Monday, September 21, 2009

tip to deco Lighting

Lighting creates ambience and makes a room welcoming. Good lighting enables activity, enhances color, and gives a room a sense of warmth and life. Lighting can fill a dark corner, lift a low ceiling, camouflage a dark angle, or brighten up a gloomy room. We are always seeking balance, so we don't want to over-light or under-light any area.

Light fixtures also bring fun and fashion to a space. One of the keys to creating a comfortable and flexible room is to layer the lighting. There are three kinds of lighting to consider. Use a mix ambient, task, and accent lighting to delineate different zones. Choose light fixtures and lamps that add character to your decor.
Ambient lighting

Begin with the ambient lighting or general lighting that just makes the room visible. Ambient light is the basic lighting layer, illuminating walls, open areas, and main pieces of furniture so that you can navigate the space with ease. For instance ambient lighting in a living room is very important because the room is often occupied by more than one person. Hanging ceiling fixtures offers the broad wash of diffused illumination required for soft, general lighting. Ambient light can be direct, bounced off a wall, or diffused through a shade to warm up the quality of the light.
Select your style:

* Torchières are uplights that emit a soft, even wash of light, their beam bounces from the ceiling before angling down.
* Recessed downlights are built into the ceiling and have a reflective lining.
* Pendants hang from the ceiling. They come in different shapes and styles that can add another decorative element to a room.
* Suspended uplights are ceiling-mounted fixtures that cast light upward and give an even glow.
* Wall-mounted uplights or sconces cast a diffused glow and are wise choices for pale-colored rooms or reflective wall finishes.

Task Lights

After, consider the task lights you'll need for you and your family to read, work, or play. Task lighting is focused light that illuminates a specific activity. Available in a vast number of styles, task lamps offer both direct illumination and great design flexibility because you can often change their style and the effects of their light with different shades or positioning. Place a wall sconces behind the sofa to facilitate reading, or use a swing-arm table lamp on a side or parson's table. Most bedrooms require effective task lighting next to the bed as well as in reading corners, at vanities, and on work surfaces.
Select your style:

* Table lamps with three-way bulbs allow for adjustable levels of light. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and wattages.
* Swing-arm lamps have adjustable arms that allow the light to be swung into position, perfect at the bedside.
* Sconces attach directly to the wall and can offer useful supplementary lighting.
* Floor lamps are freestanding and may be adjustable in height.
* Desk lamps focus a bright, downward beam of light with high level of illumination.
* Closet lights come in options such as hard-wired, low-voltage, or battery-operated.

Accent lights

Accent lights are specific and attention-grabbing. They are used to set mood, draw focus, or add sparkle. larger accent lights like wall washers impart a soft, colorful glow; spotlights can draw attention to favorite artwork or emphasize a focal wall; candles create a sense of movement and cast dramatic shadows. Often, it can be a beautiful decorative accessory on its own. Use accent lighting to spotlight a photo, collection, or display. Place accent lights in bookcase shelves or on a long mantel for subtle illumination.
Select your style:

* Picture lights perch over artwork to illuminate it. They are usually low wattage to minimize glare off reflective surfaces.
* Track lights can be aimed to highlight architectural details and favorite objects.
* Mini-chandeliers hang from the ceiling and add sparkle.
* Candles fill a room with warmth and animation; they can add color and scent as well.
* Nightlights are very low wattage and offer illumination by which to navigate or sleep.
* Beaded-shade lamps change the quality of light, tinting it with jewel tones.

