Tips For Lighting Every Room In Your House

Lighting is a key element that helps make a home. With proper lighting, you are able to perform tasks easily. Proper lighting also makes you feel comfortable, safe and also allows you to enjoy your home to the fullest. Each room in the house has unique lighting needs. Below are the suitable lights for each room to help you with planning.

Living Area

There are several types of lighting fixtures including recessed lighting that work for accent and general lighting needs. They help to enhance the living room’s ambience, accent artwork, dramatize wall textures and also illuminate your living room or playroom.

If you must use a chandelier in a given space, make sure the one you chose doesn’t date your space. Chandeliers are normally brought without considering space and the décor surrounding it. Chandeliers are available in many simple designs including small bulbs, faux candles or a few lights to complex and very expensive crystal varieties.

Regardless of your choice of décor, consider the ceiling height, measure the space and take into consideration how many lights on a circuit are required before installing lighting fixture.

Dining Room

Since the lighting fixture is the focal point of your dining area, it should express your personal style; while at the same time satisfy the general lighting needs. Whether your entertaining and dining style is casual and laidback, or is more formal, go for a fixture that truly reflects you.

Your dining area is the easiest room to light since the focal point of the room is always the dining table. Although chandeliers are normally the most popular, however pendant lights are also very good. You may as well add accent lights or a task lamp if you want to put spotlight on a given accent feature in the room.

Kitchen

Using under cabinet lighting will help prevent shadows on the kitchen counters, while at the same time adding critical light to your workspace. Fluorescent under cabinet lighting sources are also much cheaper compared to other lighting sources. Recessed down lights are the best for open areas over sinks. They can be mounted directly over the sink.

Mount mini-pendants 18 to 24 inches above your work surface to ideally light up your counter dinettes or breakfast bar. A pendant on dimmer, hanging just 24 to 30 inches above the table is the best for task lighting. You may size the fixture to about 12 inches less than the table’s diameter.

LED light bulbs are available in several color temperatures. Higher color temperatures of about 5000k to 6500k are recommended for a kitchen with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), as high as reasonable to buy. CRI is a measure of how true the colors show up under light of any given bulb. For instance, rays from the sun have CRI of 100. So any other source above 80 represents colors closer to the way they appear in natural light from the sun.

The oven is also a very important place that requires sufficient light. A poor quality bulb in your oven is likely to make food appear under or overcooked. This can in turn throw a nasty wrench in an otherwise perfect meal. Incandescent bulbs are the best for ovens. In summary, your kitchen needs light bulbs that are high in CRI with fairly high color temperatures. The ovens on the other hand need specialty incandescent light bulbs with higher CRI.

Bathroom

The bathroom requires the right tone of light. The compact fluorescent light bulbs with the color temperatures of about 2700k best match the incandescent light, which has for a long time been used to scrutinize ourselves. Since our skin appear better under warm light, experts believe that warm light is optimal in your bathroom. If you are using recessed light over pedestal sink, it’s advisable not to mount them directly over the mirror in order to avoid creating shadows.

You can get rid of shadows by adding wall brackets to the side of your mirror. If your mirror is below 48 inches wide use, vertically mount wall brackets and position it under 75 to 80 inches above the floor.

If the fixture in your bathroom uses exposed lamps, avoid using wattage higher than 40 watts. Fixtures that are clear or with properly diffused glass normally use no more than seventy-five watts. The color corrected fluorescent lamps are supposed to be used when homeowners desire fluorescent fixtures. Crisp while light render skin tone most accurately.

Bedroom

The most appropriate choice for bedroom lighting is warm light because it is more relaxing and restful. Task lighting is usually used on bedside tables but you may also have sconces there too. In addition, you may consider installing accent lights to highlight a work of art or a photo. Dimmer switches are important and should not be forgotten because they allow you to make perfect ambiance in the room.

If your bedroom has sufficient space for nightstand, you may set up two bedside lamps. You can set them up in a style, but make sure that you do not angle the light to shine directly on the pillow, as a soft glow is much more soothing than a spotlight.

