Latest Trend: Industrial Lighting

The New York Institute of Art + Design recently published this mood board about industrial design on their blog:

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According to NYIAD, the industrial look features “unfinished woods, metals, and exposed structural work.”

What I love about industrial design is how lighting is so integral. Not only do the right fixtures (like the galactic chandelier shown above) add to the raw, material aesthetic, they also keep your bare-bones rooms from feeling too dismal.

Here are a few other “industrial” lights that will keep your home looking modern and mechanized, but never bleak. (more…)

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Tips From The White House For Lighting Your Home

With the debate tonight and Election Day a month away, I’m in a presidential state of mind. No matter who we choose to run the country for the next 4 years, he’s going to live in a stunning, immaculately lit home.

While much of the White House décor would overpower a regular-sized home, we can take away concepts from its lighting scheme to make our own dwellings more beautiful. Here are a few universal lighting principles carried out Washington-style:

Layer those lights! See: The China Room

While I was scrolling through photos on, I noted that every room had two, three, four different light sources. For instance, in the China Room created by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917, there’s not only a beautiful chandelier for overhead lighting, but there are also wall sconces and even display lights in the china cabinets. This adds visual interest, eliminates unflattering shadows, and creates striking focal points.

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Light layering is a flattering design strategy in any room in your house, but I chose The China Room so you could see how pretty it looks to have illuminated cabinets, hutches, shelves, and display cases. It might not be your first impulse to install a few linear or puck lights, but it’s really easy to do, and will make your cabinet’s contents and the entire room dazzle.

Know your color temperature. See: The State Dining Room

When we think of classic, traditional lighting, we often summon images of warm incandescent lights, as close to candle light as we can get. But, The State Dining Room shows us that cooler white light can be just as dignified. The daylight white light of the chandelier and sconces is unexpectedly cool, but it looks great! This color temperature is perfect to offset the clean white walls and crisp table cloths – a warmer light source may make things look too yellow.

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3 Unforgettable Lighting Projects from Young House Love

If you’ve never visited the DIY, home renovation blog Young House Love, you’re in for a treat. John and Sherry, bloggers extraordinaire, are renovating their home step-by-step, giving their readers a detailed look into the process. Every day they have some new clever project to write about. (And the way they tell stories gets addictive, quick).

The blog has a ton of posts on home lighting, some technical, some crazy and fun. Today, I thought I’d share with you my 3 favorite DIY lighting projects from Young House Love:

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1. The Basket Pendant

Who would have thought a thrift store basket could become such a striking focal point? Using an old consignment pendant light (for the lighting kit) and some makeshift hardware, this light was up and ready with only minimal assembly required.

I love this project for 3 reasons: First, the way the light plays with the basket casts the neatest shadows on the ceiling. Second, this project is so simple, you can use almost anything you want (within reason) to make a really personal, meaningful centerpiece for your room. Finally, the basket Sherry and John used is actually a fishing basket, used in many African and Asian countries. What a cool fact!

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2. The Chandelier-Turned-Office-Light

For this lighting project, John and Sherry modernized an outdated chandelier in their office that just didn’t match their aesthetic at all. All they did was doctor up the old bronze chandelier with a little indigo spray paint, and attach it to a giant drum shade for a much sleeker edge.

What I think is totally remarkable here is how Sherry and John used a fixture that they already had – just made some unexpected changes to help it fit their style. (more…)

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Powerful Lighting Changes for Your Everyday Life (Brought To You by Philips & LEDs)

Have you seen Philips’ series of lighting makeovers? They’re all on YouTube, showing how LED lights can positively change the lives of people around the world. Seriously, LEDs can solve so many common lighting problems, it’s almost unbelievable! I’ve picked out my three favorites to share with you, featuring three unique problems and their ingenious LED solutions, but you can view all 20+ here.

This first LED makeover takes place in Amsterdam. A couple has been trying to sell their flat for over a year, and they haven’t gotten anyone to bite…

With inadequate lighting, real estate agents complain about low ceilings and a gloomy atmosphere. After the lighting makeover, the agents focus on the unique architectural features, the bright kitchen, and the cozy mood. And when post-lightover they price the flat at 40,000 euros more, it really makes you marvel at the power of LEDs! (more…)

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4 Simple Ways To Improve The Exterior Of Your Home

Nice exterior home

Today’s guest post focuses on the outside of your home. Jennifer, a staff writer for Fortified Roofing, reviews four ways to really give the exterior of your house that “Wow!” factor. I am going to go ahead and add a fifth way to this list – outdoor lighting. No big surprise there, huh? Now back to our regularly scheduled guest post.

Having a beautiful home with a lot of curb appeal requires work! That said, approaching an exterior makeover with the right priorities will save you time, money, and a ton of stress. Let’s take a look at the best ways to improve the outside of your home:

1. Landscaping

This is the first thing someone sees when they look at your home – your only chance to make a first impression. You should mow the lawn at least once every week, and make sure not to neglect edging (creating clean lines around flowerbeds, trees, sidewalks, and fences). For the hedges we usually recommend trimming after you mow, but if they hang over the lawn, you might want to reverse the order to save yourself work. This way you can mow over the clippings. Pine needles, mulch, or rocks are all great, visually pleasing options for flower beds, but don’t forget to pull the weeds! (more…)

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Using Dynamic Lighting Arrangements to Liven up Your Yard

A House Lit up at Night

Today we have a guest post from Jillian Watkinson of Community Home Supply, a family-owned Chicago kitchen and bathroom showroom. Jillian’s post gives us some tips for improving the look of your home’s yard with strategically placed outdoor lighting.

Regardless of what your backyard looks like, how big it is or what landscape style it’s been built to, the addition of decorative dynamic lighting arrangements in strategic places is guaranteed to improve your yard’s look immensely. Placing lights around your property in certain patterns is not difficult or expensive and can turn even an ordinary yard into a nighttime wonder.

Take a look at the following tips and maybe use some of them to liven up your garden space with dynamic light arrangements.

What are Your Existing Yard Features?

As a first step towards setting out your lighting arrangements, take a good look at your front yard, back yard and any walkways you have to decide where lights could be placed for maximum effect. For example, if you have a walkway in your front yard and a large stone or wood patio in your back, you might want to think about surrounding their edges with small decorative lights in order to accent their presence and shape.

The idea here is to notice the features against which lighting would look best and make them stand out while muting other parts of your yard that would be better off more hidden in the dark. (more…)

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