Design Tips for Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting has a big impact on your home’s appeal after dark. It creates a soft, welcoming atmosphere for guest and provides additional safety for your home. Outdoor lighting is affordable, easy to install, and available in a variety of beautiful styles and finishes to complement the style and character of your home.

When choosing outdoor fixtures, it’s important to think about landscape structures and features like patios, arbors and pergolas, walkways and pathways, swimming pools and spas, outdoor ponds and fountains, as well as trees, shrubs and garden areas in the yard. Before you purchase your fixtures, think about the amount of light you need, as well as proper height and light spread.

Pathway and Step Lighting

Pathway and step lighting are important features in your landscape. They provide a safe foot path for you and guests after dark. Pathway fixtures along the driveway, front walkway, and back pathway to the pool or spa will prevent accidents and injuries. Here are some helpful tips for installation:

* When lighting a pathway, stagger the lights along each side of the walkway, rather than placing them all on one side.

* Space lights about three feet apart to avoid a “runway effect” that’s boring and uninviting.

* Lights that are too bright will detract from the beauty of hardscaped materials, as well as trees, shrubs and garden areas.

* Don’t use lights that shine upward along walkways and pathways. They will create glare for and minimize safety for anyone using the walkway.

*Step lights placed on stair risers should be bright enough to throw proper light on the steps for safety.

Deck and Patio Lighting

Lighting for your deck or patio should provide good, overall illumination for outdoor activities after dark. You should also consider areas where you need specific task lighting, such as near a grill or outdoor kitchen, dining areas, and seating areas.

* Handrails – If your deck or patio has handrails, place fixtures under the handrails to prevent glare and cast a soft, downward glow between the balusters.

* Post Caps – If you want to install lights under post caps, keep them out of eye level when you’re sitting down to prevent blinding glare and obstructed views of the landscape.

When installing outdoor lighting that is not solar, you may need to hire an electrician for wiring and outdoor outlets. For best results, find a contractor who is qualified in electrical work.

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Things to consider when remodeling your kitchen

Image courtesy of toonsteb at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of toonsteb at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Remodeling your kitchen can be one of the best investments you can make in your home. It can turn an ordinary space into a custom designed, functional work area, and when the time comes to sell, the updated kitchen will help you sell quicker and for more money. There are just a few key factors to consider before you begin this worthwhile project.

The Colors

The color scheme you choose should make you feel comfortable and blend well with the rest of the house. Begin by taking a good look at the colors throughout your home. If you tend to use neutral colors, stick with these hues in the kitchen too. The same applies for bright, bold colors. Make sure the appliances blend in nicely. White refrigerators, stoves, and sinks work well in country settings while stainless steel ads an elegant, upscale feel to contemporary kitchens.

The Work

If your remodel is simple, you may be able to make this a do-it-yourself project. Painting, adding new furniture, or switching out the appliances is all easy tasks that you probably won’t have any trouble doing on your own. If you are replacing the cabinets, adding windows, or putting in new floors, you may want to hire someone to do the work. Contractors for home remodeling can accomplish these jobs much more easily than you can. Ask your friends for recommendations or search on sites such as renovationexperts.com for qualified professionals in your area.

The Seating

The kitchen is the heart of the home where friends and family gather together. If space allows, you will want to add seating so that everyone is comfortable. Think about how this room is used. Not only do families eat their breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this area, but you may need a space for the kids to do homework. A small scale table and chairs can create the perfect eat in kitchen, while islands can be designed to include bar stools along one side so that you can easily visit with others while cooking.

If you keep these three factors in mind as you design your new kitchen, you will end up with a comfortable and functional space that you will enjoy for years to come. It is an investment you will immediately see a return on as you gather together in this room with your loved ones.