Tag Archive | planning a room

Don’t Let Your Lighting Age You!

House Beautiful’s regular feature The Essentials; Solutions for the Busiest Rooms in the House tackles bathrooms in the February 2017 issue.

The article Renovating: Just Add Water states “Our primer on master-bath renovations has real talk on budgeting, who-knew insights, and a roundup of necessary luxuries.”  It ranges from quick tips for a minor face-lift to sound advice for a total revamp. Continue reading

Chandeliers – Not Just for the Dining Room

Chandeliers aren’t just for the dining room. Hanging a chandelier in a living room or great room is a great way to express your personal style.

“You can have a big, bold chandelier in a small room if you choose the right one. An all-glass or thin-frame chandelier is striking without taking up a lot of visual space.”
HGTV Design Star judge Vern Yip, HGTV Magazine

Allegri 022951 Anastagio Crystal Pendant

Allegri 022951 Anastagio Crystal Pendant

Continue reading

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.



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

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.