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How To Light Your Home in 8 Steps

Need a little pick-me-up? Adjust your home lighting for a refreshing new attitude.

Home lighting is the foundation of good design.  It’s a powerful element that will influence the flow and ambiance of your home.  Success starts with a plan to help you function in every room.  For cost efficiency, it’s best to develop a lighting plan before construction.  But even if you’re already moved in, we have an 8-Step plan for improvement.

Step 1: Determine Function

A good start point is to decide on your basic needs for each room.  Kitchens need higher light levels for tasks that involve sharp knives and hot flames.  Bedrooms, on the other hand, are usually driven by the need for a relaxed environment to trigger your natural circadian rhythms.

Step 2: Evaluate Natural Light

Next it’s important to evaluate the quality of natural light for each space.  This will be influenced by the north, south, east or west orientation as well as window size. Remember that natural light will change throughout the day, so plan additional lighting based on the time of day each room is typically used. A northern exposure will need more assistance than a sunny southern room. This  is also a good time to plan wall and ceiling colors.  Keep in mind, lighter colors will reflect and bounce light around while deep colors absorb light.   When choosing deep colors be sure to supplement with extra light fixtures.

Step 3: Create A Mood

Envision a mood for each space.  Cozy. Relaxed. Lively. Energizing.  Work with your natural circadian rhythms, increasing light will encourage alertness during the day while lower levels are calming before bedtime.

Light for atmosphere.   Using fixtures with dimmers will add versatility to the plan.  Chandelier lighting can be adjusted after dinner to a soft glow which can then be accented by wall sconces for a nightcap.

Step 4: Plan in Layers

A layered approach offers the most versatility throughout the day.  The ultimate goal is to establish a balance within each room for the best functional comfort level.  Not every room should be the same, variety is what helps create intriguing moods as you move room to room.

Traditionally, designers speak of 3 types of lighting.

Ambient

Task

Accent

Combining these will create beautiful layers of adjustable light that can adapt to your mood.

Step 5. Select Ambient Lighting

To accomplish the perfect plan, start with a base layer of ambient lighting.  Think about the time of day the room is used and the amount of natural light, then place fixtures for even coverage to eliminates dark areas.   This base layer should be uniform with the ability to dim or turn off when accent or task lighting is desired.

Work with Natural Light

Natural Light through floor to ceiling windows

 Dramatic windows lend abundant natural light to this home office.  The central chandelier provides adjustable light levels throughout the day while the desk lamp delivers task light for the desktop.

Multiple Fixtures Balance Coverage

  Often kitchens and lower level spaces don’t have the benefit of natural lighting.  This is where recessed light fixtures are the ideal solution.  By evenly spacing them across the room, a baseline of good lighting is established and you can add task or accent fixtures as needed.

Think Style

Now it’s time to truly express your style.  When not in use fixtures work as artistic sculpture for the room.   Add dimmers to overhead lighting to help you control the brightness as needed.  Take the time to learn about the bulbs that are suitable for each fixture.  LED’s are popular, just watch the color temperature by selecting a warm-white light, (about 2,700-3,000 kelvin)  The LED bulbs noted as “daylight” are most appropriate for garage and workshop spaces.

Step 6. Place Task Lighting

The work surfaces within any room will need a high level of lighting for safety and efficiency.  These can be discreet under cabinet lights or spot lights that focus on the task at hand.  But they don’t have to look utilitarian. Kitchens, baths and laundry spaces can use task lights as another opportunity to express style.

 

Step 7. Add Accent Lighting

So many areas of the home can benefit from the subtle touch of an accent light.  Use this type of lighting to point out a special architectural moment or a cherished piece of artwork.

Accent lighting can also be a stylish means of guidance in otherwise dark areas like the hallway, staircase, or home theater.

Step 8: Stand Back and Review

The bottom line is, how do you want to feel in your home?  Once the main fixtures are in place, add decorative sconces, uplighting, or table top lighting for extra emphasis or utility.

Contact the experts at Lowell Custom Homes to help plan your next new home or remodeling project.

Connect here

or call 262-245-9030

Featured designers

North Shore Nest

Steph Musur Designs

Elizabeth Drake Interiors

Photography by

Shanna Wolf Photography

Victoria McHugh Photography

 

 

 

before and after kitchen remodel by lowell custom homes

The Most Popular Rooms to Renovate in 2018

Move over kitchen and bath, this year living quarters will dominate home remodeling requests according to the Houzz & Home Renovation Report. Houzz is one of the leading home and design resource sites in the country. Lowell Custom Homes is a regular contributor to many of the Houzz studies evaluating trends and the latest news in home building and remodeling.
This year’s research reveals the unexpected popularity of improvements to general living areas. The forecast for 2018 also predicts that homeowners will tackle multiple room renovations at one time.  Surprisingly, the master bedroom and laundry are leading the way with a growth in average spending of 23% and 24% respectively.

Kitchen Renovation
kitchen renovation by Lowell Custom Homes Before and After

While the desire for kitchen and bath renovations remains consistent, a shift in homeowner thinking places the new focus on living spaces that will have real lifestyle impact.

Renovation of Living Space

Living room remodel Before and After by Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva
Before and After Living room remodel by Lake Geneva Builder Lowell Custom Homes
The study reveals, and we can confirm based on our current projects, that the main motivation to remodel is improved design and function.   Customization is at the top of everyone’s list when making design decisions. It is about making the space personal and relatable for the needs of each homeowner.

Renovation of Master Bedroom Suite

Master Bedroom suite remodel by lake geneva builder lowell custom homes
Remodeling the master bedroom and the master suite is moving further in the direction of comfort and privacy. While the concept is not new, the increased demand for an at home getaway is noteworthy. More and more homeowners are craving privacy within their home. There is a high desire for what can be seen as an in-home mental health escape for writing, meditation or just some quality me-time.

Laundry Room Renovation

remodel laundry room by lake geneva builder lowell custom homes
Laundry room renovations are becoming more extensive and the space devoted to this utility is growing larger. It has evolved into a multi-purpose area that just happen to have the laundry located inside. Easy access is a key factor for updates to this workspace along with the ability to share storage and countertops for projects.

Exterior Renovation
Before and After exterior home remodel by lake geneva builder lowell custom homes

Exterior improvements closely follow interior renovations in popularity.  Curb appeal, or lake appeal in this case, is a priority.  Remodeling often includes indoor-outdoor living space with special amenities like an outdoor kitchen or even an outdoor shower.
Outdoor shower remodeled home exterior by lake geneva builder lowell custom homes
From first-time buyers to seasoned homeowners, remodeling has become the way to have a home that will provide for all of your needs, without having to move.
You can read more about how to decide if you should build or remodel here  and here .

We always love hearing from you and are happy to discuss your personal home projects! Building a new home or remodeling can be an exciting adventure and our team of experts will answer all of your questions and guide you every step of the way!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

Interior Design of Laundry Room by Elizabeth Drake Interiors

Photography Credits Josh Z Photography and Victoria McHugh Photography

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