3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

With so many styles, designs and types of light fixtures to choose from, picking out the right one for your space is not always an obvious or easy choice. You can, however, improve your chances of finding lighting success by avoiding these three common mistakes:

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #1: Choosing a light fixture based on style over functionality

There are many beautiful and stylish light fixtures available that will improve your space’s appearance and enhance the overall look. Choosing a light fixture solely on its appearance, however, could leave you with less than optimal light output. The right fixture should be both stylish and functional, so consider your desired light output and keep it in mind when searching for a new light fixture.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #2: Selecting a light fixture without considering ceiling height

It’s important that your family and guests can walk around your home comfortably without needing to duck to avoid hitting their head. Keep these rules of thumb in mind when choosing a ceiling light (these rules only apply when hanging light fixtures over walking spaces):

  • Ceilings below eight feet: If you have a low ceiling and are not planning to install the light over a table or counter, it’s best to choose a flush-mount light fixture so taller people can walk around safely.
  • Ceilings between eight and ten feet: If your ceiling is slightly higher, choose either a flush-mount light or a semi-flush lights, which typically hang just a foot away from the ceiling.
  • Ceilings over ten feet: For high ceilings, it is often best to install a pendant or chandelier to light up your space more effectively.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #3: Relying too much on overhead lighting

Every room is different, but generally you’ll want to have a combination of task, accent and general ambient lighting to create a well-lit space. While you can install ceiling lights to provide the general overall lighting, be sure to also incorporate other types of light fixtures such as lamps or wall sconces.

Choosing a light fixture isn’t always easy, but avoiding these three mistakes will help you choose better lighting solutions so you can enjoy a home that is both stylish and functional.

By Wendy Weinert

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

PaintColor samplesIf you’ve ever spent any time at your local paint store or even in a hardware store that offers paint to customers you know how many different options and shades of each color are available. Considering that, it’s no surprise that many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to choosing the right paint color.

While there’s no definitive answer for every person and every home, there are some basic guidelines that can help you make appropriate choices. Typically, these guidelines can be applied to your home room by room, making sure your whole home ties together and maintains the right atmosphere throughout. Don’t forget about the lighting in the room as this will change how your color appears. Natural vs. electric light sources and the type they are – task, general, or ambient lighting will effect the color outcome.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is a room you likely spend a lot of time in, and it’s one where you probably spend time relaxing and feeling the pressure to get things done when entertaining or cooking for family. That’s why light and color is so important in this space.

You can’t go wrong with brighter colors in most kitchens, including colors like yellow, crisp white and even certain more saturated shades of colors like orange and cream, like the one below from Access Lighting. After all, the most important part of choosing a color for your kitchen is making sure it helps open up the space and give it energy, not enclose it.

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Living Room

How you pick a color for your living room really depends on the type of living room you’re working with. A formal space need something different than a casual area where you spend time with family.

For a formal living room, choosing neutral colors that are soothing and refined like chocolate, cream, navy and beige are often ideal. For a room where you spend time with family those same colors can work, but you might want to soften the palate a bit and go for something a bit more playful – a royal blue instead of navy, perhaps.

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Dining Room

Your dining room is a space that you want to feel elegant yet comfortable, so paint color plays an important role in pulling off that effect. In most cases you’ll want to work with more neutral colors in the dining room, and colors like crème, beige and even shades of green or navy can work well.

However, for a more playful space, choosing lighter, less saturated colors like pastels can also work, especially if you live in a coastal region or nature is close at hand.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is a space where you should be spending time relaxing and unwinding from stressful days. While many people use their bed as a second office, that isn’t the atmosphere you want to cultivate.

When picking out colors for your master bedroom, relaxation should be what you have in mind. Deep, saturated colors that are dark can help provide that – colors like deep greens or a plum/eggplant color. However, you can also choose softer colors like buttercream and even eggshell whites if you prefer a lighter space and still get the relaxing feeling you’re looking for.

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are all about getting ready for your day, but more and more, people are using them as a space to relax. If that’s you, choose natural earth tones for your bathroom and really focus on finding a color that feels natural and actually appears in nature.