Lighting every room:

* Foyers, halls and stairways: size the decorative fixture to the space. If the fixture can be viewed from another room, be sure to select a fixture which look attractive. Stairways and halls must have good general lighting for safety.
* Bedroom area: gently filtered and flattering light in a bedroom creates a sense of calm and repose. The placement and intensity of lighting affects a space's atmosphere, making it cozy or cool, dramatic or cheerful. The right level of light in a bedroom is entirely personal, it should be flexible enough to let you read, work and relax comfortably. Consider first the ambient lighting or general lighting, it is the light cast by overhead fixtures, whether recessed and largely invisible (as in most modern houses) or pendant and decorative (as in older homes).
* Living area: recessed lighting is one of the best ways to light a general area because the light source is concealed. One of the most immediate ways to bring graciousness to a room is by implementing a well-designed lighting plan. By providing multiple sources, both an inviting wash of ambient light and a variety of task and accent lights, you establish the living room a place where all will feel at home. Individual lamps create an intimate feeling. Commonly used as sources for task-specific lighting, floor, table, and wall lamps and their shades can transform the mood of the room. Think of lamp shades as fashion accessories. translucent shades, such as those made of natural parchment, silk, handmade paper, or linen, softly diffuse light; opaque and semi-opaque shades alter the direction of light and focus the beam up or down. Candles are infinitely useful for adding drama, warmth, and sparkle to a space. Aromatic candles infuse a space with long-lasting scent.
* Dining area: a chandelier or pendant can be a general lighting element, as well as a focal point of your home. A chandelier should be 6" to 12" smaller than the narrowest side of the table and the bottom of a pendant or chandelier should be approximately 30" above a table. Recessed wall washers can provide additional light while helping to create an illusion of a larger room space.
* Kitchen area: decorative fluorescent fixture mounted in the center of a work space is a common choice but as energy efficient as they are, fluorescent bulbs cast a cold white light that makes people look ghostly. Cooking and food preparation require good lighting, you'll make the kitchen a much more attractive place to be by replacing fluorescent lights with incandescent or halogen lighting. Down lights mounted 18'' off the edge of the cabinets, and spaced 3'' or 4'' on centers is an excellent way to create additional general lighting.
* Bathroom area and vanity lighting: a good lighting plan begins at the vanity, and proceed from there. Use both side and top lighting, surround the mirror with clear, soft light to avoid shadows and glare on your face. For a nice, ambient radiance, think about indirect lighting, which usually recesses the light source in an over-head cove. Areas over 100 square feet require several recessed down lights or decorative surface mounted fixtures. It's important to understand what qualities of light will work best, both with your skin tone and the materials in the bath. The goal is to provide the room with a background of flattering, even light. To change the mood of installed lighting or to add flourish, use accent lighting, floor lamps, table lamps or chandeliers can all function as accent lights. Bring in pillars, votives, and scented candles to create a true sense of private refuge.
* Outdoor lighting: Select a design and size to complement your house while providing sufficient lighting for safety. When installing a wall lantern, size the fixture to the door and surrounding space. Wall lanterns should be mounted slightly above eye level from the center of the fixture to the floor. Post top lanterns are an excellent way to light a walkway, while complimenting wall lanterns. Large post top lanterns make a better impression when used in large open spaces..

Decor Accessories

* Rugs
* Candles
* Interior Lighting
* Cowhide Rugs
* Art
* Flowers
* Decorative Mirrors
* Dog Beds
* Vases & Vessels
* Slipcovers
* Plants
* Centerpieces
* Runners & Throws

Interior Decorating

* Window Treatment
* Flooring
* Floor Coverings
* Faux Finishing
* Trompe L oeil
* Fabrics
* Upholstery

Furniture

* Furnishing
* Bunk beds
* Beds
* Canopy Beds
* Cabinets & Side Tables
* Shelves
* Mosaic Furniture

Room Design

* Workspace / Office
* Bathroom
* Kids Room
* Kitchen
* Dining Room
* Living Room
* Garden & Outdoor spaces
* Bedroom
* Entrances / Halls

Decorating Tips

* Find a general contractor
* Healing Fragrances
* Color Your Home
* Principales of Design
* Impact of Colors
* Enlarge a small space
* Storage
* Staging for sale
* Feng Shui
* Displaying Objects
* Christmas decoration

Reference

* Interior Design Schools
* Historical Style Index
* Interior Design Magazines
* Cool Sites

Feng Shui

* Feng Shui Living Room
* Bright objects and energy
* Feng Shui and Numerology
* Feng Shui Guidelines

How To Prepare Your House For Sale

Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Here's How:

1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
* Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
* Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
* Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
* Say goodbye to every room.
* Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.

