Layered Lighting: Is Accent Lighting Really Necessary?
It's a question designers hear often: "What is accent lighting, and is it really necessary?" The answer is complex, but it's also a resounding "Yes." Here's why: Accent lighting can help you define the look of your home. Depending on your style, it can create a feeling of warmth and elegance, or create a modern, vibrant feeling. It helps you highlight the features of your home that might otherwise get lost in the everyday look of general ambient lighting.
What Is Accent Lighting?
Accent lighting can go by many different names. Some designers may refer to it as mood lighting, while others call it decorative lighting. It may even go by more discrete terms, such as indirect lighting. Whatever name it goes by for you, the end goal is still the same: highlight the features of your home.
Accent lighting can be done both inside and outside of the home. In an outdoor space, it could refer to lights that highlight architectural elements, such as beams or columns on a porch. Inside, however, the use of decorative lighting varies more greatly and becomes a bit more complex. With exterior accent lighting, the goal is relatively straightforward, but once inside, interior decorative lighting depends entirely on the room and the decor, rather than on various exterior features.
Understanding Different Types of Accent Lighting
One popular and relatively easy way to incorporate accent lighting into the home is through the use of spotlighting art. The choice to use a small focused picture lamp or use a larger wall washing light is entirely up to you. Whichever you choose, the goal is to highlight your wall decor, whether those items are a single large piece of art or an entire wall gallery. This type of accent lighting is ideal for many because you don't necessarily have to hardwire in a new light fixture. There is a wide range of battery-operated, remote-controlled light fixtures available to choose from today, making it easy to find the right look, style, and price point that works best for you.
Track lighting is another excellent option for accent lighting. While many think of track lighting as more of an ambient lighting fixture, it's important to note that the individual track heads make it an excellent choice for decorative highlighting as well. For accent lighting, you can use the track heads to highlight open shelves or bookcases, wall art, or even architectural features in your home. Since the track heads can be repositioned, this allows for even more versatility, especially in the event that you change your home decor.
Finally, consider the use of small decorative light fixtures. This could be as simple as a small plugin wax warmer on a bedside table, or a small decorative lamp on a bookshelf. It could be a set of fairy lights in a terrarium or small interior puck lights in a bookcase. The options are surprisingly endless when it comes to decorative lighting.
Decorative lighting is often overlooked when creating a space, but it's an important part. By adding different types of accent lighting into your home, your home will take on a whole new look and feel. You'll find yourself, and your guests, appreciating different features of your home that otherwise would get lost in the more general lighting of a space.
6 Unique Headboard Ideas
A headboard gives your mattress a finished look and can help make a bedroom remodel come together. Update your home decor with these six unique headboard ideas.
Upholstered headboards are one of the hottest trends in recent years, and they come in a range of styles and colors. You can even reupholster the headboard to shake things up and create a truly one-of-a-kind piece. Since these headboards are soft, because they contain batting inside, they make a very cozy choice for the bedroom. You will love curling up against a soft upholstered headboard.
Reclaimed Wood Headboard
Reclaimed wood is a unique, environmentally-friendly choice for the bedroom. It's also a trending style that makes creative reuse of old materials. Look for reclaimed wood headboards from local furniture makers or get crafty and create one yourself.
A mirrored headboard can be the ultimate glam accent for a bedroom. Since mirrors are breakable, this trend isn't exactly child-friendly. If you like the idea of a mirrored headboard but can't afford the trend, purchase mirrored tiles or small square mirrors and create your own headboard by attaching the mirrors to the wall.
Wrought Iron Headboard
Wrought iron bed frames are an old style that's back in vogue. There is something charming about antique metal bed frames, especially when paired with shabby chic bedding. Look at flea markets and salvage yards to find metal headboards and add a piece of history to your home.
Storage headboards combine style with substance in the form of storage shelves or drawers. This style is perfect for small bedrooms, for instance in dorms or in children's bedrooms. You'll find bed frames with storage at major furniture retailers.
One unique idea for renters is to paint a headboard on the wall using any color or style you like. When your lease is up, you won't have to move heavy furniture, just repaint the walls. Painting a headboard allows you to try out different shapes and styles, so you see what you like before spending money on high-quality bedroom furniture.
Get inspired by these ideas to find a headboard that works for your budget and your style.
Add Sophistication to Your Home with Creative Window Treatments
When updating the decor in your home, window treatments are an excellent way to add that last bit of sophistication to complete your design. Whether you choose drapery, shutters, shades, or blinds, you can elevate the look of each room with high-quality, gorgeous materials.
