When creating a lighting scheme for a home, there are thousands upon thousands of different styles and types of light fixtures to choose from. Some manufacturers even label light fixtures as ‘task,’ ‘general,’ ‘outdoor,’ ‘accent’ or ‘ambient.’ However, this leaves many homeowners stumped: what is ambient lighting and can I use an ambient light fixture for something other than its intended use?
What is Ambient Lighting?
Simply put, ambient lighting is similar to general lighting but with a twist. In the lighting world, ambient refers to a hidden source of light that still manages to create a nice, ambient glow in a room. However, the term ‘hidden’ refers to the bulb itself. For example, chandeliers often feature visible bulbs whereas enclosed, flush-mounted ceiling lights do not show the bulb itself.
Here’s where things get complicated: ambient lighting can also refer to light fixtures, such as a ceiling light (which is typically used for general lighting) that are on a dimmer switch. By dimming the ceiling light, it now gives off a more glow-like light rather than general light. As noted earlier, since some ceiling lights do not fully conceal the bulbs themselves, not all ceiling lights can also be considered ambient lighting. This can create a bit of confusion.
It should be noted that ambient lighting can also go by a number of additional terms including aesthetic lighting or low-key lighting.
What Are Some Examples of Ambient Light Fixtures and Where Should I Use Them?
Perhaps one of the best examples of ambient lighting is the wall sconce. Wall sconces typically conceal their bulbs rather well using various styles of shades. Furthermore, this light fixture produces an even, ambient glow that washes over the room rather than creating general overhead light.
Wall sconces are ideal for rooms such as hallways, as these spaces do not require an excessive amount of light but rather just enough light to pass through without bumping into something.
Another type of ambient light could include paper or plastic lanterns in which the entire bulb is concealed. These lanterns typically do not produce enough light to be used as a main light source, but they do produce an even glow that is typically expected and desired when looking to create and include ambient lighting in a light scheme.
Ideal locations for ambient lighting include the living room, bedroom, foyers, hallways and corridors. It should be noted that as always, ambient lighting should be mixed with other types of lighting to create an overall light scheme. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Explore more gorgeous wall sconces and hanging lanterns at Arcadian Lighting and create an ambiance that will warm your home!
Whether you’re hosting a small luncheon for friends or a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner, there are a few areas of home decor that could probably use some sprucing up. Fortunately, swapping out a few home accessories and a good cleaning can really improve the look of a space. Plus, home accessories and decor are easy to obtain and inexpensive, making it especially easy to update the look of your home for your next dinner party.
Charger plates are beneficial to a dinner party for a number of reasons. First, they tie in your china or dishes with the home decor style in your dining room. Secondly, they protect wood tables from damage from hot plates. They also protect the table from food spills. So, there’s no reason not to invest in a quality set of charger plates.
Plus, charger plates come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes, so there’s a set to match everyone’s home decor. Consider combining trends into your charger plates and purchase chunky grass woven charger plates or charger plates in bright, colorful jewel tones.
Enlarge Small Spaces
Just because you have a small space, doesn’t mean you can’t create the illusion of more space—especially if you’re hosting a dinner party. Consider altering your home decor slightly and investing in clear acrylic furnitures, such as dining chairs or a console table to help open up the space.
Another option is to install a large mirror onto one of the walls. Whether you choose a square or oval mirror, find a mirror that fits your space and your home decor style. Large mirrors create the illusion of more space but they also reflect additional natural light into the space, which can help brighten the look and feel of your dining room.
Part of hosting a dinner party or luncheon is having a beautiful centerpiece or other table decor to top off the room. This can be as simple as a few tea lights, a large scale candelabra or holiday themed table decor. Just remember, if you think there may be a lot of talking, choose table decor that is lower so that it does not block people out across the table.
Table decor can also be little details such as cute little place cards, napkin rings and silverware.
Other ideas for table decor include floral arrangements, fresh fruit or vegetable displays, small or large apothecary jars, woven baskets, vases, hurricanes and much more.
Of course, hosting a dinner party is more than just table decor and pretty place mats. Guests are going to feel more at home if your space is clean and inviting. So, prior to the party, be sure to do all of the normal things you would such as dusting and vacuuming. Be sure to also wipe down your windows, put away any unnecessary clutter and if you have upholstered chairs, be sure to clean those as well. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Are you ready to to host your own? Make sure you have every thing you need by browsing our large selection of table decor.
For many people, the idea of finding the perfect table decor for their dining table is an elusive dream. They struggle to find the right piece that matches their style of home decor while still balancing out the size or shape of the table. Home accessories and decor are plentiful in stores, but finding the right ones can be tricky. For the dining table, there are thousands, if not millions, of home accessories that are an option but not all fit the style of the room or the shape of the table.
