

Foscarini was founded in Venice in 1981, giving them over 37 years experience in the field of lighting design. They quickly began pairing with designers to create new and innovative designs, and over the next few decades kept abreast and even ahead of new trends in interior design and fashion.

Their design philosophy is focussed on passion and creation, bringing new designs into the world through mastery of both traditional manufacturing techniques and technology.

One of the first great designs of Foscarini has recently been reimagined and re-released to celebrate 25 years since its first appearance: the Lumiere 25th.

This lamp features a dark glass top mounted on sinuous silver tripod legs. The large round glass top hides a secret: through the combination of design and technology, the glass that makes the top is half mirrored.

While almost black in appearance when the bulb is unlit, when turned on the lamp reveals a hidden chamber with the bulb at its centre. The resulting display is almost organic in nature, a technological creature frozen in time. The half-mirrored glass allows for an indirect and smoky light from the sides of the lamp, and bright direct light below.

Foscarini has a wide range of designs, with looks to suit anyone’s home. The Dolmen is a refined and minimalistic suspension light design consisting of a thin rectangular board of either bronze or aluminium, into which four white light discs are set.

The design is smooth and minimal, with no raised edges or ridges. The whole light is suspended by wires at its corners, and its slim profile allows it to blend seamlessly into a room.

The Big Bang is a single hanging light mounted in a chaotic merger of geometric planes. The Big Bang looks impossible, like an object from another universe passing through ours. Its vivacity can capture the attention and the interplay of light, and shadow across its surfaces provide a bold and artistic style that can either dominate a room or merge with similar ultramodern pieces.

The Satellite is a small table lamp with a simple yet intriguing design. A glass bell jar is mounted on a small base, much like a vacuum chamber. Inside, at the very top of the glass, is a large white orb with a cord that hangs dynamically from it.

This creates a visual effect much like a balloon trapped in a jar, and overall makes the lamp appear as though the moon has been bottled. This simple design has a striking and unique look, while retaining a minimalist sensibility.

All designs by Foscarini carry forward the company’s vision of light as creation, and the creation of light as art. With styles from minimalist to avant-garde ultramodern, any home can benefit from the lighting solutions Foscarini offer and we’re proud to bring some of their best designs to our customers.

Creating just the Right Mood Through Lighting

Lighting can set the entire mood of a room as well as activities spent in it. Having the right setup for your lighting can transform a space, whether by altering colours or by using strategic shadows to change perceptions of space and size. 

There are even studies that indicate that different colours can directly influence moods, and different lighting can have different physiological effects on the human body.



Kitchen lighting should be bright and warm, eliminating shadows to help create both the appearance of cleanliness and help keep work areas well-lit. Multiple lighting sources are always good, whether from both wall and ceiling lights or smaller lights for individual areas.

Warm tones help the area feel more homely and safe. If you do need to go with cooler tones, match it to a modern kitchen with white and chrome details to create an ultra-modern technological look.



Bathroom lighting varies and can be adjusted to match your current theming. Cool tones are ideal due to the frequent use of blues and whites in bathroom colour schemes, but warm tones can suit an earth-tone bathroom. Mirror lights are a good choice, and infrared lights can add literal warmth to the room.


Living Room

Living rooms come in many styles so it's a good idea to match your lighting to your interior design style. Smaller node lights create a feeling of a curated space for minimalist rooms, particularly if used to highlight individual items of art, decoration or furniture.

Strategic shadows from point source lights create an intimate, veiled feeling. When entertaining, brighter lights create a lively feel, whereas dimmer, warmer tones can create a calmer and more sedate environment.

Having multiple light switches or dimmers can also help you adjust between different styles of lighting, which is useful for a commonly used room like the living room.



As offices are generally private workspaces, bright cool lights provide both clean and easy viewing and help to keep you alert and focussed. Studies have shown the bright cool lights, particularly fluorescent lights with cool blue undertones, can actually prevent the brain from getting tired for a time.

Be aware though that while this may be useful when you need to stay awake, it can also keep you awake when you don’t want it to and potentially disrupt your sleep. For this reason, a desk or floor lamp with warmer tones is a useful backup and can add to an existing theme.



Warm tones are important in a bedroom, as are slightly dimmer lights. These both combine to promote restfulness, as well as creating a warm and intimate feeling. Having a bedside lamp in addition to other lighting is a good idea, not just for convenience's sake, but to help create a more shadowed and cosy feel.

If you need bright light for a closet, try a track light system, which can be mounted near or inside a closet and will provide bright and clear illumination as needed.


