How many hours did you spend picking out the paint for your room? Now, how long did it take you to decide on the lighting? No other single element influences what we do and how we feel, yet we overlook this element of design.
Each room in your house is unique and needs to be illuminated to meet your needs day and night.
Ambient lighting is the base from which all lighting is layered. It is the natural light from windows and those lights that fill the space with an overall glow. These usually include ceiling fixtures, pendant, track, recessed lights and wall sconces.
While a pendant light might be your first choice for over the breakfast bar, don’t forget what they can add to a living area, entry or stairwell. Pendants can be hung in pairs or groups for added effect.
Task lighting is illumination for a single activity. This is achieved by using desk lamps, table lamps, under-counter lights, pendants and swing arm lights. You should use this type of lighting near your sewing machine, office desk, kitchen counter or any place you may sit to read.
Accent lighting will give you shape and depth. This type of lighting may show off a particular piece of artwork or lighten a dark corner. Wall sconces, torchieres and pedestal lamps would be appropriate fixtures for this type of lighting.
Chandeliers and wall sconces with dimmer switches can provide accent or mood lighting as well.
Decorative lighting is a design element. It is meant to look good while providing a little light as a bonus. Unique candle stands and novelty lamps work well here. Your choices are almost unlimited.
Beware of the common mistake of using one overpowering bright overhead lamp. That is usually harsh and unflattering to your decor. Instead, use a varity of lamps and lighting fixtures that will give you soft and warm light.
If you have high ceilings and want to cozy up the room, use light shades with pierced patterns that will cast patterns on the wall or tiffany style lamps that throw off varying colors.
Single women – a diverse group that includes childless women, single mothers, divorcees, 20-somethings and seniors – are now the second largest group of homeowners according to one study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Unmarried women make up 22 percent of all homebuyers. That constitutes approximately 1.5 million women. Single men trail at 17 percent, and the largest segment is still married couples at more than 60 percent.
Owning a home is one of the best investments you can make, and more women are investing in homes, but it is often scary for them to take that plunge.
For many unmarried women, location is a top priority. The single mothers need to be near the schools and tend to stay near other family and friends who can supply support. Single women also like being close to retail stores and entertainment venues. Looking at existing homes, women prefer to buy one that doesn’t require a lot of renovation. They work and don’t want to spend their days scheduling repairmen.
The avid traveler may pick unique candle lanterns such as the Eiffel Tower candle holder shown here. This lantern would lend support to the travel photos displayed on the walls and the exotic vases, statues or trinkets displayed throughout the room.
Lighting is what shows off a space to its best advantage. Because there are so many layers of lighting – ambient, task, accent and decorative – we will be doing a special series on illumination. Check back often to be sure you do not miss these informative articles. Each lighting layer has specific purposes and fixtures that provide each lighting layer will be explored.
We will also be presenting information on how to present your artwork and photos in a professional way. Dressing up rooms is easily achieved by hanging artwork on the walls so check back with us often.
Now is the time to transform your home into a cozy nest where friends and family want to gather.
Rearrange your furniture and create a conversation pit in front of your fireplace. If you don’t have a built-in fireplace, many electric fireplaces are available on the market that give the same feel and warmth with no mess or outside venting needed.
Light the candles. Choose candlesticks in metallics or warm colors. Gold is popular now. Or purchase votive candles, colored and scented, and place them into gourds or apples you have hollowed out using a votive carver, making your own unique candle holders.
Add fall color pallets by selecting fabrics in shades of browns, reds, oranges and yellows for throw pillows and table runners. These same colors can be incorporated into the area rugs, which are cheaper to replace than the carpet.
Take down the summer sheers and add some substantial curtains, consider thermal window treatments which will help keep out drafts.
A touch of black adds sophistication to your home decor. Use it sparingly, a few picture frames, a ceramic vase, a unique candle holder because too much black looks dreary.
Decorate using nature as an inspiration. Continue the theme using fall flowers, or artificial flowers, set about in unusual containers. Try china pitchers, ceramic teapots or watering buckets instead of your normal run of the mill vase.
With these few changes, you are ready to entertain family and friends. Fall is the lead into the holidays. Don’t hesitate, there is no reason to wait for the holiday’s to make decor changes that will uplift your spirits.
Candelabrum are ornamental branched candlesticks or lamps with several lights. There shapes and colors vary as much as the materials they are made from.
The particular one I am showing you is made of wrought iron, to fit a shabby elegance décor style. It was seen used as part of a family tree in a hallway which led from the foyer towards the bedrooms. It encompassed the entire wall. The photographs of the family members were selectively placed around the candelabra, and leaves and branches were painted between the photographs and behind the candelabra. This particular taper candle holder was selected because of the number of tapers it would hold, as well as the original shape of the candelabra, which fit nicely into the center of the painted tree’s foliage. The candelabra holds 8 taper candles, the family has 6 children. They took this idea a full step further than most people I have seen do this. They purchased candles in the colors of the birthstones for each member, and placed the candles in the order of the pictures. For example, the emerald green candle was placed in the same location on the candelabra as the photo location for the son born in May. Since they are a real family, and prefer to keep their anonymity, I am going to do my best to show you the layout they used. Hopefully you will be able to picture the finished product from the diagram below.
More homeowners are moving their living areas outside to the patio or deck. They furnish these spaces with all the comforts of their favorite indoor gathering spaces.
To light this space, use solar accent lamps in the surrounding flower beds. Then use a unique candle lantern to light the seating area without drawing all the insects.