Light it Up the Right Way – Guide to Home Lighting

Light it Up the Right Way – Guide to Home Lighting

Lighting is an essential element of any interior and can certainly make or break a room. It?s important to understand the basics of functional lighting vs. decorative lighting to achieve a balance between the two.

The key to creating a successful interior is by incorporating elements that add visual interest. Just as you would introduce colour, pattern and texture into a space, layering lighting to create interesting scenes is equally important. Lighting can be layered by uniting ambient, accent and task lighting to achieve a balanced, visually pleasing space.

Functional lighting refers to general (or ambient) lighting and task lighting. Decorative lighting refers to lighting that is not only decorative but also helps to create a mood or ambiance within a room.

When addressing how best to light up your space, consider your needs. Think about what activities take will place in the space and what atmosphere would you like to create??For example, a bedroom requires general lighting bright enough to illuminate the entire room, but it?s also important to be able to create a softness in this space for relaxing, (this is considered mood lighting). In addition, you will require a reading light beside the bed, (this is considered task lighting, however, a lamp can offer both task and mood lighting).

Lighting Inspo.

Below is a chart to help you understand the basic forms of lighting.

  • The best form of lighting. Why? ? high colour rendering (colours are shown in their true form), constantly changing (daylight changes throughout the day), daylight is ingrained in the way that humans have evolved and how we interact with the outside world.

  • General lighting is usually applied through soft, uniform light, and is the base layer to any lighting scheme.
  • Usually found in the form of wall or ceiling fixtures

  • Task lighting is also referred to as ?functional lighting?, and is applied to areas where higher light levels are required to perform tasks such as reading.
  • Usually created through the use of desk/floor lamps or reading lights

  • Used to highlight an area to create a dramatic effect or accent a particular element in a space.
  • Usually created through the use of LED strips integrated into joinery eg kick plate of a vanity
  • Can also be created through the use of floor and table lamps




  • Low voltage (12 volt) down lights are the most commonly used form of illumination.
  • Lamps for downlights are available in a variety of different light sources such as fluorescent, LED and halogen. LED lamps are energy efficient and have a long life.

  • Great for general illumination.
  • Used in areas where you may not be able to recess into the ceiling for downlights.
  • Lamps are available in a variety of different light sources such as fluorescent, LED and halogen.


  • Create a visual statement.
  • Decorative element for a space
  • Used in addition to downlights or other ceiling fixtures
  • Create a visual statement
  • Decorative element in the space
  • Can be used both as an accent and task light



  • Can be used to illuminate an existing room without having to change fittings that are hardwired or permanent features and fixtures.
  • Place in corners to make a room feel larger, or dividing up spaces when placed between two sofas for example
  • Can enhance and create focus.


  • Can be used to illuminate a corner.
  • Can be used as a task light beside a chair for reading.
  • The ideal positioning of the lower edge of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated – varying between 970 mm and 1007 mm above the floor.
  • It gives three forms of lighting; uplight / downlight, task light or ambient background light. This is especially useful if the lamp is attached to a dimmer.
  • Uplights are usually either wall mounted or in-ground fittings. These can be used to highlight architectural elements such as a wall or a ceiling.


  • Halogen lights are a type of incandescent light that uses a tungsten element.
  • Halogen lights are more efficient and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs.,
  • They are frequently used in downlights however in large spaces, results in higher levels of energy being consumed than necessary.
  • Like incandescent bulbs, some varieties of halogen lights are being phased out by the Australian Government.
  • Predecessor to the halogen lamp
  • Have now been phased out and replaced with Energy saving alternatives.
  • Produce warmer, more yellow light.
  • LED alternatives in the shapes of traditional incandescent are now available
ENERGY SAVING (Compact Fluorescent)
  • CFLs are cheaper and much more efficient to run than incandescent or halogen lights.
  • CFLs shouldn?t be used in fixtures unless especially designed for themYou can choose CFLs in a variety of shapes and sizes, and in different colour temperatures. For example, warm white for living rooms, cool white for bathrooms and kitchens, or bright daylight for garages.
  • Lamp lifetime of about 20,000
LED (Light Emitting Diodes).
  • Highly efficient – 4 to 7 times more efficient than the typical incandescent or halogen equivalent.
  • Long lasting – a lifetime of about 30,000-50,000 hours.
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Work well in cold conditions
  • RGB options
  • More variety in luminaires available in LED
  • Most manufacturers are moving all fittings across to LED
  • More expensive to buy but cheaper overall when considering lifetime energy use costs.


