Perfect Measurements – Universal Rules for a Solid Floor Plan

Vern Yip’s Design Wise

Vern Yip’s Design Wise

House Beautiful June 2017 regular article Master Class is by Vern Yip.

Master Class
Vern Yip On Perfect Measurements

“I used to be a premed student and was deep in that world of science and math,” says the Atlanta designer. “I’m still equally left- and right-brained. People often tell me they feel design paralysis, thinking designers are magical unicorns pulling things out of the clouds – we are not! So much of what we do is standardized and logical, especially because most people don’t buy custom furniture. Whether you rent a studio or own a 60,000-square-foot mansion, these rules on dimensions are universal: You can lay out a solid floor plan.”

Vern Yip’s book, Design Wise has all the rules logically explained, with plenty of pictures to illustrate the point. You can search inside the book on Amazon. Continue reading

Coordinate Your Metal Finishes

From traditional to eclectic, no matter what style you choose, coordinating your metal finishes can make all the difference in pulling a look together.

There are more choices than ever in metal finishes. Brass, bronze, chrome, nickel and stainless in bright polished or matte brushed finish, each sets its own style.

Then there are custom painted finishes to really personalize your look.
Continue reading

Easy to Install Kichler LED Tape Light

Kitchen with Kichler® LED Tape

Easy to Install Kichler LED Tape Light

Kichler LED Tape Light is an excellent product!

  • Installer friendly
  • Plug-and-play power supply
  • 3M™ brand adhesive backing
  • Many available additional accessories
  • Dimmable tape light power supply
  • In-wall rated wires are out of view (and costs less than competitive wire options)

Continue reading

New Monorail Kits from Tech Lighting

Monorail lighting is a great choice for many homes.

If you are looking for a simple monorail layout, a monorail kit might work for you. These kits have all of the hardware you need for most basic layouts and include pendants or fixtures.

Tech Lighting now has these great new kits!

Tech Lighting 800RAL28 Onyx Rail Complete Monorail Kit

Tech Lighting’s 800RAL28 Monorail kit has two pendants and two heads made with natural onyx. The metal hardware is finished in antique bronze. Continue reading

Kitchen Lighting – Is your kitchen bright enough?

Is your kitchen bright enough?

“Many older kitchens aren’t bright enough after the sun goes down. The most pleasant kitchen lighting comes from several sources. Lighting designers classify kitchen lighting as either task lighting, general – or ambient lighting – lighting, or accent lighting. That doesn’t mean you need three different types of fixtures; many light fixtures can handle more than one lighting job at a time.”

The Kitchen Idea Book, Joanne Kellar Bouknight

This is my kitchen. It’s a tiny little kitchen, but I still have a ceiling light over the sink, light and vent from microwave over stove, undercabinet lighting in the corner, so I can measure coffee in the morning, a lighted ceiling fan, light from the window and the sky light and the three pendants over the bar.

My Kitchen

My Kitchen

Count the types of lighting in this kitchen from Better Homes and Gardens December 2014/January 2015 issue.

Better Homes and Gardens December 2014/January 2015

Better Homes and Gardens December 2014/January 2015

There’s plenty of natural light from all of the windows. Then there’s the goose neck fixture over the sink, a pendant over the bar and a series of mini pendants over the banquette.

Country Living December 2014

Country Living December 2014

This kitchen from Country Living’s December 2014 issue has lots of bright sunlight. A salvaged window frame is used instead of curtains. A mini chandelier is hung over the sink and track lighting illuminates the entire small kitchen.

A mini chandelier is hung over the sink

A mini chandelier is hung over the sink.

track lighting illuminates the entire small kitchen.

Track lighting illuminates the entire small kitchen.

Guidelines for Lighting the Kitchen

Guidelines for Lighting the Kitchen

This graph from The Kitchen Idea Book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight demonstrates Guidelines for Lighting the Kitchen.
(This whole book is an excellent resource!)

