Imagine a bathroom where you look into the mirror and actually love what you see reflected. Your lighting is designed in such a way that you simply don’t notice that little crease between your eyes or that softening jaw line. You know it’s there, but somehow, magically it loses its focus. Your reflection show all of the parts of your physical appearance that you are happy with and that is where your attention lies. You say “I look pretty good” and that is the attitude you carry as you go out into the world.

After owning a day spa for many years, along with being a make-up artist, I became an expert in lighting that was realistic and flattering to a woman’s face. Lighting that allowed women to enjoy putting on their makeup and feeling happy with the results.

Good bathroom lighting doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming; it does require careful planning, however.

Here are some DO’S and DON’TS to help make your decisions easier:

. Don’t make your only bathroom fixtures canned ceiling lights. What are you thinking contractors and home builders?? That will give your face the fastest trip to crone town possible because this type of lighting creates
hollows and shadows you never even knew you had.

. Install lights with dimmers just as you do in other areas of your home.

. Have more lighting rather than too little in the bathroom.

. Have overhead lighting, but always balance it with sconces or pendants on each side of the mirror. Your face becomes bright, clear, and even-looking immediately.

. If there’s not enough room for for fixtures on each side of the mirror, have an electrician install them onto the mirror itself. The reflection also doubles your light.

. If natural light filters through a window on only one side of the room, try to close it while using the mirror or else one side of your face will be brighter looking.

. Down lights should only be used for performing tasks while looking down.

. REMEMBER: Filling in shadows is achieved with side lights which in turn smooth the recesses of your face.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES OF FLATTERING BATHROOM LIGHTING

Transitional Bathroom by Jute Interior Design

Approximate height to place side lights is approximately 65-70 inches from the floor. Ideal placement for overhead fixtures is about 78 inches.

Transitional Bathroom by Neuhaus Design Architecture, P.C.

Soft shades with still bright enough lighting for shaving or applying makeup.

Contemporary Bathroom by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

These fabric shades give off a diffused light while still giving a bright and clean look.

Beach Style Powder Room by 41 West

In this small bathroom, the sidelights are placed on the side walls due to lack of space.

Beach Style Bathroom by REFINED LLC

A wide, long countertop needs double the amount of fixtures for even lighting all along the sink and cabinetry.

Victorian Bathroom by Polsky Perlstein Architects

A large bathroom with many different light sources.

Rustic Bathroom by Fiorella Design

Be sure to check out ahead of time that you have ample enough wattage for your needs in your chosen light fixture(s).

Contemporary Bathroom by Amy A. Alper, Architect

Contemporary example of the long ago popular Hollywood bare bulb light fixture.

Contemporary Bathroom by Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.

A fabulous amount of wattage with each fixture containing four 60-watt bulbs.

Transitional Bathroom by Insignia Design Group

These fixtures were originally designed to be horizontal, however, there’s no reason why they can’t become vertical if that configuration works better for your space.

I hope these tips and examples help you design your most beautiful bathroom ever. Make it a space that gives you joy to enter and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being

 

Photos via Houzz

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Very soon now (too soon!) daylight savings time reverts to standard time and it will be darker earlier by one hour. Add to that the days are becoming shorter and lighting our interior spaces becomes something we have to do.
As human beings, our bodies need light to function well physically. We also need illumination to perform needed functions, and soft pools of light to feel good psychologically in our spaces.
We layer lighting like we do our clothing and it changes from room-to-room depending on function and the atmosphere we wish to create.
No matter how beautifully your rooms are designed, without the right lighting, the overall feel and function will fall short every time; your home will never be as fabulous as it could and should be.
As the iconic decorator Billy Baldwin said, “Decorate a room with light.”
Take a look at this infographic OKA designed and you’ll get the lighting right every time in your own home.
oka-lighting-2
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
As an interior designer, I certainly understand the importance of lighting a home. I always make sure there is sufficient ambient, task and mood lighting in any given space.
As a design psychology coach, of equal concern is that a home also takes into consideration everything needed to ensure health and well-being for all who live in the home.
I recently ran across an article written by Houzz contributor, MIKE ELGAN, who shares some very interesting information on how lighting can improve the overall quality of you and your family’s lives.
As always, when designing your home, the needs of everyone living with you need to be considered. For instance, older adults sleeping in a room devoid of any light,could become a safety hazard if they need to get up during the night. Solution? The sleeping mask that can easily be removed before getting out of bed! Enjoy.

