Tag Archive | interior design

Gothic Revival and Other Medieval Styles

One of my favorite Decorating books is Decorative Style by Kevin McCloud, a set designer turned interior decorator.

One of my favorite Decorating books is Decorative Style by Kevin McCloud, a set designer turned interior decorator.

Hard to believe, but there are styles other than Mid-century Modern. One of my favorite Decorating books is Decorative Style by Kevin McCloud, a set designer turned interior decorator. Continue reading

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

Early Electric Meets New Technology – WAC Lighting’s Early Electric Pendants

wac_pendants-early_electric

Quick Connect 3-Light Multi-point Mirror Glass Canopy with Mason Jar LED Pendants

The new Early Electric Collection of pendants from WAC Lighting look like vintage lighting, but can use just 5 watts of energy.

They all use an LED light source.

They are available as single pendants, multiple pendants or with quick connects to suspend from  Track Lighting or Monorail.

Socket Set & Lamp Information

LEDme® Low Voltage Line Voltage
LED: 12V/5.6W, 3000K, CRI 85 (included) – lumens may vary depending on diffuser.

  • May be dimmed w/electronic low voltage (ELV) dimmer
  • Three threaded screws are used to secure shade to socket
  • 50,000 hour rated life
  • Energy efficient
  • No projected Ultraviolet or Infrared radiation

Use of these fixtures, pendants or heads with the Monorail, Flexrail, Flexrail 2, Linear System, or Track Lighting.To complete a pendant, select a single or multiple canopy from WAC Quick Connect Monopoints and Multipoints.

WAC Early Electric Pendants >

Step 2 – Six Steps to Your New Look – Step by Step Redecorating

Work in Progress - This is the living room of my log cabin.

Work in Progress – This is the living room of my log cabin.

So, you have an idea file. You know what you like. You have walked through furniture stores and gotten ideas. You have inventoried what you already have and decided whether it is staying or going.

2-Develop a plan.

Measure your room and put it on graph paper. Mark in the windows and the doors. Make sure that you mark in the swing of the door.

Measure any furniture that is staying. You can sketch it on another piece of graph paper if you don’t really know how you will lay it out. Cut the furniture pieces out so that you can push them around. Make sure you leave plenty of walk space.

What are you going to use the room for?

This is the list when I planned my living room.

  • Reading
  • Watching TV
  • Entertaining
  • Easy to move the furniture to make room for more tables for a dinner party
  • Easy conversation
  • A fireplace
  • Storage for sewing stuff

What do you have that is staying?

The only piece of furniture that I had that was staying is a large antique piece. It has two divided top drawers, a large bottom drawer and two big doors. I use it to store my stereo equipment.

What problems are you trying to solve?

The open floor plan makes it feel like all one big kitchen. I decided to raise the bar higher than the counter top to obscure the kitchen and replace the pot rack with three pendants over the bar.

So, here’s my list.

  • Hardwood floors (throughout the whole house)
  • Sofa
  • 2 armchairs
  • Floor lamps
  • 2 end tables with lamps
  • 1 floor lamp
  • Coffee table, perhaps with storage
  • Large floor rug
  • 2 coordinating runners
  • Steamer trunk to store fabric & sewing machine
  • Add stairs to the attic with storage under it
  • Drapes that close and make the room dark enough for guests to sleep
  • Replace the wood stove with a fireplace
  • Remove the wallpaper and paint the only wall that is not logs

Make a timeline. Some things have to be done first. Other things it doesn’t matter.

I started with the floor. I selected wood that was almost the same color as the log walls.The logs are made of red cedar that has naturally aged. The ceiling is almost identical in color. I found a cherry colored prefinished wood.

 

 

Six Steps to Your New Look – Step by Step Redecorating

Creating a beautiful comfortable home that reflects your taste and personality can be extremely rewarding. The secret is to take your time, make a plan and enjoy the process.

1-      What do you REALLY want?

What do you want?

If you don’t already have a file of pages pulled from magazines, start one now. Pull the pages that interest you out of that stack of magazines you have been collecting. Most libraries have a stack of magazines to give away.  Ask your friends if they have any magazines they can part with.

Tear out any photos that you like. (Then you can throw the rest of the magazines away or take it back to the library if it is not too destroyed.)

I put my favorite pages into plastic sleeves and keep them in a notebook. I have dividers for which room it is an idea for. It is my ultimate magazine. It has expanded to three volumes now. (Plus one for recipes and one for tips.)

