Claire, the ‘illumina’ lighting expert

Yesterday I had a site visit by Claire Pendarves from Illumina ( www.illuminalighting.co.uk) to look over the room sizes etc. to refine her lighting ideas and suggestions.

It’s crazy, I expect to go out and buy a light that fits my taste. The more I read up and spoke to others about lighting, the more I realised it would transform or potentially waste all the amazing work to date (and planned).

Claire dives straight into considering every space, the different planned uses, the links between areas, the circuits, the lighting limitations (eg size of ceiling voids, or exposed coastal location for outside lighting) and used my lighting scrap book to show me installed work she’s done, photos of lights and a plethora of fittings from her Tardis car boot.

Even though Claire arrived at 10am, and left at 3:30pm, I think she let me off lightly in terms of toning down the talk of lumen’s, the level of white and a bunch of other technical considerations that are second nature to her.

Have a look at her Websites for work she’s done for others:

Kitchen to stair well wall

There are a few ideas for this wall / area:

Kitchen to stairs wall

To insert a vertical line of some of the stained glass windows from the original bungalow:

collage-origional-bungalow_stained-windows

 

stained-windows-row

Which could look something like this:

Kitchen to stairs wall - stained glass inserts

and will further help draw light from the stairwell through into the living area.

I’m not sure on how many glass panes. They’ve all been kept. They vary in size and detail, number of panes etc.

For the rest of this wall, I like the idea of either a black board area, a magnetic wall for photos to be put up (or a magnetic wall that is also a blackboard wall. I also like the idea of a mugs rack, but these could be quite a way from the kettle ?

With blackboard paint, it should be easy to change this final detail in the years to come:

Blackboard Wall in the Kitchen:

blackboard wall - 02

 

blackboard wall

blackboard wall - 03b

Kitchen Photo Wall

photo wall

 

Mug rack on the wall:

mugs rack - maybe over the photos black board

 

Fridge side pantry slide out “wall”

For next to the fridge up against the wall I like the idea of this slide out pantry wall:

storage rack by the fridge idea

Rear courtyard ideas

The rear courtyard is going to be used any time you want a wind sheltered spot and more privacy than the front garden.
– although with the garage raising the front of the garden, the front garden should be more private than it would otherwise have been.

These are few ideas for the courtyard, in no particular order:

courtyard

The courtyard will have slate tile flooring, but maybe some wall wooden cladding that ties in with the cladding on the building could soften it all. Plants will certainly look good. But they’ll need to not take up too much space and although I like this look (below), keeping a vertical wall is the planning approved design.
– I think it would eat too much into the rear slope and reduce privacy from the rear of the property down into the living area and rear courtyard.

In the pic below, there is wood and a tile floor. Then the sheet of rusting metal, water and plants all seem to work well. There are also edge up lights.

courtyard ideas

The wall could also have a streak of art sunlight !

courtyard art

With other colour splashes from furniture.

The space isn’t actually that big, so it won’t make sense to have full time outside big tables and chairs here.

But widening the stairs up to the rear could open it up, but the width shold line up with the other building lines.

There will be an outside shower in the courtyard. In the SW corner by the door to the plant room. This will be below the stairs that go up from the rear to the top floor home office / study.

So there could be lights from the bottom of the stairs to the shower area?

shower - with bench and light all under the over-hang

Their should be the option to detach and use the shower on a shower hose for getting all the sand, mud … off people, wetsuits, kids, dogs ….

If the south wall to the courtyard was white, which will fit the rest of the lower floor render, it’ll keep the courtyard brighter:

shower - 04

It’d be good to have a shelf or 2 in the wall for shower products etc.

Also some hooks for towels and wetsuits on their initial dry out.

shower - 03

In the picture below from Claire at Illumina Lighting, there’s great plant courtyard uplighting:

courtyard lighting idea

Bamboo Flooring

I have some samples from www.bambooflooringcompany.com.

Bamboo flooring is one of the hardest natural materials available for flooring and is an excellent alternative to hard wood flooring. Bamboo has a higher fibre rating than any hard wood, which gives it exceptional hard wearing qualities.

bamboo is a rapid growing grass and not wood, it can be harvested every 3-5 years, unlike 15-25 years for most wood. This makes bamboo a very environmentally friendly product for flooring.

