An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘Lighting’

Illuminating Your Games Room

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Shed some light. You don’t want your games room to be lit up like a movie set, but you don’t want it too dark to see what you’re doing either. Especially if your games room is in the basement or somewhere else in your home with little natural light or even no windows at all, lighting will play an important role in your game room design. The trick to proper lighting in a games room is balance. You don’t want your games room to be lit up like a movie set, but you don’t want it too dark to see what you’re doing either.

Trademark Nine Ball Stained Glass Lighting Fixture

Games Room Location and Purpose

When considering what type of lighting would be best for your games room, take into account its location and purpose. A basement games room will most likely need more light fixtures than one in the corner of a family room. If your new pool table has pride of place in the middle of the room, then you’re sure to want a game table light centered directly above it.

The Different Types of Lighting

Because the games room will be used for a variety of activities, the light fixtures you choose should accommodate these different lighting needs. A multipurpose room like a games room should include two or more of the different kinds of light fixtures available.

Reversible Top Poker Table

Task lighting is generally bright and used to put the spotlight on your game table, pool, poker or otherwise. It is also a great way to light your home bar. Track lighting is a type of task lighting that popular in games room.

General or ambient lighting is some type of overhead light, like a flush mounted fixture centered in the rooms ceiling. It fills the space with a medium to bright light that softens shadows and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Tiffany pendant lighting is particularly popular for a traditional style games room that features a pool or billiards table.

Recessed lighting with a dimmer switch would be ideal for a games room that has a video gaming or home theater area.

Stained Glass Lighting Fixture

Customizing your lighting needs to the various activities in your games room, is not only practical but it adds warmth and appeal to room’s décor.

The Boho Living Room

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Bohemian living room décor could possibly be described as Victorian style in Technicolor with a touch of modern thrown in for good measure. While it’s true that anything goes when designing a boho living room, the secret to avoiding it from becoming too busy or ending up simply just not working is fairly straightforward. It’s a matter of balance: for every antique or reproduction piece in the room, pair it with something contemporary or retro. The result will be totally unique, no one room resembling any other. It is for this reason that bohemian style has become so popular in recent years – it is the ideal interior design vehicle to perfectly express one’s individuality.

pad

Wall colors (shown here from Benjamin Moore) for a bohemian living room are strictly Victorian. Choose vivid fruit tones such as berry reds or burnt oranges, mustard yellows and jewel shades including ruby and emerald. If you prefer wallpaper, keep to the same color palettes, but select patterns that are ornately rendered and have floral or scroll motifs and damask and elaborate diamond designs.

Crystal Chandelier

Lighting plays a very important role in bohemian interior design. It must be romantic and a little over-the-top. It must be soft yet shed enough light to be useful. Lamp shades for the table lamps in the room should most definitely be Victorian or vintage, perhaps tiffany (stained glass) style.

Again, rugs and window treatments will have a Victorian or vintage look. Start with a Persian area rug or something more organic like sisal. Use rich fabrics like velvets and brocades for the curtains. Add a valance and tie-backs made of gold fabric or braided cords with tassels. The same goes for picture frames and prints; ornate gilt frames with sepia photographs or prints of pastoral scenes.

Lincoln Sofa

For your boho living room, choose a sofa that is traditional yet comfortable. The sofa shown in the picture displays classic Victorian design like the rolled arms, cabriole feet and brass nailhead trim.

Coffee Table

Begin adding in more contemporary looking furnishings like a coffee table, two end tables and a console table. When accessorizing the room, dress them up bohemian style with vintage ornaments, old leather-bound books, a cut crystal decanter on a tray or candlesticks made of brass, silver or wood.

While a bohemian style living room should look eclectic, it shouldn’t look cramped, crowded or cluttered. Even though this look is bold and dramatic, ultimately all elements – walls, furniture and accessories – should be balanced to make your interior design individualistic yet warm and comfortable.

Modern Interior Design – The Dining Room

Friday, November 27th, 2009

 Round Baby Crib Bedding Set

Today we’ll start off a new series on modern interior design talking about what modern style is and how to apply it to a dining environment. It is often used as a synonymous term for contemporary style but modern in a class all of its own. Modernism emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a celebration of the new technologies, materials and philosophies of the Machine Age. Furniture, often asymmetrical, with sleek and polished surfaces, is used to define interior spaces. Profiles are geometric and color palettes are adamantly neutral. Modernism can be simply be defined as form is function.