Small dining rooms (and thus, dining tables) often don’t have room for any extra table decor. However, a few charger plates can easily stand all on their own. Charger plates come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, so it’s impossible not to find the right set for your dining room style. There are organic shapes, kidney bean shapes, squares, circles and variety galore. Plus, they come in a variety of materials: metal, woven grasses, plastics and more, so you can find them to suit your space easily.
Another easy option for table decor is the use of seasonal displays. Seasonal displays don’t have to state obvious holidays, either. Ideas could include large apothecary jars filled with pinecones or faux autumn leaves, holiday ornaments in large bowls or modern square planters with neatly trimmed grass.
Another unique idea for table decor is the blending of a number of small to large sized items to create a table display. A can of spray paint can bring all of the items together in color and the different items themselves create a unique look. You could use different vases, large chess pieces, small statues of people, animals, floral displays and so forth. By painting them a single color, you unify their look while still keeping their originality in-tact. Table decorations can be random but still tasteful if done right!
If you’re decorating your home in shabby chic or even in traditional, a small, quaint little bird cage may be the answer. Look for cages from antique stores rather than new ones from the pet store, as these may not be as decorative. You can also easily find decorative bird cages in several home decor stores, so keep an eye out for them if you choose to go this route.
For oriental-influenced dining rooms, a zen garden would be perfectly at home as table decor. You can even make your own zen garden in any shape or size you desire, making it easy to customize it to your specific dining room table size and shape. You can include sand, small pebbles and even moss to create unique gardens for your dining table decor.
Either clear, colored or filled with different items, apothecary jars are becoming extremely trendy in the design world. You can find them at a number of home decor retailers in a variety of styles and sizes. Plus, these jars easily mingle with a number of styles from traditional to Victorian, contemporary to eclectic.
These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling on home accessories for the dining table. Remember, no accessory is off limits as long as it fits your space! Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Looking for the perfect home decor? Check our our extensive selection today!
Accent lighting is one of the areas of home lighting that often gets neglected. That being said, because it is so often forgotten, it tends to be a difficult area for homeowners to work with. That means choosing the right light fixtures can also be extremely difficult. Fortunately, with a few tips and tricks, anyone can conquer accent lighting for their home.
What is Accent Lighting?
In order to create accent lighting, one must first understand what it is. Simply put, accent lighting is lighting that focuses light on a feature, helping to visually accent it and draw attention to it. Accent light fixtures adds drama to the space, highlighting a specific area. It can be particularly helpful in creating a focal point in a room, especially if a natural focal point doesn’t occur.
Accent lighting may also go by a number of different terms including decorative lighting or highlight lighting.
What Light Fixtures Can Be Used For Accent Lighting?
One of the biggest hurdles you may face when trying to incorporate accent lighting into your lighting scheme is trying to figure out what light fixtures can be used for accent lighting.
Remember that accent lighting is meant to draw attention to an area or even to itself. That means light fixtures such as strategically placed recessed lights, up-lights such as wall sconces or torchieres, track lights and interior cabinet lights or under cabinet lights. These of course, are just a few examples. Even small accent lamps or candles can be used for accent lighting if properly placed.
Tips and Tricks for Accent Lighting
To start, when using accent lighting in your lighting scheme: focus on what you want to see. Use your chosen light fixtures to highlight or accent features of your home that you want to have attention drawn to.
Next, don’t be afraid to add colored bulbs to your accent light fixtures. Colored bulbs can really help draw attention to themselves, especially when strategically placed. Colored lighting looks great when combined with wall sconces or under cabinet lights.
Accent lighting also works great on a dimmer switch. By adding a dimmer switch, you create the ultimate control over your chosen accent light fixtures. That can help you change the room from dramatic to romantic and everything in between at the drop of a hat. This is a huge plus, especially when working with accent lighting.
Finally, don’t be afraid to let different light fixtures do double duty. A single light fixture can be used to serve a number of different purposes. For example, recessed lights can be used for general lighting. On a dimmer switch, they can also be used for ambient lighting. When placed over an architectural feature, such as a fireplace, they also become accent lighting. That’s three different types of lighting coming from a single light fixture.
In short, accent lighting does not have to be difficult. In fact, with a few tips in hand and an understanding of what accent lighting is, anyone can incorporate this type of lighting into their lighting scheme. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Are you ready to try out some accent lighting in your own home? Check out our selection of ceiling lights and make your home really shine.
It is easier than ever to use recycled materials in your home decorating and design. It’s also never been more important to do so. Glass is fast becoming a material of choice for many home accessories, and recycled glass is being used in innovative and creative ways, from wall to table décor.
Glass is a 100% recyclable product. As a building element, glass is durable and strong. As a design element, glass is reflective and beautiful. From a classic oval mirror to an abstract melted glass sculpture, recycled glass is easy to incorporate into home design.
