interior design

The 4 simple steps to bespoke lighting! by Madeleine Roff

Getting a piece of lighting designed sounds like a lengthy and confusing, or perhaps unknown, process… so we’re going to talk you through the four simple steps.

1)    Let’s start with all the information

During the initial meeting, the designer will speak with you to talk through your plans and discuss the project in detail with you. It’s the perfect chance for us to view the room where it will be and see the amount of natural daylight, the size of the space, and the current materials in the room. The more information we can gather at this stage, the better the end product will be!

 2)    Let the planning commence!

Now we have seen the space and understand the room, it’s time for us to create and prepare a full set of lighting plans, a specification and detailed quote for you. This will include all the light fittings, lamps, transformers, drivers and controls and will take around 15 working days to create from the receipt of all relevant information. We’ll use the information we spoke about in the initial meeting to provide you with the full technical specification as well as the exact location of all fittings, the type of lamps, engines and lenses used.

3) Time to start installing!

Now everything’s been planned and created… it’s time for us to actually install the lighting! Our team are qualified NICEIC Approved Contractors meaning we are able to install the light safely for you and also carry out the final safety checks which saves you time and finding someone else to do this. 

4)    Last but not least…

Commissioning a lighting scheme is an integral part of any lighting design. Your designer can come and visit the site at the end of your project to ensure the lighting is as designed, as well as ensure everything has been installed to it’s best advantage and can help set up a control system if needed. 

We hope this has helped you understand how the process works. If you would be interested in chatting with the team further, just get in touch today, we'll be happy to chat with you.

Why should I get a bespoke light designed? by Madeleine Roff

A lot of people don’t understand the true benefits and advantages of having a light designed, so we’re here to give some understanding!

Lighting designers will make you a bespoke piece that nobody else will have. Who wouldn’t want that?! The designer will be able to choose the best size, material, and style depending on the room and space making it perfect for you.

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Designers have a lot of knowledge and a creative eye, meaning they’ll be able to achieve whatever your aim, whether it be an eco-friendly or energy saving light, to illuminating certain aspects of a room, or to have the latest technology. Although high street shops may have staff instore to advise, lighting designers will have very in-depth and rich knowledge around the design aspect which is key.

In terms of investment, it may cost more than a light from a high street store, however the quality of materials and longevity will likely be greater in a bespoke piece. Also, if you choose to sell your house at any point, lighting is a key influence when potential buyers view a property, so you want the lighting to be maximised… even if you’re planning on taking the light with you!

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There’s often something missing or not quite right when you buy a light from a high street store and fit it in your home, but that can be avoided when you are a part of the design process. Also, with the knowledge of the designer they will be able to hear exactly what you want and can then achieve it.

Within BPL, Ben has gained a diploma in Interior Design from the National Design Academy, which led him to specialise in lighting design. Jackie also studied Interior Design at the NDA as well as Point of Sale Design and Graphics at College. Ben is a fully qualified electrician as is Luke so if you chose BPL we could not only design the light, but also fit it – we’re a one stop shop!

If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with the team and we can chat through the process and answer any questions you may have. 

2018 international lighting trends  by Madeleine Roff

Seeing as founder of BPL, Ben, and his wife Steph have just embarked on the trip of a lifetime travelling around Australasia for 6 weeks, we thought it seemed appropriate to take a look at international lighting design trends of 2018!

First up, we take a trip across the Atlantic ocean to see what Americans are excited about in the lighting design world…

America

In 2018, it looks as though Americans are loving vintage lighting fixtures! More specifically, aged copper pendant lights which look absolutely stunning when hung low in a kitchen or perhaps in a mix and match design which we spoke about in our previous blog. In the UK, copper and rose gold were definitely colour trends for interior design in 2017 so this 2018 trend is no real surprise. Saying that, we still love this look and have no complaints that it’s coming into 2018 with us!

Next we go north to Scandinavia…

Scandinavia

A very different trend to America indeed – giant paper lanterns! They have an Asian inspiration to them but keeping the colours neutral gives the design their own differentiated look. To nail this trend, we’d suggest they’re used in large spaces otherwise they may overcrowd the room. This design gives off a calm, open and relaxed vibe and it looks great when there’s more than one latern used as the photo shows.

Going East, we’re off to India…

India

The colours of Indian interior design are bold, colourful… and just stunning. Their latest trend definitely complements their traditional look – it’s oil lamps! Specifically, copper oil lamps, which follows the colour trend of America. This is a very unique design which is best suited to a room full of colour or a room which is Asian inspired to complete the look. Also, the lamps are a great feature as they give a completely different mood at night once they’re lit, a magical piece that has two different looks by day and night!

Moving further afield we now take a look at the land down under…

Australia

Pendant lights are the way forward for the Aussies this year, but more precisely with the aim of creating a mood or atmosphere. Pendant lights are a great way to add warmth to a room as well and creating a strong focal point and feel of a room. Designer Bandiera takes this look to a next level by suggesting you should “choose lighting that compliments your hardware in either hand blown glass, matte black, chrome or brass finishes” – and we totally agree! When BPL design lights we take a look at the room as a whole, considering hardware, surfaces, natural lighting (and many more elements), to ensure your new lighting design matches and enhances the feel of the room.

Finally, we visit the South American country, Brazil!

