How To | Dining Table Chandelier Selecting

We love lighting.  Like LOVE lighting.  It's a huge part of how we design.  Lighting and art are big things to us and really, they're both types of art....so I guess, technically, art is a big thing to us. :)  No, but seriously.  We see decorative light fixtures as art.  It's a sculptural decorative element that just happens to be functional to.  But, because of this, we know that selecting the right light for the space isn't always easy.  Lights can absolutely make or break a space.  So today we're going to break down the dining room and how to make the right lighting selection for that room.  Because, even though the dining room is not used the most frequently, it is often one of the rooms closest to the front of the house and is meant to be a showpiece space, so the light for that area matters!  Here are some things to consider when picking your dining light...

One of the first things we take into consideration when we're picking the dining room chandelier is the shape of the table.  It is SO important for the shape of the table and the shape of the light to coordinate.  They don't always have to have the same orientation, but they shouldn't fight each other.  Usually, if your dining table is rectangular, it's best to have some sort of elongated light to follow the length of the table.  This could be a linear light or some sort of oval/elongated fixture that is spread out.  For round tables, go with a rounded or tiered fixture or even a multi-level cluster of pendants. And for oval, you have the option of either, or really. Be sure to select a shape that compliments your table.

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If you're set on a smaller fixture or using a round light over a rectangular table, consider hanging two instead of one.  This will help balance the space out visually and offer enough lighting for guests at both ends of the table.

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Consider the visual weight balance of the light versus the table.  If you have a glass table, don't pick something overly heavy that looks to bulky of the airy-looking glass.  And if you have something wooden and early that has more substance, try to mix it up a little by incorporating a different finish to break-up the wood.

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Make sure the light fixture has enough bulbs to give off the amount of light you need.  There are lots of great larger or oversized pendants that would be the good size (diameter-wise) for a dining table, but they only have one light bulb in them.  Unless you have lots of can lights over your dining table too, at least 4-6 bulbs is probably necessary for guests to have enough lighting at a meal.

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For ambiance sake, always put your dining light on a dimmer.  You want to be able to set the tone of a meal with your light fixture.  Sometimes this requires as much lighting as possible, while other times, you don't need quite so much.  A dimmer lets you control the lighting in your dining room which ultimately makes the space more versatile.

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Ultimately, be sure the light you pick is something you love and flows with the rest of your home.  It should be a representation of your style while also creating a balance and flow in the space.

Kitchen Lighting | All the Layers

Aside from floors and walls, lighting matters!  We've discussed in past posts about the importance of layering lighting but in places like the bathroom or the kitchen it's even more important.  There's a level of mood lighting that needs to be achieved in these spaces but there's also task lighting that's important as well.  So today we're going to break down for you all of the different types of kitchen lighting and how to select the best combination!

For starters, let's talk about all of the different types of kitchen lighting.  Most kitchens have can lighting which is just recessed into the ceiling.  It's for overall view and less about highlighting portions of the kitchen or being helpful for task lighting.  Next, there are pendants.  Pendants typically go over a bar.  They are more directional and are used to highlighting food when people sit at the bar to eat.  They can add to the ambiance but are more of a task light.  Next, there's island lighting.  Island lights are often decorative and while they highlight the island, they are larger so they work to light up the kitchen as a whole as well.  There's also track lighting which, in our opinion, is terrible for the kitchen because it collects dust, but it's a directional/task lighting option as well.

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Most kitchens will usually have at least 2 different types of lighting--some sort of overhead general lighting (like cans) and then usually some sort of decorative lighting like a pendant.   If you're kitchen nook is close to your kitchen, the nook lighting which is usually a hanging pendant style will be in the same view as well.  There's also under cabinet lighting which adds a really nice mood to the kitchen but is less for task purposes and more for ambiance.

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Cans are important because they are the main light source.  Can lighting is laid out over the cabinet/countertop space in the working/task portion of the kitchen (along the walls).  It's meant to be available for food prep.

A good island light is the appropriate size and scale for the kitchen (it brightens it up but also gives off a softer light than the cans so it adds to the layering.  It's directional in that it highlights the island and also works to ground/center the island in the kitchen.  That's one of the things we love most about lighting--it defines the work spaces.

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Pendants are often decorative too and add a softer element.  They warm up a space by adding more texture to the kitchen.  Since most kitchens are countertops, cabinets, and stone, a shaded light that gives off a soft glow or even a little bit of texture can really add to the space.

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Our recommendation is to put any sort of hanging fixture--i.e. pendants, nook chandeliers, and island lights on dimmers.  This gives you more control of the light in the space which helps you control the mood.  If the cans can be on dimmers too, even better!  Sometimes you need a lot of overhead light and sometimes you don't.  Dimmers help you control the amount of light output you have which is always a good thing.

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Finally, don't be afraid to go a little funky on your kitchen lighting.  Lighting is art, especially in a kitchen where's there might not be a lot of wall space to hanging sometimes decorative.  Fun pendants or a cool island light can really make or break the kitchen so don't be too shy!