Since metal, glass and acrylic are common construction materials for modern furnishings, people tend to shy away from this style, fearing that it will make the room appear too stark or cold. When wood is used, lighter colors are favored over darker ones and grains are exposed while finishes are smooth. If the clean lines and uncluttered feel of a modern dining room appeal to you, but you’re afraid it will turn out too austere for your tastes, you can warm up the décor by introducing shots of bold color and including different textures into your design plan.

Chandelier in Brushed Steel

Lighting is very important in a modern style dining room. Lines are supposed to be clean and rectilinear or uniquely angular. The lighting fixture should possess a distinctive outline; it could even be sculpture-like in appearance. It should be minimalist in design while providing the maximum amount of light.

Chandelier in Brushed Steel

Modern style dining tables have a futuristic vibe to them that brings energy into the room. Other materials for modern dining room and accent furniture include vinyl, melamine, Formica, plywood and fiberglass. The Fusion Reflecting Silver Square Glass Table has no decorative detail but its simple, spare design is brought into focus by the reflective pedestal base.

Back Side Dining Chair

To bring in more textures into our modern style dining room, we’ll choose the Grand Rapids Chair Valencia Wood Back Side Dining Chair. While in keeping with modernism’s preference for sleek lines, smooth surfaces and metal construction, these dining side chairs add some color to the dining room.

5 Modern Display Cabinet

Choosing a china cabinet made of wood, like the Modloft Amsterdam Modern Display Cabinet, accomplishes two things. First, it adds another layer of texture to our modern interior design dining room. Second, it increases the room’s functionality, giving you somewhere to store and display your dinnerware. The stainless steel accents and glass doors of the china cabinet tie in visually to the dining table, while the wood cabinet repeats the material used for the backs of the dining chairs. The glass is frosted, adding yet another texture to our dining room.

6 Area Rug Pattern 5030

The area rug is the ideal opportunity to add a final splash of color. The colors in the Abbyson Silhouette Himalayan Area Rug Pattern 5030, while bold, are not overpowering. They will be reflected in the table’s base.

When considering modern interior design, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one glass-and-metal dining table is much like any other glass and metal dining table. But that wouldn’t be doing modernism justice. Modern design is an innovative mix of lines, shapes and materials utilized in minimalist and unique ways, letting you express your individuality in a dramatic way that no other style will allow.

Arts Crafts Style Dining Room Design

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Arts and Crafts movement emerged out of Great Britain as a reaction to the mass produced furniture of the Victorian era. Since many crafts people were put out of work due factories replacing the cottage industries, the emphasis of Arts Crafts furniture was on the use of natural materials and handcrafted furnishings. Other common elements were exposed joinery and the use of local or native woods.

Today, the Arts and Crafts interior design principles are still popular because of their clean lines and simple profiles. The Arts Crafts style can be especially effective in a dining room, where a tranquil atmosphere is conducive to enhancing the quality time spent with sharing a meal with family or friends.

Designing the Room

f2Quoizel Town Park One Tier Chandelier With 4 Downlights

Since natural materials and traditional woodworking techniques are stressed, to create an Arts and Crafts dining room, start with neutrals such as ivory, gray or taupe or natural shades like sage, forest green, sand, browns, golds, bronze and berry tones as paint or wallpaper color for the walls.

The same colors can be used for seat fabrics and window treatments. If you choose dining chairs that are upholstered, consider adding texture to the room by selecting leather or nubby fabrics like cotton and wool.

Lighting for an Arts and Crafts style dining will reflect the rectilinear forms so closely associated with this style of furniture. Lines will be uncomplicated. The glass of the light fixture is typically opaque and in a soft white or cream with iron or bronze accents and/or hardware.

As with the window treatments, area rugs should be made of natural materials, especially wool and cotton. Colors reflect those found in nature.

Selecting the Furniture

f3International Concepts Rockwood Slate Inlay Sideboard

As mentioned above, furnishing have simple profiles and rectilinear lines and with exposed joinery. They are also practical and functional, with minimal decorative detail. Furniture pieces are made from native woods like oak and pine and tend to be compact and can include space-saving features like concealed drawers or compartments. Finishes will be matte (very little sheen) or distressed.

