Light your kitchen for delicious activity

Light your kitchen for delicious activity

Is your kitchen the place where family and guests seem to gravitate? Whether your kitchen is large or small, you’ll want this gathering place to have adequate lighting for all the tasks that go on. One of the most useful trends in kitchens is under-cabinet lighting. It will quickly and easily illuminate countertops. Best of all, under-cabinet lights come in a variety of options, so they easily meld with the rest of the kitchen lighting. You can choose slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lights or low-voltage linear systems. The experts at the American Lighting Association, a trade industry group, offer…

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Precious metals: The hot materials that are on the lighting ‘it’ list

Precious metals: The hot materials that are on the lighting ‘it’ list

The décor trends of the year are reaching a fever pitch, and when it comes to lighting, one of the most sought-after looks is a more daring use of metal tones. No longer content with trim and detail that fades unnoticed into the background, homeowners are seeking new ways to beautify their spaces with lighting fixtures in a range of metals. Gold: After enjoying a heyday in the 80s, rich golden tones turned passé in subsequent decades. But now gold is surging to the forefront of designers’ recommendations and showing up in homes, hotels and just about everywhere else you…

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Essential pieces to lighten up your bedroom

Essential pieces to lighten up your bedroom

Your bedroom should be a retreat, an escape from life’s craziness, a place to relax. Your lighting should help create the atmosphere you want and need. A mixture of soft, ambient lighting and bright spots of task lighting is essential. Consider these choices as you seek to create a space that’s both useful and soothing. * Chandelier. Ceiling fixtures provide general ambient lighting. Chandeliers add style and a decorative focal point. Today’s chandeliers come in a wide choice of finishes, from bronze and nickel to alabaster and chrome. They also vary from modern to traditional, so you can easily find…

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Bathroom lighting should help you look your best

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…

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Light your landscape for splendor and safety

Light your landscape for splendor and safety

You can keep your home safe while enhancing your landscape’s beauty – just improve your outdoor lighting. It expands your outdoor entertaining opportunities, provides better sidewalk illumination for guests, adds a bit of romance to your porch and makes your yard interesting in the evening. Front entrance  A well-lit stoop allows you to identify visitors, and gives guests a warm welcome. Choose wall lanterns on either side of the front door that match your home’s look, whether it’s traditional or modern. Garage exterior  Match the wall lanterns on your home’s entrance to ones on either side of your garage door.…

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Layered lighting – what it is and where you need it

Layered lighting – what it is and where you need it

How many rooms in your home have just one light fixture? For most rooms, the bulk of the lighting work is done by an overhead light, but that could leave much of your space in the dark, literally and figuratively. By adding different kinds of lighting throughout a room, you’ll not only make the space look bigger, you’ll also be giving yourself more useable space. The idea of layered lighting is one that can improve virtually every high-use living space. The design concept illuminates a space more thoroughly, but also more thoughtfully, as determined by how you use a room.…

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The three rooms that need accent light the most

The three rooms that need accent light the most

Interior design might seem to be all about style, but beneath the beautiful surface, it’s all about function. Figuring out how rooms can be more livable, useful and enjoyable is at the heart of every design question. One of those questions, which comes up again and again, is “How can light improve this room?” In many instances, adding accent light provides the answer. So, where can accent lighting make a difference in your home? These are three key spaces where lighting often needs to be added through accents that are both stylish and practical: The dining room This is a…

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From blah to spa: How bathroom lighting can turn your space into an oasis

From blah to spa: How bathroom lighting can turn your space into an oasis

Whether your bathroom is hectic or heavenly depends on more than just the size of the room. With the right décor and lighting touches, any bathroom can become more tranquil, providing you a spa-like getaway whenever you need it. Lighting should be at the heart of your bathroom design – and the more options you give yourself, the more versatile the room will become. But the details of the lighting you choose will also make a big difference, so select wisely. Think muted  Rather than super-shiny and crystal clear designs, frosted glass and muted metals can create a softer, more…

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Where and why to use wall sconces

Where and why to use wall sconces

It’s patently obvious why you need overhead lighting fixtures, but the endless options for accent lighting can be confusing enough that some homeowners forgo them completely. But if you do, you’re missing out on an opportunity to add functionality and extra touches of style throughout your interior design. Sconces in particular are versatile enough to be used throughout a home and can add a variety of effects that enhance your space. If you’re unsure about how to get started with sconces, follow these tips about where – and why – to use them. Bathroom: This is the room where your…

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Outdoor lighting design that does more than shine

Outdoor lighting design that does more than shine

Way back when, all you needed for a backyard party was a little charcoal grill, some plastic cups, paper plates and bug spray. But today, outdoor entertaining is much more than that – it’s all about style and creating an ambience that your guests can savor and are sure to remember. Hosting warm-weather get-togethers doesn’t need to be complicated, though. In fact, one simple tip will go a long way in creating the perfect party environment. So, what’s the secret? Create the perfect backdrop, then add to it. Just as you wouldn’t pick out elements for your interior living room…

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