The de­signer on lat­est trends

NZ House & Garden - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

Ask Celia Visser, who stud­ied through the US arm of the NKBA (Na­tional Kitchen and Bath­room As­so­ci­a­tion), how many bath­rooms and kitchens she’s de­signed in her time and she’ll re­spond, “It’s in the hun­dreds!” But, she says, she’s al­ways learn­ing and re­search­ing. “Al­though home­own­ers can find out a lot from the in­ter­net, we have to keep ahead of the game so we can do what’s right for the client.”


1 Well-de­signed task light­ing is vi­tal in a bath­room: the last thing you want when putting on make-up or shav­ing is shad­ow­ing on the face. That’s why Hol­ly­wood-style lights either side were so great. Ide­ally, you need cross-light­ing. Cool white LED light is too harsh-look­ing on the skin so opt for a warm, yel­low tone.

2 Avoid too many down­lights in a bath­room. In­stead, po­si­tion them for a spe­cific pur­pose – you can even put one above the shower (help­ful for those who usu­ally wear glasses) but make sure it has the cor­rect IP rating.

3 Un­der­floor heat­ing on a timer not only keeps your toes warm first thing on a win­ter’s morn­ing but also helps to dry out the bath­room, par­tic­u­larly the grout be­tween tiles that can be dam­aged by wa­ter over time (heat­ing will also help pre­vent the growth of mould). In cold cli­mates, says Celia, clients of­ten in­stall in-wall heat­ing too, which works well in place of a heated towel rail if you have lim­ited space.

4 Up­lights set into the floor that shine onto the bath are a very ef­fec­tive op­tion to cre­ate am­bi­ence and are a good so­lu­tion if you had imag­ined a pen­dant over the bath but it can’t be safely done within the elec­tri­cal reg­u­la­tions.

5 Heater lights are plain ugly, says Celia, so avoid them. They’re a good idea in prin­ci­ple but don’t yet cut the mus­tard de­sign-wise.

6 Al­ways make sure bath­room and kitchen lights are on dim­mers so you can cre­ate a rest­ful am­bi­ence. And don’t for­get to in­cor­po­rate spaces such as al­coves or shelv­ing where can­dles can safely be placed.

7 Use lights to ac­cen­tu­ate tex­ture – for ex­am­ple, a di­rec­tional LED an­gled onto tiles.

8 Tech­nol­ogy com­ing soon to a show­room near you in­cludes mir­rors that con­tain a touch screen so you can check the weather or the traf­fic while brush­ing your teeth. Al­ready there are wa­ter­proof TVs so home­own­ers can lux­u­ri­ate in the bath while watch­ing their favourite show. Smart fridges with built-in screens will act as no­tice­boards, read the use-by la­bels and or­der more groceries as you need them. A tap on the glass front will turn it trans­par­ent so the con­tents will be vis­i­ble with­out even open­ing the door.

9 Range­hoods with built-in light­ing (that look like lights so you’d never guess their func­tion) are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. They’re mounted into the ceil­ing so there’s no vis­ual clut­ter at eye level. They are so pow­er­ful that they can be three me­tres from your hob and op­er­ate qui­etly and ef­fi­ciently.

10 Use light­ing to em­pha­sise your works of art – col­lec­tions and prized ob­jects can be dis­played on shelv­ing and lit from below. >

THIS PAGE As well as task and am­bi­ent light, your light­ing can ac­cen­tu­ate the de­sign of your room, says de­signer Celia Visser; here it high­lights the tex­tured tile. OP­PO­SITE Well de­signed task light­ing is vi­tal in a bath­room, as de­signed by Celia.

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