  • Dimmer controls allow you to sculpt the mood of a room from efficient to intimate.
  • Once dimmed, help to create a layered lighting effect when combined with decorative lighting such as lamps.
  • Allow you to create pre-set lighting scenes inside a room. Scenes can be adjusted with the touch of a switch from a box or with hand held remote controls. Some can even be controlled from a mobile phone or another mobile device.
  • Automatically offer convenience and energy saving as lights switch on when they detect a motion and switch off when the area is not occupied for a specified amount of time.


? Generally furniture in a room will be moved around from time to time so it?s important to have a range of freestanding lighting options that can be moved around.

? It is good to allow for varying intensities of light. Incorporating a dimmer switch will offer flexibility. This is will provide both task light and mood lighting in one.

? It?s worth noting that rooms decorated with dark, deep hues absorb light, these spaces will require more lighting and light, neutral painted space.

? Dark flooring will also absorb light while light floors will reflect it. If you have any LED strip details be mindful if your floor or surfaces are polished as this will reflect the dots of the LED. If this happens you can use a diffuser to remove the dots.

? When selecting a colour temperature of a lamp, always choose 3000K (for general light and task light) or 2700K (accent light) as these are the warmest coloured lamps and will help to make your room feel cosy.

With thoughtful consideration and clever planning, you can create a balanced lighting scheme with flexible lighting effects that will greatly enhance the look and feel of your home. Feel a light bulb moment coming on?

We would like to thank London based lighting designer Erin Slaviero, of for offering us some insight into the wonderful world of lighting design.

Image Credits:? | |?

The Expert Guide to Organizing Your Home

The Expert Guide to Organizing Your Home


When it comes to organizing your home, many people are often left feeling stuck and confused as to where to even begin to de-clutter. With the hectic schedules that many of us have today, organizing our home can often be the very last items on our to-do lists. So, just to make things nice and easy, here are five nifty little tips and tricks on how to organize your home today.

North Hem EOFY Sale

Divide Your Drawers

If you?ve got lots of old shoe boxes that you can?t seem to find any use for, why not use them as drawer dividers? Many people with large drawers often complain that everything seems to get a tad mismatched, so the easiest way to combat this is to use shoe boxes to separate different parts of your drawer. If you wish, you can even paint them in pretty shades!

Related: Tips from the Interior Expert: How to Draw a Floor Plan in 8 Simple Steps

How to Draw a Floor Plan in 8 Simple Steps


Store Food in Glass Containers

If you find that food packaging is taking up too much of your cupboards, try storing them in air-tight glass containers instead. Not only will this free up storage space in your kitchen, but it?ll also enable the food to last longer.

Build Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves

For those of you who actually have a couple of hours in the week to spare, a great way to make your home more organized is to install floor-to-ceiling shelving units in areas of the home that you don?t use very often ? for example, the hallway. Use the bottom rack for shoes, and the middle and top racks for whatever you wish. Shelves are a great way at preventing clutter from forming in every inch of your home.

Color Code Your Books

A great way to make your home more organized and prettify your shelves at the same time is to color code your books. It takes less time and energy than organizing them according to title, and is an awesome home organization idea for those who own many books!

Related: North Hem Living Showroom – Journeys Kitchen and Bar Springfield Central

Journey’s Kitchen and Bar – Springfield Central


Invest In a Good Coat Rack

Believe it or not, even the most organized of people can often end up leaving their coats on chairs, tables, and even the floor, after a long day at work. To tackle this clutter, invest in a good coat rack for your hallway to store coats, hats, and umbrellas. Your home will thank you for it, for sure.

