How you design your kitchen backsplash can make or break the room. It’s a critical element of kitchen design.
1. The focal point in the kitchen is often the stove and hood and the backsplash centered between them. It doesn’t get much better than this gorgeous slab of Calacatta Oro marble.
2. This geometric glass , metal and stone abstract backsplash is definitely a scene stealer. If you can’t find this mosaic (unfortunately I don’t know whose it is) you can mix and match and create your own.
3. These bronze tiles (real metal coating on them ) are from Crossville Ceramics and make a very elegant understated backsplash that could work in rooms other than kitchens as well.
4. Large subway style tiles are available from Fireclay Tile and are offered in many beautiful and bright colors.
5. I designed this hand carved limestone medallion and hood surround for a client a few years ago and it’s stunning! The more yellow colored background is Jeresulem Gold limestone, which sets it off beautifully and compliments the granite countertop. Hand carved limestone is expensive but well worth it when done by a true artist and craftsman like Oleg Lobykin!
6. Sometimes the kitchen needs a strong pattern to pick it up and this is a good example. Using a light and dark color combination with a nice geometric shape is just right to finish the look and make it unique to your own home.
7. If you want an arabesque pattern, several companies make them including Fireclay Tile, who will custom color them for you as well. The added banding finishes off the top and sides of the field tile to unify the entire kitchen.
8. Framing and using a large medallion like this is a great way to bring attention to the large open space over the cooktop and break up these subway tiles. I’m not sure whose medallion this is but it could be Sonoma Stone.
Let’s make those backsplashs FABULOUS!
Did you know that as of January 1, 2014 the traditional 100, 75, 60 and 40 watt bulbs have been phased out? They can no longer be maufactured or imported into the United States. You will have to find replacements for these everyday bulbs and LEDS have come to the rescue. They are here to stay so you should become familiar with how to select the proper ones. Photo Via
You may have noticed that LED lighting, which stands for Light Emitting Diode, has been gaining a lot of ground and have shown significant improvement as well as cost reductions in the past few years. Most people realize that they have a very long life and are economical in the long run but don’t understand the differences between incandescent light sources and LED light sources.
Forget looking for WATTS on the bulb and start looking for LUMENS. Lumens is the measurement of light brightness the bulb puts out and wattage is the amount of energy the bulb uses. Two totally different things! Here are guidelines for replacement of incandescent light bulbs:
100 w = 1600 lumens
75 w = 1100 lumens
60 w = 800 lumens
40 w = 450 lumens
KELVIN is a measure of the color of the light with 2700 K being the color of our familiar incandescent bulbs (warm). 2700-3000K is the best color temperature for most home applications. The higher the number the cooler the color – which seems backwards so it’s harder to remember.
CRI stands for Color Rendering Index which is very important in determining how pure the colors will look in the light provided. Most residential lighting should have a CRI of 80 or above and 90 and above is preferable. Incandescent bulbs have a CRI of 100.
DIMMABILITY is another important factor to look for. Most LED bulbs are dimmable but they must be paired with the proper dimmer switch. They save energy as well as create beautiful ambient lighting. For information about specific bulbs and which Lutron dimmers they are compatable with go to http://www.lutron.com/dimcflled
LED bulbs come in many shapes and sizes and some seems quite strange looking.
That’s because each manufacturer is trying to make the most efficient and cost effective bulb they can for all the various applications. They are available in strips and bars for under cabinets and displays, recessed lighting, candelabra lighting and just about every application you can think of.
I hope this article has helped you better know how to select the right bulbs for your home.
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LILA LEVINSON, CKD, CID, NKBA, NCIDQ, IDG
My guest blogger today is Maria Jefferies with some tips on dining room design.
3 Tips to a Streamlined Dining Room Design
For many people, the need for a neat, clean and well-organized dining room is huge. If you frequently invite friends over for dinner, it is important to keep your dining room in its best condition. Here are some streamlined dining room design tips to help you create a more beautiful dining room for your family.
1. Know Your Style
Everyone has a different taste when it comes to art. If you want to impress your guests with your dining room style, make sure it is a unique style that represents your artistic taste. Some people prefer traditional designs, while others are more inclined towards simplistic or contemporary ones.
2. Proper Arrangement
You first need to be aware of the space of your home. Whether your home has an open, curved, closed, or straight space will affect the way you arrange your furniture and appliances. For the dining room, you need to arrange the table, chairs, lamps, cupboard and other furniture in a way that they complement one another.
3. The Use of Color
The color of the walls, the furniture and also the lighting could have an impact on the overall impression of your dining room. Even after you have sketched out your dining room design, you still need to pick the right color if you want your dining room to stand out. You need to make sure the color of the furniture pieces match with one another, also it needs to be in harmony with the theme of the room. For lighting, you should use subtle light sources that will not only highlight the furniture inside the room, but also create an atmosphere at the same time.
Maria’s links are below for vinyl and oilcloth tablecloths in case you are looking for a practical covering for your table.
Oilcloth World has a large choice of wipeable table covers. Hard wearing, easy to clean and great for indoor and outdoor use. Great for protecting your table and available in polka dots, gingham checks, funky flowers, Christmas designs and much much more. Vinyl Tablecloths are easy to use.
