Ask the experts

PUBLISHED: 06:47 22 September 2014

Ask the expert, August, EDP Norfolk

Ask the expert, August, EDP Norfolk


From clever lighting to cool colour inspiration, our county’s interiors experts are on hand to offer their advice.

Ask the expert, August, EDP NorfolkAsk the expert, August, EDP Norfolk

For the dining room the starting point will inevitably be the position, shape, orientation of the table and its size. Traditionally, the table is lit on one circuit with perhaps a pendant or group of pendants centre (we often use plug in pendants so if you have a party and wish to move the table you can take the lights away for the duration, and two micro downlights at the cruet positions for an oblong shape; for a circular shape just a centre pendant point.

The general ambient lighting circuit could be either recessed downlights in the “corridor” areas around the table or five amp sockets controlled by the light switch for furniture mounted lamps, wall lights or picture lights. We often put in a third circuit for corner lighting using tiny downlights, as this can push the room out and add accent lighting for ornamentation or planters. Don’t forget the outside view – particularly if you have large glazing areas or bi-fold doors – a fourth circuit lighting something in the garden can add another dimension.

My checklist for bathrooms:

1 Ambient Ip downlighting to give about 200Lux.

2 Good mirror lighting to the side of the mirrors.

3 Maybe micro LEDs in the floor to up-light the bath or in the shower to wash light your tiling.

4 If you are having built-in units, subtle Ip-rated LED strips hidden in the furnishings.

And for the master bedroom, lighting two-way switched from the door and bed head:

1 Pendant or recessed lighting, an ambient of 100Lux.

2 Individully switched reading lights at each bed head.

3 Perhaps a circuit of corner lighting or a five amp table and task lighting circuit.

4 Maybe a couple of recessed lights orientated down on to the pillow centres.

5 A fan light instead of a pendant is a great idea as you can turn the light off and leave the fan on either all night or on a timer.

Andrew Fisher, The Norwich Architectural Lighting Company Limited, Hurricane Way, Norwich, NR6 6JB; 01603 418821;

I’d like to redecorate the living room but can’t decide which colour. It’s currently totally cream, including the furniture, with red cushions. Where do I start?

A neutral coloured sofa is good as furniture can be a big investment. Cushions and throws can easily be changed to update the look, so do not feel tied to the red.

Think about the way in which the room is going to be used, as different colours will affect the ambiance.

Inspiration can be drawn from everything around us, you may already have an object such as a vase or painting or even a favourite outfit. Looking out of the window at the colours of nature can inspire a scheme too; don’t feel that you have to add lots of colour as combining textures can also be interesting. The most important thing is not to be too influenced by fashion trends as they may date quickly, a room that has been designed with items that are chosen because you like them will always have greater longevity.

Lanassir Lawes, Swank Interiors, Bressingham, IP22 2AQ; 01379 687542;

What household questions would you like to put to the county’s experts? Send your queries to EDP Norfolk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, or email

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