It can be challenging to determine the 'wattage' of LED lights. When incandescent light bulbs dominated the lighting market, it was easy to tell how 'bright' a bulb would be.
When using LED Lighting, we use the term lumens which is the power or strength of the light. A Lumen (lm) is the International Standard unit that shows the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. Like Watts, Lumens are a standard measurement within the lighting industry and can be found on the box of most light bulbs.
The next time you purchase a light bulb, remember to look for both Wattage & Lumens. Watts show the amount of power used & lumens show the brigthness of a bulb. The best combo to look for is:
LOW WATT & HIGH LUMENS = BRIGHT, ENERGY SAVING BULBS.
We understand it's tough if you are switching out from Incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, we need to know the comparable light values.
Here's a quick and easy chart to get you started!
Need to know how to space your recessed lighting & how many recessed lights do you need?
Be sure to check out my most popular blog post.
We provide a simple formula to help you layout your recessed lighting!
Interior designers get a lot of emails from our wonderful suppliers. I look at each and everyone of them as I need to know the latest trends in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior home finishes.
The email today from Marathon Hardware didn't disappoint! The Eurocucina 2022 Design Show was held in Milan, Italy from June 7-12/22. The show featured many of the latest design trends and innovations for kitchens, bathrooms, and every other room in the house.
Watch this quick kitchen video above showing the latest and greatest in kitchen design for 2022.
Did you know countertops are moveable? Well yes they are!
Let me know if you need help with your kitchen or new build, I'd be happy to help!
Kitchen pendant light placement
Wondering how to position your hanging pendant lights over your kitchen island? Here's a go to guide to make placing those lights easy peasy!
Pendant lights can be so very important over your kitchen island. I suggest placing the bottom of the pendant light 36-40" above the island, this may vary a little depending upon your height & the height of the room, but if your ceiling is between 8' & 10' high, this will work well.
Here's a good rule of thumb for calculating the width between the lights:
For spacing 2 pendant lights, measure your island's width, divide that by 4. That number is how far from the end of the island you should place the center of your pendant light in the ceiling.
i.e. 8' wide island divided by 4 = 2. Place the center of each light 2' from each edge, this provides a 4' space in between the pendants, and works well for most standard pendant lights.
See the pendant placing diagram below.
For 3 pendant lights over an 8' island in your kitchen, here's the following formula to help you place your lighting evenly over the island or peninsula.
Divide the length of the island in 1/2. i.e. 8' divided by 2 = 4'.
Place the center pendant 4' from the edge of the island at the center point of the island.
For the remaining 2 pendants:
Divide that number in 1/2 again.
i.e. 1/2 of the island is 4', so divide that in 1/2 again and place your other pendants at that mark.
i.e. 8 divided by 2=4. 4 divided by 2 = 2.
The pendant lights are positioned at the 2 foot, 4 foot, and 6' marks.
See the diagram below.
Have recessed lighting questions? Have a look at our popular blog Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Let me know if you have any questions.
Wondering what are the favourite white cabinet paint colours for 2022?
I've made up a quick pdf showing a few of the tried and true colours.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Click below if you'd like to find out the perfect cabinet colour for your home!
Blue is my favorite color and I hear I'm not alone! Blue is consistently voted peoples #1 color choice. But when picking blues for the interior walls of your home, we want to ensure, we don't pick 'baby boy's bedroom' paint color.
Here's a cheat sheet for you! We have put together a beautiful collection of some of our favourite soft blue paints by Benjamin Moore.
To obtain a beautiful soft blue it is imperative that the tiniest Touch of Green is added into the paint, resulting in a beautiful soft Aqua shade. Otherwise it can look too purple.
For help selecting your perfect paint colour please feel free to contact our design office. We would be happy to help!
Hi, my name is Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
I am thrilled to have been asked to guest post for Maria Killam while she is away vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I've copied the post here.
I have been a professional Interior Designer for the past 12 years, located in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
I am absolutely passionate about Interior Design and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Maria had a few questions for me.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite color is "Simply white" OC-117 by Benjamin Moore. It is the perfect white for walls. It is not too creamy, not too gray, not too "pinky".
Being an Interior Designer, has me working with paint, furniture, fabrics, carpets and tiles, everyday. Simply White is the color that allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home - whenever the mood hits me. And as other designers will tell you; we love updating our own home and work spaces.
I have found that when using white walls, it is important to add texture to the room, such as this lovely coffee table in a distressed wood from Restoration Hardware shown below, or this rattan end table. I have seen that when we use all flat, smooth, finishes white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 step design system, which doesn’t leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really ‘make’ a room. I once decorated a client’s home and it turned out beautifully, client was thrilled, but it didn’t have anything with ‘meaning’. Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such this client’s great, great, grandmother’s silver cutlery. Our client had these beautiful pieces mounted in a shadow box, and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige, was a beige. I discovered with the training and mentorship program from Maria Killam's course “Specifying Undertones”, that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours, so that we, as designers, can know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that one can add to their role as an Interior Designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Grey is still hot – but I see white over taking more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue — so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue.
