Front Porch Properties Q&A: The Importance of Lighting When Renovating
Front Porch Properties are driven by a passion for design and construction. The business, created and run by Rachel Turner, renovates spaces with the utmost care and dedication to style and design. Drawing inspiration from styles like the Hamptons, Farmhouse and Classic American-inspired home, they seek to build the life that their clients love. We chatted to Rachel about the importance of lighting in the industry and the role it plays when planning and carrying out a renovation.
When and why did you start your business?
I started 5 years ago and at the time I was a piano teacher. I had a love for design and construction and started to buy and renovate and sell homes. That very quickly turned into people wanting me to help them build their homes, so that’s when I launched Front Porch Properties. And we’ve been building homes ever since.
When renovating, when is the best time to consider your lighting options?
I would say as early as possible. It doesn’t often happen this way, but ideally if you can get all of the lighting specs done at the beginning so that everyone knows what sort of direction the home is going to go. However, in reality, often during the construction phase you might realise, “Hmm, that room is a lot bigger then I thought, maybe some extra lights might be nice here.” Or maybe you happen to walk in the front door and see that wall straight away, that it’s a real feature wall that in the design phase it wasn’t apparent that that wall was going to be so important. So now at this point let’s add a couple of extra wall lights there. Or maybe we have made this little window seat and it might be cute to have some wall sconces there to kind of highlight that area. Often it evolves as you go. Really at the end of the day it does tend to happen that way; a little bit more organically. But in an ideal world you’ve got it all down at the beginning in the design and concept stage.
What do you need to consider when selecting outdoor lights?
For front elevation of the house, my main concern or approach would be to consider the street appeal; how it looks from the street. Sometimes just having some exterior wall lights really fills in an empty space on the walls but they can also direct the style of the home as well. If you put wall sconces that are more like a typical barn style light, then that will pull the style of the house one direction. Or if you decided to put more traditional coach style wall sconces then that takes the home in a different direction. Exterior lighting from a front elevation is mostly aesthetics.
But say out the back of the home, it comes from a more functional perspective. If you’ve got a large deck that goes over to a pool, then perhaps something like festoon lighting might be nice. It sort of creates some lighting but is more mood lighting that is practical and easy to live with.
What’s your process for selecting lighting, and how do you consider light placement?
It can depend if I am doing a home for a client or if I am doing a development project for myself. If I am doing a project for myself, I would just have a vision board or some general ideas of the style and the feel of the home from the beginning. During the actual construction phase I can get a sense for the size and the feel for the individual rooms. It’s not until then that I’ll probably work out exactly where to put all of the light fittings.
If there is a client involved, typically this is speced at the beginning before the contract stage and before we have started any construction. Often that happens with a client sending me a Pinterest mood board so I can then get a sense on the look and the feel of the style of the home they are wanting to build. Then we make selections from there and the fittings would become apart of the specifications.
How do you choose a good electrician, and what information should you know before hiring an electrician?
I would say for an electrician and in fact any trade at all, my most important thing that I look for is that someone is very honest and trustworthy. To me that is more important than skill sometimes. For me when hiring any of my team, I just need to know that I can trust my team if I am going to be off site for a week so I know I’ll have good and trustworthy guys that can run the site themselves. And then next in line would be to make sure that they are highly skilled trades people.
Why did you choose Fat Shack Vintage lights for your renovations?
Well I love Fat Shack Vintage lights. It just so happens that your brand, style and aesthetics happens to suit a lot of the style of homes that I build. I think it’s just a quite obvious and organic thing that our brands work well together. FSV just has that particular style and that just works with my branding. And I just love your lights!
To see more of Rachel's work and find more information, visit Front Porch Properties.
To see where we get our inspo from, follow our Pinterest.
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