BambooFlooringCompany - 01

 

Also get samples etc. from http://pandaflooring.co.uk/engineeredcrossplyclicklockbamboo.html

Slate and bamboo floor inspiration

From http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1362722.

Chinese slate floor tiles span the first floor. “We wanted to use the most irregular floor surface we could find. This room is used a lot, so we wanted to have a rough floor that we could walk on without worrying about damaging the floor,”

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 01

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 02

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 03

and the very small unit bamboo element wooden floor:

bamboo floor - 04

bamboo floor - 03

Bamboo has good eco credentials in terms of sustainable growth.
– but you need to check this.

I’d be biased towards bigger “elements”, so that it looks a bit more like wood until you look at the detail.

I’m less certain about the Chinese slate. Some comments suggest less than ideal extraction and transport etc. But I do like the idea of the rough textured surface and the size of the tiles in these examples.

Pro’s and Con’s of kitchen counter top options

From http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1623075

USA and US$ figures, so likely to be a bit different in the UK:

Granite

Pros: Granite’s beautiful mottling and the host of colors and patterns found in nature make each piece one of a kind. It stands up well to splashes, knife nicks, heat and other wear and tear.

Cons: Like most stone, granite must be sealed every so often to avoid stains. And its heaviness means you’ll need very sturdy cabinet boxes to support the weight.

Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed

Solid Surfacing

Made primarily from acrylic and polyester, solid surfacing first was sold under the brand name Corian, which is often (erroneously) used as a generic term for it. Today, it’s made by a host of manufacturers and has enjoyed steady popularity over the years.

Pros: Because solid surfacing is nonporous, it’s virtually maintenance free — no sealing or special cleaning required. Although it can be susceptible to scratches and burns, those are easy to sand out. Color and pattern options are extensive, and because you’re not trying for the look of a natural material, you can experiment with vibrant hues such as turquoise or tomato red. Seamless installation means there are no cracks to trap dirt and debris.

Cons: Solid surfacing can have a patently artificial look and feel, yet can approach the price of natural stone. As mentioned above, it doesn’t stand up to hot pans or sharp knives as well as other materials.

Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed

Quartz Surfacing

Crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color, quartz surfacing (also called engineered quartz or engineered stone) is a good compromise between the beauty of stone and the easy care of solid surfacing.

Pros: Quartz surfacing has the same advantages as solid surfacing with regard to maintenance. As an engineered product, it’s available in a far greater range of colors and patterns than natural stone.

Cons: This material doesn’t have the natural variegation of granite, so it may be evident that it’s an engineered product. It’s relatively pricey, although its durability can make it a worthwhile investment.

Cost: $40 to $90 per square foot, installed

Marble

Is there anything that looks and feels more glamorous than a marble countertop? Peerless in terms of its luminescence and distinctive veining, it’s an ultratraditional choice.

Pros: Nothing beats marble for sheer elegance. It stands up to heat well, and because it remains perennially cool, it’s a traditional choice for pastry and baking stations (read: Dough won’t get too soft).

Cons: Marble is very susceptible to stains, even with sealing. For that reason, it’s not often used throughout an entire kitchen — most homeowners limit it to one or two small areas. It can also scratch and chip.

Cost: $40 to $100 per square foot, installed

Tile

Modular and inexpensive, ceramic and porcelain tile offers nearly limitless options for colors and designs. Tile works with almost any kitchen style, from country to majestic Old World.

Pros: It holds its own against heat and sharp blades, and resists stains. If one or two tiles chip or crack, they’re fairly easy to replace.

Cons: Tile’s uneven surface can make it difficult to balance a cutting board or roll out a pie crust. Unsealed grout is prone to staining; standing moisture can damage it and contribute to bacterial growth.

Cost: $10 to $80 per square foot, installed

Laminate

Made of paper blended with resins and fused to particle board, laminate has been a kitchen mainstay for decades. In the past, it hasn’t always had a reputation as stylish, but that’s changing: The latest designs on the market mimic stone, butcher block and other pricier surfaces.

