Choosing Kitchen Lighting

If you are redecorating or remodeling your kitchen, the lighting might be the last thing you think of, but lighting can affect the functionality and mood in the room so it’s important to have a plan to give you the best results.

Kitchen Lighting

The best way to achieve great lighting design is through layering your lighting, which comes in 4 main layers:

  • Task – Task lighting is what you’ll use for work spaces, such as kitchen counters, stoves and pantries. Don’t forget to consider undercabinet lighting to help with food prep!
  • Accent – Accent lighting, such as track lights or pendants, adds depth and dimension to the kitchen.
  • Decorative – Add interest and personality with decorative lighting features like chandeliers.
  • Ambient – Gentle light that gives the room a base of light – think dimmer switches and soft lighting.

All these layers are necessary to give your kitchen a great lighting scheme, but some lighting fixtures can be used as “multi-taskers,” being used in more than one layer of lighting.

Some other tips to consider when planning your lighting scheme:

  • To achieve cohesion throughout your home, fixtures in your kitchen should coordinate with the other rooms.
  • Consider the color of your kitchen cabinets and counter when picking out how many lighting fixtures you’ll need. White cabinetry naturally makes the space seem brighter and white reflects light, so you can generally use fewer fixtures or lower watt bulbs. The opposite holds true for darker cabinets and/or counters.

Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Buying Flooring: Bathroom Flooring Options

When choosing flooring for a bathroom you need to take into account more than just style and looks. Bathroom floors need to be functional – stain resistant, impervious to water and ideally, warm for your bare feet. So what are your options?

  • Ceramic Tile – Ceramic tile comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns allowing you to personalize your floor. It is also durable and hygienic, so it is great for bathroom flooring. Keep an eye on the porosity rating of ceramic tile you’re choosing for the bathroom though, it can range from impervious (the best for bathrooms) to nonvitreous (the most absorbent and less suitable for bathrooms).
  • Hardwood – If you have hardwood flooring in the rest of your home, continuing it through the bathroom would result in a nice, cohesive look. In regards to durability, the good thing with hardwood flooring is that you can sand it down, stain it or paint it to give it new life and a different look. Hardwood, though, is not as moisture resistant as some other flooring choices so it may not be the best choice for active bathrooms.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl can come in either sheets or tiles, though tiles are easier to install and replace, if necessary. Whether you choose sheets or tiles, vinyl flooring is easy to clean, and resistant to stains and moisture. Keep in mind, vinyl tile installation has more seams, creating more places germs can grow.
  • Natural Stone – Natural stone comes in tiles which can be cut in a variety of sizes. Stone is easy to care for and durable; however, avoid polished stone – it can be slippery when wet. Unpolished stone may also need a sealant to prevent stains. Something else to consider is that natural stone can be chilly under your bare feet.

Stop by one of our five locations today to check out your flooring options and consult one of our trained flooring experts for help picking out the perfect flooring for your dream bathroom.

Skills You Need to Survive Home Ownership – Part II

This is a follow-up post to last month’s Skills You Need to Survive Home Ownership – Part I

Owning a home can be a crash course in home improvement skills and knowledge. We’re here to

help you navigate your way through home ownership’s ups-and-downs with some tips and skills that will make your life much easier:

  • Remove a Stripped Screw – We’ve all been there – trying to fix or build something and you realize your screw is stripped. Now what? First, grab a screwdriver that will fit the screw and make sure it’s tight on the head of the screw – lightly hammering it in, if necessary. Next, push down as hard as you can, while slowly turning the screw back out.
  • Fixing a Seized Lock – First, try WD-40 – spraying it right in the keyhole. Unfortunately, if that doesn’t work, it could be a broken spring or tumbler, so you might have to call a locksmith. To prevent your locks from seizing up in the first place, every year spray it with long-lasting Teflon spray.
  • Know Which Breaker to Turn Off – To do any electrical work around the house, you’ll need to turn the breaker off first. But how do you know which breaker to turn off? For this project you’ll need: two people, cell phones and an indelible marker. First, plug lamps into all the sockets and have one person stay to watch which ones go dark. One by one, switch off a breaker and have the person describe exactly which sockets went off then jot it down on the breaker box
  • Deal with a Downed Power Line – Don’t touch it – It could be energized. Stay away from the downed line and call the electric company ASAP.
  • Use a Fire Extinguisher – Knowing how yours works ahead of time is key, since fire extinguishers don’t last long. Also, it should be stored by an exit so you can work your way out of the house. To use your extinguisher, remember “PASS”:
    • Pull the pin.
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the flame.
    • Squeeze the trigger.
    • Sweep from side to side with the spray.

    Once you are out of the house, call 911 so the fire department can make sure the fire is actually out.

These tips should help ease you into first-time home ownership! Stay tuned for more tips and how-tos to help you survive homeownership.