Utilizing Light As A Design Element

Light has a significant impact on the way we perceive a room. A brightly lit room with long light panels reminds us of a doctor’s office or an office. Sconce lighting is more reminiscent of hallways and bathrooms. Pendant lighting is often used by restaurants to set an exotic, intimate, or opulent mood. All these forms of lighting have their place in home design as well. Jeni Madden, an interior design consultant, explained, “A well designed room will have layers of light to create different moods throughout the day or night, from bright general lighting to pools of light.”

Thus, lighting should not be disregarded as second tier after floor materials or paint. It’s just as integral to the home atmosphere as a piece of artwork or a window. Relying too heavily on the generic dome lights used so frequently in the 80s and 90s creates generic homes with dull, flat light and little visual interest. Madden had several ideas for homeowners interested in making the most of their lighting decisions.

Using Downlighting

“Downlights,” Madden explained, “are particularly useful in kitchens and bathrooms. . . . Advances in technology are now making these much more affordable and they can be specified in warm white or extra warm white to give a consistent light to rival halogens.” Halogens, of course, are those industrial-looking lights of old that created a well-spread, if bland, light. Such lights are useful in rooms where color is important—as in kitchens where cooking is done or bathrooms where makeup is applied. LED lights, a not-so-new but still underrated option for homeowners interested in cutting their electricity bill, can be used in these fixtures.

When To Use Chandeliers

Chandeliers can be great accent or statement pieces, but only when they’re used correctly. They tend to create very bright lighting conditions, sometimes with overlapping shadow and light layers. It’s attractive as an entryway decor piece, but it can play havoc with your eyes during dinner parties. Avoid this effect by having a dimmer switch installed so you can set the mood for every occasion.
Employing directional lighting

Madden said the direction you point your light can have a big difference on how effective it is. She said, “A spotlight will give a directional light . . . whilst a conical shade on a table lamp will direct more light downwards creating a diffused light and a more moody feeling. Similarly, a long-armed floor lamp will be perfect to direct light over a sofa for reading but a tripod drum shade will send light upwards and downwards creating an accent light.”

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4 Things All DIY Home Renovators Should Plan On Doing

It’s summer, prime time for finally getting to all those neglected, long dream of home renovation projects. However, those projects can turn from dreams into nightmares if they aren’t handled properly. The best way to successfully complete a remodel is to get all your facts straight ahead of time. Here are 4 things all DIY renovators need to do.

Look At Your Whole House, Not Just One Room

This sounds opposite from the accepted knowledge that you should focus on one area of the house at a time. What this piece of advice refers to is the idea of realizing how your renovation project will fit into the house as a whole. Laura Firszt, an interior design writer, suggested, “Try to see your home as a whole, making sure that your remodeling job will result in a cohesive style for the entire home.” The idea is to avoid hyper-focusing on a single room until it doesn’t resemble or appear related to any other room in the house.

Keep Size And Scale In Mind

Another mistake DIY home designers make is overstuffing their homes with all the design details they see in magazines. Sure they look great on the cover of Home & Garden, but does it fit with your home? Do the furnishings clash with what you already have? An overstuffed room feels cluttered and confined. Better to err on the side of too little and then add a little more once all your decor is arranged, than to deal with too much.

Recognize Traffic Patterns

No, this doesn’t refer to the busy road out front, this refers to the worn paths in your carpet. Or the dirty versus clean areas you find in frequently used rooms. Traffic patterns refer to leaving space for people to maneuver through your home easily. Firszt said, “Make your doors and hallways wide and high enough to avoid congestion and stooping.” There are building codes for these types of measurements, so take the time to research what they are.

Avoid Dated Styles

Dated styles are those pink, green, and blue plaid plates selling big in the seasonal section of Target. They’re cute, but by the end of the summer they’ll be gone and you won’t be able to get replacements when your son or daughter decides to use them as anger management tools. The same goes for furnishings, carpet, and color palettes. Sure the “in” style might be fresh and attractive, but will people still think so 10 years from now? Unless you plan on redoing your entire home every 2 to 3 years, choose colors, textures, and patterns that will stand the test of time.

As Firstz explained, “Today’s trend is tomorrow’s avocado refrigerator (or next year’s subway tile?). Choose timeless styles that won’t date stamp your home,” especially if you foresee the need to move at a not-so-distant date.

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Source: myfoxphilly.com/story/25934106/8-top-home-renovation-planning-mistakes-to-avoid