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All homes have something that makes them unique. It could be their facade, the porch, the garden or even a small corner that emanates a special charm. Light can be very helpful in creating a special atmosphere, and easily become the star element of your terrace or garden during warm evenings. Outdoor lighting should be carefully designed, bearing in mind the mood that you want to create and transmit.

Here are a few tips for your outdoor lighting, so you can make the best out of your favourite outdoor spot. These are a number of things to consider when choosing outdoor lighting: the distribution and size of the space, the elements within it, such as plants, the style of the pool, a relaxation area, etc.

The ManoMano Outdoor Lighting collection offers a wide range of options to always hit the mark with the best lighting.

“Chill out” outdoor lighting

This type of outdoor space, which is getting more and more popular, is always designed with warm lighting to create the desired effect of peace, calm and tranquility. This can be achieved with fairy lights, lanterns, or candles in a corner. Alternatively, you could simply add a few table or floor lamps to control the light intensity and even its colour. The range of possibilities to light your outdoor space is huge, so you can be sure that there is one to suit your preferred decoration style. 

Trend tip: to create a relaxing atmosphere, where you can enjoy the company of friends in the early evening, lanterns and hanging garlands can be your best ally.

Summer garden lighting

1. Pineapple fairy lights, £11.99 – 2. Willow wood lantern, £49.00- 3. Hanging light, £37.00

The centre of attention this spring: your garden

Throughout spring & summer, your garden is probably the liveliest area of your home, both during the day and at night. This is why a good lighting design to highlight the beauty of your own personal Eden is so important. And in this case, practicality definitely takes a back seat to give way to aesthetics. You could accent your lush trees with spotlights projecting upwards, and then you could light plants and bushes with softer ambient lighting, creating a magical space. You could also light the stairs or entrance to the house with built-in or LED light fixtures for an elegant finish.

Outdoor decor

4. Solar paneled hanging jar lights, £33.99 – 5. Pack of 3 solar LED lanterns, £25.77 – 6. Pack of 12 LED stone spotlights, £28.99

And don’t forget! Solar lamps are a must as we head into the summer months. They will provide you with a wonderful light obtained directly from the sun and you can use them to light the path to your front door.

Outdoor lighting for summer evenings
(C) Lights4fun

Outdoor lighting: facade

The facade is always the first thing that we notice in a house, providing us with our first impression of it. So it is key to draw attention to our facade in an understated and simple fashion, for example, with recessed ground spotlights, or wall lights that you can project to light particular areas that you want to highlight. It is also important to take into account the materials that the facade is made of, such as stone, wood, exposed brick, or any other material that might be especially beautiful. You will be able to both enhance your outdoor space as well as create a warm and charming area to welcome friends and family.

Outdoor lighting ideas

7. Steinel sensor light, £56.81 – 8. Curved outdoor wall light, £29.99 – 9. Metal wall light, £29.99

Take note of this tip! Sensor wall lights are the best option to emphasise your beautiful facade when you are walking around the garden. You can find them in many shapes and sizes, to suit the area that you want to highlight.

A good night dip

A swim in the pool at night or even dusk is one the great pleasures of summer.  For this you need adequate lighting both around the pool and inside it. The resulting effect will be soothing and relaxing. Special led pool lights for both the surface of the pool and the walls may be your best option. You could also use led spotlights to illuminate the pool area. If you would rather create a somewhat more intimate vibe, you can always use floating lights in the pool.

10. 3 LED floating balls, £17.99 – 11. 2 solar glow globes, £27.55 – 12. Colour-changing floating ball, £18.74

A must if you have a pool: the latest trend in lighting design for pools are floating LED lights. They will allow you to enjoy the pool at night without having to call a builder or electrician, and they will add a tropical touch to your space. Always make sure that they are waterproof, even those that you place near the pool.

There are thousands of ways to light your outdoor space and turn it into a special and magical place. Did you like any of the ideas here?

Did you enjoy this article from Lucia Garcia on tips & tricks for outdoor lighting? Why not read our 6 tips to creating an outdoor living room or even our guide on the advantages & disadvantages of LED lighting!

Are you setting the ambiance with good lighting outside? Share your finished results with us on instagram using the #mymanomanoway and #manomanouk!