We tend to think of lighting choices as a matter of personal preference, something that’s part of the lamp-shopping checklist. But it turns out that the most important lighting decisions have nothing to do with lamps. And lighting decisions can actually make or break your family’s health, happiness and well-being.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Having a window wall is a definite plus. It lets a lot of natural light into a room and it’s especially terrific if it looks out onto a lovely view.
But it can also be a source of frustration if you’re not sure how to use the space underneath the windows. By not wasting this area, you gain a lot of the room’s functionality. Is there ever too much space? One TIP is if the room receives a lot of sun, consider using solar shades. They can be mounted from the ceiling and will protect not only your eyes, but carpets and furnishings as well.
Take a look at these photos for some good ideas from HOUZZ.
The shelves are perfect for extra storage and also hides the radiator on the far right. while allowing for sufficient air flow. This design is great for a kid’s room.
Perfect space for a desk, particularly in a smaller home where there isn’t room for a designated office.
A large daybed with storage drawers underneath. Wouldn’t you feel like a cat dozing in the sunshine on this bed?
Another daybed that’s narrower than the previous photo and fits perfectly with the frameless window. It takes advantage of extra storage space underneath as well.
A low bookcase fills this space beautifully and it’s as sleek-looking as the home’s architecture.
A built-in dresser which saves space and also deals with a not so attractive radiator.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the OTHER way around
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

Lighting is about so much more than just being able to see in your home. Lighting fixtures are very important decorating elements and can add drama and mood in ways other forms of design cannot. I can’t help but think of how lighting has changed over the decades. I remember a bare bulb hanging from a ceiling cord in my bedroom at my grandparents farmhouse and it was scary! You might remember that sort of fixture as well. Thankfully, that has been relegated to the distant past (I hope).

This week’s article was written by KURT CYR, a HOUZZ Contributor. Read on and enjoy the beautiful photos. They’re sure to give you some ideas for your own home.

Drumroll. These gigantic drum shade pendants are showstoppers.

Why they work: Not only are they overscale and dramatic, but with their steely charcoal finish, they visually reference the cookware hanging on the brick wall. To top it off, they provide excellent task lighting for the kitchen island.

Tiny bubbles. A hovering cloud of bubbles trapped in space, this is a modern twist on the classic chandelier.

Why it works: Downlight is reflected and refracted off the glass orbs, making them appear to magically glow while casting a warm light across the faces of any diners at the table.

Uplight, downlight. Simple sconces disappear when painted to match the wall.

Why it works:
In this minimalist space, light adds an interesting pattern to the walls in lieu of artwork or other overt decoration.
Lighthouse. This ingenious column acts as an architectural beacon.

Why it works:
This dramatic light is the focal point of the staircase. When it’s fully lit, the steps are flooded with light. When dimmed, it casts a soft glow that works like a nightlight to keep the staircase safe.

Move over, Sputnik! This sea urchin dining fixture is a nice change from the typical Sputnik-style fixtures we see everywhere.

Why it works: The bulbs are tucked among the slender rods, washing the walls and ceiling with delicate, twig-like shadows, and further enhancing the texture of the grass cloth–covered walls.

Repeat after me. This pop art–style installation recalls Andy Warhol’s effective use of multiples to create drama.

Why it works:
It’s a great way to light a long hallway. Paper lanterns offer gentle illumination and are inexpensive, so using several won’t break the bank.

Sculptural grouping. This substantial floor lamp is right at home in this living room filled with other large-scale pieces.

Why it works: It’s thoughtfully scaled to the rest of the room’s furnishings. And it’s anchored as part of the composition of leather drum tables, instead of standing alone.

Swing set. Tucked between three windows, these adjustable swing-arm reading lamps do double duty.

