Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | HOME -

It’s like Ground­hog year, not day. By the end of sum­mer, I’m over the heat, and by the end of win­ter, I’m an­tic­i­pat­ing sum­mer.

This year, I’m par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to step­ping back out­side to eat, en­ter­tain and sim­ply en­joy those glo­ri­ous, balmy spring nights.

But be­fore I do, our ex­te­rior lights need some at­ten­tion, which in re­turn in­spired me for this week’s ar­ti­cle.

If you’re ready to trans­form your out­door liv­ing area or gardens, step one is to step back and make a plan.

How do you use your out­door liv­ing? Where do peo­ple sit or stand? What’s im­por­tant within each space? How do you want the area to look vis­ually? Moody, tran­quil and in­ti­mate, or lit up like fire­works?

Once you’ve es­tab­lished the foun­da­tions of your ex­te­rior light selec­tion, it’s then time to layer.

Ex­te­rior light­ing is most vis­ually ap­peas­ing and in­ter­est­ing when lay­ered us­ing three dif­fer­ent meth­ods – am­bi­ent, task and ac­cent light­ing. am­bi­ent lights like down­lights or wall lights are for prac­ti­cal­ity, light­ing up an en­tire space.

Whereas task light­ing il­lu­mi­nates a par­tic­u­lar spot, use­ful for bar­be­cues or your out­door din­ing area, ac­cent lights are all about the mood and cre­at­ing in­ter­est through­out your en­ter­tain­ing area and gar­den.

A lovely ex­am­ple of lay­ered light­ing for the out­door en­ter­tain­ing area would be us­ing down­lights in the ceil­ing, a gor­geous state­ment pen­dant above a din­ing ta­ble and per­haps up and down wall lights scat­tered around.

LED strips are prov­ing pop­u­lar, not only for their high-end lux­ury look, but for safety.

A great way to brighten up your back­yard, of course, but when in­stalled in deck­ing and stairs, they act as a safety fea­ture.

Up­light­ing is by far my favourite look vis­ually. There’s some­thing so beau­ti­ful and en­gag­ing about a gor­geous tree, wa­ter foun­tain or fea­ture wall lit up from its base.

Not dis­sim­i­lar to a fire, you sim­ply can’t take your eyes of it.

For those of you who may have bud­get con­straints or are per­haps rent­ing, lanterns are the per­fect ad­di­tion to any out­door area. They’re por­ta­ble, they come in a wide range of styles, and you can find them with LED lights for con­ve­nience.

Glow fur­ni­ture, orbs and planters are great mul­ti­pur­pose al­ter­na­tives to ex­te­rior light­ing. Su­per mod­ern in ap­pear­ance, they can light up your space all the while hold­ing plants or hu­mans.

Clus­ter orbs or planters in ar­eas that don’t re­ceive a lot of light to brighten a cor­ner or gar­den.

For more in­te­rior de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, visit­sign­by­


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