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Friday, April 1, 2011

Newsletter, "Do you know? Lighting Tips

Interior Design--Get It Right The First Time

By appt.  360-687-5076 |
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Walls too Windows, Interior Design

Do you know?

The Recipe for the "Best Kitchen Lighting"

The Kitchen has morphed into a multi-tasking room that serves many  functions and life styles. For that reason it is more important than ever to incorporate flexible and appropriate lighting options that fit it's many needs.  So what is the best way to ensure the kitchen is adequatley lit?

It's all about layering and the "Power of Three".  Use a minimum of three types of lighting:
  • A central fixture or fixtures
  • Recessed
  • Undercabinet (task lighting) 
 For dramatic results put each on different switches or dimmers. Having only one of these components creates a static and sometimes "one dimensional" effect.   You need a combination of recessed cans, undercabinet task lighting, toe kick or covelighting, with the additional element  of decorative pendants over an island area and/or a decorative shading over  the breakfast nook.

Placement  of the proper lighting is also paramount.  By placing your undercabinet lighting at the front of the undercabinet instead of against the wall, the light will be distrubuted evenly over the area below.  You can even use diffusers to eliminate the reflection of undercabinet lighting, often seen in glossy countertops.

The ALA (American Lighting Assoc.) also  recommends installing recessed fixtures 30 inches from the wall to illuminate the countertop without casting shadows.

Indeed, many of todays popular kitchen materials can create unique lighting challenges. However, a well thought out lighting system can prove to be a very valuable asset for many years.

Do you know?

The two most common mistakes homeowners make when installing pendant lighting in the kitchen.
  1. Not placing them at the proper height.
  2. Not installing enough.
Height --  Each pendant should be mounted so that the bottom of the shade is approximately 66 inches above the floor.  At that height, it is possible to look across the room, below the pendants, and still create a dramatic focal point.

If the shades are not very deep and there is seating at the kitchen island or peninsula, install the pendants a few inches lower, say about 60 inches.

Quantity-- Place one pendant for every two feet of counter space.  For example, a six-foot island requires three pendants, one in the center with another 20 inches on each side.  Usually, an odd number of pendants over a counter or island creates a better visual balance.

Size also matters when determining spacing and the  amount of pendants.  Thin, narrow pendants might look better with the addition of one or two extra fixtures.

April Special Deals

$50.00 off in-home Color/Design Consultations
by. appt 360-687-5076

Do you know?

How to choose the right size chandelier for your room?

If mounting the chandelier above a dining room table, the diameter of the chandelier is based upon the width  of the table itself.

This is calculated by subtracting 12 inches from the total width of the table.  In addition, for 9 ft. ceilings, the chandelier should be mounted roughly 30-33 inches from the top of the  dining room table.  For taller ceilings, add 3 inches for every one foot increase in ceiling height.  So for a 12 foot ceiling, the chandelier should be 39-42 inches above the dining room table.

When the chandelier is not being used in a dining room, the size is determined by the room dimensions.  There are two basic ways to calculate the diameter of a chandelier using room dimensions. 

  1. The diameter is calculated by multiplying 2 inches by the total width of the room in feet.  Thus a width of 12 feet would require a chandelier with a diameter of 24 inches.
  2. The other method is to add the dimensions of the room together and convert into inches.  In other words a  10 ft x 12 ft. room would have a chandelier with a diamter of 22 inches.
These are both good "rule of thumb" calculations, but some judgment will be necessary. It is usually best to err on the small side when you have more elaborate and traditional chandeliers and bit on the larger side with more modern and contempory designs.

Hope this helps.
Patti Marvitz
Walls too Windows, Interior Design

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  1. Looks good but it is not really practical for a busy family. Kitchen countertops chip and break. Also grout lines tend to look bad after a while unless you plan on cleaning it really good every day.You can't just wipe the counters down you have to scrub the grout lines with a brush often to keep it looking good.

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