Why they work: They provide nice general lighting, but are also poised to act as focused reading lamps for the overstuffed chairs below.

Seeing red. Set against a pale “greige” wall and mellow vintage wooden furniture, this adjustable standing lamp packs a color punch.

Why it works: The lamp provides focused light where needed, but the fixture itself is a standout. The pop of red is just what this neutral scheme needs.

Hanging around. Plunging pendants are a terrific alternative to wall-mounted sconces in the bathroom.

Why they work: It’s a fresher, less expected look. The pendants free up all-important wall space that can be used for hidden medicine cabinets. Hang them at eye level for proper facial illumination.

Amass a collection. The three clear globes of this light fixture echo the collections displayed in this living space.

Why it works: The ceiling fixture has simple, clean lines that don’t compete with the collections; it references them without calling too much attention to itself.

Logroll. This fascinating floor lamp is a cross between a sculpture and a light fixture.

Why it works: The unusually flat shade references the scale of the nearby artwork, while the base adds a wild texture to the very traditional walls, with their panel molding.

By candlelight. A wrought iron candle sconce by the vanity gives this bathroom just the right old-world ambience.

Why it works: The low-wattage bulb dipped in silicone gives the look of an actual flame without the worry of an unattended burning candle.

The birdcage. A delicate metal pendant fixture is an interesting focal point in this room.

Why it works: The shadows cast by the fixture carry pattern onto the ceiling. The metalwork also evokes the filigree on the gold desk chair.

Sculptural focus. This origami-inspired lamp is a beautiful focal piece in this dining area.

Why it works: When the light is off, it looks like a sculpture floating in space. When the light is on, the undulating folds capture and disperse the light in very evocative ways.

Photos: via Houzz

Not sure about placement of fixtures? Here are some guidelines:

  • Hang chandeliers about 30 inches above kitchen islands and dining table. The same for pendants.
  • Install wall sconces about 5 & 1/2 feet from the finished floor. 15-18 inches above fireplace mantels.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

Too many homes, condos, and apartments have been built in the last few decades that are cookie-cutter; looking pretty much the same—bland, boring and too many square-shaped, boxy rooms.

They’re not really life-enhancing spaces beyond the basics.

But we want more than that. We want our homes to have character; to be distinctive. No matter the size.

We want the space we call home to possess a degree of enticement, interest, and an element of surprise. A bit of the unexpected is a good thing, too.

We don’t consider ourselves bland and boring, so why would we want our home to reflect that. No, a thousand times no.

So if you find yourself looking around such a room and wondering how you can bring your excitement to it, take a look at these photos. It just may spark a few ideas, and there are many others. Every room in your home should make you say, “I’m so glad this is where I live!” It just takes mindful design.

This shabby-chic styled kitchen has used an old weathered door placed onto a wall. You can find architectural salvage shops where you can find all manner of pieces that can add so much interest to a room.

I added a fireplace mantel and surround in an apartment I lived in. I placed tiles on top of the existing carpet and backed it with mirror and instead of dried branches seen in this photo, I used candlesticks of varying heights. Great fun.

I’ve used molding like this for several clients. It’s easy and it’s very inexpensive. Purchase the custom cut-to-order molding at a lumber yard or a big box store. They can be painted or even left the same color as the walls. It adds so much architectural interest to a room.

modern kids by Nicole Lanteri

Who said all closets need boring wood sliding doors?  Sometimes, a beautiful fabric curtain can be just what the decorator ordered.

There’s no window behind this bed. Adding a curtain wall adds elegance and texture. It’s hung just below the ceiling giving a feeling of more height.

 

This small studio space uses curtains to separate the sleeping area. They’re applied to the ceiling on a track and they’re crisply pleated giving a neat finished look. Also love the bursts of color that bring this all-white room to life.

There’s so much color and texture in this living room, that you don’t notice its boxy shape. For all of the color, the same shades are used throughout the pieces so it’s not jarring to the eye.

This is a small square bedroom, but the mirrored closet doors double the space. The papered focal wall along with the mirrored nightstands, lamps, and ceiling fixture add glamour and understated elegance.