Spring is a happy time of year and all the little things that signal it are popping up all around us. Today I just want to share some of them with you to make you happy!
1. Rain boots might be still needed but these are an adorable decoration for spring. Via
3. The blooming of fruit trees like these apple blossoms is a beautiful signal to spring. A few branches stuck in a vase make a huge statement with basically no work. Via
4. Of course tulips fit the bill too. Very elegant when arranged in a tall vase. Via
5. Daffodils are also cheery reminders of spring and an inexpensive grouping makes a really beautiful statement in the house or in a large planting outdoors. They are quite easy to grow and don’t require replanting each year like tulips do. Via
6. Spring is also a time for the rebirth of animals and this lamb is so adorable, who wouldn’t love it. Can’t you just see it romping in the fields with little yellow chicks chasing all around? Source: Facebook-Dream Catchers
7. So nurture your plants and yourself and watch the great results before you know it. Via
Lucky you – you have a large kitchen but large isn’t always better unless the space is proprely planned. As a matter of fact, it can be very inefficient if poorly planned.
1. This kitchen picture from Pinterest has two large separate islands. They each have their own personality, color and countertops to isolate them from each other and the main kitchen cabinets. The large black island serves the cooking area and the butcher block island serves as an eating counter with cabinet access on the back side. Having access into and out of the kitchen on both sides eliminates traffic jams.
2. Here is an example of two separate islands providing plenty of work surface but also allowing easy passage from the kitchen to the dining area or out of the room without interferring with the cook.
3. This well designed kitchen actually has three islands and it works perfectly for ease of working and passing through the kichen. I assume the refrigerator is locate on the left side wall across from the aisle between these two dark islands. It there had been one large island instead it would have been much more difficult to use and would have blocked passage to the refrigerator and also in and out of the room.
4. This stunning kitchen offers two islands with seating at both. It’s a nice touch for the cook to have a stool in the working end of the kitchen while the other island seats people at the eating bar. Guests are kept out of the way of the cook but conversation flows easily.
5. Contemporary kitchens lend themselves to multiple islands too and this one keeps the bar and eating area to the perimeter and the serious prep and clean up to the inside. I would have liked to have seen more counter space around the cooktop, however.
6. Here is another example of how double islands serve both areas of the kitchen without interrupting traffic flow. The refrigerator, freezer and oven are all easily accessed and the islands across from them provides a place to put things down.
Think outside the box to get a well functioning kitchen!
Each week I will be giving you definitions for words beginning with different letters of the alphabet and will continue through the alphabet until we are done with all the letters.
Here are more words beginning with “S”.
Shop drawings refer to the actual drawing which are to be used for the construction of a project. They are used for cabinets, furniture, framing, electrical, and all the trades of construction. They are the official plans with accurate dimensions as opposed to sketches or rough drawings that were prepared before all the information was available or selected. They are the way the designer and the fabricator communicate – it is their language!
Soffits refer to a lowered surface in an opening, the bottom of an overhang or a framed out lowered section of a ceiling.
SAB is an abbreviation of Sound Attenuation Batts. They look like insulation regular batts but have higher acoustic suppression properties and are noncombustible. It is important that they fit tightly into all the crevices for them to be effective.
Spandrel generally refers to the decorative space on the sides and top of an arch which fills in the triangular space between the arch and the rectangular molding around it. In many classic buildings these spandrels are heavily carved.
Specs or specifications are the way of communicating to an installer or fabricator what you want to be done. They are a list instead of a drawing of directions for the fabrication or construction of a project or object. They are used for clarification and to cover a person if there is an error made and litigation ensues.
When walls are built with staggered studs, they are constructed so that the two studs do not align with each other in order to alleviate sound transmission. There is also a gap where insulation or sound batting can be woven through for further sound deadening. These walls are slightly thicker than the standard stud wall.
Have you secretly wanted to write on the walls ever since you were a little kid? Here’s your chance. There are many ways to be creative with your writing from stencils to freehand. You can do a quotation or write an inspiration, or just do something playful. Follow your heart and do whatever it leads you to.
2. Here the panels with writing are placed on both sides of the art to subtly frame it but there is no doubt that this person loves you! It looks like these were just scanned and printed on canvas. The pillows repeat the theme which creates an interesting texture.
3. In this picture the words are mounted on a board or canvas again but the background is black to match the chalk board wall but some other pieces are framed with white backgrounds. Notice that there is also writing on the chalkboard referencing the art work and words on the pillows too.
Are you inspired to write on your own walls now?
Each week I will be giving you definitions for words beginning with different letters of the alphabet and will continue until we are done with all the letters.
Here are some more words beginning with “S”.
Serape rugs are a very high quality handwoven Persian rug made in the Heriz district in Iran. They have a high knot count and are woven in geometric designs.
Settee is a term for a bench like seat for more than one person (as opposed to a chair for one). The style can vary widely and is often used for a small sofa or loveseat.
Shantung silk fabric is identifiable by the slubs that are visible on the surface. It is sometimes imitated in synthetic fabrics today but silk gives it the beautiful sheen and ability to hold folds as in the silver shantung photo above.