The dining table with an Arts Crafts style will possess a distinctive, handcrafted look.

Hardware is typically “chunky” and oversized, but with simple lines. The back plates of door handles and drawer pulls tend to be rectangular rather than square. Plain iron rings or wood knobs are popular choices for door pulls.

Legs on chairs and case goods tend to be straight or angled.

Buffets, sideboards or dining tabletops sometimes include organic elements such as stone accents or ceramic tiles; again reflecting what is available locally.

Jofran Dining Set in Braeburn Rough Hewn Cherry

The overall look and appearance of Arts and Crafts dining room furniture and interior design is calming and esthetically pleasing. Decoration is kept to a minimum and each piece is crafted with a specific purpose in mind. Over a century after the Arts and Crafts movement first emerged, this style is experiencing a revival of sorts. Elements of Arts Crafts design are being reinterpreted into a contemporary context to produce furniture that is ultra-functional and beautiful, but which is also rooted in more traditional woodworking ethic that creates furniture that deserves to be passed from generation to generation.

Curb Appeal for Fall

Monday, October 19th, 2009

We’re so busy focusing on the inside of our homes that sometimes we forget about the outside. We might not even think about curb appeal until it’s time to sell the house, and then only on the advice of a realtor. But curb appeal helps your home fit into the surrounding neighborhood, gives your property character and individuality and make it a welcoming place to visit.

Making your front yard and the front of your house look smart is another way of caring for and protecting the major investment in your life. Now, when you’re preparing your home for winter – cleaning out the gutters, getting the beds ready for hibernation and pruning trees – is the perfect time for adding those little touches of fall curb appeal that will showcase your home in time for Thanksgiving.

Shed a Little Light

ELK Lighting Kimberton Ridge

Wall lights or porch lights on either side of the door make the entrance to your home hospitable. A lighted area also prevents tripping, falling or other preventable accidents from occurring. The ELK Lighting Kimberton Ridge 9″ Wall Bracket Light is beautifully crafted, with a leaf motif that is ideal for the season. The style and design you choose for the wall lights can be a “visual clue” for your visitors as to the design style of the interior of your home.

Quoizel Autumn Large Post Lantern

If the walkway from the street to your front door is in shadows, consider lighting the path with the Quoizel Autumn Ridge Large Post Lantern. The colors of the lamp’s glass are autumn rich.

Focal Points

Oakland Living Sunflower Birdbath

Just like in the rooms of your home, creating focal points in the front yard draws attention, not only to the grounds but also to the house itself. Placed by a front living room window or in a corner of the yard, the Oakland Living Sunflower Birdbath in Antique Bronze, particularly when surrounded by bird-attracting plants, will be esthetically pleasing to avian creatures and humans alike.

Patina Products Small Sun Flower Garden Sculpture

Putting a piece of freestanding garden art like the Patina Products Small Sun Flower Garden Sculpture in a favorite flower bed defines the area, drawing attention to a specific architectural or landscaping feature. The Allsop Solar-Powered Garden Art Accent Light has the added benefit of being seen at night, making your front yard inviting even in the “dark.”

Oakland Living Arbor

Make a statement with the Oakland Living Arbor with Gate and Base. As part of the entrance to your property, this arbor style gate is a visually stunning landscape element that will certainly improve your home’s curb appeal.

Take a Seat

Oakland Living American Eagle

While it might seem more of a backyard thing, an outdoor table and chairs set by a rose bed or a favorite tree creates that feeling that your visitors are welcome to enter your garden and enjoy the view.

Uwharrie Nantucket Settee

An outdoor bench by the front door gives visitors a place to wait comfortably in the event that they arrive before you do. And again, from the street, a bench like the Uwharrie Nantucket Settee makes your home look welcoming and cared for.

These handy tips will enhance your property’s best features and help your home create a good first impression when guests come calling.

Lighting for Your Kitchen that Really Shines

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Like any other room in your home, the kitchen needs to be well-lit so that you can see what you’re doing but not so bright that you feel like you’re on the set of the newest food TV show. People don’t use their kitchens just for cooking any more. They gather in the kitchen to chat over a glass of milk or juice; sit with friends over a cocktail while dinner’s roasting in the oven; or help the youngsters with homework. It’s important to choose lighting for your kitchen that will fit both your lifestyle and your kitchen décor.

