The quick and easy way to pick your kitchen lighting

Styling up a kitchen, whether it’s crafting a brand-new one from scratch or just touching up your current cooking space, means juggling a myriad of different elements. There’s the colour palette to consider, the type of layout you favour, and don’t forget about window treatment, storage… and lighting. Lighting remains one of the most crucial components of any space, kitchen or otherwise. And once you realise that every other piece in your kitchen (from the island to your choice in appliances) can either complement or detract from your lighting design, it makes the inclusion of PROPER lighting all the more valuable. One professional in South Africa who clearly has no qualms or worries when it comes to styling up kitchens (among other spaces) is Deborah Garth Interior Design International. Founded by professional interior designer Deborah Garth back in 1992, this award-winning company, which is located in Johannesburg, has been inspiring lovers of interior design with one eye-catching project after another. One look at the Deborah Garth Interior Design portfolio will also confirm a delicious assortment of high-end residential-, corporate-, and retail designs throughout Johannesburg, Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal, and Cape Town. Let’s be inspired by some of Deborah Garth Interior Design’s most memorable culinary-space designs while learning all about kitchen lighting.

1. Choosing your kitchen lighting

a kitchen with a sink and a window: 1. Choosing your kitchen lighting

© homify / Deborah Garth Interior Design International (Pty)Ltd
1. Choosing your kitchen lighting

What sort of lighting you require will depend on how you, and your household, make use of your kitchen. If your kitchen also doubles up as your dining space, maybe consider dimming the lights for a less harsh, more subtle/romantic vibe. And if you’re lucky enough to have a super spacious kitchen, how about adding more lights to certain areas (like task lighting

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Karl Lohnes: Easy bathroom upgrades so you can pamper yourself

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I love the trend of small round penny tiles. They add a graphic element, especially when the grout is different from the colour of the tile, and pay homage to the classic water-closet tile. Make it modern and fresh by using it with a punchy colour (like fun pool blue) or black to add drama.

Want to add wallpaper? Textured vinyl is super-hot in prints of stone and marble look. And don’t forget the ceiling: wallpapering the ‘fifth-wall’ can make a tall room feel more intimate for that spa-like experience.

White grout will give penny tiles a traditional feel, while dark grey or black grout will lend a modern edge. Hudson Penny Round Matte Black Porcelain Mosaic Tile, $15.98 /sft., homedepot.ca
White grout will give penny tiles a traditional feel, while dark grey or black grout will lend a modern edge. Hudson Penny Round Matte Black Porcelain Mosaic Tile, $15.98 /sft., homedepot.ca

Add a little tech

Technology has infiltrated every area of our homes and the bathroom is no exemption. Look for mirrors with built-in lighting or hidden television monitors to create a streamlined look. You’ll also want to incorporate sound into the bathroom with built-in speakers hidden in the exhaust fan — perfect for a relaxing bath. Or energize yourself with your favourite dance music playing from a shower head that is also part waterproof speaker.

Of course, micro technology gadgets can make life easier, too: auto-pump soap dispensers, weight scales that talk to you (not sure I need that kind of pep-talk these days), and sensor taps all make life easier … and if you get lonely in the bath, you can always talk to Siri.

Listen to your favourite music while showering. Moxie 2.0 Showerhead with Wireless Speaker (shown in Oil-Rubbed Bronze), $393, homedepot.ca
Listen to your favourite music while showering. Moxie 2.0 Showerhead with Wireless Speaker (shown in Oil-Rubbed Bronze), $393, homedepot.ca

Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl on Instagram at Karl Lohnes.

Karl has worked as a home decor expert and product designer

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Easy clean your siding with dish soap and a car wash brush

This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, shows us a simple way to clean algae, mold and mildew off of siding or other outside surfaces.  It is not uncommon for mold or algae to grow on outdoor surfaces that are often damp or shady.  Typically, you’ll find this happening on the north side of your home or garage, but if your yard is pretty shaded, as Jill’s is, you may even find it on the west- or east-facing surfaces, as well.