Instead of covering just the glass on your windows, hang your drapery closer to the ceiling and let it flow down to the floor to add a dramatic look to your living area or master bedroom. You can also place drapes over a window that already has blinds or shades to add depth to a room, such as in an office or an entertainment space.
If you have a bay window in an alcove with a built-in bench, you can elevate its look with a colorful window treatment. Create a fun reading nook by adding shutters painted in a bold hue to the window. This type of window treatment will give you the most flexibility on the amount of light you want to let inside that space. Adding such a design, in a neutral color, to any large bank of windows also creates an impressive look, especially if you choose a wide-slatted design.
With the various colors and patterns available, a window shade will give an elegant look to any room. It will look especially lovely over a picture window. With this type of window treatment, you'll also have the option of letting light in from the top, while the bottom part of the shade continues to provide privacy.
For a distinctive appearance, try wide-slatted, horizontal blinds. These tend to look more expensive than the ones with narrow slats and thus will give your home an upgraded appearance. Try them in your kitchen or dining room for a superb look. Blinds also look particularly fabulous with fixed windows such as over windows in a stairway, for example.
The right window treatments are just as essential as any other design element in your home. Choose beautiful, quality materials that will last for the best result. Creative window treatments, when chosen correctly, will add sophistication to each room of your home.
Include a Wine Bar in Your Basement
Often when renovating a basement, an odd nook in some corner remains available, and you don't know what to do with it. It's sometimes used to store junk or just goes unused altogether. Don't waste this precious square footage. Consider turning it into a wine-tasting station.
Paint the nook a fabulous color that differs from the rest of your walls. Then install a bar-height shelf against the most extensive section of wall. This shelf should consist of thick wood with a gorgeous finish.
It will serve as the top of your tasting station. Along the back of that wall, put up a narrow shelf or two halfway up to hold wine glasses. If your nook looks a bit dim, install wall sconces on both sides to help light the space. You can also add mirrored panels along the back wall between the shelving to reflect additional light. Place a couple of attractive bar stools in front of the bar's top where you and a guest can comfortably sit.
On either one side or both sides of the nook, construct a slim wine rack running from the floor to the ceiling. Make sure the design isn't so broad that it will get in the way of you moving the bar stools back and forth.
This design, though narrow, will give you plenty of space to store your wine bottles. Keep the rack open, or if you have minors in the home, install a glass case around each one that you can lock. With the glass, you can still admire your collection whenever you want, but it will remain secure. For convenience, if you have space, put in a small wine cooler on one side of your station, either on top of the shelf or below, so you can chill your wines to the perfect temperature before you indulge.
After you've fashioned your fabulous wine-tasting station, you can sit and enjoy a relaxing drink after a hectic day without having to leave your house. You've also utilized that nook space to create an unexpected luxury that you won't find in most homes. This custom feature is one that will thrill everyone who sees it and will increase the value of your property.
How To Design A Unique Bedroom
Interior design runs in cycles. Like everything else, it has trends and fashions that change and develop over time. For the last few years, there's been a strong tendency toward minimalism, and increasing numbers of people have been painting their bedrooms white and hanging ethereal muslin curtains across their windows. It's easy to feel like you don't know where to start when none of the current interior design magazines are catering to you, so here are a few quick-and-easy design tips to get you going.
Remember That Not Everything Has to Match
Mix Up Textures to Add Interest
Even if you stay within a pretty narrow colour palate, there's a lot you can do with different kinds of textures and fabric. Velvet curtains contrast beautifully with a satin bedspread and rag rugs, even if they're all the same shade of burgundy. This is also an excellent way to make things easy to change around with the season and your mood. You might be amazed what a refresh of your textiles can do when you feel like your bedroom is looking tired.
Look At Your Furniture for Inspiration
If you already have a piece of bedroom furniture you truly love, what can you do to make it fit in with the room in a new and interesting way? A cast-iron headboard, for example, could get you thinking about an industrialist look, something with lots of rivets and a slightly steampunk edge. A dressing table that wouldn't look amiss on the set of a period drama could be the starting point for a gorgeous 1930s boudoir. Think about your favourite pieces of furniture in new ways, and you might be surprised by where they take you.
There's no harm in breaking away from current trends. Your bedroom is probably the most intensely personal room in your house, and the more you feel like it's a reflection of yourself, the more you'll enjoy spending time relaxing in it.