2. De-Personalize.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."

3. De-Clutter!
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
* If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
* Remove all books from bookcases.
* Pack up those knickknacks.
* Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
* Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
* Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
* Alphabetize spice jars.
* Neatly stack dishes.
* Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
* Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
* Line up shoes.

5. Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"

6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

7. Make Minor Repairs.
* Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
* Patch holes in walls.
* Fix leaky faucets.
* Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
* Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
(Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
* Replace burned-out light bulbs.
* If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

8. Make the House Sparkle!
* Wash windows inside and out.
* Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
* Clean out cobwebs.
* Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
* Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
* Clean out the refrigerator.
* Vacuum daily.
* Wax floors.
* Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
* Bleach dingy grout.
* Replace worn rugs.
* Hang up fresh towels.
* Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
* Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

9. Scrutinize.
* Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
* Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
* Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
* Make sure window coverings hang level.
* Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
* Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.

10. Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
* Keep the sidewalks cleared.
* Mow the lawn.
* Paint faded window trim.
* Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
* Trim your bushes.
* Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

How to Buy a House -- A guide for first-time home buyers

HouseBuyingTips.com is a useful FREE consumer advocate site giving you tips on buying new or used homes. You'll find tips on financing, real estate agents, negotiating, builders, scams & more.

We reveal the scams that other sites gloss over or ignore altogether because they don't want to alienate their advertisers. We don't care who we upset in our quest to bring you the truth, because we only care about you. You'll see this repeated all over this site:

HouseBuyingTips.com Law of Home Buying
The only person looking out for you is you!

When buying a home you'll meet lots brokers, agents, representatives, customer service account executives, VP of this, VP of that, the list goes on. But keep in mind that every one of these titles should be renamed "salesperson". Every one of these people makes their living selling you something, so tread carefully. Anything you say will be used against you.

We are not trying to scare you, we just want to educate you and prevent you from falling victim to the scams that cost people thousands of dollars every day. After reading this site, you'll be ready to buy a house with a calm and confident attitude, not paranoid and confrontational. We'll teach you how to negotiate with the best of them. If you were successful after using our other site CarBuyingTips.com, you'll do well here too.

Buying a house is 90% logistics and 10% negotiations. Whether you are buying a new house or a used house, you must keep in mind that everything is negotiable in life, and you should be negotiating at every single step of the way, because you'll find on closing day just how many people have their hands in your pocket. Don't ever feel guilty or foolish for asking for a discount from anyone of these people, they have no problem asking for money from you. Most important of all, do not buy a house without having an inspection performed.

Web sites To Help You Find A Real Estate Agent
Try HomeGain. Their free site with over 1.7 million consumers and 42,000 real estate agents registered, matches informed, confident homeowners and buyers like you and I with the most productive, highly qualified real estate agents in your area. You remain anonymous as agents submit detailed marketing proposals online. You can compare real estate agent qualifications and marketing plans before choosing the agent you want to work with. Other features give you the facts on prospective agents' backgrounds, experience, local sales, commission rates and more. You can use these reports to find agents who will list your house at a lower rate. Be sure to use their "What's My Home Worth?" feature. Whether you are buying or selling your home, everyone should at least start on HomeGain.

Tip For Buyers Of New Construction Homes
We have found a great resource to help avoid getting scammed by a new home builder. It is a downloadable book written by industry insiders called Home Building Pitfalls. It's not free but it contains an incredible amount of detail about what goes on in the home building industry and how to avoid getting screwed. Click here to learn more about the Home Building Pitfalls downloadable book.

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