The main thing you want to look out for, says Jill, is to not cause damage to the surface you’re cleaning, or the surrounding landscaping.  And, if you have pets in the yard, you want to make sure they’re safe, too.  Jill’s solution is simple, Dawn dishwashing liquid… and a big car wash brush.  Dawn is used to clean animals after oil spills, so you shouldn’t have any problems using it around the pets in your yard.  It’s mild enough that it’s not going to damage or discolor your siding, says Jill, and it really cuts through the grime.

Jill’s siding had been building up a green-ish coating on the north and east sides of the house and garage for the last couple of years. It was time for a solid cleaning.  Jill put a squeeze of Dawn liquid soap in a bucket and filled it about halfway with water.  She dunked her car wash brush in and went to work.  Jill says that she barely had to

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H2O Waterproofing Birmingham Partners with Acorn Finance To Offer Easy Access To Home Remedial Schemes

“At H2O Waterproofing, we pride ourselves with providing our customers with the best customer experience, one waterproofing job at a time. – H2O Waterproofing”

In a bid to provide more pocket-friendly waterproofing services to its customers, H2O waterproofing LLC has partnered up with leading financial service agency, Acorn Finance. With an increasing demand for waterproofing around homes and offices, the team at the agency has identified this partnership as a way to bolster their offers and attract customers who are interested in home improvement.

Most homeowners report that water intrusion is their worst fear. This is understandable considering that moisture causes ugly stains and damage to walls, and in severe circumstances, structural foundations can be threatened. A representative at H2O Waterproofing disclosed that unwanted water intrusion is mostly caused by unfortified and weak structures or roofs. With the right quality of waterproofing, sealants, and remediation measures in place, the damage can be controlled to a great extent or even made to disappear permanently.

H2O waterproofing has long been serving the community of Birmingham and surrounding areas, offering a variety of home improvement and remediation services. H2O Waterproofing is currently the only company in Alabama that specializes in exterior and interior waterproofing. The company serves both homeowners and businesses alike, and with Acorn Finance now in the picture, prospective clients can expect affordable offers.

Among the many services provided by H2O are Basement and crawlspace waterproofing, foundation repair and renovation, and mold and mildew remediation. H2O also offers customized commercial waterproofing solutions for both large and small businesses. H2O is preferred by many because of its innovative use of technology in waterproofing. An example is the use of polymer-modified asphalt membranes, foundation boards, and strip drains. They are widely referred to as the latest drainage technology and water sealant methods available

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3 easy upcycling ideas everyone can do at home

The upcycling message is practical, powerful and pretty clever.

“I really believe that waste can be beautifully upcycled,” says Max McMurdo, eco-designer and TV presenter. “Just because an item can no longer fulfill its original purpose, doesn’t mean it can’t work really well as something else.

“I started upcycling 18 years ago and people didn’t understand what I was doing, they thought I was a mad hippy!”

Chatty and fun, McMurdo lives in a 40-foot upcycled shipping container, which he converted into a floating home – and admits it’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever upcycled.

“It’s fantastic and I love it. I had the bright idea that if I’m telling people what to do, I must do it on the biggest scale of all and upcycle a home. My lampshades are old jelly moulds and my table’s a washing machine drum.”

If you take a look on Pinterest, it seems a lot of people stick to one material (which they’re comfortable with) when upcycling. But for McMurdo, successful product design and upcycling is all about mixing materials, like wood and glass or metal and leather. “So with something like a wash drum table, I put a light bulb inside that streams out of the holes, with a piece of glass on top.”

Working with reclaimed materials takes creativity and a little bit of effort. But as McMurdo points out, just because you’re upcyling, doesn’t mean it should be any less beautiful in terms of design and aesthetic. “You’ll be amazed how many things you can reuse in a really cool way!”

Hold it there…. think before you bin that can of tasty baked beans (Max McMurdo/PA)
Hold it there…. think before you bin that can of tasty baked beans (Max McMurdo/PA)

McMurdo has partnered with Heinz for their ‘Handmade with Heinz’ campaign, which aims to inspire people to upcycle household items and waste –

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