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8 February 2019

Interior design – art and science


With the launching of the new website comes a series of blogs on interior design – Art and science.

Yes another article on interior design. Just what the world needs I hear you say! I’m hoping you’ll side with the millennials and not print the article, perhaps collectively saving a forest in the process. I’m also hoping you won’t store it in a “cloud” for a rainy day.

As the writer of this series though I’m also hoping you the reader will want to come back for more. As an interior designer for over 30 years I’d like to get you enthused with the spaces you live in, work in, and sleep in.

That’s never an easy task and made more increasingly difficult these days when most people are constrained and limited in their economic and personal choices. There’s also the question about the elephant in the room. What do interior designers actually do?
I’m hoping you’ll find out during this series of articles.

Most people think interior designers are only for the rich and the haves of this world. In short, some interior designers are. Just as some doctors, architects, barristers and members of all professions and industries price themselves so only the wealthy can afford them. That said though, there decisions, actions and expertise are watched and emulated by others. The difference in emulating or copying though raises  questions of appropriateness and are there even better solutions, in those exact circumstances.  

These articles are aimed at everybody. It’s free of charge and I’m hoping you’ll be enthused or get enthused over the coming months.

And Now !!!

I was asked recently, what do I consider the biggest change in interior design? I said lighting. It was clear cut and with that comes this first article.

Let there be light !

No other item has had such a large impact on spaces and interiors that ordinarily would become dark when the sun goes down.
Google credits God with first creating light. Perhaps God knew now, many millennia later, light would be the biggest thing to happen for interior designers.

Interior designers are a relatively new species of worker on this planet. Initially we had to contend with the light bulbs Thomas Edison, Humphry Davy, Warren de la Rue, and others created for us. It wasn’t easy.

Most of these lights gave off a yellowish hue. Going to the trouble to select the colours of your fabrics, cabinetry, artworks, tiles and the rest of your interior sometimes came to nought when you looked at it with yellowish lights on.

It meant schemes that looked great in daylight could look totally nothing of a night. Sometimes the yellowish lights were said to be golden lights and as such everything looked richer. Some people referred to it as that antique look.

Fortunately expanding science and manufacturing techniques have exponentially expanded possibilities for lighting. Today the selection of light bulbs, different lights, light fixtures, light colours and effects, and ever more research into lighting gives us more choice.

It also means we can choose lights that enable you to see things clearly of a night or generally.

The majority of Australians grew up with one electric lighting fixture in the middle of each room. For some of the lucky ones it was a large electric chandelier in the middle of some rooms. For others it was a multiple or single electric light fitting or single light bulb. Over all the effect was to have a yellowish electric lighting system.

Most people in Australia today are still selecting the yellowish light bulbs now called a warm white light when in reality it gives off a yellow light.

A lot of electricians, developers, builders and people generally feel the need to install hundreds of recessed led lights in their home ceilings with grid punctured ceilings. While this increases the lighting levels to near that of a football stadium the effect looks dreadful. There are many alternatives and remember to use dimmers.

When it comes to lighting – keep it simple.

Warm yellow lights disguise true colours

Cool white lighting makes sense !

Don’t fill your ceilings with hundreds of recessed leds !