Win a £50 First Choice Lighting voucher

Win a £50 First Choice Lighting voucher | H is for Home

I know February is the shortest month… but where has it gone?! So here we are in March, starting off with a brand new competition to win a £50 First Choice Lighting voucher.

Selection of products available at First Choice Lighting for under £50 | H is for Home

If you’re our lucky winner, you can spend your voucher on anything from First Choice Lighting’s extensive range. Splash out on a single statement piece like a chandelier (or the woven rattan floor lamp [bottom left in the picture above] which caught our eye). Alternatively, buy a bulk number of energy-efficient LED bulbs… we’ve been meaning to replace all our traditional ones with these!

To enter the give-away, leave us a comment at the bottom of this post telling us which product(s) from their website you’d choose with your £50!

£50 voucher for First Choice Lighting

Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | U Me and the Kids




Price Points: Cactus lights

Various cactus lights | H is for Home

A few years ago, it was all about pineapples in home décor. Recently, it seems that the baton has been passed to the cactus. Lots of homewares have been given the cacti treatment. Cactus wallpaper, cactus candles, cactus vases, cactus cushions and cactus lights – the list goes on & on!

Here are three cactus lights at various price points that caught our eye.

  1. SUNNYLIFE cactus small neon light: £22, Selfridges
  2. Cactus marquee light: £60, Etsy
  3. Home Collection ‘Cactus’ marquee floor light: £135, Debenhams

5 Lighting hacks to make your room look bigger

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small kitchen-diner with white opaque globe light shadescredit

If your home is on the small side you’ll need to be creative to get the very most out of every little space you have. Even people with bigger homes want to make the most of the rooms they have.

There are a wide variety of decorating and lighting hacks & techniques you can use to help you give the impression of more space. Here are just a few simple ideas that can be used to achieve a lighter, brighter and bigger-looking room.

bulb pendant light hanging over table & chairs in a sitting roomcredit

  1. Pendant lights

One simple way to make a room look bigger – and to free up some much needed space – is to replace any floor or table lamps with pendant lights. These can have adjustable cords fitted so that you can raise or lower them for different occasions. Remember to angle your lighting so not to cast shadows over corners of your room. If you don’t want permanently bright lighting you could always have dimmer switches fitted so that you can lower the intensity of the lighting at night.

If you want to keep your electricity costs down then fitting low energy lighting, such as LED spotlights or small ceiling lights, will all help keep the your bills to a minimum. If you use lighting well you’ll feel like you have a big, bright space to enjoy and pendants should help in this quest.

Pair of large angled wall-mounted bedside lightscredit

  1. Wall lighting

Pendants aren’t the only way in which lighting can help to make the most of your room. The use of wall lighting, as described in this Mirror article, can help point light upwards and, if you have a brilliant white ceiling, the effect can be amazing. This not only makes your room look lighter, but it can also make the space look bigger. Up lighting will also free up much needed space.

You could have LED strip lighting fitted to the underside of shelving to give the room a warm feeling and these will also illuminate and show off you favourite books or ornaments – making them into bright features instead of dark ‘space eaters’.

Round convex mirror above a fireplace in a small sitting roomcredit

  1. Mirror Mirror

The use of mirrors hanging opposite the windows in a room can help reflect some much needed light and can give the impression of more space. You should try hanging the mirror on different walls until you get the ideal effect, you’ll be surprised how much larger you can make a room look as they reflect the light in effective ways.
Even a small mirror can make a lot of difference to the smallest of areas and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Another great look using mirrors is to hang two or three side by side this can have a similar effect to purchasing artwork.

Brightly-coloured, wallpapered bathroom wallcredit

  1. Painting your walls

An article on the House Beautiful website explains how you can use different bright colours on walls to help give the illusion of space. Light and bright shades are the order of the day to make the most of this technique.

If you do decide to paint one wall a dark colour then make sure that all the other walls are brilliant white or just have a hint of light colour – and don’t make your dark wall the one that gets the most natural light as this will spoil any chance of making the room feel bigger. You could also experiment with different types of wallpaper to give your room a special look. Some wallpapers have patterns that show up best under lights, pick one that really sparkles for a fun effect.

Some large DIY stores have 3D computer software online that can show you how a space would look once it has certain furniture and décor fitted. Model your colour scheme and see just what difference colour can make when combined with lighting.

Pastel colour painted kid's bedroom with floral roman blindscredit

  1. Changing your furniture, flooring & fittings

You’ll be surprised how much difference you can make to a room by just moving your furniture around or by changing the type of flooring you have. When it comes to furniture, why not try two or three different arrangements over the course of a week and see which works best? Don’t just do this in the day time either. You need to see what the effect of natural daylight and lighting is on these items.

The use of striped carpets or rugs can give the impression that the room is longer than it actually is. If your carpets are looking a bit tired you could either lay new laminate flooring or, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, then you could just lay some new rugs down.

Tidying away any clutter and clearing the window spaces obscured by heavy curtains can also make a room look more spacious. Allow the light to stream into a room by replacing your curtains with blinds.

You can essentially control three elements in your room: the lighting, the colour scheme and what’s inside the room. Tinker with all three of these, while keeping an eye on how to maximise the natural light you get in, to make your room feel as big as possible.

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Gimme Five! Outdoor solar lights

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selection of 5 outdoor solar lights

We’ve been enjoying sitting in deckchairs in our garden this summer. It gets direct sun until almost 7pm at this time of year. It’s been warm enough to sit out until way after the sun has gone down.

We want to get some pretty yet functional lighting to enhance our garden space and think that we’d be best served by some outdoor solar lights. No fiddly – and not to mention potentially dangerous, given our electrical knowledge  – cables and sockets to contend with. Solar lights are notorious for being a bit dim thanks to the often measly British sunshine. But we don’t mind that, we’re not after floodlights, just a nice, warm glow to give the garden added atmosphere. Here are some we’ve found…

  1. SOLVINDEN solar-powered table lamp: £9, IKEA
  2. Lola LED solar powered outdoor glass jar lantern in blue: £7, B&Q
  3. Solar outdoor string lanterns, multi: £20, John Lewis
  4. Solar post light: £16.99, Crocus
  5. Solar bamboo light: £6.99, Original Organics

Charity Vintage: Philips Christmas lights

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vintage Philips Christmas lights being sold on eBay for Charity in support of Sense

(ends 27 Nov, 2013 20:01:49 GMT)

It’s nearly the festive season so we’ve decided to feature a topical Charity Vintage item. These vintage Christmas lights made by Philips are a rare survivor. Each shade features a different, popular nursery rhyme or fairy tale such as Humpty Dumpty, Cinderella and The Pied Piper. The lights are being sold, with its original box, by and on behalf of Sense*.

*Sense is the UK’s leading organisation for people who are deafblind or have associated disabilities. Our aim is to maximise the profits from items donated to our charity. Funds raised by Sense are used to help the deafblind and their families.

Light show

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collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

A couple of weeks ago Justin bought one of these vintage industrial lights at Todmorden flea market.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

As he turned to walk away someone who’d been standing next to him at the stall tapped him on the shoulder. He said that he had quite a collection of similar lamps at home, would he be interested in buying any more?

detailed view of vintage industrial light

Yes!

pair of vintage industrial lights

He arrived the following week with a cardboard box full of these gorgeous vintage task lights. They’ve got such a great look – industrial & almost sculptural.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

They’re well designed, robust and functional – and the grippers mean they’re very flexible with regards to positioning. Perfect in the kitchen, office, craft or sewing area.  Anywhere you need a good, clear task light.