If you spend most of the time in your bathroom rushing and getting ready, choose bright white, yellow or even a fun shade of green. What’s important for you is good lighting and not making the space feel claustrophobic.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Choosing the right paint color for your space can feel ridiculously complicated, but the good news is that there really isn’t a right answer. While these suggestions can be helpful, anything that feels good to you is likely a wonderful decision for your home.

When picking paint, you’ll also want to consider the style of your home. A dining room in a home with Caribbean accents usually won’t want the same paint color as a home with Spanish revival details, so make sure you take that into consideration as well.

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5 Places you can now Install a Chandelier

If you love chandeliers, but feel you don’t have the “proper” place to install one, then we have good news for you. Thanks to recent design trends and the fact that many of today’s homes are less formal than before, chandeliers can be used in any room of the house. That’s right – no longer are chandeliers reserved just for the dining room or the foyer. Now there are casual, elegant, and modern designs to fit in with any style of room. Here are just 5 unique places you can now install a chandelier:

Elk Lighting chandelier

1. Over the bed: Want to give your master bedroom a more romantic and elegant feel? Well, one of the simplest ways to transform the look of the bedroom is to install a chandelier right above the bed. Depending on your bedroom’s design, there are many styles of chandeliers that could work including crystal chandeliers or fixtures with soft-glow bulbs.

Trans Globe Lighting

2. Outdoors: Out of all the places you might have considered installing a chandelier, you probably never thought of outside! With a chandelier hung up on your patio, you can enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine with family or friends. If you have a front porch with a couch or chairs, create a relaxing atmosphere by installing a casual chandelier. If you have to use a chandelier that operates on candles, use flameless candles for better safety.

Classic Lighting Via Firenze Silver Plate Four-Light Mini-Chandelier with Sapphire Crystal Accents

3. Walk-in closet: A walk-in closet has a way of making a room feel luxurious and now you can make it appear even more lavish by hanging up an elegant chandelier. While you might choose to install an elegant and classy chandelier, make sure it isn’t too big so that it gets in the way. A walk-in closet may be bigger than your average sized closet, but it still isn’t as large as most rooms.

Bathroom_Chandelier_Trilliane

4. In the bathroom: Create a relaxed atmosphere in the bathroom by installing a chandelier above the bathtub. The soft glow of the chandelier will make long, hot baths even more enjoyable and you’ll come out feeling refreshed.

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

5. Over the kitchen island: Just because the kitchen is a highly functional room, doesn’t mean you can’t make it stylish! Try installing several mini chandeliers over the kitchen island or just one large chandelier to give the kitchen a more unique look. Friends and family will be more drawn to the island countertop and it will become the heart of the kitchen.

Where in your home can you install a chandelier? Try out one or more of these ideas and add some style to your home!

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Get A Timeless Look with Luxury Items

Keeping up with the newest design trends every couple years is a hassle and expensive. Save yourself some money and invest in a sophisticated look that is timeless instead. Designing a look that lasts is easy with the right selection of luxury items!

Hinkley

Although homeowners want a luxurious home, they tend to shy away from “luxury” items.  Investing in a couple quality items, however, can instantly transform a room’s look. Plus, luxury items won’t become worn or need to be replaced right away like the cheaper alternatives. Try stepping up the style in these rooms with luxury items:

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Living room

With just a couple of items, you can make a casual living room appear more formal. Cover your hard wood floor – or even your carpet – with a hand tied area rug. Rugs that are designed with intricate patterns and rich colors will give your space that one-of-a-kind look, without going out of style.

Hang a decorative chandelier in the living room to give the space a beautiful and majestic look. A chandelier is dramatic and has the power to make an ordinary room look exceptional. Guests will be in awe when they first step into the room.

Vigo Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Vigo Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Kitchen

Just because the kitchen is where you prepare food, doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious! To give your kitchen a new sophisticated look, invest in a stainless steel sink that is made of lower gauge. Lower gauge numbers means thicker and better quality stainless steel.

Photo Credit: Divine Kitchen LLC

You can also give the kitchen ambience by installing LED lighting underneath the cabinets. You’ll be amazed at the difference new lighting can make.