  • In-cabinet can be handled by low voltage puck lights or strings of tiny bulbs.
  • To avoid shadows on work surface, place ceiling task lighting fixtures no more than 12” from cabinets or 28” from wall.
  • A cleanup sink requires lots of light. Here, two 75-watt recessed incandescents do the job.
  • A pendant light over an island provides both general and task lighting.
  • An accent light illuminates objects or a wall.
  • Where there are no wall cabinets, put task lighting in ceiling, a lowered soffit (as shown here), on tracks, or on the wall itself.
  • Place under-cabinet lighting close to front edge of cabinet to conceal the fixture and cause less glare in countertop.
  • Task lights can be continuous or placed about 12” on center.
  • General lighting can be provided by recessed or ceiling mounted fixtures, track lighting, pendants, or low voltage cable lights.
  • Range hoods require built-in or added lighting.

Kitchen Lighting, Cabinet Lights, Under Counter, Task   Lighting

Kichler LED DiscsKichler LED Discs
Sleek, practically invisible and versatile Kichler LED Discs have advanced technology, superior optics and a pure, even light all packed into an untra thin 3/8″ profile. Simple, versatile installation included. Z-Wave Technology allows your home electronics to talk to each other, and to you, via remote control.
LED Mini Star 2 Lighting LED Mini Star 2 Lighting
Available as single fixtures or kits, these die cast aluminum ultra-thin square, LED surface mount LED are ideal for under-cabinet, in-cabinet or display light uses only They put out 3.26 watts per fixture.
Kichler Dimmable LEDKichler Dimmable LED
Design Pro LED Direct Wire offers trouble-free, energy efficient operation along with the simple installation of a self-contained unit. The dimmable version is designed and tested to work with a wide variety of dimming switches for a true range of light level control. Kichler Design Pro LED Direct Wire delivers high-tech LED at a value. It’s proof that unprecedented long life, unmatched energy savings and beautiful light don’t have to break the bank.
Kichler Modular LEDKichler Modular LED
This remarkably sleek unit tucks cleanly under the cabinets. so all you see is warm white light. The ultimate in energy savings and 40,000 hours of life; unprecedented when compared with alternatives such as fluorescent and xenon. Efficient for builders, remodelers and other professionals looking to build today’s residential and commercial structures with products that are Energy Star qualified and can support LEEDs certification and National Green Building Standards.
NSL LED Hard StripNSL LED Hard Strip
LED Hard Strips Series combines high output LED’s in a unique linkable extrusion ideal for under cabinet, showcases, and incabinet applications. LED Hard Strips is available in three sizes, three color temperatures (WW-3000K, NW-4200K, and CW-6200K) and RGB. Four mounting options provide a seamless even distribution of light delivering outstanding light output and low power consumption. LED Hard Strip is dimmable when powered by appropriate LED driver or dimming device.
NSL Xenon Task Lights
Self-contained, complete Xenon surface mount 120VAC under-cabinet light uses 18 watt wedge base Xenon bulbs in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 light fixtures. 12V transformer is built into each fixture. Hardwire can be parallel wired (“daisy chained”) up to 1188 watts (66 bulbs). White, Bronze, Black or Aluminum finished fixture with numerous knockouts and frosted glass lens with low-profile release hinged to aluminum frame; easy to install hardwire or with optional power cord. ETL Listed for damp locations. Hi/Lo switch, Dimmable!
Track Lighting & Track KitsTrack Lighting & Track Kits
Ceiling mounted track lighting with adjustable spotlight fixtures and pendants are an excellent choice for both residential and commercial use. There are an unbelievable variety of attractive and functional fixures available.Track lights make it easy to make changes in your lighting. You can mix pendants and track heads to direct light on specific areas.
Antique Reproduction Mini PendantsAntique Reproduction Mini Pendants
Smaller Pendants in Antique Reproduction style combine historic elements in diffused down-light. Hang a small pendant over your kitchen sink to coordinate with your chandelier. Hang a Series of Antique Reproduction Mini Pendants over your bar, kitchen island or long dining table.
Art Nouveau Mini PendantsArt Nouveau Mini Pendants
Art Nouveau and vintage Italian Tole style mini drop pendants are perfect for a shabby chic interior. These unusual small pendants can be used alone or in a series. They are a focal point however they are used.
Contemporary Mini Pendants (Up to 7 inches)Contemporary Mini Pendants (Up to 7″)
Less is more. Brushed finishes with sleek design lines are characteristic of this style. These mini pendants coordinate with your Contemporary, Eames or Post-Modern Style interior. Use these small contemporary pendants alone or use a series of them over a bar or island.
Modern Mini PendantsModern Mini Pendants
Modern Mini Pendants bring brushed steel, chrome and glass to a modern interior. Combining form and function, these small pendants can be used alone to fit a small room or area or collectively to light a bar or island.
Eclectic Mini Pendants Eclectic Mini Pendants
Eclectic style draws from a variety of sources. If you are looking for something surprising and different, these are the pendants for you.
Rustic Mini Pendants Rustic Mini Pendants
These small pendants include hand-forged iron branches climb, twisting around artisan glass or natural materials. Pendants using rustic materials and finishes are selected for this page to coordinate with Adirondack Style, Lodge Style or fit into your log cabin.
Pot Racks & Lighted Pot RacksPot Racks & Lighted Pot Racks
This collection of potracks and lighted potracks has the perfect choice for your interior. Keep your pots and pans where you can find them. Some of these even offer a combination of lighting and storage! Available in any a variety of metal or painted finishes with glass or shade options, these pendants beautifully add light and storage to your kitchen.
Clearance Pool Table & Island Pendants
This page has a constantly changing assortment of pool table lights and island pendants at clearance prices. These items move fast, so if you see something you like, call right away.
Art Deco, Art Nouveau & Eclectic Pool Table Lights & Island Pendants
Taking inspiration from historic sources or new eclectic concepts in lighting, these pool table lights and island pendants are far from ordinary.
Contemporary Pool table or Island LightsContemporary Pool Table or Island Lights
These linear pendants are suitable for lighting a pool table, bar or island. Brushed finishes with sleek design lines make this style work with almost any interior.
Modern Island Lights
These linear pendants light a pool table or add functional light for an island, bar or Table without giving up utilitarian functionality for clean aesthetics.
Rustic Island Pendants
Rustic pendants and pool table lights for your log cabin or lodge or to add a rustic feel to any home.
Contemporary Island ChandeliersContemporary Island Oval Chandeliers
Contemporary Island Chandeliers are oval in shape. They are ideal for over an island or a long dining room table.

