Monday, January 26, 2015

7 Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

7 Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Posted January 20, 2015 in Top Designers At Work and Design Tips by House Beautiful

1. Relying on Only One Light Source. The key to good lighting is layering it at different heights. "Don't rely on only one kind of light source. Mix a variety of overhead and floor or table lamps," Alan Tanksley says. "Warm 'pools' of light draw people in and create intimacy."
2. Using Overhead Lighting That's Too Bright. "There's nothing worse than bright lights that make you feel like you're onstage," says Barclay Butera says. He recommends using dimmers and soft white bulbs in every room, including bathrooms. "Lighting shouldn't wash down on you: It's harsh and unflattering."
3. Not Thinking About Wattage. "Mood is everything, and who wants to dine in bright light? 60 watts for the dining room," Barbara Barry says. "I want it bright when reading, so 75 to 100 watts for the living room. It's nice to have options — if you don't have dimmers, then have some variety from 40 to 100 watts, so you can change the mood for the occasion. The bathroom needs overhead as well as side lighting. Keep the overhead to 75 watts, with 60 watts on each side. The best lighting is at eye level, not overhead, which creates shadows. And the best light is diffused light from a white or off-white lampshade."
4. Going Overboard With Recessed Lighting. "Use recessed lighting sparingly. Too many fixtures turn your ceiling into Swiss cheese!" Anthony Baratta says. And be mindful of where you place that kind of lighting. "Limit overhead can lighting to functional areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms — the light is too harsh and flat for your living areas," Timothy Corrigan says.
5. Forgetting About Dimmers. "Lighting is everything. It creates atmosphere, drama, and intrigue in a room. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a dimmer switch. I always use dimmers, even in the powder room!" Martyn Lawrence Bullard says.
6. Light Switches Placed in the Wrong Place. "We locate light switches about 36" above the floor. That way they stay out of the way of the art on our walls. We put switches about 1½" to 2" off the side of the door casing for the same reason," Gil Shafer says.
7. Neglecting Your Closet. Your closet needs attention, too. "Some good, solid recessed lighting is clearly going to help to distinguish this pair of black trousers, from that pair of black trousers!" Scot Meacham Wood says. "We will also regularly add a gallery fixture across the header of built-in closets as a secondary light source. You're regularly working with matching colors and textures while getting dressed each morning, so having good lighting is a requirement."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Set Design on Televsion and at the Movies.....

I love checking out websites where you can see the photos of the set design of television shows and movies.  I love watching The Good Wife and thought I would post some photos of her apartment which is lovely and traditional.  Further down in this post is the exact opposite - Samantha's modern, Malibu Beach House (Sex and the City); then the amazing beach house from the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy"
Good Wife

Samantha's Malibu Beach House in Sex and the City 

 Julia Roberts Beach House in Sleeping with the Enemy 

More Movie Sets

One of the Sets in the movie Eat, Pray and Love - The coachhouse


Niagara Icewine Festival

Ontario Icewine is one of Canada’s most cherished products. Celebrate for three weekends in January as the Niagara Region is transformed into a wintry wonderland.

Celebrating 20 years this year, the Niagara Icewine Festival offers plenty for every taste, from elegant gala evenings to irresistible wine and food pairings and outdoor activities from exploring Ice Street Villages to marshmallow roasting along the famed wine route.

If you haven't attended the Niagara Ice Wine Festival and you love wine then you must  plan on going next January.  There are still many events happening next weekend as well.  I was there this past weekend and what a fun time.  All of the wineries host special events and one in particular that we attended was at Pellar Estates where there were tours, and several different events taking place.  We went for the ice wine tasting and wine infused marshmallow roasting.  Need I say more -  yum!   

Over the weekend the town closed a portion of the main street and all of the different wineries were set up in their own booths as well as the different restaurants who had many delicious food offerings.  Great idea so no driving involved.  There were ice sculptures including 'cruiser' type ice tables and and fire pits set up with chairs around them for a little relaxing if you were so inclined.

At the Ice Wine Cocktail Colntest

 Roasting my marshmallow

After a fantastic dinner at the Grill on King,  we headed out from our room on the main street to enjoy the evening of Sparkle & Ice which is a celebration with Niagara-on-the- Lake Icewinemakers and their VQA wines paired with Icewine inspired tastings and contest. While tasting the offerings, we had a live band to keep the spirits happy.   Such fun!n evening of Spa

Friday, January 9, 2015

Design Mistakes by Guest Blogger Jane Blanchard

Avoid These 4 Common Home Decor Mistakes
By Jane Blanchard

All those ideas for interior decorating look wonderful in the pages of your favorite magazines. All that inspiration provides a great starting point, but think before you leap over the creative fence. The best plans can be undone by common mistakes, so relax, and consider the bigger picture when you reimagine a room.

Bad Lighting Blues

Overhead lighting fixtures don't have a very good reputation. They cast more shadows than illumination, and a few lonely table lamps only contribute isolated pools of light. It's fine to fall in love with a chandelier, but don't depend on it to radiate a warm glow through the room all by itself. Give floor lamps and walls sconces a chance to play strong supporting roles that complement overheads and table models. These versatile fixtures also function as unique decorating accents. Don't overlook the levels of atmosphere created by recessed lighting and dimmer switches.

Surprisingly Dull Arrangements

Sofas and chairs are meant to work and play together, but they can't socialize well when they're shoved against the walls. While this arrangement seems practical, it isn't interesting, and it doesn't bring friends and family together. Liberated furniture helps shape conversation and direct traffic with layouts that group pieces into friendly areas. Don't let tradition dictate your choices. A daybed in the living room might set up a perfect transition between two small seating spaces. If you have more family than sofa, retire the lounge chairs, and add another couch.

Less Than Smooth Transitions

No room in your home is an island, so the transition from one space to another shouldn't feel like entering another decorating zone. A traditional dining room loses some of its charming grace when a glance through the door reveals a lively family space bouncing with bold colors. Contrasting styles don't have to fight each other. With a little compromise, differences between formal and contemporary can complement the flow from room to room. Continuity adds to your comfort level, and you can still go wild in private areas like the bedroom and bath.

Too Much of Anything

Favorite decorating accents lose any chance of doing their best when they're overdone. Shelves meant to show off family photos turn into visual clutter when they're overloaded. Plump pillows make the sofa inviting, but they don't belong on every piece of furniture in the room. Framed prints create beautiful focal points until all four walls close in with too much artwork. Moderation doesn't mean playing it safe to the point of boredom. If you love those accents, set them free to complement the decor, but don't let them turn into a herd that overruns your best decorating intentions.

Enjoy the inspiration in those magazines, take a little time, and avoid the easy mistakes that only become obvious when it's too late. Of all the rules meant to guide your decorating talents, the ones that count come from your sense of creativity, so decorate with confidence in your own good taste. For more interior decorating and home ideas check out Modernize.