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Trends on Trends | Kitchen Edition

There's always something changing in design.  It's such a fluid art form that you never know what you're going to start seeing on the trends list next.  Since kitchens are a huge place for design being that they're one of the high-traffic spaces in a home on top of being functional and important for resale,  the trends seem to be constantly evolving here.  Design used to be limited in kitchens because it was always the basics--cabinets, appliances, a countertop and backsplash...but it's not like that anymore.  So many new products and applications have been developed for kitchens.  So many exceptions and allowances have been made for what is "acceptable" in a kitchen and rules have ultimately been broken.  The decorative part of a kitchen has become huge and homeowners value a beautiful kitchen that flows with the rest of their home.  So today we're going to talk about those trends and what they currently look like.  You  will probably notice a lot more of these things once you read this article too!

It used to be that wood in a kitchen was only for the cabinets.  Now wood is all over the kitchen!  Wood look tile is being used as a backsplash application and raw wood is being used in bar kick-plates and exposed shelving!  We feel like wood is so versatile that, even though it was very connected to the rustic style, it can be used in so many other applications to just add some warmth.

Modern is great, but there's still a love for the original style---traditional.  That clean, classic style that has transcended time is just a comfort for people in kitchens.  Even if they appreciate modern, a little bit of traditional is good too.  It's sort of like wood--it can mix well with most things!  The way this style manifests itself in kitchens varies but look for it and we're pretty sure you'll find it!

One of the best ways to modernize a traditional item is by using a version of it in a larger scale.  This impact is huge in kitchens.  Larger scale lighting, hardware, and even hoods is key right now.  These items are sort of the jewelry of kitchens so people like the idea of showing them off.  Large lighting and an amazing hood also make great focal points in a kitchen!

Since we've moved away from a lot of the beiges and browns, greys, blacks, and whites have become much more popular in kitchens.  We love an all white kitchen but understand that some homeowners are scared of it.  For that reason, we're also cool with mixing.  Currently, contrast is big!  Dark counters and light cabinets or vice versa is another way to put a modern twist on the traditional style.  If this feels too cold for you, warm it up with interesting lighting and texture in your barstools or backsplash.

So what do you think?  Are you into this kitchen trends?  We think they're so fun and love how the kitchen design world is evolving!

Interior Updates | Make Your Money Go Farther

If you spend your money right, you can accomplish an expensive look by changing just one key thing.  Instead of a full-blown remodel, get smarter with your spending and pick something to change that will make a big impact and look like it carries a big price without breaking the bank!

This can work even more in your favor, if you have a small space.  Many people feel like small spaces translate into a less-expensive look....they are under the impression that bigger equals better, but it's not always the case!  Quality over quantity is what we say!  If you have a small room that you're wanting to update to make look like it's expensive, you'll be paying less for the material that goes into it so you can afford to select a more expensive finish!

Here are a few areas where  you can create a big bang for less bucks!

Tile.  There are all sorts of tile out there--wall & floor tile, mosaic, subway, floor tile, ceramic, glass, metal, natural stone.  The list could go on and on!  Since tile can be applied in a variety of areas, you can use it to your advantage and make it work with your budget.  Got a small bathroom that you're trying to update?!  Pick a wall that's visible and apply a great tile to it!  This could be the shower wall, if your shower walls are visible from outside of the shower or it could be a backsplash.  It could even be the floor!  Flooring says a lot about a space so a beautiful floor tile could easily transform the room into a high-end expensive-feeling oasis.  You won't need a ton of it if you've got a small bathroom, so it shouldn't break the bank, and it'll definitely change the feel!

Streamlining your backsplash.  The backsplash in a bathroom or kitchen is often the "extra" that people cut corners on.  Look at the backsplash as a way to make a statement.  Maybe scale back a little on the other stuff so you've got a little left to do the backsplash.  The backsplash is the place to go larger, even though it's not a large area.  A lot of people want to get really detailed in the backsplash with swirly designs and colors but this really isn't necessary.  Instead, keep the grout to a minimum.  If you can do one solid piece of material as the backsplash, even better!  It will create a sleek, classy look!  You may pay a little more for the material but less in labor!

Art.  So many people try to fill their walls like lots and lots of little things--shelves and hooks and picture frames.  Go with one big piece of art.  In the end, you'll probably spend the same amount of money as you would on a bunch of smaller pieces but the art will make a much bigger impact than any grouping of smaller pieces ever could!

Mirrors & Light Done Right.  Bring a little glisten and sparkle to your home with some larger mirrors.  Not only do they reflect natural light coming in through windows but they create the illusion of a larger space--now that's money well-spent!  Beyond that, they add a little sparkle to a room and can immediately brighten it up.

Lighting.  One, big, awesome chandelier does a home good.  Seriously, friends.  Get a cool light.  Lighting is like art--it's a statement piece that can be a little different and makes a HUGE impact on a room!  You may have to look carefully for a piece that fits your budget and meets the size requirements for the space it's going in, but it's worth the search!  Great lighting is the quickest way to make a room look expensive!