lighting

lighting

General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Decorating with the Five Senses: Sight

Of course the first sense used when walking into a room is sight. People can come alive with the right visual cues; arrangement, light, and colors are the majors elements that draw the eyes.

The art placed in home can affect emotions while looking at it. Hang a cohesive unit of artwork closer together, or use one large dramatic piece. Remember, the center should be at eye level. To draw a certain type of emotion into a room, choose the art that releases what is desired. Hang family photos in chronological order to create an awareness of time. This can help memory and tells the story of life and family. Plus, it’s fun to showcase certain moments that are cherished for everyone to see!

Using different colors in a room impacts mood; blue for calmness, red for excitement, orange for enthusiasm, the list goes on. When weighing options for a paint color, really think about how a whole room of that color feels to be in; if it’s too intense, maybe settle for a focus/accent wall or items. Patterned wall papers can be just as effective too. Playing with them can help you developed a color scheme to invigorate certain empathy.

The right dimness and brightness can impact how everything is seen. Embrace an interesting light fixture that may play with the eye or a smaller simple to create sublty. Be sure to get the right dimness/brightness for the space. Remember, the tone of the lights can also affect the colors scheme. Cool tones will help elaborate a clean and fresh look. Warmer tones cast a homey or romantic feeling.

The bottom line, visual cues transform a person’s mood. Utilizing these techniques can lead to embracing a new outlook everyday. After all, what you see is what you get!

Continue Reading
General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

From Little to LARGE

We’ve all been there; a home we’d like just a little more space in. Let’s face it though, you probably can’t or won’t renovate. Well, there are ways you can make a small room seem bigger and spacious.

Something simple to make a space seem larger than life is repainting it in a fresh light color. While darker colors can make a room seem cozy, it’s at the cost of feeling cramped as well. Also, take that theme up to the ceiling, painting it a bright white or place a patterned wallpaper to draw the eye up. Just be sure to choose a simple design with colors that aren’t too deep. Hint: stripes elongate a room.

Furniture can help or harm a room as well. Be sure to choose pieces that can be multi functional. An ottoman or coffee table with storage is a popular option. Smaller chairs and two seaters can break up a room. Using a single large couch will dispell that cluttered look. Use glass or lucite for shelves, tables, and tv stands; this technique creates an airy flow because it won’t disrupt the line of sight like solid pieces would.

Lighting may not seem like a big deal in a setting, but properly lighting a room can greatly increase the sense of space and functionality. Scrap the harsh over head lights, they just pool into a small spotlight and that doesn’t flatter a room. Try using lamps and candles to spread the light and evoke the eye throughout the room. Using a mirror opposite of walls with windows will reflect natural light and make a room seem brighter too.

All of these tips and tricks are easy, inexpensive ways to open up your home. Try these and more! Be sure to share your newfound secrets with your friends and family!

Continue Reading
Inspiration Tips and Advice

Planning Lighting Designs

A room’s lighting can set a mood, create depth and space, highlight the strengths of a room, improve the functionality of a space, and even regulate our sleeping & waking cycles. Here are some tips to guide your room’s lighting plan:

WHAT KIND OF MOOD DO YOU WANT TO CREATE?

Different rooms should set different moods. For example, we like kitchens to feel bright, cheery, and functional. A bedroom, on the other hand, should be comfortable and relaxing. Bright lighting and task lighting can help a kitchen fulfill its purpose. A bedroom should allow for low lighting and block outside light when you need it to.

WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS AND NEEDS OF THE ROOM?

Are there items in the room that that need more or less lighting? This might include expensive, light-sensitive items like paintings, brocade, or plants, which might need to be in or out of direct lighting. Additionally, if a TV or computer is in the room factor in dim lighting and seek to reduce glare.

WHAT’S THE NATURAL CYCLE OF THE SUNLIGHT IN THE ROOM?

Watch your room as it progresses through the day. What’s the natural light like in the morning? In the afternoon when the sun is hottest? In the evening? North and south facing windows will provide more steadily regulated lighting during the day. East and west windows will provide sharp slants of light, broad swathes of sunshine, and total shadow, depending on the time of day. Consider what kind of lighting you want to invite into your home, and what kind you’ll want to regulate.