Make any room feel bigger

November 2014 Redbook has a great article in the Design School series.

Make any room feel bigger Tiny space? No problem. Listen to this wisdom and you’ll swear that someone snuck in and added some serious square footage to your home.

Redbook Design School series November 2014

Make any room feel bigger

Tiny space? No problem. Listen to this wisdom and you’ll swear that someone snuck in and added some serious square footage to your home.

  1. Opt for a dark accent wall-it will make that area recede and the room look larger.
  2. Mirrors reflect light and create the appearance of more depth.
  3. Limit big bold prints to throw pillows or small furniture ranther than dominant pieces like the sofa.
  4. Go for glass or acrylic tables. Because you can see through them, they don’t take up any visual space.
  5. Light it up! Dim areas disappear, so add lamps or sconces (to free up floor space) in at least three corners.
  6. Another way to open up a room: Buy curtains and paint bookshelves in similar tones as the wall. They’ll blend in, creating a streamlined effect.
  7. Play with scale. A tiny room full of tiny furniture appears even smaller than it is.
  8. Floor to ceiling drapes draw the eye upward, making the ceiling seem higher.
  9. The low profile of backless seating-think poufs, X-benches, and garden stools-won’t add visual clutter.
  10. Invest in a large area rug. Your eye naturally goes to the outer edges which maximizes your square footage.

Experts Elaine Griffin, Libby Langdon, Janet Lee.
Illustration by Kate Francis


Lamps and sconces come in such a wide variety of styles to coordinate with any interior.