Wallpaper with double-sided tape has been used to the closet sliding door to add interest. This application can be added to any surface such as tabletops, drawer fronts, headboards, and book shelves. The best part? If you tire of it, it’s easily removed with no damage to surfaces. If you want a more permanent fix? Decoupage.

A quiet elegant box of a room that uses a darker paint color to create a focal wall and the large standing light fixture is unexpected, giving this living room an element of surprise.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

P.S. If you have some thoughts, but you’re not sure, please send me an email. I’d love to help. Remember, you deserve a home that has the essence of  you written all over it.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

LIGHTING THE WAY FOR A SAFER (AND MORE BEAUTIFUL) KITCHEN
I remember very well that day in my early forties when I was forced to buy my first pair of reading glasses. My arms weren’t long enough to hold the printed page far enough away to read. Oh joy!

OLDER (NOT OLD) EYES
I won’t go into the physiological reasons why are eyes change as we become older (notice I didn’t say “old eyes”. But the symptoms of these changes we can relate to.

HOW OUR VISION IS AFFECTED
A few examples are:

  • Light is scattered.
  • Extreme sensitivity to glare.
  • Slower response to changing light levels.
  • Reduced ability to discern images in poor light.

Are any of these symptoms familiar? While proper lighting is important in every room, I’m going to single out the kitchen. In this space good and strategic lighting is critical lest we cut off a finger, trip over the dog, or put too much garlic in the meatballs!

BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF KITCHEN LIGHTING FOR “EXPERIENCED” EYES

These photos from HOUZZ show how a kitchen can be safely illuminated without sacrificing beautiful design.
contemporary kitchen by Forum Phi
by Forum Phi
Lighting above the cabinets bathes the ceiling providing more all over light reflection without glare.

 

contemporary kitchen countertops by Rugo Stone, LLC

Matte countertops reduce glare.

modern kitchen countertops by Concrete Shop Honed marble instead of polished reduces glare.

by Concrete Shop

 

Using materials such as cement or soapstone, also reduce glare.

 

Down lighting over specific areas like the sink and prep areas is part of overall lighting. Recessed lights in the ceiling serve this function as well.

 

traditional kitchen lighting and cabinet lighting by EnvironmentalLights.com

Task lighting such as under cabinets or over an island, safely help light out way.
Lighting has been placed inside drawers to easily see the contents.

 

Here you see an example of over all lighting. There’s natural daylight, recessed lighting and task lighting, leaving no dark corners. Also the flat surfaces use materials that eliminate glare.

 

modern kitchen lighting and cabinet lighting by Kichler

In this photo, lights are used in glass-front cabinets and as toe-kick lighting. This delineates spaces so you see what is where.  They also cast a lovely glow at night when the kitchen is not in use.

Overall, as we get older, we will or do require 2 to 5 times more light to see the same way as our grandchildren can. Not to worry, they, too, will be where we are someday!

It doesn’t really matter what physical changes in our home need to be made to accommodate our bodies as are being blessed with more and more birthdays.

We adapt knowing that we don’t have to forfeit beauty in order to live in a safe and productive environment that everyday enhances our sense of well-being.

Email me if you need help in lighting your home or a loved one’s in order to make it safer, as well as more beautiful. I’d love to help.

Until next time…

Blessings,

Nancy

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

19 WAYS TO LIGHT UP YOUR HOLIDAYS

While I love using candles all year long, the holidays seem to scream for them. We entertain more this time of year and they add so much to the ambiance of a room.

Whether you place them on the dining table, fireplace mantle, side tables, or the guest bathroom, the flickering warm, cozy, and romantic light just plain makes us feel good.

Not to mention, we all look so good bathed in candlelight!