Related: 7 Scandinavian Dining Rooms that Follow All the Rules

7 Scandinavian Dining Rooms that Follow All the Rules


8 Astonishing Bathroom Makeovers

8 Astonishing Bathroom Makeovers

8 Astonishing Bathroom Makeovers

In interior design, it?s often the bathrooms that get overlooked, with homeowners focusing more on easier to access areas like the living room and bedroom. A complete bathroom makeover takes time, effort and money, so for many people, it doesn?t happen too often. When it does, though, it?s safe to say that the result is so worth it. Here are 8 astonishing bathroom makeovers that you absolutely will not believe.


It?s definitely safe to say that this bathroom makeover in particular was quite overdue. The bland, beige bathroom was transformed into a modern and contemporary paradise. With a new shower, fresh flooring, a modern towel rack and a cool mixture of colors, this bathroom highlights everything good about the interior design styles of today.



After ? Photos on



The bathroom below was, quite clearly, in need of a makeover. This dated bathroom was transformed into a luxurious and sophisticated paradise, in every possible way. With the addition of fancy sconce lighting fixtures, a lick of paint, and an up-to-date shower and sink, we?re sure the homeowners were thrilled with the transformation.



After ? photos on



This bland and old-fashioned bathroom was transformed into a cool and modern bathroom, complete with a spacious shower, pretty pendant lights, and matching d?cor. The shower tiles go perfectly with the sink, storage unit and mirror, and the transformation is, quite simply, unbelievable.

Before & After ? photo on



Before, it?s clear that this bathroom had seen a couple of decades without an update ? even the d?cor is old-fashioned and dated. After, the bathroom appears completely different. The floating vanity is effortlessly luxurious, and subtle touches like the fluffy rug and floral d?cor just show that you don?t always need to go too far to give your bathroom the makeover it needs.



After ? photos on



Before, the bathroom was dark, dingy and depressing, with an odd mixture of turquoise and black tiles and wooden cupboards. After, the bathroom appears sleek, sophisticated and modern. The black and white wooden storage unit looks awesome with the subtle blue hue, and the vanity lights really bring the new bathroom to life.



After ? photos on



Nautical themed bathrooms were definitely a thing in the past, and although some interior designers still enjoy incorporating it into bathrooms, it?s safe to say that ?this ship has sailed?. This dark and dingy bathroom was transformed into a light, airy and tranquil paradise. The blues and whites work great together.



After ? photos on



This stunning bathroom makeover only goes to show that it doesn?t always have to be hard work to transform your bathroom. This light, airy and beach themed bathroom wasn?t all bad ? just a little outdated. The new modern and contemporary wallpaper works well with the floating vanity counter, but it?s the change in flooring that has done it the most favors.



After ? photos on



This disaster of a bathroom featured ghastly pink tiles and dark brown accessories, two shades that clearly work terribly together. But, with a bit of TLC, it was transformed into a modern and quirky bathroom with its own unique character. The luminescent shower tiles look absolutely fantastic, and the blues, golds and blacks go perfectly together.



After ? photos on


Lighting Designers to be Inspired by at Vivid 2016.

Lighting Designers to be Inspired by at Vivid 2016.

Momentum_Vivid 2016

Sydney?s Vivid festival is the world?s largest outdoor festival of light, music and ideas. The phenomenal cultural event takes place each year to showcases a number of installations of epic proportions throughout the city. These awe-inspiring installations are designed by some of the most brilliant leading creatives in the industry.

One installation to particularly stand-out this year is ??Momentum?? designed by the sensational design duo?Stephanie Shehata and Erin Slaviero.?Following the success of their award-winning ?Kaleidoscope? at Vivid 2015, the girls returned to this year?s festival of light with a new dazzling installation.

We were fortunate to chat with Stephanie and Erin about how they created the concept for Momentum and what it?s like to be part of such an extraordinary event.

Could you tell us about the design for Momentum?

?Momentum? picks up where ?Kaleidoscope? left off. It comprises of three freestanding infinity boxes that house illuminated 3D objects. These objects create kaleidoscopic optical illusions that explore the way the addition of motion and speed affect the interactions of infinity, light, material and form.

Vivid Momentum Installation

Momentum_Vivid Festival 2016

How can visitors experience and?interact with the installation?

Participants can interact with the installation by rotating a wheel, which in turn rotates the 3D light element. The object stays dimmed, statically glowing, until the wheel is spun, activating a burst of light.