One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours – especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all pervasive, colours that look too much like skin tones and doesn’t give clients the fresh, bright colours that we’re all yearning for today. Often builders who don’t hire professional designers, think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, client’s dog Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
7. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we’ve added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
8. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please check out this blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I’m eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I’ve received from you. I’ve just not found this instruction anywhere else!
Now, I'd love to know... Which white is your favourite right now?
Would you like a few quick tips on how to calculate the correct size chandelier or pendant light for over your dining room table?
Here we go!
Add the width and length of your dining room ie. 10' + 14' = 24.
We need a light approximately 24" wide!
Or here are a few general dining room table sizes, and the width of lights that would complement the table nicely.
Oval table 42" long - light should be 18-20" wide.
Oval table 48" long - light should be 24" wide.
Square tables? Just take the table size and subtract 12" off each side.
ie. 42" sq. table. -12" and -12" = 18" wide light.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Of course there are variables, but this will get you in the right ballpark!
I've been in interior designer for 12 years now and when talking about kitchen renovation, the question I get most often is "What colour do I paint my kitchen cabinets?".
Painting kitchen cabinets is expensive and hard work, we don't want to have to do this every 5 years!
Here our client chose to go with the classic white kitchen cabinets, which is something I recommend often.
White is classic and never goes out of style. To amp things up a little, the island was painted in a soft gray colour, which works so well with the marble countertop.
Another great point about white cabinets, is that you can accessorize with whatever colour you are using in the adjoining rooms. Above it's blue! Below it's yellow!
What is your favourite colour to use when accessorizing your kitchen? I'd love to know!
Kitchen cabinets - Just how strong do they need to be? MDF, Plywood or Melamine?
New kitchen cabinets are a wonderful thing. But do you know just how strong they need to be?
When ensuring your cabinets are sturdy and top notch, here are some tests that show how cabinets are tested. I researched and found such useful information on the ANSI/KCMA website. (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Association) These tests are meant to verify the structural integrity and strength of cabinets.
We design gorgeous kitchens! Feel free to contact us below:
My wonderful interior design client in Fort Langley, wondered if we should use Plywood, MDF or Melamine boxes for her kitchen cabinets. She had heard Plywood was stronger than Melamine or MDF. Is it? Here's the inside scoop with help from cabinet supplier Shari from Century Cabinets:
Plywood: Plywood boxes have a finish on them, but if oil or food spills, it will get into the finish; causing rings and we can't refinish them. Therefore, if you want to use plywood, it is best to use a shelf liner to protect the finish. Wood will take on odors that melamine will not.
Any cabinet that is wider than 36" should not be used for heavy dishes as the shelves may sag over time, this applies to plywood as well as melamine. Plywood is lighter than both MDF and melamine, and the installers like it, however, plywood has more of a tendency to warp. Plywood may last a bit longer than melamine if it gets wet, but not much. It will rot if it is constantly wet. Plywood is an upcharge as well, because good quality cabinet makers don't use Chinese plywood.
Melamine: Melamine is more economical and easier to look after for the kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and shelves. Melamine cabinets are made of a good quality fiberboard with a hard melamine surface that is waterproof and therefore will clean up with soap and water, and stains can be cleaned with Clorox wipes. They are the most durable surface and don't require shelf paper. They also do not tend to hold odors from foods or spices, and they are the most cost effective choice.
MDF: (Medium Density Fiberboard). MDF is a dense fiberboard and very heavy, in fact, too heavy for cabinet boxes. MDF doors cost as much as Maple framed doors and they are heavier than Maple doors. Cabinets are not made of MDF because of its heavy weight. Most slab doors are made of MDF and have some veneer or laminate on the surface. Shaker MDF is a choice that allows for the shape of the shaker door without joints which crack when painted on a wood frame door.
The most expensive dining room table from Italy will often be made of MDF and have a beautiful veneer applied to it. MDF is very dense and it is what a slab door is made of with a veneer applied to it. MDF does not warp like solid wood does. This allows the table to open cleanly without sticking.
Many people have been convinced that wood is the only material to build from. This is just marketing hype. Wood has many great qualities but it also has downsides. It is worth learning about materials as they all have good sides for certain applications and they all have downsides too. Think of how old antique cabinets have squeaky doors and drawers that stick. That is because wood warps. :)
Hope this helps you make the decision between Plywood, MDF and Melamine kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and doors.
Check out this post featured here: http://topreveal.com/diy-kitchen-cabinet-shelf-ideas
Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed can lights do I need? How far apart do I place my can lights?
I've been an interior designer for over 16 years now and I've realize good lighting placement is key for any space, especially so for recessed lighting - (we call them pot lights in Canada - no - not those sort of lights!). I've written this handy post to show you how it's done!
(We'll talk about bathroom lighting in another post!).
Note: Lumens measure the total light sent out by the light bulb.
Watts measure the amount of power used by the bulb.
So watts do not tell you how bright the bulb is - but Lumens do.