Basic Lighting Basics

Kitchen lighting can be roughly divided into three types: general or ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. For a balanced and productive work space, especially if you have a larger sized kitchen, all three types of lighting should be a part of a successful kitchen design plan.

Kenroy-Home-Aero-Weathered-Brick-3-Light-Flushmount-with-Alabaster-Glass

General or ambient lighting is typically some type of overhead lighting, like a flush mounted fixture centered in the kitchen’s ceiling. It fills the space with a medium to bright light that softens shadows and creates a warm and welcoming vibe. Some may think that since you will be working at a counter or gathering around the kitchen table that ambient lighting is not really necessary. But, as in most kitchens, the ceiling light switch is the first thing you reach for when entering your kitchen, particularly in the dark. Properly placed ambient lighting is imperative to making a kitchen the heart of the home.

ELK-Lighting-Fusion-PendantTask lighting is generally bright and used to shed light on specific parts of the kitchen, such as an island where you chop vegetables, over the stove, sink or a specific section of the counter and above the dining table or breakfast bar. From florescent to pendant to semi-flush mounted ceiling lights, task lighting allows you to see exactly what you are doing. Whether you’re preparing the meal or sharing it with family or friends, it’s better (and safer when it involves food prep) to work in an area that has plenty of light. Kitchen cabinet lighting is another type of task lighting that is especially useful for lighting countertop space above a counter.

Adesso-Venus-Spiral-Cone-Shaped-Shades-Spiral-Table-LampWhile task lighting focuses on specific tasks, accent lighting puts the spotlight on the special architectural and/or decorative aspects of your kitchen, such as a wine collection, china collectibles or a conversational piece like an indoor fountain or a work of art. It is the brightest, up to three times brighter than ambient or task lighting. It can include table lamps, wall sconces and recessed lights.


If you purchase the Murray Feiss Artisan 4-Light Chandelier for your kitchen/dining area, will it be enough? Here’s a quick reference guideline to help you decide just how lighting you will need.


Murray-Feiss-Artisan 4-Light-Chandelier-

Doing the Math

  • How big is your kitchen? If you’re not sure, take measurements. The size of the area will be a determining factor in whether or not the fixture you purchase will provide adequate light.
  • If the kitchen is 100 square feet or less, choose a 2-light flush or semi-flush mounted light or decorative 2-light chandelier like the Quoizel Denmark Island Chandelier.
  • Mid-size kitchens ranging from 100 to 250 square feet should include a 4-light fixture.
  • Large kitchens measuring over 250 square feet need a 4-light fixture and additional task or ambient lighting.

For that Certain Look . . .

Quoizel-Deluxe-Pendant-With-5-Uplights

Contemporary

Wood cabinets are made of softer-grained woods with lighter finishes such as birch, ash or maple

Geometric profiles balanced by sweeping curved countertops or cabinets

Cabinet doors are frameless

Hardware is simple and typically oversized

The Quoizel Deluxe Pendant With 5 Uplights for a clean-lined functional look that is appealing.

AF-Lighting-Supernova-Twenty-Light-ChandelierModern

Wood cabinets are made of mahogany or other types of grained woods. Finishes are highly lacquered.

Other popular materials for cabinets include glass or metal with stainless doors and/or hardware.

Lines and angles are clean and sleek and can be extremely geometric.

Contrasting materials are often used to create texture or focal points such as a marble countertop and black glass cabinet doors.

In a modern style kitchen, the AF Lighting Supernova Twenty Light Chandelier would definitely make a statement.

AF-Lighting-Provencal-Semi-Flush-Ceiling-LightTraditional

Cabinets are framed and made of wood with medium to dark finishes with a lustrous sheen. Cabinets and doors include decorative elements such as molding, carved accents, embossed detailing and motifs.

Hardware is generally made of metal with an antiqued appearance and has an intricate design.

Kitchen islands and other types of cabinetry may include elaborately carved legs, posts or pilasters. Lines and profiles are dramatically curved.

The beautiful AF Lighting Provencal Semi-Flush Ceiling Light will add to your kitchen’s traditional design.

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