If your room is not spacious enough to accommodate nightstand, you can mount two sconces on each side of your bed, so as to have good light suitable for bedtime reading.

Exterior Lighting

Alley Illuminated Lantern Nighttime Old Town Stairs

Use decorative features on walls, along pathways, on posts and entrance foyers. Design of these features is supposed to complement the feel and look of your home and landscape while giving sufficient light for security, safety and functionality.

As you install a wall lantern, be sure to size the fixture not only to the door but also the surrounding spaces. Mount wall lanterns slightly above the eye level roughly at about 60 to 66 inches from the center to the floor. You may select post-top lanterns to match the style of wall lanterns. Post top lanterns which are larger make the best impression if used in a large open space.

Conclusion

Do not be afraid when choosing suitable lights for each room. Sufficient lighting can boost your mood and ambiance in the space. Lighting, just like the color of your room, can help enhance your space and also make it feel warmer and inviting. You can also get more lighting help ideas and suitable lights for each room from lighting stores, online decors, catalogues, fashion blogs and magazines.

Tips to Prepare your Deck for Outdoor Entertaining

Getting your deck structurally sound and safe is just the first step to having a great outdoor space for use in the summer. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure that your deck is not only safe and functional, but that it also becomes the envy of all your friends, and the center of your neighborhood’s summer cookout season. These simple ideas will ensure that, rain or shine, your deck, patio, or porch is ready for anything you, or Mother Nature, throw at it.

1. Enclose your deck with mosquito netting. Netting is ideal for climates that are warm and humid – especially during the hot summer months – because they help keep out insects and pests.

2. Install a fire-pit. Fire pits act as a center focal point for your deck, and they also allow for year-round use during the early spring and fall months when the weather starts to get chilly.

3. Build tiki-torch brackets. Soft outdoor lighting is great for setting the mood and atmosphere of your outdoor space. Brackets allow for a safer way to utilize this fun and alternative form of lighting.

Here’s one option for tiki torch mounting

4. Consider covering, or partially covering, your deck, patio or porch. This will help prevent furniture and outdoor appliances from getting ruined by weather or sunlight.

5. Outfit your deck with comfortable seating and gathering areas. Decks are a place to socialize and congregate – outdoor couches and lounge chairs are a stylish and comfortable way to relax outdoors.

outdoor patio set
There are many options for outdoor seating

6. Build in plenty of storage/counter space. When cooking and grilling outside, storage becomes key for keeping your food and utensils within arm’s reach. Build counter-tops, cabinets and even install a small refrigerator for convenience.

7. Build levels into your deck. A great way to divide your deck space into separate sections for cooking and lounging is to create levels connected by small stairs. This creates not only an eye-catching layout, but adds the illusion of additional space.

8. Turn your deck into an outdoor cinema. A popular choice nowadays for many homeowners is installing a large television into a covered area (in case of rain or bad weather) on the deck.

9. Make space for sound. Installing a surround sound system is a great deck addition for throwing parties and entertaining people..

outdoor speaker in rock (looks like a rock)
Here’s one outdoor speaker option that blends in

10. Upgrade to a stationary grill. A regular grill is a great addition to any deck, yard, or porch, but to really impress the neighbors and cook top-notch food for large gatherings, consider designing your deck with a built-in grill from the start. Not only are they better at cooking than portable grills, they are often larger and can accommodate more food.

Call Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to schedule all of your outdoor projects or enter your zip code above to find a location near you!

Need-to-Know Repairs to Prepare your Deck for Summer!

