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Friday, January 27, 2012

Freshen Up Friday

The winter sky was cold and solemn and the day's events had pressed hard on me.  But now I was home and could hardly wait for the relief its comfort would bring.  Entering from the front door, the fireplace pops and crackles, its bounty giving off not only heat, but also a soft glow to the living room.  Little lamps are tucked into nooks and crannies of bookshelves and mantle, drawing me to come inside and read, and sit a spell.  The flickering of candlelight winks  as I  pass.  After dropping my coat on the footstool, I nestle down in the armchair and smile.  This is what I had longed for.  This is home.

Could you picture the room described above?  What is it that really makes a home inviting?  Is it the color of paint on the wall?  No.  Is it the beautiful pictures carefully hung? No.  Is it the furniture? No.  What makes a home draw us in is the lighting.  In the descriptive paragraph above, it's the small lights, the twinkles, the lamps that give the effect of a warm welcome.  If only an overhead light is on, a room would have the appeal of a doctor's examining room! If the lighting isn't right, none of those other factors would be as beautiful. 

To refresh your Friday, I thought I'd share some of the designers great tips about lighting that I learned just yesterday at Gracious Designs.  Are you ready?  These are so practical and do-able!

There are three types of light:

1.  General lighting - Overhead lights.  This should be the least used, except in the kitchen and bathroom.
2.  Task lighting - Reading lamps, sconces, floor lamps, under cabinet lights
3.  Ambiance lighting - Candles, lanterns, light sticks, tea lights, little lamps

You should have at least five sources of light in each room (with exception of the entryway and bathroom).  These need to be layered at different heights and levels. Create layers of light at different times of the day.  Rainy winter days can be gray and dark.  Lighten your home by layering lights from soft lights under a buffet table, to small lamps on a bookshelf or mantle, and increasing to table or floor lamps for tasks.  Place candles in an unused fireplace to darken up that space. 

The last thing the designer shared was Five Rules to Break:

  1. Lamps have to match - They don't!  Break up a matched set and put them in two different rooms and watch how it will change the whole room!  The styles and heights on either side of the bed, for instance, should be similar, but don't need to match.

2.  Chandeliers are only for the entryway or dining room.  No!  They are lovely in a master bedroom.  Placing one over a chair where you read would be beautiful!  By the way, our instructor said that the base of a chandelier over a table should be 34"-36" from the surface of the table.  Most people hang them too high.  Drop it down and let it create something really special!

I've shared this before, but I think this is so elegant! 

3.  One set of light sticks is all I need.  Some of these light sticks are battery operated and are so useful in high places where there are no outlets, so they are really useful!

4.  It doesn't matter what type of bulb I use.  The newer bulbs are hard to figure out, but can really give off bad color if you don't know what to look for.  Here was her suggestion:
  • 5,000 Gives a clean daylight look, blue light
  • 4,0000-3,500 Cool, general lighting
  • 3,000 or below are warmer lights
5.  Five is the limit on lights.  Wrong!  Add as many lights (of course layered) as needed to add warmth to your room. 




We need to help these gray winter days not be so gloomy by making sure we're adding the right kind of lighting to our homes.  We also need to be looking for those in darkness that need the Light of the Gospel!  Add some light to your home and be a light in the world!

Be refreshed,

2 comments:

THE ABBEYS said...

My choice is task lighting; although I do love candles. My favorite room in my house is my living room. The walls are sun dried brick (Terra cotta) colored, I have a double window facing my front yard, and I almost always use only lamps (and candles). It is so warm and comfortable and definitely gives me that cozy feeling of home. *Spoken as I sit in my favorite spot, doing my devotions and blogging, by lamplight, of course.* Thanks for the great tips. I'm pretty sure my dining room chandelier is 36" from my table but you can be sure I'll be getting out the yardstick later today. :)

Denise said...

It sounds beautiful, Rebecca! It's all those elements that draws you to that special spot in your home! Thanks for sharing!