WHAT ARE YOUR RESOURCES?

This will include your windows, a skylight, and the lamps and lighting fixtures already there. Your adjustments might include installations of new lighting, dimmers, additional windows, and especially, adjustments to the existing windows. Although windows might be difficult to move, it’s easy to make old windows seem new with some strategic window shades and blinds.

Several interior design professionals say the biggest-impact; lowest-cost upgrade you can make is to install dimmers. Consider shutters and blinds your natural-light dimmers. They allow you to control the levels of light and the direction in which it’s cast. Additionally, beautiful shades will suddenly upgrade your room, and add design, polish, and visual interest to boring windows.

CONSIDER IMPORTANT DESIGN PRINCIPLES WHEN PLANNING YOUR LIGHTING:

Create variety: Lighting fatigue occurs when there’s no variety in a room’s lighting. This can make the whole room feel hard, unforgiving, and flat. There’s no place for your eyes to rest. Counter this by incorporating variety into your lighting scheme: light and shadow, highlights and lowlights. There should be light at different levels and from different directions.
Accentuate the positive: Highlight your favorite aspects of a room, or downplay the things that you want to hide. Cast a spotlight over a favorite piece of furniture, a decoration or a picture. Bathe alcoves and corners in soft light to give a cozy feel.
Incorporate function: Spotlight functional areas: a game table, a walkway, or a project space.

Continue Reading
DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Angled Ceiling Spaces

We have all seen those impossible to design spaces; the awkward corners, the weird lighting or the dreaded angled ceilings. Well it’s time to stop fearing those spaces and embrace them for the “funky” places they are! Today we are going to focus on great ways to decorate and design those angled ceiling rooms and area in your home.

The first point we will focus on is COLOR. Do you paint the whole room? Do you leave the angles the same color as the ceiling or wrap the color around the wall? There are so many options and in truth, the answer is not clear but more dependent on what you want the space to do for you. If you want to create bold contract, leave the angled ceiling white (or whatever color the ceiling is painted). This will keep the room brighter and a bit more open feeling too. If you paint the angled part the same color as the rest of the room, it will be more of a stark and closed feeling. Using accent walls is also a great idea for angled ceilings since the irregular angles are typically more accentuated and can be visually distracting.

Using these angles to your advantage is always a plus. There are many ways to work a bed into an angled space as well or creating a DIY project out of it and making a storage unit too. Many light fixtures now come with vaulted ceiling fixtures as well, or they can be purchased separately, so  adequate lighting will never be hard to come by. I would recommend using Pinterest to get ideas for DIY closets or bookshelves and other storage units – there are some really clever ideas out there!

Using these angles to create a space you love is tough work but in the end, can be your favorite room in the house. It’s always great to remember that angled or vaulted ceilings are an architectural feature too, so it is something that is not common in every home; making it even more special that it is in yours.

Continue Reading
DIY General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Sunroom Decor

Sunroom Decor

The sunroom used to be dark and dingy, but Andrea added some serious charm with a fresh coat of paint, freshly washed floors, and a few of her signature crazy-amazing DIY projects. The family’s sunroom is now light and airy—the perfect place to sit and enjoy a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Have a sunroom of your own that’s in dire need of a refresh? Here are 11 design ideas to take from this inspiring reno to use in your home:

  1. Opt for a light-colored paint to brighten the space.

Andrea used (Valspar’s Dove White) on the walls to help brighten the room and make it seem larger. For contrast, she used a darker color trim (Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal).

  1. Install DIY shelves.

Just simple shelves, made out of stained planks of wood and spray painted L-brackets, are a great spot for displaying knickknacks and succulents.

  1. Bring in some blue.

Adding a touch of blue is a great way to liven up a small room; Andrea brought in navy accents with a patterned rug.

  1. Look for ways to repurpose old junk sitting around your house.

Andrea made an eye-catching coffee table out of a door she found in the homeowner’s basement by sawing it in half and adding table legs. Another cute DIY: the tray that was on top of the table was made from a wood pallet. It looked pretty cool!

