July 15th, 2013
Light Up Your Life
Light Up Your Life

Proper lighting in every room is essential and it affects the entire look of the room. Every item placed in a room should complement every other item, so make sure you select lighting and accessories with the same importance that you have chosen your furniture.

The following guidelines will help you decide on the best lighting options for your room to provide  the illumination it needs to look its very best!
 

Use a variety of lighting in each room. Ambient light provides overall illumination usually from ceiling fixtures. Task lighting illuminates areas for activities such as reading and cooking. Accent lighting highlights special features like artwork and architecture.  Dimmer Switches Shades of Light/Kensington

  • Finding the right style. Geometric shapes and clean lines are more masculine in feel and lend themselves to a contemporary look. Round and curvy lines are more feminine and traditional. A combination of shapes such as the three overhead counter fixtures shown below (slightly rounded top with a square bottom) are transitional and easily blend with any style.  

 Kitchen lighting

Determining the size of a foyer chandelier. Add the length and width of the foyer in feet (the perimeter of an 8' square foyer would be 32' ). Convert that number into inches to determine the width of the chandelier (32" diameter). Allow at least 84" of space between the floor and the bottom of the chandelier.

Bathroom fixtures and placement. 
The best lighting for a bathroom where you will be applying makeup or shaving comes from wall sconces on each side of the mirror placed at a height of 60"-65". Optimum lighting includes an   overhead ceiling fixture that illuminates the whole room.
  • Placing lighting at the correct height. Here is a quick list of general height guidelines:
  1. Kitchen pendants need to clear the head of the tallest family member and are generally placed 36" to 48" above the counter.  
  2. Chandeliers hanging over a table are placed approximately 36" above the table.  
  3. A bedside lamp should be placed to allow a space of 16"-18" from the top of the mattress to the bottom of the shade to prevent glare when reading. (*Bedside tables should be as high as the top of the mattress).
  4. Table lamps and floor lamps should have an average (give or take 2") overall height of 60" including finial. That means if your table height is 28", your lamp height would be 32". This rule works with the bedroom lamps as well.

Bedroom Wall Fixture Bedroom Chandelier

  Light It and Love It!

 

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June 24th, 2013
Enhancing Your Garden With Feng Shui
 

Enhancing Your Garden With Feng Shui 

 

From a feng shui perspective the front exterior  areas of your home are the most important since they affect all the Chi [energy] that comes into your home. "Curb appeal" was thought about long before HGTV! Whether you are conscious of it or not, the first thing you see when you arrive home significantly impacts your feelings and attitude.

Here are a few feng shui principles to help you create an entry, garden, or landscape that you will love coming home to!
 
  • Curved Pathways are preferred over straight. Curved paths mimic what is found in nature and our subconscious recognizes the natural shape as familiar. To soften a straight path or walkway add some plants or shrubs at intervals along the sides.

  walkway

  • Avoid plants that have sharp leaves or thorns along the path to your entry door.  Rose bushes, holly, and cactus are a few examples of plants that have thorny leaves that provoke a defensive, uncomfortable reaction. Reserve them for the areas of your landscape that are far away from the entry.

 

  • Water is the source of life and is a key element in feng shui. Living near an ocean, lake or river is not always an available option but you don't need to miss out on the vital energy that water brings. Installing a small fountain or water sculpture (with the water flowing towards the house) and even a birdbath, is easy and fun. 


  • Flowers lift our spirits and soothe our soul. Flowers truly are a gift whether you give them as a bouquet to someone or whether they are sitting in large pots on your front porch. Create balance and harmony by varying heights, repeating colors, and alternating containers.  
  •  
  • Sense Appeal.  Be aware of all your senses as you create your outdoor environment:  The fragrance of flowers (lilac, lavender),  the sound of water and wind (fountains, wind-chimes), the feel of texture  (river rock, flagstone), the visual appeal of the landscape (colorful flowers,  white picket fence),  the taste of healthy food (fruits, vegetables, herbs).  
  •  
  • Last but not least, keep everything well-maintained, healthy, and clutter free. Trim any overgrown bushes and shrubs. They should be far enough away from the house that they don't actually touch it and low enough that they do not cover the windows. The pathways to all entries of the house should be clear and unobstructed, and plants need to be pruned and watered.  

        

  Start loving your home from the outside in!
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