Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/2/2018

One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them. 

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.

Accent Lighting 

If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use. 

Task Lighting

This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.  

Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.            

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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 10/3/2017

Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.

Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.

Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.

In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.

Grab an app or two

Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.

Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.

On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.

For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.

Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:

Take an online course

There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.

While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.

Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.

Take a trip to the library

When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.

If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.

Posted by Sandra Tessier on 9/26/2017

Even if you’ve only lived at your address for several months, it’s likely that you’ve developed an emotional connection to your home. Despite a few hiccups like a pipe leaking, sink clogging or a kitchen cabinet drawer sticking, you might not be ready to sell your house and move into a new home. Renovating your house might prove a better choice. Consider the following factors before you make a final decision on whether to sell or renovate. Neighborhood – Is the neighborhood where you live starting to decline? Is crime increasing, causing property values to drop? It may be time to start house hunting and move into a better neighborhood. Renovating won’t change your entire neighborhood, so this decision is fairly straightforward. Family Needs – If your family is growing, you may need to move in order to give your children sleeping and entertaining room, especially if your children are getting older and want their own private space. You could also renovate and add one to two bedrooms onto your existing home. Age of House – An aging house often means that wiring, pipes and flooring are experiencing wear and tear. If your home has ever flooded or endured hard weather conditions, renovating may call for a roof replacement, new sidewalks, new floor tiles and painting. As part of your renovations, you may also need to replace utility equipment like your water heater or furnace. Job Situation – Think about why you’re considering moving. The chance to work a job that you’re passionate about or the chance to continue working with your current employer who may be relocating to a different town may make it easy to decide to move. If jobs are drying up where you live, you could open up to new job opportunities if you move. However, the chance to get promoted or take on a higher paying role may only come if you stay where you are. Should this be the case, renovating may be the way to go. Disposable Income – Renovating a house can get pricey, especially if your home requires a lot of structural work. Ask a home inspector to tell you how much and what types of work would improve your house. Count up the cost to have these repairs completed. Factor in any cosmetic work that you’d like done on your home. Be honest in determining whether you have enough disposable income to renovate. Compare the cost to renovate your home against the cost of taking on a new mortgage. Remember when relatives and friends visited after you bought your home, helping you to celebrate this new independent step? It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you felt proud of your decision, a home choice that you made after weeks, perhaps months, of house hunting. Add in years of memories, children growing up in the house and huge family celebrations and moving might be the last thing that you want to do. On the other hand, moving could prove to be the best choice. Before you make a decision, consider the above factors. Doing so could help you to avoid entering the realm of regret.

Posted by Sandra Tessier on 2/21/2017

One to two guests visiting you at your home probably won’t cramp your rooms. However, depending on the size of your home, three or more visitors easily could. If you have young children, you could send them out of their bedrooms to sleep downstairs on the sofa. But, that may not work for many more years. Your guests also may not feel comfortable knowing that, because of their stay, your children had to give up their bedrooms. A few simple, temporary designs (these are easy to implement) could keep your children in their bedrooms and your guests comfortable. Pull out a sofa bed – This bed has a long tradition of meeting the extra sleeping space needed. Sofa beds come in leather, fabric, sectionals and three to four-seater styles. The range of colors is as broad as with a traditional sofa. A sectional adds seating and sleeping room. Pull the bed out at night; push it back in the morning. Add a daybed – Daybeds have improved over the years. They’re designed with storage drawers at their base. You could keep a daybed in your basement or attic. You could also keep a daybed on a screened in porch. Border the daybed with tall framed pictures or potted flowers when guests aren’t visiting to enjoy the furniture with your family. Get the rollaway bed out of the basement – Be especially kind to your guests if you opt to let them sleep on a rollaway bed, as these beds are not well padded. You may want to add a layer of foam beneath the mattress and the springs for added comfort. Give up your master bedroom – Add a sofa bed to your master bedroom for permanent design and temporary sleeping space for guests. If your guests are only going to be staying with you for a week or less, consider giving them your master bedroom, and you sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. Place bunk beds behind curtains or room dividers – This option offers privacy. Decorative privacy screens with a tri-fold design also work well. Another option is to place bunk beds behind sliding doors. When guests aren’t visiting, simply close the sliding doors. Make good use of your attic – Don’t forget your attic. Place a queen sized bed, dresser, mirror and chair in your attic and you have a full sized bedroom. Before you let guests stay in the attic, make sure that insulation is good, so your guests stay warm during winter and cool during summer. Hooray for the finished basement – You could add an office, bathroom and a full sized bedroom with a seating area in your finished basement, depending on how large the space is. Regardless of which options you choose, give your guests two pillows, fresh folded sheets and fresh towels to make them feel welcomed. Show your guests where stores, public transportation, restaurants, parks and bookstores are if your guests are going to be staying with you for an extended period. It’s a great way to help make them feel at home.

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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/3/2017

There’s a certain recipe for successful home lighting. Lighting can make a room feel smaller or larger. There should be a mix and match of about 4 layers of lighting throughout the house. These layers should be:

  • Ambient light
  • Task lighting
  • Accent lights
  • Decorative lights

These 4 layers of lighting are perfect to mix and match for a well lit room. Ambient lighting includes natural light sources like windows, pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures. Task lighting includes under-counter lighting, desk lamps and reading lamps. Accent lights include recessed lighting and adjustable lighting. These lights will highlight certain areas of a room. Decorative lighting includes chandeliers and other types of ornamental lighting. After you have your layers set up, you’ll want to use your lighting to the advantage of your home’s decor.   

Bring The Drama To A Room

You can highlight anything you wish in a room using the right kind of lighting. It can be a fireplace or a painting or a ceiling. Use a soft spotlight to highlight a painting. Uplighting adds a softer effect to the scheme of a room. You can create this effect with wall mounted sconces or rope lights. You’ll see quite a warm glow.  

Dimmers Are Your Friend

Installing dimmer switches on your light fixtures can help to save energy and will allow you to bring down rather bright ambient lighting or help you to create a different kind of lighting scheme with the flip of a switch. As a plus, a dimmer will extend the life of your light bulbs and will maximize the time you need to change lightbulbs that require a ladder to reach. 

Don’t Put All Of Your Lights In One Place

Don’t just stick one or two bright lighting fixtures in a room and say that it’s all set. You’ll get more shadows and glare than would be desirable. This is where our blend of lighting recipe comes into play. Using that 4 step-formula will help you to spread your lighting out accordingly. This way no type of lighting will be overwhelming. 

Look Outside

Remember to use the daylight. Natural daylight is the best type of lighting. It brings in fresh color and complements any landscape. You can add natural light to your home through installing skylights, widening windows or thinking about how to redress the windows that you already have.

Choose Quality Fixtures

High quality light fixtures are better all around. They’re clearer and the fixture will be more attuned to your home’s style. When choosing lighting make sure that you see if the shade covers any part of the light, is made of good materials and that the connections are sound. 

When it comes to creating a well-lit home, you need to look everywhere from the windows to the ceilings. You want to be sure that your lighting is set up to be energy efficient and practical. Consider the many different kinds of lighting that are available and plan each room to ensure that you’ll have all the light that you need.  



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