However, since we are all use to discussing wattage, often people use 'wattage' as their term denoting the brightness of a bulb, rather than 'lumens'. For this article we'll use the term "wattage" as most people are more familiar with that term.
Recessed can lighting design layout:
Part A: How many pot / recessed / can lights do I need?
Formula: total sq. footage x 1.5 = total wattage needed. Total wattage divided by 60 watts (or whichever wattage you select) = total amount of recessed can lights.
Example: 240 square foot room x 1.5 = 360 divided by 60 (the bulb wattage I'd like to use) = 6 recessed lights needed.
Part B: Draw up a ceiling diagram (reflected ceiling plan) showing the amount of can lights you need (Part A formula). The cans / pots / recessed lights should be evenly distributed around the room, usually they are in rows with an equal number of cans in each row. Here's a great example of a kitchen lighting layout, the yellow dots show the recessed lights, the red dots show the pendant lights:
Now we will calculate the spacing between each recessed light.
Part C: Light spacing in a row:
Part D: Task Lighting Layout:
Task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting throughout the home. You may want to add under cabinet lighting, or pendant lights over the island in the kitchen, to bring the lighting closer to the work area.
How to calculate the distance and spacing for task lighting:
Step 1: Determine the distance from the ceiling down to the surface you wish to light, i.e.. the floor or a countertop.
Step 2: Divide this distance by 4 to obtain the distance from the wall to the first light unit. I.e.. 8' ceiling lights should be placed two feet away from the wall.
Part E: Wall washers recessed lighting layout: (lighting that shines down onto a wall in order to highlight art or a wall feature)
Step 1: The rule for installing wall wash recessed fixtures is approx. 1.5' to 3' away from the wall.
Step 2: Fixed lights can be placed closer to the wall.
Step 3: Place adjustable lights farther away from the wall. The optimal aiming angle to minimize glare is 30-degrees from the ceiling, that way we avoid glare.
Step 4: Space wall wash fixtures the same distance from each other.
Step 5: A good rule of thumb is that your accent lighting should be 3 times brighter than the ambient light in the room. This is useful for living rooms, hallways and dens/offices.
Part F: Beam Spread
There are generally 2 types of recessed lights - Spot lights and Flood lights.
Spot lights have a narrow beam of light casting light to a focused area, usually these are used to highlighting art or important design elements in the room. They cast beams 45 degrees or less.
Flood lights case a wider beam on the floor area and are used for lighting larger, more general areas. They cast beams up to 120 degrees.
Lighting Beam calculation: Angle of beam x 0.18 x ceiling height = Beam spread in inches.
Example: 60 degrees x 0.18 x 10' ceiling height = 108" divided by 12 = 9' wide beam spread.
To create overlapping beams of light for ambience, make sure that your beam spread diameter is equal to or greater than the distance between light sources fixtures.
Recessed lighting design & installation:
Now that the recessed lighting placement locations are determined, we need to find out if they can be installed in these locations. Use a stud finder to determine where the ceiling joist are located. You might have to adjust placement locations to avoid hitting a ceiling joist. It's always best to pre plan the lighting design before your renovation or new build in your home.
Please remember to contact your electrician before making any electrical decisions.
You also may enjoy this other article:
15 Steps to Build your Dream Home
We've been designing kitchens for years and our clients love us! Light and bright kitchens, that are functional and practical; rule today. However when we arrive home at night, we encounter our own drab and dreary kitchen. The designer who created this kitchen had unknowingly, selected competing undertones - orange floor, burgundy cabinets, black and PINK countertops and Tuscan gold backsplash. This is definitely not my style and I think it's time for a change! Don't you?
I know - it's bad, right? When designing kitchens for our clients, we start with choosing 2 items first. The counter top and the kitchen sink!
As I use Caesarstone almost exclusively (they have the best range of colours and patterns of quartz - in my opinion), I knew which counter top I wanted almost immediately. Frosty Carrina!
It's a warm white, with subtle flecks and veining of light warm gray. Giving almost a marble look, but without the hassle, upkeep, staining and etching of real marble. Their quartz has antibacterial properties meaning there is no need to seal the counters - eliminating the maintenance that is needed every few years.
Have a look at all the beautiful options from Caesarstone here!
The next item I choose is the Kitchen sink. Of course the size is dictated by any existing cabinetry, if you are starting from scratch, the world's your Oyster. A favourite manufacture of mine is Blanco. They sell amazing sinks of all different shapes and sizes. Silgranit, Stainless steel, FireClay and more! Here's a cheat sheet on the great points.
Apron sink - who doesn't love apron sinks?
Centre drain location
3 1/2'' (90mm) stainless steel strainer included
Stay tuned! Sneak peek photos coming up - we've just installed the gorgeous Caesarstone counter top and we are absolutely thrilled with it!
Stay tuned for more updates and tips and tricks!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.
Design Links Bloggers I follow:
Kimberley Seldon Design
Linda Holt Interiors
Ina Goetz Photography