Wall Sconces & Brackets

Antique Reproduction Sconces Antique Reproduction Sconces These wall sconces coordinate with Old World Antiques or Antique Reproduction furnishings. These sconces incorporate elements from a variety of historical sources.
Antique Reproduction Brackets Antique Reproduction BracketsDrawn from historic sources, these wall brackets work with a variety of formal or traditional interiors. Look for iron, gold or silver finish in patinaed metal or painted finish.
Art Deco Sconces Art Deco Sconces
These sconces coordinate with a variety of Art Deco era interiors.
Antique Reproduction Large Pendants Art Deco Brackets Ranging from elegant to rustic, these brackets coordinate with a variety of Art Deco interiors.
Art Nouveau Sconces Art Nouveau Sconces These wall sconces draw from the organic curvilinear sources of the Art Nouveau style. They are available in a variety of finishes and motifs to coordinate with many romantic or dramatic interiors.
Art Nouveau Brackets Art Nouveau Brackets This collection of Art Nouveau brackets coordinates with many interiors. Beautifully unique, these brackets are works of art.
Contemporary Sconces Contemporary Sconces These sconces are a beautiful addition to your contemporary interior design.
Contemporary Brackets Contemporary Brackets This collection of wall brackets demonstate the range of choices that coordinate with a contemporary interior.
Contemporary Wall Lamps Contemporary Wall Lamps Use this wall mounted lighting in place of a Table Lamp for statement making light sources.
Eclectic Sconces Eclectic Sconces This collection of unique and fun sconces may be just what you are looking for if you want something special, something different.
Eclectic Brackets Eclectic Brackets Eclectic wall bracket sconces come in a variety of choices. Playful or natural, modern or historic, these sconces all are a breath of fresh air. If you want your interior to stand out, look at these eclectic options.
Modern Sconces Modern Sconces Closet to the wall than brackets, Modern Sconces feature chrome and glass or other materials to give a modern or ultra modern feel to your residential or commercial interior.
Modern Brackets Modern Brackets Modern wall brackets combine brushed steel, chrome and glass in clean lines for orm and function.
Oriental Sconces & Brackets Oriental Sconces & Brackets These wall sconces and brackets draw on a variety of oritental motifs. From Japanese linear to ornate Chinese, these sconces bring an Eastern edge to your decor.
Rustic Sconces Rustic Sconces These wall sconces coordinate with your rustic interior.
Rustic Brackets Rustic Brackets These wall brackets bring fun rustic style to your room.
Traditional Brackets Traditional Brackets These wall brackets in metal finishes coordinate beautifully with a traditional, Early American or conservative interior.
Transitional Sconces Transitional Sconces These sconces combine elements of traditional and conteporary. This comfortable current style will coordinate with today’s interiors.
Transitional Pool table & Island Lights Transitional Brackets These casual wall brackets bring light to your bath, entry, stair well or other areas. Transitional style works with many interiors.
Alabaster Sconces Alabaster Sconces Natural alabaster makes a beautiful addition to your home. Diffusing the light through the natural stone, this durable material is a good choice for residential or commercial application.
Crystal Sconces Crystal Sconces Crystal is always a classic. This page features wall sconces in a variety of styles, all dressed in crystal. These sophisticated wall sconces are a wonderful accessory for your home.
Crystal Brackets Crystal Brackets This collection of crystal wall brackets range from traditional to modern, heirloom to eclectic. Always a classic, beautiful crystal is an instant heirloom.
Nautical Outdoor Lighting Bulkheads Outdoor Wall Sconces & Ceiling LightsBulkheads are versatile durable lights used in industrial or marine environments. They can be used on walls or ceilings. Architects and designers use these to indoors and outdoors to coordinate with a nautical inspired interior or to add a fun feel.
ADA Wall Sconces ADA Wall Sconces These sconces project no more than 4″ from the wall to comply with the ADA, Disabilities Act. Select from a wide range of colors, finishes and styles.
ADA Wall Brackets ADA Wall Brackets Choose from a wide variety of styles of ADA Wall Brackets. These wall brackets meet the specifications of the US Disabilities Act, which requires public accommodations and commercial facitlites to comply with specific guidelines.
Besa ADA Sconces Besa ADA Sconces These sconces from Besa Lighting meet the requirements of the Disabilities Act, they are available in a wide variety of glass choices.
Glass Sconces Glass Sconces This collection of glass wall sconces shows the range available. Browse through the incredible variety of colors and patterns availble.
Glass Brackets Glass Brackets These wall brackets all feature beautiful glass diffusers.
WAC Glass Wall Brackets WAC Lighting Glass Wall Brackets Glass Companion Wall Sconces provide the perfect accent lighting pieces. Because the glass coordinates with the other pieces in the family, a decorative theme can be carried throughout. With over one hundred different styles and colors of glass shades from around the world, WAC offers a comprehensive selection of styles to satisfy even the most demanding designs.
Fluorescent Wall Sconces Fluorescent Wall Sconces Energy Saving Fluorescent wall sconces don’t have to compromise on style.
Wall Spotlights Wall Spotlights Functional and attractive, select from wall spotlights in a variety of styles to suit your taste and style.
Large Scale Sconces Large Scale Sconces Up to four feet tall, these large scale wall sconce make a big statement.
Swing Arm Lamps Swing Arm Lamps Linear, circular or square canopies in Bronze, satin nickel, chrome or other metal finishes suspend an incridible selection of glass diffusers. Select the options that best coordinate with your interior.
Harco Loor Chandeliers Harco Loor SconcesThese exceptional lighting fixtures are designed and manufactured in Harco Loor’s own factory in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Only high quality materials, such as stainless steel and crystals are used.