DIY bathroom design in 5 easy steps written by Man with a Hammer

Bathrooms, whether in a modern house or a period property, are often not blessed with original features or an abundance of character like some other areas of the house. The good news is that there are ways you can easily add some old-world charm with a little bit of imagination, some know-how and the right tools for the job!

The first thing to do of course is look at your space. As you can see here, I was starting with a very blank canvas and quite an awkward shape. I wanted this to feel like an elegant sanctuary for friends and family that come to stay and have a timeless feel.

DIY bathroom design ideas
DIY bathroom design ideas

Step 1: Define the focal point

When planning your bathroom design, take into account that as with all rooms, you will need a focal point. As this was such a long, thin room with the eye naturally being drawn to the window, it made sense to create this to be the real ‘showstopper’. I found a free-standing bath second hand online that was in good condition save for being tatty on the outside.
I sanded down the exterior lightly, then used a tack cloth to remove any dust. I then taped all the bits I didn’t want to paint using frog tape and finally painted it using a Wagner paint sprayer which made it look brand new and really gave a factory finish whilst all in costing less than 10% of the cost of a brand new bath. Part one of your DIY bathroom design complete!

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Find the focal point in your bathroom design
Find the focal point in your bathroom design

Step 2: Panel your design

So many bathrooms are just tiled floor to ceiling which, whilst practical, can feel a bit cold and clinical. The first thing to ask yourself is, do you need so much tiling? Secondly, could wooden panelling be used instead or alongside? It has the benefit of feeling a bit warmer than tiles and allows you to add some colour to the room (and works great with wallpaper too!) It’s simple to install yourself being glued straight to the wall and held in place with pins, and then you can paint it any colour you wish. I used a laser level from ManoMano which really helped get the lines nice and straight despite being a very wonky room. The rest you can do with hand tools but a few power tools such as a circular saw and plane certainly make life easier.

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Adding some panelling to the bespoke bathroom design
Adding some panelling to the bespoke bathroom design

Step 3: Lights, camera, action!

It depends on the space you have available, but do you really need a grid of spotlights? It’s rather hard to have a relaxing bath whilst staring up at a blaze of bright spotlighting across the ceiling. If spotlights are a must, then make sure you install a dimmer switch during your DIY bathroom design! If you have the space, think about the lighting as you would any room. Here I’ve cleaned up and rewired a chandelier that was already in the house which brings an elegant, vintage feel to the room. I’ve then used brass wall lights either side of the mirror. Lights either side rather than from the top are far more flattering!

Bathroom lighting makeover
Bathroom lighting makeover

Step 4: Make a bespoke basin

Here’s where you can really add some character to your bathroom design. Vintage pieces bring so much texture and character to a room and with the availability of countertop basins, it’s easy to create your own vanity unit. Repurposing old furniture can also give you some much needed storage (the drawer on this still functions) whilst hiding the pipework. ManoMano sell all the tools and plumbing you need to create this look too.

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Add a vintage feel to your bathroom design
Add a vintage feel to your bathroom design

Step 5: Floor it

Again, so often an area where plain tiles go down… it’s always worth having a look to see what your floorboards are like. With some elbow grease you can create an exciting floor for your bathroom makeover that’s still practical. In this instance I secured all the old boards and filled any holes. I sanded it all back with a hand sander hooked up to a vacuum to keep down the dust. I then primed it with Zinsser bin, caulked the gaps and finally painted it leaving a hardwearing and water-resistant floor. I went one step further and, with the use of frog tape, created the chequerboard design. This created the optical illusion of making the narrow room feel wider!

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

From this…
DIY bathroom flooring design
To this!

So, there you have it – 5 simple DIY bathroom design ideas to turn a plain space into a warm, interesting bathroom – all possible at home with the help of ManoMano. 

Greg, AKA, Man with a Hammer
Greg, AKA, Man with a Hammer

Greg, AKA Man with a Hammer, is slowly renovating a 30 roomed ex-Naval Georgian home in Devon, one room at a time. He does the work in his spare time and is hoping to create a comfortable forever home and rescue a beautiful, if dilapidated building.

Did you enjoy this article from Man with a Hammer on his 5 creative DIY bathroom ideas? Why not learn how to build your own work from home desk or read our guide on how to install a bathtub!

Are you designing your own bathroom? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!