Entertainment Area

An entertainment area may be either an internal room in the home or an external deck or patio. In both cases, bright and warm lights are generally the way to go, as they provide clear illumination for activities and create a friendly atmosphere.

For an external area, LED lighting comes in hundreds of styles, some quite striking and original. They provide small, bright, and efficient light sources. If trying to illuminate a large outdoor area, try and use several smaller lights. This will provide a more complete feel compared to a single bright spotlight, which may make guests feel highlighted and may create both uncomfortable bright spots and darkly shaded areas.

Lighting is essential in creating the right feel for any room in your house—and even outside it. Matching a room’s use and theme to lighting is important. Take advantage of multiple lighting systems and technical innovations this summer to ensure you come away with the perfect lighting for your home.

6 Interior Design Trends that will be Big This Summer

Interior design is just like any other sort of design or fashion—it changes and adapts to the time. It may seem that something changes every time you turn your back, but it’s easier than you may think to keep your furnishings and decor up to date.

 Keep your place looking great this summer with the following interior design tips and inspiration.


  1.        Neutral colour schemes are very ‘in’

If you’ve been thinking about painting any of the rooms in your house—or all of them—the first thing to consider is colour. Keep your colour scheme as simple as you can, with one main colour and one or two additional colours to complement it.

Some modern choices for dining rooms are white with brown or natural tones, white with grey and black, or even white and black. Brighten your kitchen with white and yellow. For a living room, consider white paired with a darker feature colour. Charcoal and blue might be exactly what your home office needs.


 Whatever the case is, once you have decided on a theme ensure you stick to it. Your colour scheme is what the rest of your interior will be designed around. An added positive is that if you change your overall design in later years, the neutral colours will go with anything.


  1.        Keep furniture choices simple and elegant

Finding the right piece of furniture for your space is all about making sure the furniture complements the shape and size of the room and the colours you’ve chosen.

Furniture with neutral colours is a particularly good choice, as neutral colours will fit in with most colour schemes.

It’s not sustainable to be constantly upgrading or changing your furniture. Instead, look for timeless pieces that will go with anything. Scandinavian designs are a good example of this, with their focus on simple shapes, natural wood, and minimalist style and colours.


  1.        Brighten up your living space with lighting

Whether your space has room for ceiling lights or wall lights, adding in some lighting will help to open up your room and put all your beautiful furnishings and decor on display.

Consider installing chandeliers over standard lighting for a unique look your guests will remember. Chandeliers are timeless options with many different designs available. Vintage candlestick designs, elegant crystal designs, modern industrial designs, and minimalist designs are just some of the types to choose from.


  1.        Draw attention with embellishments

Small embellishments such as fringes or tassels can add contrast to a room or piece of furniture, drawing the eye and creating an energetic disruption. When paired with simple or minimalist designs, embellishments can prevent the overall style from becoming too plain and lifeless.

They also won’t clutter the room or distract from the clean lines. Make sure to match the colours and don’t make the embellishments too loud or bright.


  1.        Liven up your space with plants

Always a great way to bring a feeling of life and serenity to a space, plants and foliage can liven any room, especially in summer. They can also help absorb extra light with their varied surfaces and colour, helping keep the summer glare down and the plants themselves healthy and vibrant.

Pairing them with similarly coloured furniture can create a gorgeous natural look. Live plants also have health benefits, both physical and mental.


  1.        Highlight spaces using geometrics

Geometric designs are back in, especially for tiles and wallpapers. These simple repeating designs can “fill in” the background of a room without distracting from other theming. Bathrooms especially can benefit from this type of wall covering. Some modern materials allow you to essentially wallpaper your bathroom with a waterproof coating.

Interior design trends from summer 2018 aim to take full advantage of the energy and life of summer, and pair it with minimalist or simply-restrained theming.

Colour choices, lighting styles, simple furniture, plants, and innovative design flourishes are all part of adding a sense of curated passion to your living space this summer.

Outdoor Lighting Done Right

When outdoor lighting is planned well, it can be enchanting. Brilliantly designed Christmas light displays, for example, never fail to draw a crowd.

Having good exterior lighting can help you feel more safe and secure, allow you to relax outdoors after dark during the warmer months, and can also help make your home more beautiful as well.

When to use bright lighting

Bright lights provide a decent amount of spread. This simply means they will flood an area with light, helping you to see clearly when that is important.

A bright overhead light placed in an alcove at the entrance to the home, for example, provides light to help you make sure you can unlock your door quickly and safely upon arrival. It also discourages loitering, because those who would loiter don't usually wish to be seen doing so.