Bedroom_Chandelier_Siteshot_Big Bang corbett

Master bedroom

There’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a luxurious hotel room. To give your bedroom the same style, invest in quality décor like high-end wallpaper. High-end wallpaper won’t fade or become worn as easily as the typical selection and offers more diverse looks than paint. You can also cover your bed with a soft, stylish down comforter for a good night’s sleep. Every night will feel like a vacation in your new lavish room.

T&Country_1756_4027

Bathroom

The bathroom should have a relaxed feel that will help you wind down after a long day at work. To create a soft glow in the bathroom and give it a spa-like look, install stylish lights fixtures on the wall. Even the little details such as the drawer pulls and faucet fixtures you choose can have a huge impact in bathroom style.

Give your home a timeless look and invest in some luxury items that last!

 

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Achieve a luxury bathroom without remodeling

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a luxurious bathroom that you can feel good about every morning; a place that you aren’t embarrassed to show guests? There is always an option to design a new bathroom, but remodeling is expensive, stressful and often very inconvenient. Luckily, there are certain changes you can make to transform the look of your bathroom without tearing it apart. Just incorporate some of these techniques into your bathroom’s décor and see how small details can make a huge difference.

Glass Bathroom
Throw away your dirty or plastic shower curtain
Sometimes we hold on to a shower curtain for too long, never getting around to finally replacing it even though it’s old and stained. Or, we opt for a plastic alternative to save some money that day. Well, now it is time to throw those old shower curtains away and spring for a new one. Buying a new shower curtain is a chance to add some color and design into the bathroom, making it more visually appealing.

Make the bathroom appear larger
People love large bathrooms. While you can’t change the size of your bathroom without tearing down a wall, you can make some changes to make it seem larger. The easiest way is to remove the clutter and design a storage solution so everything has a designated spot. You can also switch to lighter paint colors to make the space feel more open.

Think about the details
From lighting to linens, the details can make or break your bathroom design. Plush towels and rugs that are rich in color will look great in the bathroom. Plus, they will feel a whole lot better than rough or overused options.
While you need a well-lit mirror to get ready in the morning, you also want to incorporate ambient lighting for VigoLiquidCopperGlassVesselSinkrelaxation. One way to do this is to install dimmers. Otherwise, install a decorative pendant or small chandelier for a soft overhead light. Decorative lighting is an easy way to add style and sophistication without taking up space.
Even faucets can have an impact. Replace your stainless steel faucets for something with a little more punch. Copper, oil-rubbed bronze and polished brass finishes are all great options too if you want your faucets to stand out and make a statement.

BlueBathroom

So even if you can’t afford a complete bathroom makeover, there are several little things that you can do to make your bathroom welcoming for you and your guests.

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Five Steps for Furnishing Your Bathroom

Designing a bathroom from scratch should be a fun process, but it often becomes overwhelming and stressful. Every fixture, furniture and accessory you choose for your bathroom is like a piece in a puzzle, and when you’re all done, the pieces should fit together.

Trilliane_by_Schonbek_interior_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd

Make the challenge a little easier by breaking it down into the following five steps:

1. Determine the overall look you want for your bathroom. Do you want something contemporary, vintage, elegant or modern? The style you aim to achieve becomes the foundation for every purchase decision you make because different styles require certain designs, materials, textures and colors.

2. Purchase the shower, vanity, toilet, tile, mirrors and any other furnishings that you want for your bathroom based on style and size. Looks are important, but so is size, and it is important that every item is scaled appropriately to the size of the bathroom along with other furniture.

3. Create a lighting plan. Unless you don’t intend to get ready in the bathroom, you should always have a well-lit mirror. Whether you choose to get a lighted mirror or add some task lighting on the sides is up to you. Since the bathroom is also a place for relaxation, you should also incorporate some ambient lighting. An easy way to do this is do install a dimmer. Otherwise, hang a decorative overhead light to add some flair.