Brazil

It’s very interesting that Brazil’s 2018 trend is around Smart lighting. We expected this to have been more prominent with some of the other countries we’ve spoken about, but it appears Brazil is leading the way. We’ll actually be creating our own blog about Smart lighting next month, but for those who have no idea what it is, it’s basically lighting that can be controlled via the Internet. The reason Brazilians love it, is that you can reduce your electricity consumption by adjusting it when you’re out the house, simply by using your smartphone. Not only is it better for the environment, but some designs allow for you to change the colour of the lights depending on the room – such a clever and easy way to create mood lighting! 

So there you go, there’s 5 lighting trends around the globe in 2018, and what a variety there is! Comment and let us know which one your favourites are and get in touch if you’d like us to help you achieve any of these in your home. 

Get inspired in 2018! by Madeleine Roff

It’s the start of a new year, new projects around the home, and New Years Resolutions… so it’s time to get inspired and make a start! We’ll talk you through four different materials and styles to give you some ideas. 

Glass

Glass is such a stylish material at the moment, it’s versatile and perfect for pretty much every room! If your room has a lack of natural light or it’s quite a small space, glass is great as it doesn’t obstruct any views or reduce the amount of natural light the room receives. Another reason we love glass is the luxury yet modern feel it gives, and the ability to add colour to the design is a bonus! 

Mix and match

Mix and match styles are very on-trend, from décor and materials to colours and lights! This style works really well with pendants as a mix of heights can give a very contemporary feel and also plays with the mind to give the effect that there is more space than there actually is. However we’d recommend this style is implemented in a room with high ceilings, or perhaps a larger room in general to have the ability to have multiple pendant lights. You can also mix up the colours which gives you great flexibility and the option to create a real theme in the room – we’ll focus on colour more in a moment! 

Modern

What is modern lighting? To us, it’s bold statements and quirky shapes! For a design to be modern it must be on-trend, so this style is constantly changing. As a designer, unconventional shapes are great fun to work with and it allows us to get very creative and make a real impact on a room. Modern lighting designs have the ability to renovate a dated room which is fantastic for those who don’t want to completely revamp an entire room; by simply investing in one modern lighting design, you can transform and update the entire room! 

A splash of colour

We love colourful lighting designs! If your light is the centerpiece of a room, or you have multiple lights throughout the room, you can create a theme by simply adding colour to your lights! Colour has the ability to complete liven up a room and add some brightness to it, and it also works on a range of shapes and styles so it’s very versatile and works on almost any light design. Also, if it’s just your lighting designs that are coloured, it means in the future you can easily change the feel of the room by replacing the lights for another style or colour – simple! 

BPL work with all the materials and styles we’ve spoken about – and more! So if you’re feeling inspired and want to take the first step in getting a brand new and bespoke lighting design for your home, get in touch today.

How to transform your home! by Madeleine Roff

Lighting design is completely underrated.

Think about some of the World’s grandest and most spectacular buildings… The outside of the Ritz is completely illuminated to create a jaw dropping effect and even their lit up lettered signs create an impact and feeling of exclusivity. Then there’s the Burj Al Arab hotel, which has gorgeous rich colours that are brought to life and made to feel warm with the range of lighting designs they have.

The point we’re making is that something as simple as a piece of lighting can completely transform a room, and we’re here to give you tips on how to do this, no matter your style or budget... (it's also worth noting, all of the images below are designs are in-house projects we've carried out).

1)    On a budget

There is a common belief that grand and impressive lighting means you need to have a huge budget; although this can help, anyone can achieve it if you do it the right way. The trick is to start with one singular piece – make it big! Choose something that is different and bold, whether this be an oversized chandelier, or a pendant that is hung lower that you would normally have it; this will create a dramatic look and give a fantastic impression for the whole room.

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2)    To create space

Think up! Use your ceiling for lighting opportunities, wall fixtures and free-standing lamps can take up valuable space. Ceiling fixtures are very trendy and some allow you to adjust the angles of the lights to highlight specific areas, make narrow spaces look wider, or hit certain walls to create the illusion of more space - a fantastic solution for a small room!

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3)    Create mood lighting

Mood lighting can be used in many situations, but our favourite is for welcoming guests into your home. This is their first contact inside your house and you want them to feel at ease – and perhaps impressed too! To achieve this, ensure the lights aren’t too bright as they adjust from the outside natural light, and use your lighting pieces to focus on the areas you want them to see, such as any artwork or architecture, highlighting your favourite elements.

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4)    Rooms with low ceilings

Need a way to create more space in a room with more ceilings? Remove any ceiling lights you have, they’re restricting the space both physically and psychologically. Instead, use recessed downlights in specific and chosen areas to make the space feel bigger – simple!

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5)    Maximise natural light

Ensure your walls and ceilings are painted in neutral colours to welcome in the natural light. Painting your ceilings lighter than your walls creates an illusion of height and space, which is great as this works with darker walls as well. If you want warmth, go for an off-white rather than a bright white… and picture a fantastic singular lighting design in the centre of the room to create a dramatic and bold look, stunning!

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We hope we’ve given you a few ideas you can carry out in your own home. We offer a range of lighting solutions which are completely bespoke to you and your home so we can maximise the lighting opportunities no matter what you need! 

Get in touch today and have a chat with our team: info@benpalmerlighting.co.uk or call: 01444 300252