If you have an outdoor barbecue area or food preparation area, bright light is essential for safety and hygiene. It can also be helpful if you have an outdoor dish washing station.

Bright light, placed suitably high off the ground, is also very suitable for lighting paths, and of course it's perfect for security lighting.


When to avoid bright lights

You should not use bright lights in areas where people will be looking directly. At night, bright lights can create glare, and they can also temporarily "blind" people, causing extreme discomfort, fatigue, and sometimes even nausea.

This is why brighter lights are best placed at some considerable height – certainly not eye level – and preferably shining down rather than out.

Outdoor dining areas are another place where it's better to have more subdued lighting. This may seem like a strange instruction until you consider that bright light tends to attract insects, and in general most people in the UK prefer not to eat bugs that they didn't specifically ask for!

Some low key wall sconces backed up by small candle bowls on the table will often prove to provide enough light for the dining area, while insects will congregate around the brighter lights elsewhere.

If you're having a party, it's okay to be creative

Lighting up your party is one of those times when it's definitely a good idea to think creatively and try to have some fun with your lighting design.

If you have set up an outdoor bar area, decorating it with a string of low intensity coloured lights can give it some added charm, and also help people locate it, even after they've already visited it a few times too many.

You can also set up lights decoratively, for different kinds of themes. Chinese lanterns, for example, are popular for New Year festivals (and obviously Chinese New Year is a strong candidate in this category). There are all kinds of other options to explore as well.

Tiki torches, fairy lights, and even outdoor chandeliers are all potential possibilities. Of course you may need to check local council regulations to make sure your ideas won't get you into any trouble, as it is better to be safe than sorry.


Don't forget about the power

Another rather obvious thing is that all electric lighting requires power to operate. Your plans need to take that into account. For permanent lighting installations, you'll need the help of a qualified electrician to set it all up.

For the more temporary installations, you won't always need an electrician, but you will need to make sure you have enough power getting to where you need to get it to go (safely), and you'll also need to consider the aesthetics.

Planning your outdoor lighting scenario isn't rocket science, but it isn't always the easiest thing in the world either. If you'd like some help with your planning, come in to Christopher Wray Lighting and talk with one of our lighting consultants. They are experts in lighting, and always happy to provide whatever lighting advice you may need.

The Top 3 Benefits of Hiring an Interior Designer

Redesigning a space can be a challenging project to take on. You will have to pick a theme, a colour scheme and you will even have to choose the individual accessories you would like to include in your newly designed space.




Ultimately, making this all work comes down to having sufficient time and having a well-trained design eye to achieve the look of your dreams. That’s why hiring an interior designer can be a great way to help you achieve your design goals with virtually no effort on your part.

Read on to discover the top 3 benefits of hiring an interior designer in London and beyond.


1.       It’s Cost Effective

When you choose to take on a new interior designer project, it’s without question that you are also deciding to make an investment in your home. Budgeting wisely can be difficult to do when you’re not sure of how to approach the entire project from the get-go.

You will want to find the best pieces for your home and whether you’re looking for a chandelier, a new luxury sofa, a different colour scheme or the perfect downlighters, an interior designer can prove invaluable.



2.       You’ll Save Time

Think about it. When you’re planning the redesign of a space, there are lots to consider. You’ll have to decide on the decor, the overall look and, most importantly, where to buy all of the fixtures and fittings you need to turn your vision into a reality.

With work, family, kids and even our own everyday routines taking up most of our time, there is often little room to take on an interior design project. As such, an interior designer can relieve the impact this project can take on your own personal schedule by handling the vast majority of the work.

They can shop around for you to find the right fittings for your space and come to you with options so all you need to do is make the final decisions. With the help of Christopher Wray’s interior design service, you’ll benefit from the perfect combination of creative design concepts and technical ability to create the living space of your dreams.


3.       You’ll Have Better Contacts

It’s true that furniture and home renovation shops are easily accessible to everyone but the best contacts to have on-hand are those that only the professionals really know about. A well-connected interior designer can put you into contact with the most reputable furniture and home accent stores around.

Additionally, if you’re looking for something a little extra special such as a classic hand carved wooden dining table collection or a unique piece of art, you won’t have to spend all of your time searching for the perfect pieces. With the right contacts, you will be sure to find all of the right pieces for your newly designed space.

Interior designers play an important role in turning the vision you have for your space into a reality. Please contact us today for more information on Christopher Wray’s interior design service.