Now, look over those pages. What do you like about each picture? Is it the colors? Is it the windows? The style of furnishing? Lots of bookshelves?

Walk through furniture stores. Look around at your friends homes. Anywhere you go, if you like the way it looks, take note. Take a photo with your phone. Or even a Photosynth.

Look at what you already have.

Don’t plan your room around things that are worn out, uncomfortable, the wrong size for the room or that you just plain don’t like. Unless you have to. Sometimes you are stuck with things. If your mother-in-law bought it for you, your husband loves it or you can’t afford to replace it.

If it is a matter of giving offense or hurting feelings, there may be a work around. Perhaps you can use it in another room. How long have you had it? Has the statute of limitations passed?

If you can’t afford to replace it, perhaps you can make it work with paint or reupholstering. Talk to friends and family, sometimes you can trade.

My daughter Jessica’s dining room set was not her style. It had been her husband’s before they got married. My friend Laura loved it, but my daughter did not care for hers. Jessica wanted my very small set. I actually wanted a larger set, but something traditional, theirs were both more contemporary. So they talked Laura’s brother into the trade. He bought Laura’s set and gave her his set. I accepted his set for mine, which my daughter got, and Laura got Jessica’s. Whew!

Start making your plan.

  • Write things down.
  • Price things.
  • Make a timeline.
    • What needs to be done now?
    • What can wait?
  • Take time to plan.
  • Measure your room and the things in it and put it on graph paper.

Step 2 – Six Steps to Your New Look – Step by Step Redecorating >

Oriental Style Lighting

Oriental Style Lighting can work in a variety of interiors.

 “If you love to travel, or just have a taste for the exotic and unusual, then you will love an Asian interior design style in your home. It’s colorful, relaxed, unique and fun. Best of all, it can be whatever you want it to be…!” Interior Design It Yourself: Styles by Design by Charlotte Brown

Oriental Style Lighting works with a variety of home styles. Stick with a single country and style or  have an overall Asian feel.  Add a Japanese touch to a Modern interior. Add a Singapore Moderne style to a contemporary home.

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.
www.brandlighting.com/fine_art_black-and-white_story.html

Add a note of Chinoiserie to a traditional or Victorian home.

Victorian with Oriental

Pendant from Fine Art Lamps Singapore Moderne Collection and Uttermost Nepali Bamboo Indoor/Outdoor Floor Lamp
www.brandlighting.com/table_lamps_oriental.html
www.brandlighting.com/fine_art_singapore_moderne.htm

Mix a Chinese Chippendale look in with a comfortable historic home. Thomas Chippendale’s design book, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director included Chinese as one of his four main styles. Chinese Chippendale is characterized by latticework and lacquer.

Fine Art Lamps Small Pendant from the Fusion Collection

The Fine Art Lamps Fusion Collection includes a small and large pendant and a coordinating wall sconce that demonstrate Asian influence. The deceptively simple metal form of hammered bronze with an oxidized patina is encased in dupioni silk.
www.brandlighting.com/fine_art_fusion.html

Oriental works well with rich bold colors. Incorporate traditional Chinese red and black. Or use a more muted minimalist approach. Pale, neutral, natural colors create a beautiful back drop.

“Creating authentic Asian home décor, regardless of whether it is Japanese home décor or Chinese home décor is not difficult or expensive…  Colors that are perfect for an Asian themed home interior decoration include: Lime green, Turquoise, Light blues, Light tans, White” Asian Home Interior Decor by Miriam Kinai

Modern bath uses Contemporary mirrors from the Quoizel Ibsen Collection and Fire Farm’s Tokyo Wall Sconce
www.brandlighting.com/fire_farm-tokyo.htm

Links to Oriental Lighting

What Size Should My Chandelier Be?

When choosing your chandelier, scale matters a lot. There are a lot of factors to think about, but here is an easy way to calculate the best size for your dining room.

The first guideline is:

  1. Measure your table.
  2. Divide that number in half.
  3. That’s your smallest chandelier width.
    So, a 48″ table gets a 24″ or more chandelier.

If your table is heavier or darker, either choose a heavier, darker or larger chandelier.

Fine Art Lamps 815940 Chandelier from the Villandry Silver Collection

Fine Art Lamps 815940 Chandelier from the Villandry Silver Collection

If your table is lighter in scale, plexiglass or glass or low contrast (the same color as the rest of the room); choose a chandelier that matches the scale and feel of the table or go with a smaller chandelier or pendant.

