Tag Archives: lighting

Beauteous, Heavenly Lights

Ayala Triangle Gardens Christmas Lights

Makati City, Philippines. Image via Travel and Positive Living.

I think light is one of the most beautiful things ever. We may analyze it in terms of waves or particles and what-not, but it is only in the experience of it that we know how truly amazing it is, how lovely it is, and how essential it is to life.

It symbolizes goodness, warmth, and freedom from darkness. The luminous always brings hope and gives a glimpse of the infinite. No wonder we’ve got a kind of primal urge that draws us towards bright, shiny, sparkly things, which are a respite from the blanket of night.

And during the holiday season, nothing fills the atmosphere with giddiness and joy better than twinkling, flashing, glimmering lights. Light is more than decor — it is art medium, merriness cue, transmitter of good cheer.

Ayala Triangle Lights

Makati City, Philippines. Via Travel and Positive Living.

In the Philippines, folks start counting down to Christmas when the “-ber” months begin (i.e. SeptemBER). The first carols are played, and preparations for everyone’s fave holiday begin. By October, stores start selling Christmas decor (right alongside Halloween stuff), and dazzling displays start to flicker on.

Christmas lights in Columbia

Medellin, Colombia. Via Travel Blog.

This river of light can be found in Medellin, Columbia, complete with lit-up lotus lily pads.

Rio de Janeiro light display

Rio de Janeiro light display. Via Santa Barbara Independent.

Brazilians really know how to make an impact. — that tree is 85 meters tall, and is the main feature of a huge Christmas light show! That speck of light on top of that shadowy hill is the statue of Christo Redentor.

Light sculpture

Car light sculpture. Tokyo, Japan. Via Walltor.

How cool is this luminous light sculpture? It’s like a wireframe rendering of a vintage car.

Light tunnel, Tokyo. Via Japan Dish.

Can you imagine walking through this tunnel of light? I bet it feels magical.

Orchard Road Christmas lights

Orchard Road, Singapore. Via Kidlander.

These fabulous arches of light make a gorgeous canopy for the motorists and pedestrians of orchard road.

Shadrack, North Carolina. Via Visit!

Luminaria de Cagna, made with 55,000 LED lights.

Lichtfestival (Light Festival), Ghent, Belgium. Via Colossal.

The Luminaria de Cagna is a cathedral made of 55,000 LED lights which was on display in the Festival of Lights held in Belgium in January of this year. Wondering what wonders the next festival holds.

House in Frisco, Texas. Via About.com Dallas.

How about this residence adorned with what seems like thousands and thousands of twinkling lights? And there’s music that goes with it too.

Bedroom Lighting: Mounted and Hung

Cloud Hanging Lamp. Image via Hive.

The bedroom is a our last bastion of solace. It is the intimate space where we let down our guard and make ourselves vulnerable. Lighting choices can certainly contribute to making it a space of peace, security, and bliss.

Inasmuch as we would like to have those those utterly fabulous floor lamps, a lot of bedrooms don’t really have room for them. There are many, many lovely table lamps too, but they can take quite a bit of space too on the side tables.

So we look to the higher places in the bedroom to ensconce some luminous beauties. Letting the light sources emanate from ceilings or walls are best for spaces of less breadth.

Hanging Lights

What I love most about these lights is that they’re like floating lucent sculptures, with their awesome shapes and curves.

Fandango lamp by Danny Fang

Fandango hanging lamp by Danny Fang. Image from Hive.

Varmluft lamp by Ikea

Image via Decoholic

Image via HGTV

Image via HGTV

Via Plan Forward

Wall-Mounted Lights

These can potentially serve as wall art in themselves. And the light they radiate usually paints gorgeous textures on an otherwise bare wall.

Wall-mounted lights by Giles Godwin-Brown. Image via Interior Design Photos.

By Giles Godwin-Brown. Image via Interior Design Photos.

Kite Wall Lamp. Image via Dornob.

Wall lamp by Olivia D'Aboville. Image via Hive.

Image via Decoholic

Image via Hahoy

Double-duty Lights

It’s wonderful how lighting can be integrated into furniture, such as these Night Light Tables.

Image via Design Milk.

These lights would surely let your place of slumber draw out all those positive feelings, so that you emerge from it refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the demands of the world outside.

Posted in Design | Tagged ,

Weekend Project: Turn a Globe into a Lamp

World Globe, basis for the Globe Light

Photographs by Eric Cator

This weekend I was out exploring with my husband and I had just finished telling him that I could never be a minimalist because I can’t resist a good find when I spotted a garage sale sign. Cut to ten minutes later and I am walking home with a vintage globe. I almost passed it up because it was sans base, but it was free and I loved the pastel colours.  So home with me it went and here is what it became.

Globe Light Finished Product!It was just the thing for my son’s room, and overall I’m pleased with how it turned out.  In case you want to try making one of your own I made up a small tutorial.

What you’ll need:

Light fixture with cord
low wattage or LED bulb
white paint
paint brush
exacto knife

Cut the bottom of the globeStep 1: Decide Where to Cut

First, take your globe and decide where you want to cut your hole. For simplicities sake I chose a latitude line that was already there but if you want a larger or smaller hole you can draw one using a compass.

