Monday, 29 April 2013

Task lighting tips for kid's rooms.

Task lighting is all about creating enough light to complete activities like homework or reading without straining to in a kid's room is quite an important feature...and there's something quite reassuring about the soft glow of a bedside lamp welcoming you to bed with a good book.

And it's so easy to sort out...!
As with any interior project, it's best to draw out a plan detailing what you're likely to need before committing to the work...this doesn't need to be complicated, a simple sketch will do...showing existing light fittings, sockets and switches along with any proposed additions you want to make...

Desk lamps are the most popular form of task lighting as the light source can be adjusted and focused easily....think classic Anglepoise type lamps for this.

In September 2012, the traditional tungsten bulbs were finally phased out and replaced by energy-efficient bulbs...I still don't have my head round this new system but here's a couple of facts that may help...
There's three types of energy-efficient bulbs...CFL's are the most common with LED's being the most expensive and most energy efficient!
The third type is Halogen, these are the cheapest and least efficient...but can be easily used with a dimmer switch.
The levels of light from any bulb are now measured in 'lumens' rather than the old 'watts'....use bulbs of about 500 lumens for task lighting.

Maximize the use of natural light where possible and at night combine task lamps with more ambient lighting, such as ceiling pendants, to avoid stark contrasts.

Look out for more 'witty' lamps for a kid's room...animal shapes are are more modern classics like this Philippe Starck 'Miss Sissy' numerous shades for any colour-scheme.

Floor lamps are another flexible solution that can stand behind a comfy reading chair out of the way.

Clip-on lights are great for kids on the move...they can be used at a desk or the bed...and some even clip onto the book itself for secret bedtime reading after official 'lights-out'...


Be mindful of trailing cables if you're introducing free-standing lamps...if cables can't be tucked well out of the way you may need to consider adding extra sockets at the planning stage or use wall lamps, however, these are a fairly inflexible choice should you wish to make layout changes in the future.

Have fun with your lighting plan, think of future issues as best you can and be flexible with your choices. By creating a comfortable and relaxing environment for your little ones to read in, you'll be encouraging their love of books for years to come....

Monday, 22 April 2013

We're baking a dragon cake to celebrate St Georges Day.

Let's face it...the poor old dragon gets a bit of raw deal when it comes to St George's Day celebrations, so tomorrow we'll be making a dragon cake....just like celebrate the day in style.


Here's one of the easiest 'how to' instructions we could find to make your own....!

Have a great St George's Day

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Kid's room illustrations.

Let's face it...children's books are often full of beautiful illustrations that could inspire a whole room design. I remember framing a selection of Rupert the Bear pictures from a damaged book I found at a car-boot sale...they looked wonderful up on a wall!
here's what I mean...these following ideas come from just a handful of top illustrators...who would yours be...?

Quentin Blake....

Find Quentin Blake's wallpaper and fabric range at Osborne and Little....

Miroslav Sasek....

Sasek's graphic style is mirrored in Lizzie Allen's cheery wallpapers...

Dr Seuss...
Yes...! I am obsessed by this man.

Bright contrasts in a nursery look fresh and funky....

Arthur Rackham...

These detailed images of children's favourites make me think of Art Nouveau interiors with decorative dark woods.


Richard Henderson-Wiley...
Who? I hear you ask...

Remember now...?
These classics from my past make me think of vintage, mix-matched interiors.

Inspiration is everywhere...and kid's get the lion's share when it comes to designing their rooms...or is it just me with an over-active imagination...I very much hope not!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Kid's rooms inspired by popular fairy tales perhaps?

April has been a month of books and reading, with Tell a Story Day and Children's Book Day both being celebrated this month...
So we've been looking for kid's rooms with a fairy-tale feature...think castles and palaces, woodland cottages and hidden Narnia worlds...




Thursday, 11 April 2013

Ip-Art 2013 events calendar is last!

For those of you not living in Suffolk UK, 'Ip-Art' probably means nothing...but to me it signifies Summer in Ipswich, my home town...

For approximately three weeks in June/July each year...this is the tenth...Ipswich is transformed into a flurry of events showcasing all aspects of the performing arts...cultural celebrations, animation, literature, music, dance and film....and as much as I'd like to experience it all I have had to select a few favourites from the, recently released, 'what's on' list.

Like the Writer's Cafe, where budding authors get a five minute slot during a free evening at a town-centre Costa coffee house to read an extract of their own literary creation...or the best of the London International Animation Festival...I can't resist the puppets!

Stephen Sondheim's musical, Into the Woods, based on a combination of several childhood fairy tales, is showing....

...and a huge working model of Iron Man, from Ted Hughes' book is due to be the star of an open-air adaptation down on the Ipswich waterfront....

I can't wait to peruse the whole calendar of events and prepare my itinerary....

This was one of the live venues from a previous year....Christchurch Park.

If you've got anything like this in your area, I'd encourage you to check what's available...there's bound to be something for everyone and it's a great way to get the kids involved in all aspects of the Arts, performance, film, music and cultures....just amazing!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Have you ever wondered how they make pop-up books?

In keeping with our interest in story-telling this month we've been fascinated by the art and mechanics of pop-up books.

See what we do they do that?

Apparently they've been doing it since the early 1300's and it wasn't till the 18th Century that some bright spark thought the idea of 3D books would appeal to kids.

One of the modern specialists is a man called Robert Sabuda....all his books get a five-star rating on Amazon and we can see why....Cinderella and Alice above are his creations!

Being in love with crafting and creating we're going to have a go at some of the more basic 'how to' ideas on Robert's website...and make them into greeting cards!

With several days of the Easter hols to go...and the weather still distinctly 'cool' why not keep your little ones busy too...?