Van Teal 800650 Fast Moving Wheels Pendant from the Free Wheeling Collection

Van Teal 800650 Fast Moving Wheels Pendant from the Free Wheeling Collection

If your table is rectangular, what is your perspective as you walk into the room? If you are looking at your table from the narrow end, that is your measurement. If you are looking at your table from the wide side, that is your measurement.
You might want to us an oval chandelier or two chandeliers or pendants.

Harco Loor Jewel Oval Chandelier

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

Kalco 3-Light Foyer Chandelier 6108 from the Durango Collection

Kalco 3-Light Chandelier 6108 from the Durango Collection

Here is the second guideline:

  1. Measure your room.
  2. Add the length and width together.
  3. The total in feet is your chandelier width in inches.
    So a 14′ x 18′ room gets a 32″ or so chandelier.

Since your dining table usually fits the dimensions of your room, you should get a similar number using both methods. If your chandelier is not in the center of the room, or if it is in an area of a larger open floor plan, you might want to measure from the outlet box to the closest wall, then double that to get your measurements. So if your chandelier will hang 5 feet from the closest wall on one side and 6 feet from the closest wall on the other side, (5+6) x 2 = 22. A 22″ chandelier should fit the scale of the area. The table will likely be smaller, too.

“A chandelier that’s not big enough can make a room feel smaller. A good guideline: Measure the room’s length and width, and add those together. Then use that number for the diameter, substituting ‘inches’ for ‘feet.’ So if your room is 10 feet by 18 feet, you should look for a chandelier with a diameter of at least 28 inches.”
HGTV Design Star judge Vern Yip, HGTV Magazine

“Determine the right scale. A too-big chandelier will make a small room look even smaller, while a tiny fixture will disappear in a big room. Add your room’s length and width in feet and get a fixture whose width is the same number of inches (a 12′ x 16′ room gets a 28″ light), advises Jeff Dross of Kichler Lighting. Another useful guideline: A chandelier should be at least half the table width (so it won’t look puny). If your ceilings are higher than the standard 8 feet, go for a taller fixture; if your dining area is part of a great room, go even larger.”
Decorating Dos Womans Day February 2012

Simple Kit to Convert Recessed Lighting to LED

Hallway with Eurofase 25081 6" LED Conversion Kit

Hallway with Eurofase 25081 6″ LED Conversion Kit

Convert your existing recessed lighting to super energy efficient LED with a new easy-to-use kit from Eurofase.

The kit includes everything you need to convert a typical 6 inch recessed can that uses a 150W Incandescent R40 to PAR 38 bulb. The LED driver is powered by screwing into the bulb socket. The 14W LED SHARP 120V/277V LED is provided.

The LED Kelvin 3500K emits a warm white light.

The beam angle is adjustable up to 120 degrees to highlight artwork or graze walls.

LED lamps have a much longer life than incandescent lamps. They do not emit UV rays. They put out very little infrared or heat. They are ideal to light artwork or photography that is sensitive to UV or temperature. LEDs are highly energy efficient offering significant savings on electricity bills. Their longer lifespan reduces maintenance time and costs, making them ideal for hard-to-reach places.

Eurofase Recessed Conversion Kits >

Eurofase 25081 6" LED Conversion Kit

Eurofase 25081 6″ LED Conversion Kit 6″ 14 watt LED Conversion Kit converts a typical existing recessed fixture into a new 14 watt LED downlight.

Well Planned Lighting

Square Walnut QisDesign SWPA01-F Piano Floor

Square Walnut QisDesign SWPA01-F Piano Floor

Don’t think of lighting as an afterthought. The right lighting is one of the most fundamental elements in interior design.

The wrong lighting can completely destroy the impact of even the most well thought out design.

Good lighting makes your room more functional and more beautiful. Providing the right lighting allows you to enjoy using your room without eye strain or glare. Effective lighting can emphasize attractive architecture and camouflage less appealing elements.

Well planned lighting is the most effective way to bring out the best in your room.

Lighting should be as much a part of your planning in the early stage as color and furniture.

Providing the right combination of lighting to provide a good overall light level, task lighting and accent lighting.

There are two basic aspects to think about:

  • The effect of the light on the room
  • The appearance of the fixture itself, even when it is not lit

Lighting can be a feature of your room as much as a painting or other artwork.