Remove the bottom of the globe
Step 2: Cut Bottom off Globe

Next, cut the bottom off your globe. I found that making a series of shallow cuts using an exacto knife worked best for getting the cleanest edge, as the globe was too thick to cut through in one pass.  My apologies to those living in southern New Zealand or the South Pole, they couldn’t be spared.

measure and cut opening for cordStep 3: Measure and Cut Hole for Cord

Measure the width of your plug and draw a circle with the same diameter on the top of the globe. Using the same shallow cutting method as before, cut out the hole. I encountered a small metal ring at this stage, but was able to pull it out with pliers.

a coat of white paint on the inside of the globeStep 4: Paint Inside White

Paint the interior of the globe white. You could try painting it a different colour, but I chose white because it offers the most light reflection. Let the paint dry for at least a couple of hours.

finish by installing the cord and hangingStep 5: Install cord and hang.

Enjoy your new light and brush up on your geography at the same time.

That’s it! The trickiest thing might be finding a globe that you’re willing to repurpose. I’ve found they often turn up at antique stores and flea markets, but there are a few places online that you can also purchase them from.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Design | Tagged , ,

Capiz — Coming Out of Its Shell

Image via The Dailies

The capiz is a pretty common mollusk around South and Southeast Asia, prized more for its beautiful shell than its edible flesh. When I was growing up, I usually found it in windows of quaint old houses in the Philippines, or used as material in bric-a-bric peddled by old ladies in tourist shops. This is probably why I had always thought that anything made out of capiz shells were old-fashioned.

Spanish colonial capiz windowpanes. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Image by John Lander via Asia Images.

But in recent years, I was glad to be proven wrong and be enlightened on the enduring beauty and versatility of this mollusk. I was surprised at how it can be integrated into modern architecture and design. They have a gorgeous texture, pearly luster, and a wonderful translucent quality that brings a lovely warmth into any space.

The very basic capiz material. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Capiz shells make dazzlingly beautiful lamps and chandeliers, as their translucence filters light through and bathes the room in a soft glow. On furniture, walls, and home decor they lend exquisite sheen and texture which really kicks up the wow factor.

Wall Tiles

Capiz Wall Tiles. Image via La Casa Deco.

Image via La Casa Deco


Image via My Milk Glass Heart

Image via Belle Maison

Image via Houzz


3-drawer capiz chest. Image from Country Wood Furniture.

Home Accessories

Image via Homes Direct 365

Image via Houzz

Via The Diplomatic Wife

Via The Diplomatic Wife

Image via Damn I Like That

Via JL Designs

May Your Night Be Merry and Bright

How do you deck your halls at holiday time? For me, it’s all about bright, sparkly lights. I once bought some star lights from IKEA and loved them so much that I kept them in my window for three years!

(Photo: Tina Phan)

Christmas lights stem from the seventeenth-century German tradition of decorating a tree with candles. In 1882 Edward Johnson, an employee of Thomas Edison, created the first electric lights for a Christmas tree and by 1890 strings of lights were on the market. In the last hundred years winter light displays have evolved into elaborate spectacles.

(Photo: Kobe Luminarie by Chotto Matte)

Japan has several festivals this time of year that take those little bulbs to a whole new level. Kobe’s Luminarie commemorates the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and for two weeks in December, the streets close to allow the huge crowds to view the whimsical structures created with millions of hand-painted bulbs.

(Photo: Nabana-no-Sato by Untitled-Project)

From November to March the Nabana-no-Sato theme park is illuminated with fantastical displays for Winter Illuminations. This video helps to describe just how vast and intricate the exhibit is.

Even if you aren’t up to a Griswold-worthy light show, you can still get creative with those bulbs. Why stick to trees and shrubs outside? You could decorate planters, which I think would look great with some additional winter greenery to really stand out.

(Photo: Apartment Therapy)

The development of battery-operated light strings mean that you can literally illuminate anything your heart desires. I am sorely tempted to pimp out my bike like this- I just need Santa to bring me a bike (hint, hint).

(Photo: Unique Daily)

Lights can also make a quick, inexpensive table decoration.  All you need is a couple of strings and an interesting glass container, and you’re all set!

(Photo: A Pretty Life in the Suburbs)

For Jews the season is marked by Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, an eight-day celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. According to tradition, there was only enough oil to light the Temple lamps for one night but it miraculously lasted for eight (the time it took to procure new oil). This act is reconstructed each night of Hanukkah with the lighting of candles on a special Menorah, a Hanukkiah.

The traditional candelabrum has been replaced by a myriad of designs; there is literally a Hanukkiah to suit every décor on the market now. This silver branch from West Elm seems especially appropriate for winter.

(Photo: West Elm)

What better for a design aficionado than Richard Meier’s limited edition pewter Architectonic Menorah, the original of which was developed for a special exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York.

(Photo: The Jewish Museum)

If your tastes are a little simpler, I suggest something like Branch Home’s Arroyo Wood Menorah. This would be perfect in a Mid-Century Modern space.

(Photo: Remodelista)

I myself will be out on December 22nd celebrating the Solstice with my fellow Torontonians in the Red Pepper Spectacle Art’s annual lantern parade to “ignite the night.” No matter what holiday you celebrate this winter, and even if you celebrate nothing at all, lights are a wonderful way to brighten these long nights. I truly hope that your December is merry and bright!

(Photo: Red Pepper Spectacle Arts)