4. Select your linens. The shower curtain, rugs and even towels are all important elements in your bathroom’s design and are a great way to add color, designs and patterns.

showercurtain

5. Add your personal touch. To make the bathroom truly yours, add some décor that might not be necessary, but make the bathroom cojarsmplete. This could be your favorite scented candle, a fun or stylish clock or maybe a decorative jar to hold your cotton balls and Q-tips.

 

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The art of lighting

Lighting is often overlooked in interior design and it shouldn’t be. If you’ve spent an ample amount of time decorating your home, don’t you want each room to look its best? The right lighting allows you to see clearly, creates an inviting atmosphere and highlights design elements you want to feature.

Living room

Living rooms are multi-purpose rooms and therefore require a variety of lighting options. While you want the living room to be bright and inviting during the day, a softer light would be appreciated after a stressful day at work. Install dimmers to make your overhead lights work for different situations. With just a tiny adjustment, a bright and well-lit room can instantly soften and darken for a movie night.

Hinkley Lighting Zelda model

Hinkley Lighting Zelda model

For areas where you often work, read or do hobbies, incorporate task lighting. A lamp next to your couch will allow you to get the light you need when you need it.

Dining room

Hinkley Lighting – Carlton Model Bellacor

The dining room table is the focal point of any dining room. Draw even more attention to the table with a decorative chandelier or pendant light fixture. Low lighting is perfect for dinner parties or family meals; consider the Hinkley Carlton  Chandelier to add beautiful lighting and elegant style to the dining room.

Kitchen

You will want to see clearly when preparing food so make sure you have a well-lit room. Locate areas where you will be prepping food. For example, if you have a kitchen island, install one or a couple of light fixtures either as a pendant, or as a chandelier. Using a combination of pendant lights/chandeliers and recessed lights will provide you with the optimum lighting for your kitchen tasks as well as give your space a stylish appeal.

ArtCraftLighting_Kitchen

Art Craft Lighting

Bedrooms

The bedroom is a place to rest, which means harsher lighting should be avoided. A combination of recessed and task lighting will allow you to relax and you can still read or finish work before bed. Incorporate accent lighting if you have artwork or any architectural elements you want to feature.

Bathroom

When you get ready in the morning, a well-lit bathroom can be a lifesaver. To avoid causing shadows in your bathroom, light both sides of the vanity mirror. Then you can incorporate ambient lighting in the rest of the room to create a spa-like environment for bathing.

Questions on how you should proceed with your space? We have lighting experts available at your fingertips. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you!

Customer Service: 1-877-723-5522
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Impact lighting in any room

Lighting can play a significant role in home decor. While you may use lighting to highlight other room decorations, you can just as easily use statement light fixtures to add impact to a room. The key to impact lighting isn’t just selecting a large fixture that is sure to get everyone’s attention; it’s how well you can incorporate a piece into a room. Find the right statement light fixture for every room by keeping these considerations in mind:

Size of room
If you’re working with a smaller space such as a bedroom, it’s important not to use a light fixture that feels overwhelming. It wouldn’t make sense to install a huge chandelier in a tiny room. Instead, try using a smaller fixture that stands out with its unique design or shape. Try using one of Fine Art Lamps’ Chandeliers for your dining room.

FineArtLampsDiningRoomShot

Style of room
The light fixture you choose should fit in well with the room’s décor. If you’re going for elegance, you don’t want to install a light fixture that screams quirky and fun. Before deciding on a fixture, make sure you know what style to look for.

Eclectic Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Niki Papadopoulos

Purpose of lighting
Light fixtures need to be both decorative and functional. Depending on the room, you need them for task lighting or to create a specific atmosphere. In bathrooms, you need lighting to help you get ready in the morning, so bathroom lighting needs to be functional. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t also use lighting to create impact. Try using some beautiflly inspired bath fixtures from George Kovaks to add some flair in your bathroom.GeorgeKovakBathroom