Pros: Laminate is one of the most affordable countertop materials, so it’s a good choice if your budget is tight. It’s low maintenance and easy to clean. Its light weight doesn’t require the support of a thick cabinet base.

Cons: Laminate is prone to scratching, burns and, in some cases, staining. With wear and moisture exposure, the layers can peel. Because of the raw particle board core, you can’t use laminate with undermount sinks, and it’s also difficult to repair if it gets damaged.

Cost: $10 to $30 per square foot, installed

Soapstone

Although it’s in no danger of overtaking granite, soapstone has come into its own as a countertop material. It offers subtle, nuanced beauty yet feels humbler than granite or marble.

Pros: Soapstone has a natural softness and depth that fits very well with older and cottage-style homes. Although it usually starts out light to medium gray, it darkens with time. (Most people enjoy the acquired patina, but you may consider this a con.)

Cons: Soapstone needs polishing with oil to keep it in top shape. It can crack over time, and it can’t handle knife scratches and nicks as well as some other types of stone. The natural roughness of its surface can scuff glassware and china.

Cost: $70 to $100 per square foot, installed

Stainless Steel

Once found mostly in commercial kitchens, stainless steel has slipped into vogue within the past two decades. These countertops are custom made to fit your kitchen, so you’re guaranteed a tailored look.

Pros: There’s a reason stainless steel is used in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens: It’s nearly indestructible, and it resists heat and bacteria. It also provides a very distinctive look that feels appropriate in contemporary and industrial-style kitchens.

Cons: Fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, and stainless steel can also dent. It can be loud as pots, pans and dishware clang against the surface. Chemicals can affect its color and cause unwanted etching. Stainless steel is extremely expensive due to the custom fabrication.

Cost: $65 to $125 per square foot, installed

Concrete

Think concrete is just for floors? Think again. Slightly edgier than other materials, concrete countertops have an industrial chic that fits right into a loft or adds interest to an otherwise traditional space.

Pros: Concrete is extremely versatile: It can be cast in any shape and custom tinted any shade you wish. You easily can add unique inlays, such as glass fragments, rocks and shells. Concrete stands up well to heavy use, although it isn’t as heat resistant as some other surfaces.

Cons: Because it’s porous, concrete will stain without frequent sealing. With time and settling, small cracks can develop. Concrete is extremely heavy and will need strong support beneath. Like stainless steel, its custom creation ups the price tag.

Cost: $75 to $125 per square foot, installed

Butcher Block

Butcher block has a classic appeal and always looks fresh. It’s especially fitting for traditional, country and cottage-style kitchens.

Pros: Many homeowners like butcher block’s warm, natural appearance and variegated wood tones. Although knives scratch it, many people like the shopworn look it develops — after all, it’s what chopping blocks have been made of for years. But you can also sand scratches down with ease.

Cons: Wood swells and contracts with moisture exposure, and butcher block is no exception. It harbors bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting. Oiling is a must to fill in scratches and protect the surface.

Cost: $35 to $70 per square foot, installed

Paper Composite

Paper countertops? You read it right. Created from paper fibers mixed with resin, this surface is ecofriendly and a whole lot more durable than it sounds.

Pros: Paper composite evokes the look of solid surfacing or laminate but with a warmer sensibility. It’s surprisingly hardy and can withstand heat and water admirably. It’s also a great deal lighter than natural stone or concrete.

Cons: The material isn’t scratchproof and is susceptible to chemical damage. It needs an occasional rubdown with mineral oil, and even sanding, to refresh it. Although it sounds as though it would be a lower-budget option, it isn’t (unless you install it yourself).

Cost: $85 to $125 per square foot, installed

 

Double Sinks

A whole bunch of double sink ideas from Houzz:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1547572

One benefit of a double vanity is the extra storage gained beneath. Lots of drawers and shelves mean a clutter-free bathroom and never missing a clean towel or a roll of toilet paper.

I seem to like those photos with tile floors, white sinks and light wooden units / drawers / shelves.

double sinks + storage

 

bathroom wood etc

 

double sinks + storage - 02

In terms of how the sinks are plumbed in, the sinks below have the pipes in through the sink unit (not from the wall).

But I am biased towards a single handle to control the flow rate and temp, coming out of a single outlet.

double sinks + storage - 03