Most people focus on their walls, whether it’s changing the color, displaying artwork in gallery style, or hanging a mirror. To add visual interest and flair to your space, consider updating your 5th wall as interior designers like to call it. What is the 5th wall? It’s the ceiling! If you notice, most ceilings are white and flat which can be a bit dull. To give your space some dimension and texture, you can add panels, use beams, create an arched ceiling for architectural appeal, use wood in a herringbone pattern, or gild your ceiling. There are endless options for creating a beautiful stylish ceiling that is the focal point of a room. It will instantly transform your space. Check out some design ideas below to inspire you to give your ceiling a makeover with panache!
I’ve worked on small projects from one room design to large projects for a complete home renovation and I usually come across the same mistakes people make or the same questions being asked time and time again. Whether it’s inadequate lighting, not understanding code requirements, or selecting furniture too large to fit into their space, I find that most people just aren’t aware or knowledgeable of what makes good design. They don’t know how to put everything together so that the end result is cohesive, balanced, and aesthetically pleasing. That’s why they hire interior designers to help solve their problems and help educate them about what to look for. Here are the 6 most common design mistakes, questions asked, or things people are unaware of regarding interior design.
Most people don’t think about their bathroom lights or even investing their money into proper lighting design. They are more concerned with selecting the right tiles, the right fixtures, the right vanity and countertop, etc.. In fact, bathrooms are probably given the least consideration of all the rooms in the house when it comes to lighting. However, lighting is very important to make the most of your bathroom space. A small bathroom with the proper lighting can make a huge impact. There have been many times where people make mistakes such as installing too little or too many recessed light fixtures in the bathroom. A good lighting plan involves layers of light from task lighting to accent, decorative, and ambient lighting. It’s important to understand each of the four layers of light so that you ensure you have bathroom lights that not only illuminates your space but is also functional for tasks.
Task lighting is general lighting that illuminates work spaces or tasks performed in the bathroom. This is the light by which you can best see yourself. A pair of wall mounted sconces mounted at eye level on either side of the mirror provides shadowless illumination and is the best option for tasks such as brushing your teeth, putting on your makeup, shaving, etc.. If you can’t mount wall sconces, try hanging 2 pendants which is preferred over a single wall light fixture above the mirror.
Accent lighting will highlight any artwork or focal point such as a unique basin in your bathroom. Accent lighting is usually a small recessed spotlight or recessed fixture that can be angled to feature wall art or highlight handcrafted custom tilework in your shower and make them shine.
Decorative lighting adds visual interest and sparkle to your bathroom. Chandeliers, wall sconces in an artistic design, or industrial pipe ceiling light fixtures are all decorative lights that are “jewelry accessories” for your bathroom and make it pop.
Ambient light is light that fills the room and bounces off the ceiling. This fill-in light serves as a substitute for natural light. It is usually a central fixture such as a surface mounted ceiling light. An example of ambient lighting is cove lighting and indirect up-lighting, usually achieved with fluorescent or LED light strips on top of cabinets or a soffit.
Some additional tips:
Put lights on dimmers so you can control the brightness and set the ambience of the space.
Make sure there is even illumination surrounding the vanity. Wall mounted sconces on either side of a mirror is ideal. Place them at eye level.
Add soft illumination at night by installing toekick lighting underneath base cabinets. This soft light helps you navigate the bathroom in the middle of the night.
If you have a recessed light fixture inside the shower area or over tubs and whirlpools, make sure the light is “wet rated” per building code requirements. There can be no open or hanging fixtures within 8 feet above the tub nor 3 feet in front of it.
Nothing beats natural daylight so it’s ideal to design a bathroom with as much natural light as possible. If you can, replace a small window with one larger one or even 2 windows that are adjacent to each other. If that’s not possible, adding a skylight will help bring in natural daylight. A skylight lets in 2-3 times the illumination as a window that’s the same size.
Choose LED lights. It saves energy, is cool to touch, and provides even light distribution. Look for a bulb that is 2700 to 3000 Kelvin.
If you think you are done after selecting tile materials, sizes, and patterns, you’re mistaken. The most important detail is selecting a grout joint width, which is the spacing or gap between each tile in the assembly. Why is grout joint width so important? First and foremost, it will prevent tripping and breaking the edge of the tile. By increasing the spacing between the tiles, it reduces the slope of the transition from one tile to the next tile. Shoes are less likely to catch on a tile edge and wheels of carts roll freely over the tile surface.
Plus, grout joint width can make or break a professional looking tile job. When installing wall and floor tiles, installers place plastic spacers between each one to ensure the lines remain uniform. Tile spacers range in size from 1/16 ” to 1/2 ” but finished grout joint widths will vary from 1/16″ to 3/16″. Using the smallest grout possible will increase installation time. Once the tile mortar sets, the installer can remove the spacers but the spacing cannot be changed. Before installing any tile, it’s important to choose the grout width size you want and stick with it! There is really no standard sizing guidelines for grout lines, according to the Tile Council of North America. However, a 1/8″ grout line size is what most interior designers and tile installers prefer since it tends to give a more luxurious look when finished. There are several factors you should consider when selecting a grout width size such as the tile’s size, whether the tile edges are irregular or straight, whether the surface is level, where in the home you’re installing the tile, how much the tiles vary in size, and the aesthetic or look you want to achieve. So, how do you determine what grout joint width you should use for your tile project? Below are some common grout joint sizes to help you select what would work best for you.
Now that you have selected tiles for your kitchen, bathroom, or office design project, think about how you will layout the tiles. What pattern would add visual interest and spice up your shower walls, kitchen backsplash, or floors? There are many patterns to choose from depending on the size of tiles you have selected, if you have one or multiple tile materials, or if you selected one color or multiple colors. Some patterns to think about are herringbone, chevron, checkerboard, brick, diamond, basketweave, pinwheel, and much more. Check out tile pattern ideas below to inspire your design project. When it comes time for the tiler to lay out the tiles, you’ll be confident in the pattern you want and how the end result should look.