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How to shine in the bathroom

The bathroom is the room where we start and finish the active part of our day. We relax there, do all the necessary daily rituals and work on our look.

For makeup, shaving, dental care, etc., we primarily need light in which we see ourselves well. For this purpose, it is best to place a pair of luminaires on both sides of the mirror, emitting scattered light towards us at eye level.

A common mistake is to place a luminaire above the upper edge of the mirror, because this will only achieve the horror effect of dark circles under the eyes and contrasting shadows under the brow ridges and under the chin. On the forehead (and, in some cases, even further on the head), bright reflections will be formed and, generally, you will look older by up to 10 years. At the same time, you will cast a shadow on your face when using tools and hands although, paradoxically, it is the face that you need to see most.

You don’t believe us? Think of Hollywood actresses sitting in front of a mirror lined with light bulbs.

Tereza Sehnalová / Lighting Architect

Kitchen – let shine the heart of your home.

Appropriate choice of kitchen lighting depends on the space layout, individual pieces of furniture and, naturally, on the requirements of the user of the space, i.e. on you.

In general, lighting should consist of several independent parts:

1. Diffuse*) lighting of the space as a whole,

2. Task lighting – i.e. workspace lighting,

3. Design lighting.

Wherever it is likely that you will chop and slice food or read recipes, the workspace should be provided with diffuse*) light. This helps to avoid shadows and, especially, reflections from metal tools. The ideal location is below eye level, in the furniture structure, which prevents users from looking directly at the light source as much as possible, even when comfortably leaning against the worktop with a glass of wine.

Design luminaires should attract attention and correspond with the character of the space. Their use is suitable for layouts with a kitchen island or a bar. If any guests in your home eventually gather in the kitchen, consider additional lighting in the form of a table lamp or a floor lamp to complete the intimate atmosphere. Luminaire dimming should be a natural feature in such a case.

However, this doesn’t exhaust all the possibilities of kitchen lighting. If you want to raise your kitchen to a more luxurious level, you can add indirect lighting above the cabinets, light the bracket bases or overlaps of stand-up cabinets, or install interior lighting of glass showcases. A practical thing is lighting of drawers and deeper cabinets, which is activated automatically when opened.

The icing on the cake, which exceeds the common perception of the kitchen space, is to use accent (spot) lighting. It should only be used if you want to light, for example, a work of art hanging on the wall above the bar or if you have unique pieces of Venetian glass or Chinese porcelain on a shelf. But make sure to avoid the possibility of glare when looking directly into the luminaire.

The architect’s final advice? Choose a kitchen style in which you will feel comfortable and in which you will want to spend time. Then interconnect the main elements of the space, including luminaires, with a single colour or material. Discuss the more technical elements or the suitability of using specific luminaires with an expert, and you can’t go wrong.

*) lighting by linear, in this case ideally inbuilt or surface-mounted luminaires – a counterpart to spot lighting

Tereza Sehnalová / Lighting Architect

Localization of the light source

Have you ever thought about where a luminaire should hang? And if (its) size matters? Before we come to the lighting design recommendations in different rooms, let’s go through several tried and tested rules to achieve a result you will be happy with.

The most common mistake is to light the room as one whole. “If you hang a single luminaire in the middle of the room, you will have to watch your own shadow all day,” as it is aptly put by Lindsey Adelman, a New York designer. This also applies to other objects in the space. If they are only illuminated with a single source of light, they cast long dark shadows that create unpleasant contrasts.

When lighting a room, it is preferable to use more places, and thus a greater number of luminaires, in order to create various layers of light that will be interconnected. In the space, they will together form a diffuse (scattered) light, which is more eye-friendly and closer to natural light.

It is also important to consider a suitable height for a luminaire. It should always be placed at a height that is helpful for the activity you are going to perform, but not so high as to dazzle you when looking at the light source of the luminaire.

If you are not sure about the suitable size of a luminaire, use the following rule: the sum of the width and height of the room in metres multiplied by 8.5 should approximately correspond to the appropriate diameter of the luminaire in centimetres. If the chosen luminaire is the wrong size, the entire space may feel disproportionate. You can never make a mistake if you consult a specialist – to make sure that you have the right light from a correctly placed luminaire in your home.

Tereza Sehnalová / Lighting Designer

About the light around us

Light is the source of life and living. The sun, the stars and fire have accompanied us for thousands of years. Over time, we have learned to control light, we understand its processes and origin, and we are even able to produce it. It has become a ubiquitous part of our lives that we only notice when we feel a shortage or surplus of it.

Natural light sources are now supplemented by artificial sources. The amount of sources is growing exponentially, and if our sole interest is not this area of ​​technical development, which is hurtling forward at nearly warp speed, we can easily get lost in the maze of lighting characteristics and technical data.

Lighting can either completely destroy a meticulous architectural design or, on the contrary, it can support and pinpoint the characteristic elements of the space. If it is implemented correctly, it will allow you to pursue a variety of activities with a sense of comfort and well-being. It can encourage you to greater activity or, on the contrary, to relaxation and idling.

Lighting should be considered in the early phase of interior design, because not all of us love the technical look of visible cabling winding around structures. Due to the efforts to achieve a certain universality, lighting outlets are placed at convenient places in flats. If this is not the case in your home, don’t worry – it is always possible to find a suitable way to solve the problem.

In this series, you will learn what you should be careful about when choosing lighting and what you should expect from a good luminaire. We will show you how to design lighting scenes in different rooms and how significant a role is played by what seem like mere details when choosing light sources.

Tereza Sehnalová / Lighting Architect