How High Should My Chandelier Hang?

hookThere are a lot of opinions about what height your chandelier should hang. Your chandelier is the focal point of your dining room. It should not be too high. If you often move the table and you are afraid people will hit their heads on the chandelier, don’t permanently raise the height of your chandelier. Simply pick up an inexpensive S-Hook or Chain Quick Link at Lowes or Home Depot. When you need it raised, just loop up the chain.

Fine Art Lamps 815940 Chandelier from the Villandry Silver Collection

Fine Art Lamps 815940 Chandelier from the Villandry Silver Collection

“Hang at the right height. The bottom of a chandelier should hit about 30″ (36″ at most) above the tabletop. That brings the light close enough for tasks, clears the view for conversation and avoids unflattering shadows.”
Decorating Dos Womans Day February 2012

Harco Loor Jewel Oval Chandelier

Harco Loor Jewel Oval Chandelier
This beautiful eclectic crystal chandelier is available in a variety of sizes. It can be hand twisted to fit your home.

“When I hang a chandelier above a table, I like to have about 66 inches from the floor to the underside of the light fixture. That’s enough room to put a flower arrangement or a centerpiece on the table and sit and talk, but low enough that you still have light hitting the table, giving a glow.”
HGTV Design Star judge Vern Yip, HGTV Magazine

Fine Art Lamps 233540 Pendant from the Black & White Story Collection

This 32″ wide Oriental Pendant from Fine Art Lamp’s Black & White Story Collection is available in black or white satin lacquer finish surrounding a textured white linen shade.

“30-36” Good height for a pendant light above a kitchen island. Offers bright enough task lighting without head/lamp collisions.
“66” Ideal height to hang a chandelier. Measure from the bottom of the fixture to the floor. This leaves enough room for a centerpiece and doesn’t block you line of sight across the table, but still gives you enough light for eating.”
Design by the Numbers HGTV Star judge Vern Yip shares his measurement cheat sheet in HGTV Magazine June 2013

The Basics of Track Lighting

The Basics of Track Lighting

WAC Track on suspended ceiling using T-Bar Drop Ceiling Attachment

Track Lighting consists of a continuous track that conducts electricity from a single source. Fixtures may be attached anywhere along this track.

Track can be mounted to

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Drywall
  • Plaster
  • Wood
  • Suspended Ceilings
  • Along architectural elements
  • Suspended from rods or cables
  • Sloped ceilings

Track lighting may be suspended using rods or cables.  Pendants may be suspended from the track. Track lighting is available in Line Voltage (120 volt) or Low Voltage (12 volt or 24 volt). Low voltage track uses a transformer to drop the electricity to the required voltage, connecting low voltage lights directly to the track. Line voltage track may still be used with low voltage fixtures with a transformer as part of each fixture. Be sure to anchor your track securely before hanging heavier fixtures.

