Decorating

Why Lighting Matters

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Whenever I see a well designed space, my eyes are immediately drawn to the lighting choices. No room is complete without good lighting, and a great fixture is always an element I include whenever I’m working on a makeover too. Sometimes I score a chandelier from a discount store or a home improvement store, but I’ve also splurged on good lighting when I find “the one” – my kitchen island pendants and bathroom sconces are the perfect example.

Great lighting is like the jewelry that makes a fabulous outfit. Your lamps, chandeliers, and sconces are an opportunity to set the style of a space, to add a layer of texture (think industrial or woven shades), or to play the role of the unexpected element. Think of crystal chandeliers in a contemporary space, a minimalist modern fixture in a more traditional room, or an industrial cage pendant in a cottage dining room.

shades of light drum pendant

 

Sconces and chandeliers will live in the space for years and add value to a home. Today, I wanted to give a quick shout out to one of my sponsors Shades of Light. I’ve purchased several pieces from them over the past year and they deserve some thanks for their support of the blog. Shades of Light recently has been featured in the spring color issue of Better Homes & Gardens and they have a variety of fixtures available from the new Young House Love collection under $100 to splurge worthy pieces that will make a statement in any space.  Here are six of my favorites:

lighting choices

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

How big should your chandelier be?  Here are the formulas:

Width of overhead chandeliers (living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, home offices): A singular chandelier in a living space needs to be proportionate to the room size. Add the width and length of the room together in feet and convert that figure to inches to come up with the correct width of the chandelier. For example, in a room that measures 10 feet by 13 feet, add 10 + 13 together to get 23 inches in diameter.

Width of dining room chandeliers: The rule of thumb is to choose a chandelier with a diameter equal to one half the width of the table, for example, a 48 inch wide dining table should have a chandelier with a 24 inch diameter. However, many designers choose oversized pendants up to two thirds the width to make a strong style statement in a dining space (I love that look!) and modern rectangular fixtures are very dramatic over a dining room table as well.  Height: When hanging a fixture over a dining table, the bottom of the chandelier should be 30 to 34 inches above the table, low enough to create a focal point in the space, but high enough not to interfere with conversation.

Have you added any new fixtures to your home lately?

What style did you choose?

 

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Favorite Sources for Affordable Pillows

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

This week is pretty crazy, we’ve got several projects in the works and we’re celebrating a birthday, so I’ve been away from the computer a lot but I got a great question the other day and I had to smack my head because I can’t believe I haven’t answered it yet.

“Dear Kate. How can I get to the information from February where you were describing how to combine patterns of throw pillows? And where can you find a variety of reasonably priced pillows?” ~ Loretta in Kentucky

Loretta that post you mention on pillow styling is here and I have a lot of places I like to shop for pillows. I’m a frequent pillow changer by season so if I don’t make them myself, I hunt for ready made ones that are affordable and by that I mean under $50.  I’ve kept a master list of retailers in a document on my computer and was reminded to post it here when Loretta prompted me.

Here are my favorite sources for affordable pillows (under $50):

1) Etsy.  I like to support small businesses so I shop around on Etsy for pillow covers made with designer fabrics, some of my favorites include Festive Home Decor, NenaVon, Pop O Color, Pillow Mood, Kassapanola, and WillaSkyeHome.

etsy designer pillows

chevron ikat / flamestitch / yellow ikat

2.  Pier One Imports

pier 1

 

3.  Wisteriawisteria pillows

 

4.  Ballard Designs

ballard designs

 

5. Bellacor

bellacor pillows

 

 

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Solutions for Renters: Kitchens

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Greetings everyone!  The ‘Solutions for Renters’ series continues today and I’ve gathered up a few ideas for you to spruce up those kitchen spaces with temporary solutions that incorporate your personal tastes and unique style.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the hardest to personalize since they’re mostly made up of choices that are unchangeable – cabinets, tile, flooring, countertops, and faucets – all those details you’re stuck with while you rent. So what is to be done? You can accept the situation, or tweak the space with a few of these ideas. Here are nine savvy solutions to personalize kitchens in rental homes and apartments, many apply to homeowners too looking to beautify kitchens on a budget!

solutions for renters in the kitchen

 

1.  Change the Backsplash.  If you’re lucky, you’ll have decent cabinets in your rental but if you dislike the backsplash there is good news, you can always change it. Sure you won’t be ripping out tile but here are some smart and equally effective ideas. Nester wasn’t crazy about the pinkish tile in hers so she installed white beadboard panels to lighten up the look in her rental home.

white beadboard backsplash nestingplace copy

Nesting Place

Jessica at Four Generations One Roof took it to the next level with her removable backsplash where she installed beautiful glass tile on panels, ones she can take with her or reuse in the future.

glass tile backsplash in rental fourgenerationsoneroof

Four Generations One Roof

Mount boards covered with chalkboard paint, consider tin tiles either plain or painted; tattoo your tiles with a few of the available products, or use vinyl to add a pattern to a plain backsplash wall. Did you know there are peel and stick tiles on the market? Time to get creative incorporate a look you love that you can install as a temporary solution while you live with someone else’s design choices.

rental backsplash solutions

peel and stick tile

Design*Sponge / DIY Network / Tile Tattoos / Vinyl Backsplash / Peel & Stick Tile

 

2.  Remove cabinet doors.  If your kitchen cabinetry in your rental is not your favorite or you feel the need to lighten up, Emily’s solution for removing cabinet doors is a smart one. She’s not renting, but instead of repainting all of the cabinetry in her home, she simply removed the doors on the upper cabinets and painted the backs a dark charcoal – in a rental home you can do the same or even use wallpaper or wrapping paper to dress up the backs and secure it with double sided tape.

remove cabinet doors emily clarkEmily A Clark

remove white cabinet doors

Country Living

removed cabinet doors apt therapy

Apartment Therapy

 

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