These photos are examples of wonderful candles and candleholders. From whimsical to elegant, low to higher end price points, you’re sure to find one that you’ll want to purchase this year.

contemporary candles and candle holders by Z Gallerie

contemporary candles and candle holders by Z Gallerie

contemporary candles and candle holders by IKEA

contemporary candles and candle holders by Flameless Candles

asian candles and candle holders by Creative Home Decorations

asian candles and candle holders by Creative Home Decorations

contemporary candles and candle holders by Creative Home Decorations

eclectic candles and candle holders by Creative Home Decorations

contemporary candles and candle holders by Gump's San Francisco

contemporary candles and candle holders by Rain Collection

modern candles and candle holders by West Elm

modern candles and candle holders by House & Hold

contemporary candles and candle holders by DCI Gift

contemporary candles and candle holders by LEIF

eclectic candles and candle holders by West Elm

contemporary candles and candle holders by IKEA

eclectic candles and candle holders by LEIF

eclectic candles and candle holders by Perpetual Kid

eclectic table lamps Joy Candelabra

Two examples are flameless and a good choice if placed on side tables, especially when small children are present.

Some can be used to hold odds and ends after the candle has burned down, or votive candles can replace the original candle.

Besides “gifting” your home, they make fabulous and thoughtful hostess gifts or gifts for any occasion.

I hope you and your family enjoyed a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

It was a sad day this past Sunday at 2A.M.

We no longer were on daylight savings time. The long dark days of winter have arrived.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we FEEL and SEE the loss of light acutely.

As human beings, we need natural light to live and thrive. Otherwise God would have made us all into Moles, very happy to live in dark holes.

You can probably tell I suffer a bit from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). But I know I’m not the only one…quite the contrary.

If you feel like me, have you ever considered having a “light” room?  They’re more commonly known as sun rooms, but for those of us who live in the higher reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, “light” rooms are a more accurate description.

The other great thing about a “light” room is it allows us to experience nature more fully and that is nothing short of a balm for our spirits. And additions like this are located in the public spaces of our home so no window coverings are needed How sweet is that? Just light and nature wrapping its self around us.

The photos you’re seeing were designed by London architect PAUL McANEARY and shown in HOME DECOR DECORATING IDEAS.

It’s a beautiful contemporary design that makes you feel like you’re living in a glass house…don’t worry about the stones!

Take a look and see what you think. If you’re planning on any remodeling, a “light” room could give you a better emotional return on your investment than say, re-doing the family room.

Just a thought.
modern and stylish house extension transparent roof
modern and stylish house extension top
modern and stylish house extension stylish
modern and stylish house extension roof
modern and stylish house extension night
modern and stylish house extension living room
modern and stylish house extension kitchen

modern and stylish house extension front

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
0

Lighting Your Way

October 26th, 2012

We’re used to seeing pendant lighting over dining tables and kitchen islands, but have you considered using them in your bedroom over bedside tables?

One big advantage is that you have more space on top of tables which seem to always collect clutter (at least mine do). Also, there are no visible cords on the floor so it gives a very clean look.

Another great thing, is that pendant lights are a beautiful design feature and they can punctuate your unique design style.

Check out the photos from HOUZZ. You’ll see many different styles from Asian-influenced, modern, glamorous, to minimalist. Finishes vary as well. They can be a focal point in your bedroom, or seemingly disappear. It’s your choice for whatever look and feel you desire.

You can find this style of lighting in all price points. From big box stores to custom-designed fixtures.

TIPS:

  • Dimmers, as with all home lighting, are a must. In the bedroom, you need enough light to easily read and soft enough for romantic mood lighting.
  • For a contemporary design, place the fixtures about 24 inches from the top of the tables and about 48 inches if your style is more traditional.

The correct lighting for any space in a home, is of utmost importance in interior design.

You may not know the whys and wherefores of good or not so good lighting, but you sure do know how it makes you feel, either way. And my goal is to make sure you feel fabulous in your home—every day in every way.

contemporary bedroom by Michael Fullen Design Group

contemporary bedroom by Kelly Hoppen Interiors

modern bedroom by Rachel Reider Interiors

tropical bedroom by Rockefeller Partners Architects

modern bedroom by Amy Lau Design

contemporary bedroom by DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL

contemporary bedroom by GDC Construction

contemporary bedroom by Mikel Irastorza

contemporary bedroom by Lori Gentile Interior Design

contemporary bedroom by Kathy Bloodworth Interior Design

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...

Services

Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...

Contact

Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...