“Track lighting offers a great degree of flexibility to the designer, because not only the direction of the light, but also its location can be changed. This feature makes track lighting an ideal auxiliary or primary lighting source for a retail store. Track lights are also available with colored filters that attach directly to the fixture. The biggest drawback to track lights is the potential direct-glare problem. Because the lights can be positioned in any direction, it is likely the light source will be visible and produce glare. Some baffles are available to control glare, which cause the lamp to be recessed deep into the fixture. Even though this effectively cuts off light, store personnel must be instructed to be aware of the problem of direct glare, and the fixtures must always be positioned to control the problem.”
Store Design: A Complete Guide to Designing Successful Retail Stores by William R. Green

WAC Track on open beams light the ceiling, providing ambient lighting

Ceiling mounted track lighting with adjustable spotlight fixtures and pendants are an excellent choice for both residential and commercial use. There are an unbelievable variety of attractive and functional fixures available.

Track lights make it easy to make changes in your lighting. You can mix pendants and track heads to direct light on specific areas.

Standard Track Lighting Types

There are 3 standard types of Track lighting. If you are adding to an existing system you will need to determine which type of track lighting you have.

  • Halo or Halo compatible track has three wires or contacts
  • Juno or Juno compatible Juno or Juno compatible track is wider with only two wires about 1″ apart.
  • Lightolier or Lightolier compatible track also has two wires which are about 7/8″ apart

There are 3 standard types of track lighting. Halo or Halo compatible (H), Juno or Juno compatible (J) and Lightolier or Lightolier compatible (L).

Power & Connections

Electricity is provided to the track using a Live End.

Power can be fed from one end of the track, from a connector, from a flexible or stem power feed or as a floating canopy anywhere along the track.

Track can be wired directly to a ceiling box or be attached anywhere, then plugged into a standard wall outlet using a cord set. If the outlet is not controlled by a switch, an in-line switch may be used on the cord.

If you wish to have areas of your track lighting controlled by separate switches, so that one area can be lit or dimmed without affecting the entire track, you may use an isolating end and an additional live end.


Flexible Connectors

Track can be ordered in various lengths or cut to fit any area. It can be laid out in any design, using connectors to join sections. Right or Left “L” Connectors, “X” and “T” Connectors make right angles or use Flexible Connectors to join sections at other angles.

 More at >

Wall Sconces for a Small Bath Room

The Rosetta Wall Sconce from WAC Lighting’s European Collection on either side of a mirrored medicine cabinet. Bella figura, Rosetta offers fine Italian styles that combines a classic profile with multiple murine glass patterns that will enhance any setting with a perfect mix of form and function.

The Rosetta Wall Sconce from WAC Lighting’s European Collection on either side of a mirrored medicine cabinet.
Bella figura, Rosetta offers fine Italian styles that combines a classic profile with multiple murine glass patterns that will enhance any setting with a perfect mix of form and function.

WAC Lighting’s new decorative low profile sconces with glass shades boast a truly exclusive look with exceptional quality. Each sconce canopy is designed with timeless style and plated in Chrome and Brushed Nickel finishes.

Even in the smallest bathroom or powder room, good lighting and good switches and dimmers make all the difference! Once you have light control in your bathroom, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Have one switch for ceiling lighting, whether it is recessed lighting or a ceiling fixture. Have the mirror lighting on a separate switch with a dimmer. I use it at the lowest setting to enjoy a relaxing bath or when I get up at night or first get up until I am ready for the morning.

Wall sconces on either side of a mirror or medicine cabinet provide both decorative and task lighting.

“Stick to a style and finish that is compatible with the other elements in the room. Coodinate the style of the sconces near the vanity with that of the cabinet, for example.”

Bathrooms: The Smart Approach to Design by the Editors of Creative Homeowner, Home Decorating

The best light for applying makeup is shed from the sides of a mirror. The best for shaving is from above. In both cases, there are many ways to do this effectively. Plan your bath lighting for how you will be using the bathroom. And don’t forget that the right switches and dimmers make all the difference!

“Wall-mounted light sconces are a good way to provide adequate lighting without overwhelming a small space, so they’re a good choice in a powder room.”

Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies (Paperback)
by Gene Hamilton, Katie Hamilton

Lutron Plates, Switches, Dimmers and Accessories >
WAC Lighting Quick Connect Wall Sconces >

WAC Lighting Bath Wall Sconces & Low Profile ADA Wall Sconces >