A Spotlight on Energy Efficiency in the Bathroom

Access_Nuvo_Light

Access Lighting Vail Brushed Steel One-Light Medium Wall and Vanity Light

Bathroom lighting can be tricky. We spend a rather significant amount of time in this often-forgotten part of the house, and yet its design doesn’t possess the elegant grandeur or thoughtful comfort of the dining or living rooms. Bathroom lighting needs to be bright enough to catch blemishes, flattering enough that it won’t prevent you from leaving the house, and soft enough to evoke relaxation during bath time. Plus, fixtures have to be approved for damp environments. You may never use the den or grand dining room, but a day doesn’t go by when you don’t use the bathroom (if all goes well). We turn those lights on and off multiple times a day – why not also make them energy efficient?

lumens_to_watts_chart

It’s thrilling how far energy efficient lighting has come in terms of design aesthetic and light quality. Most energy efficient lighting uses either LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) instead of the old familiar incandescent bulb. The difference in energy use of these newer developments from the classic light bulb is remarkable.

Take LEDs. “Light emitting diodes” started out as tiny single bulbs used for electronics, but, due to their efficiency and flexibility, creative designers have been grouping these bulbs together in new and interesting ways, creating warm, radiant – and efficient – lighting fixtures. A beautiful example is Nuvo’s Raindrop. Combining polished nickel and Lucite, the fNuvoLightingRaindropixture has slightly retro styling with very contemporary electronics. Raindrop uses three 4-watt LED modules. Wattage is often mistakenly equated with light output, but, actually, watts refer to the quantity of energy used to illuminate the bulb. Instead of wattage, LEDs are measured in “lumens,” which refers instead to the amount of light emitted. The Raindrop uses about 12 watts, but gives off about 870 lumens. You’d need 60 watts of incandescent light to give off the same brightness. Go with LEDs and you’re using less than a quarter the amount of energy! Not only that, but they last longer – an average LED bulb will be going strong for 50,000 hours – compare that with an incandescent’s quick little life span of 1,200. A fixture like the Raindrop or Access Lighting’s sleek and minimal 31003LEDD will not only save you money on your energy bill, it’ll save you time changing light bulbs.

ElectricityBillBulbs(EmilyWilde)

PhotoCredit: Pegasus Lighting Blog

Even if you’re satisfied with your current bathroom fixture, it’s easy to snag a little more efficiency simply by switching out the old incandescent for a CFL bulb. Placed somewhere between LEDs and incandescents in terms of efficiency, you can generally get about 8,000 hours of use per compact fluorescent (compared with 50,000 for LEDs and 1,200 for an incandescent). Their old reputation for harsh bright light no longer stands (we’d never recommend that for the bathroom!). CFLs measure brightness in Kelvins – choose a CFL that offers 2700-300K and you’ll find the same warmth of a traditional incandescent, but use about a quarter of the wattage.

So take some time to give your bathroom a little love – and save some money and the environment by switching to energy efficient lighting options.

Bathroom lighting should help you look your best

Today’s bathrooms are private retreats designed for relaxation and escape, and the lighting should underscore the mood. Bathroom lighting should be both attractive and highly functional. It needs to be bright enough for grooming, but also soften the room’s ambiance and provide a warm glow.

There are two “must-haves” for proper bath lighting, points out the American Lighting Association, an industry trade group: an ambient light source and task lighting. The task lighting must be bright enough to do its job, but must also work well with indirect accent lighting.

This is a great time to buy a decorative ambient light fixture, because manufacturers have created fixtures that are both elegant and highly functional. Trends include soft, contemporary styles with bronze finish, as well as ornate, sophisticated fixtures.

While you’ll need task lighting around your mirror, your choices vary based on the mirror size.

708FR52202ORBSmall mirror – Decorative wall fixtures placed on each side of the mirror provide the even, shadow-free facial illumination you want for grooming tasks. For best results, mount the fixtures at least 28 inches apart and 60 inches off the floor. If you have a recessed light over your sink, it should supplement the wall-mounted lighting – don’t use it as the primary light, because it will create shadows on your face.

Large mirror – A strip of horizontal vanity lights, mounted 78 inches off the floor, ensures that each person has sufficient light. The best lighting solution includes a shade for each bulb.

The ALA suggests also adding a dimmer to your vanity lights. You’ll be amazed how often you’ll use it, and how much comfort it adds to the use of your bathroom, say the ALA experts. Being able to adjust the light levels for different situations is amazingly practical.