         5. Add string lights.

A foolproof way to add charm to your sunroom? Globe lights! Andrea placed a string in a zig-zag pattern on the wall to add ambient lighting once the sun sets.

  1. Hang curtains.

Curtains not only add privacy, but they also bring a textural, luxe feel to any room. But they don’t have to be fancy—Andrea made the curtains from drop cloths.

  1. Keep it natural.

Don’t paint over all of the natural wood finishes if you have ’em! The natural wood doors and ceiling instantly bring a warm feeling to this sunroom.

 

Continue Reading
General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Half Bath Dilemma

When purchasing a new home, the number of bathrooms is generally key. Depending on the size of your family, any additional bathroom space can be a deal maker or breaker. Even a small half bathroom can make a difference for a family home. But, when it comes time to decorating, or renovating this space, you run into some challenges you may not consider in a full bathroom. Overall, you want to make what is generally the smallest room in the house, feel as big as possible.

  • Go with a bright, light paint is a great way to open the space. Sticking with a white or slightly off-white color palette – with either a grey or blue tone is a great place to start.
  • Add wainscoting. The small accent at the bottom of the wall – in white – makes the room appear larger. It also will lend itself to adding some décor to the space, which is not easy to do in such a small space.
  • Make sure the vanity is proportionate to the space. Although you may be able to fit a larger vanity in the room, keep in mind what you need in there. Being that it is a second or third bathroom, chances are you won’t need many bathroom supplies, so won’t actually need that much space. And the smaller vanity you go with the larger it will make the room feel.
  • Get fun light fixtures. Lights are another way to make a statement, as well as brighten up the room (again making it feel bigger). There are a variety of different light fixtures available now in a lot of different colors and sizes so you can find one to fit your space!
  • Use bright window treatments. Sticking with something light filtering – that will give you privacy but let the light filter through is a great idea in a bathroom. Cellular shades or roller shades are good options because they give you a very clean finished look.

Overall, just make sure to keep it simple. If you go bold with your light fixtures, keep your vanity neutral. If you go with a bold color on your vanity, make sure to stay light on the walls. In this room, less is more, but as always make it your own!

Continue Reading
DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Kitchen Spruce Up

When most people move into a new home, kitchens tend to be the first room that require attention. Whether it is just not your style or color palette, not designed in a functional way, or is just plain old outdated, most people want to give it a facelift. Unfortunately, after purchasing a house, it is generally not in the budget to renovate the entire room. Luckily, there are a few small projects you can do to give the room a new look without too much of an investment (and give you a chance to put the full kitchen remodel on the five-year plan).

  • A fresh coat of paint. Paint can literally make a world of difference in any space, the kitchen included. The walls are a great start, but take it farther and add a coat of paint to the cabinets. You can really change the look of the kitchen by painting some wooden cabinets white, or painting some white cabinets a trendy shade of gray.
  • Add a backsplash. Most older kitchens were designed without a backsplash – which makes adding a new backsplash even easier! Bring in a new color, or tone down the color of the room. If you are nervous to undertake a project tiling, check out your local home improvement stores where you can buy “tile like” pieces that are easy to install – they install almost as easy as wallpaper but with the classy look of tile!
  • Update outdated light fixtures. It’s amazing how much different a simple LED bulb can make a room look, but change out the fixture to something updated – think antique bronze or brushed nickel. Most are easy to change out but looking online for a local handyman could be a good idea when dealing with electrical work.
  • Change out the old hardware. Switch the outdated hardware on all drawers and cabinets to something new. It’s an easy fix that takes only a couple of hours and will make an instant difference!
  • Make a chalkboard wall. A chalkboard wall is easy to make, you can buy the paint at any paint store, and it instantly creates a great conversation piece! You can use it to decorate the room – if you are good at drawing – or you can use it for a great area for your kids to play with.
  • New appliances. Obviously, a larger investment, but changing outdated appliances can really refresh the space, and will be something that you will keep when you end up doing a total remodel down the road.

Hope these ideas buy you some time until your big remodel. Happy decorating!

Continue Reading