The installation becomes dynamic causing a kaleidoscope of colour and reflection. To visitors, the installation initially presents as a series of tall, dark three-dimensional boxes. Their key to interacting with a box is to do so with a partner, with a person standing on either side of the box. As one spins a wheel activating the light element inside, their partner views the spinning form as it is reflected into infinity.



Your previous installation, ?Kaleidoscope?, featured at Vivid in 2015, won the IES NSW Lighting Sculpture and Installation Design Award of Commendation. How has that impacted on you as designers?

Stephanie Shehata: ?Both Erin and I are home-grown and independent artists who understand the impact Vivid has both in terms of tourism but also in terms of pushing boundaries in multi-disciplinary collaborations of art and technology. Vivid has opened doors for both of us, globally, in terms of industry recognition?winning the IES NSW award?and as artists. We?re incredibly grateful that Kaleidoscope was so well received, and we?re pleased to be back with our best work yet??.

Can you tell us about your background as designers and about your design ethos?

Stephanie Shehata: ??I?m a recent graduate of the UTS Master of Design in Lighting Design and have previously completed Bachelor of Design in Interior Design/ Bachelor Arts in International Studies, also at UTS.

My production of design solutions are based on a balance of function, value and aesthetics while also bridging the gap between the physical environment, behaviour and the being in space??.

Erin Slaviero: ??I graduated from the UTS Master of Design in Lighting Design in 2012. Since graduating from the program I have had the opportunity to work on a range of lighting projects around the globe and work in design offices in Sydney, Melbourne and London.

I believe that light is a crucial link for creating a spatial interaction between people and their environment. To me, light is an experience that generates and controls the way we feel and interact with the world around us??.

Vivid 2016

Momentum was produced in collaboration with Peter Favelle (Australia), Simon Milligan (Australia) and Paul Dadd (Australia). It was commissioned by Destination NSW for Vivid Sydney 2016 and sponsored by KF plastics and Light Project.

The Momentum installation is an?absolute must see! It can be viewed as part of Vivid Sydney in Walsh Bay. The festival runs from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June and is open from 6pm?12am every evening.


5 Small Space Tips For Apartment Living

5 Small Space Tips For Apartment Living

5 Small Space Tips For Apartment Living

When it comes to living in an apartment, it?s actually pretty true that we become experts at making the most of our compact living spaces, finding nifty ways to incorporate the latest interior design styles into a small number of rooms. So, whether you?re completely stuck as to how to deal with living in such a small space, or if you?re just looking for new interior design ideas for apartments and small homes, here are 5 amazingly handy small space tips for apartment living.

Make The Room Appear Larger


Area rugs are a much-loved interior design accessory, and are actually becoming increasingly popular. They are available in a wide range of shapes, designs and shades, and there?s even special area rugs for small apartments that make them seem larger than what they actually are. A rug in a light, neutral shade, such as ivory or cream, work wonders at opening up the small space and making it appear bigger.

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Find Multiple Uses For Your Furniture


An awesome way to make the most of your small living space is to find multiple uses for your furniture. Double up your dining table as a desk during the daytime, or take inspiration from this picture and build a sofa on top of a bookshelf. Sure, it?s a little quirky, but doubling up the uses of furniture is a smart and savvy thing to do in compact apartments and houses.

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Use Compact Furniture


Sure, it may seem rather obvious, but using compact furniture in a small apartment or house is the best possible way to maximize the space inside. Apartments tend to appear even smaller than what they really are when it?s taken over by a large sectional sofa, so keep it compact when it comes to furniture.

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Keep The Colors Neutral


Sure, there?s nothing better than a pop of color in interior design, but the best way to make the most out of a small space is to keep the shades neutral. Using a mismatch of bright and bold colors makes rooms feel smaller, so stick to neutral shades and subtle accents here and there. Pastel shades also work very well in compact spaces, too.

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Take Lighting Into Consideration


No matter whether your apartment or house is large or on the small side, good lighting is always important. After all, one primary light in the center of the ceiling is never enough, and dimmer lights are always needed for evenings spent at home. An awesome way to make compact apartments and houses feel even more homely and cozy is to dot around plenty of lamps to turn on when it gets dark outside.

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