Large barbecue cooker on cedar deck

One of the best aspects of owning a home is the yard that comes with it.  What is better than sitting out on your deck, relaxing, and enjoying the scenery?  Absolutely nothing.  Having an inviting outdoor space this time of year can’t be beat.  Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun and read, host a BBQ, or perhaps throw a backyard wedding or graduation – here are some repairs to consider so you can enjoy all the summer days ahead…

Power Washing

Decks can often look weathered by the end of the winter season.  When grime builds up it can be hard to tell what areas of your deck need to be repaired.  Perhaps your boards are discolored – this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to sand or re-stain your deck.  Start this process with power washing.  A high pressure cleaning is unbeatable when revealing what is a smudge and what is a stain.

powering washing live

Checking For Wood Rot

Checking for rot is as easy as wielding a screwdriver.  With your screwdriver, drive it into the wood, and pop up a splinter.  If the splinter snaps and reacts with the quality of dry wood, you’re in the clear; if it bends and doesn’t really snap, you will need to replace that board.  Make sure to check in the surrounding areas to see if the rot has potentially spread.

Areas of the deck that are in direct contact with the ground underneath are more likely to experience rot because of ground moisture.  If your deck isn’t elevated, it may be worth looking into to avoid future, costly damage.

Panel Replacement

Is your deck surface even?  Walk around, notice if you have any uneven steps, or if you find yourself tripping over cracks.  Warped wood is a common problem for most decks, and can ruin outdoor get-togethers.

You don’t want your company tripping and falling and neither do we.  Luckily this problem has a quick fix, as deck panels screw in individually and can be easily swapped out.

Sanding and Sealing

When it comes to wood decks, maintaining a consistent stain can have a drastic effect on the value of your home.  If you’re noticing discoloration this will help bring it back to its natural color.

  • First, sand your deck to help break down the variance in tone.
  • Next, instead of painting the wood, try a sealant.

Sealing does exactly what it sounds like as it absorbs into the wood to seal in color as opposed to covering it up.  This process will also help to protect your deck from the elements during next year’s winter.

 

Enjoy the sun, and let Handyman Matters do the rest.  We specialize in a variety of exterior maintenance projects, from deck repair or additions, to landscaping, to gutter cleaning… Let us be your ally in achieving the perfect summer home.

Exterior Painting Mistakes To Avoid

If you are a veteran of painting projects in the past, you already have a pretty good idea of some of the pitfalls to avoid.  But here are a few of the less familiar things to keep in mind when undertaking that next paint job:

Pay close attention to the condition of the surface

Is loose paint cracking, or forming blisters?  Is the finish peeling only as deep as the previous film?  This could be an adhesion problem, or something that goes deeper.  In the places that appear dirty, is it actually mold?  A closer inspection will provide clues as to whether you might be dealing with leaks, condensation, or simply poor surface-preparation in the past.

Power washing prior to painting

When washing vertical surfaces, start from the bottom and work up.  This will help prevent streaks from drips.  Be sure you complete an entire plane/wall in one session, and then, before the surface dries, rinse from the top down.  Of course, once the plane/wall is dry and it’s time to paint, then start at the top and work down to brush out any drips.

Get the timing right

Factory-primed doors and siding must be painted within 30 to 180 days, depending on the product.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Stain or prime and paint bare wood immediately after installation.  Pressure-treated wood should be finished when drips of water don’t bead on the surface.

Don’t paint too early in the morning; a good guide is to wait until the grass is dry.  Don’t coat while direct sunlight is beaming on the surface.  This can cause wrinkles in the finish or premature fading of the color.  Paint west-facing walls in the morning and east-facing ones in the afternoon.

Allow time between coats for complete drying.  And don’t wait too long before the next refinishing, or you’ll have more surface prep work to do.

Pay attention to the temperature and elements

Believe the label’s instructions which prescribe limits on humidity and on the surface and air temperatures.  Liquids may crystallize on an uncured finish during frigid temperatures.  Be wary of painting if it’s particularly windy.  Not only can wind deposit debris on the wet surface, but it can also create blistering.

Be safe!

When working in high places, use reliable ladders, scaffolding or lifts.  Don’t trust the rickety ladder you’ve had around forever.  And just as contractors must now deal with stiff requirements while working on older homes, do-it-yourselfers should likewise exercise caution when it comes to removing old paint, which may be lead-based.