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Dimming the Light

October 20th, 2009

Today I have attended a presentation on light control in sustainable interior design by Lutron. I am a big advocate of controlling light levels in the rooms designed at my studio with the use of dimmers on the incandescent as well as fluorescent fixtures. You could call me a “dimmer queen”, since even in my own home you would find that there is practically no light switch without a dimmer or timer installed.


Hallway with Lutron dimmers

Hallway with Lutron dimmers

I guess it’s my urge to control everything with the greatest precision, even the light levels of the rooms I’m in. But there are only benefits to the “dimmer craze”: you are able to select the light level you need for the task as well as for creating the ambiance for the space, and you are saving energy and extending the life of the lamp (which always means saving some $, too).

Lately I have fallen in love with Lutron’s new Vierti line. The Vierti single touch dimmer is as decorative as it is functional. It supports all types of lamps: incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, LED, you name it. Multi-location dimming allows you to dim the lights from any entrance to a room. And the most important feature to every designer (and many homeowners) is that they come in a range of 10 matte and 11 metal finishes, with a white, green or blue LED status indicator bar (altogether 63 color combinations; what’s not to love?). You can complete the style for your whole house by using complementary no-dimming switches. The finished look is sleek and downright minimal.

My favorite color combination is the Architectural Metal Brown faceplate with the green LED strip (see below). Find your favorite look on the Lutron website.

Lutron Vierti brown with green LEDLutron Vierti brown with green LED ©2009 Lutron Electronics, Inc.

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Filled Under: HOT & NOT

Zen Design Inspirations

March 8th, 2009
When thinking of interior design, one usually sees spaces full of color and pattern, abundant with detail. Popular shelter magazines flood us with beautiful pictures of opulent, highly-decorative rooms, with a lot of decorative elements and furnishings, many layers of luxurious fabrics, and carefully placed objects. On the other side of the spectrum, we have a minimalistic design with simple, clean lines, ascetic spaces, minimal or no ornamentation whatsoever, interplay of textures and materials, and sparse use of color.

Not everyone has the opportunity of working with a designer, and even those who relay on the professional expertise, sometimes choose to replicate those magazine styles to the point. However, we need to keep in mind that in order to produce a personalized interior that is infused with our own style, we have to look beyond the universally given advice. Look for inspiration in other aspects of your life: nature, art, design of everyday objects, even religion and philosophy.

My own inspirations often come from unexpected places. Being interested in the psychology of the space, I realized that many objectives of a great interior design can be accomplished by complying to the aesthetic concepts of Zen philosophy. But this doesn’t mean you have to become Buddhist to benefit from it! It only requires approaching each and every space based of the following values:

  • simplicity - achieve beauty and visual elegance by elimination and omission; try find the balance between “too much” and “too simple”
  • naturalness - creative restraint in use of elaborate designs
  • elegance - in the understated sense
  • unexpectedness - surprise will get more interest
  • concreteness - eliminating of non-essential objects
  • emotion - makes your space evoke strong positive feelings
  • use of negative (empty) space – to gain more focus on the feature element
  • suggestive rather than descriptive design – introducing to the interior one element at the time to culminate with a focal point (It is called “telling the story”. This is my personal favorite, often used in my designs).

To try this stunning new approach, read Living with Zen by Ou Baholyodhin. Return often to this blog; I will relate to the Zen aesthetic concepts in my Deconstructing: Room-by-Room series.

And remember:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” -Leonardo da Vinci

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Filled Under: INSPIRATIONS
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