Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply break it into smaller steps. Today, things are looking up. Literally. Get out your stepladder and tackle these four high spots to get your home ready for the season.
1. The top shelf. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Go through your home with an eye toward the ceiling, looking for high surfaces that never get any attention. Dust or vacuum them.
2. Ceiling fans. Ever look at the top of your ceiling fan blades? These things collect dust – lots of it. Wipe them down with a damp rag, and make sure your fan is in the spring/summer flow direction.
3. Crown molding. Just like your baseboards, crown molding can collect dust. Wipe it down with a damp sponge to rejuvenate the finish.
4. Your refrigerator. The top of your refrigerator collects grease that splatters when you cook, and that grease traps dust and dirt. Get a bucket of warm water and a mild detergent to break down the grime.
Bedtime stories shouldn’t stop just because you grow up. Reading before you go to sleep is a great way to unwind from the day by escaping into a good novel or inspirational piece of non-fiction. In addition to a good book, having the right lamp is instrumental. You need it to provide the right amount of light at the right level so you don’t strain your eyes.
Here are five things to keep in mind when choosing lamps for your bedroom:
1. Think about height. Choose a lamp that puts the base of its shade at about your chin level while sitting in bed, so it properly illuminates the pages of your book. If the light is too high it will create glare and that can be difficult on your eyes.
2. Consider table lamps and wall-mounted lights. From a decorative standpoint, table lamps offer the widest range of options, and they’re a great choice if your nightstand has ample room. Look for wall-mounted lights if you’re short on space or want a streamlined look.
3. Or pick a pendant light. Pendant lights can add a sense of drama to your room. Hang them on either side of your bed at the height that is chin level for you when you’re sitting in bed. Look for styles that gently diffuse light rather than simply provide a spotlight directly below.
4. Pick the right shade. Look for opaque shades because they cut glare. You want to have just enough light to read but not so much that you disturb your partner or cause eyestrain.
5. Look for the switch. Choose lighting that is easily turned on and off when you’re in bed. You don’t want to have to strain to find the switch when you’re ready to go to sleep. And having a lamp that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system means you’ll need to get in and out of bed to turn it on and off.
If you’ve visited the light bulb aisle at your home improvement store, you might have walked away feeling a little dim. Don’t worry; it’s easy to be overwhelmed! In addition to knowing which type of bulb is right for you, you need to decipher terms that haven’t used since high school physics. The best way to judge a bulb is to look at its lumens. This indicates its brightness, and the higher the number the brighter the bulb.
Here’s a good rule of thumb from HouseLogic.com:
- Kitchens: 5,000-10,000 total lumens
- Bathrooms: 4,000-8,000 total lumens
- Bedrooms: 2,000-4,000 total lumens
- Living rooms: 1,500-3,000 lumens
- Dining rooms: 3,000-6,000 lumens
- Home offices: 3,000-6,000 lumens
Like the perfect necklace, pendant lights dress up a room and inject style and character. Not getting by on their good looks alone, pendant lights also provide task or mood lighting to a room. You can easily find a style that fits your home décor.
Here are five places to hang a pendant light:
1. The Dining Room. Pendant lights can be grouped together and used in place of a chandelier. Odd numbers – such as one, three or five – work best when you’re looking for balance. The number you choose will depend on the size of your table. A round table, for example, will look fine with a single pendant, while a larger rectangular table might need three or five. Hang the pendants 30 to 36 inches above the table.
2. The Kitchen. Pedants look great when hung over a bar or island. Not only do they provide good task lighting, they enhance the décor. Hang your pendants about 30 inches above the counter surface. Just like in the dining room, you’ll want to choose an odd number for balance.
3. The Home Office. Instead of a desk lamp, consider hanging a pendant lamp to be used for task lighting. You’ll want to hang it about 16 inches from the work surface so you get the most amount of light.
4. The Foyer. The foyer sets the tone for your entire house when you welcome visitors. Give it some personality by choosing a pendant light. If you have high ceilings, pendants add drama. You’ll want to be conscious of the height because you don’t want guests to hit their head. Be sure to hang it seven feet or more from the floor.
5. The Bathroom. Pendants provide good task lighting in a bathroom, and they also add some style. Pendants are a good choice because they cast a flattering light by eliminating shadows beneath your chin and cheeks. Hang it about 18 inches above the center of your sink.
Do you have pendant lights in your home? Tell us where!
When you design a room, you should think in layers. From the furnishings to the scent to the textures, each element adds something special to the overall décor. One area that is often overlooked is lighting, and choosing the right bulbs can cast a new look and mood in your room.
Here are the four most common choices and some tips on each one:
Incandescent. Emitting a warm, glowing light, these are the light bulbs most of us grew up with. However, they’re being phased out because they aren’t energy-efficient.
Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs use 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb, and they last longer. They come in a wide range of brightness levels, which makes it easy to find the right one to fit your needs.
LEDs. These bulbs are as efficient as CFLs, but they can last up to three times longer. They provide a harsh, direct light, however, and are best used as task lighting.
Halogen. These bulbs give off the light that is most similar to natural daylight, and use 10-20% less energy than an incandescent bulb. However, they aren’t as energy efficient as CFLs or LEDs.