Recycled Glass Countertops
Solid glass counters aren’t used much in residential kitchens, but they can be a real showstopper. From a design perspective, glass is quite versatile. It can be clear, translucent, opaque or textured, and it can be cut to almost any size or shape. For counters, tempered glass provides strength, but if abused it can chip, crack or shatter. There’s no repairing the glass once that happens, so it shouldn’t be used as a cutting surface. Also consider keeping it away from areas where heavy pots or dishes are likely to be dropped. Glass is nonporous, so it won’t stain but it can scratch. While it makes a dramatic choice for home accessories, it’s not for every situation.
From an environmental perspective, the impacts of glass production are relatively benign. Although high heat is required to produce it, the primary raw materials, silica sand, soda ash and limestone, are plentiful and inexpensive. Many glass manufacturers also use recycled glass
cullet as a raw material.
The main drawback to glass counters and home accessories is their high maintenance. Untextured glass shows every fingerprint, dust speck and water spot. Glass backsplashes make better sense than glass counters because the vertical surface is likely to be a magnet for fingerprints and dust. Narrow or wide panels of tempered glass can be screwed to the wall behind the counter or attached with silicone glue.
Another option for backsplashes are glass tiles, which are available as lovely jewel tones. While glass production is relatively benign from an environmental perspective, you can push the green envelope further by choosing tiles made from recycled glass. Not all glass contains reused glass, but more and more manufacturers are using it every day.
Glass tiles can be used for counters as well as backsplashes. As with any tiles, keeping the grout clean can be a hassle. Whether or not they contain recycled glass, glass tiles are a luxury item for table decor, especially if they’re hand cast and hand finished. If you need to keep costs down, stick with more affordable ceramic tile or just use glass tile as a decorative accent rather than for the entire backsplash.
Glass is fast becoming a hot item for table decor and home accessories. As more and more people become educated about the benefits of household recycling, there is an abundance of glass being recycled for use in manufacturing. Large producers of glass countertops to small artists incorporating glass in metal wall art all offer items for the home made from recycled glass. Images 1 | 2 | 3| 4 | 5
Take advantage of endless choices to integrate glass tiles into your home decor!
Remodeling can be fun or it can be downright stressful. However, proper planning and budgeting can make a remodeling less stressful. Planning should always include researching tips and tricks on certain tasks in the home, such as creating a lighting scheme using different lighting fixtures. Here are a few tips and tricks for doing exactly that.
Consider the Lighting Formula
Few people are aware that an actual “lighting formula” exists for determining exactly how much light a space really needs. This light formula multiples the square footage (length times width of the room) by 1.5 to get the necessary wattage for a space. For example, a 12 foot by 12 foot room is 144 square feet. 144 multiplied by 1.5 equals 216, which is how many watts are necessary to light the room.
This could translate into one overhead ceiling fixture at 60 watts, two lamps at 40 watts each and 3 recessed lights at 25 watts each. It could also mean four recessed lights at 25 watts each and one floor lamp at 70 watts. Though the lighting formula itself is fixed, the combination of light fixtures used to achieve the total wattage is completely versatile.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
The lighting formula works for every room in the home, including the kitchen or bathroom. However, additional thought on placement and light fixture type is necessary to ensure these particular spaces are lit properly.
Both spaces often have a number of tasks that are performed in them, from doing your hair and makeup to cooking dinner. Therefore, light placement should reflect these tasks. For example, pendant lights could hang over the stove or island for preparing dinner; and large bathroom lights could be installed over the mirror to help highlight the person using the mirror.
Spacing Light Fixtures
The spacing for different light fixtures can vary greatly depending on the space itself as well as the size and type of the light fixture. However, certain light fixtures have set spacing requirements. This particularly applies to recessed lights, which should be a minimum of four feet apart but should not be any further than five feet apart. Too close can create harsh light, whereas too far apart may result in inadequate lighting.
For other light fixtures, such as lamps, the spacing should be done based on eye. Two lamps too close together may create harsh light and you may need to play around with their placement to determine the best location for each lamp when lighting the space.
Hire a Professional
Last but not least, it is never too late to hire a professional if you are struggling with creating a lighting scheme. If you’ve already purchased the light fixtures, you will typically only being paying for their time and consultation process. This means it generally won’t cost a huge chunk out of your remodeling budget. You may even be able to work with some lighting designers and bring them a floor plan of your space and have them map out where the best locations are for lights to be placed. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Want to add even more light to your space? Then put up a beautiful wall sconce or ceiling light for more luminosity!
Some people get lucky and have a ‘natural’ focal point in their home decor: a large picture window, a fireplace or some other architectural detailing. For those of us who aren’t as lucky, we need to find ways to create artificial focal points through the use of different home accessories. Of course, it can be difficult to create an artificial focal point using home accessories and decor, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to create a focal point using bookcases.
A bookcase is a large furniture piece that should be treated like art. Bookcases typically have wonderful linear lines that mimic the look of framed wall art. Therefore, anything that you put into the bookcase becomes a large piece of personal artwork. Keep this in mind when you’re struggling to figure out how to use your bookcases as a focal point.
Where to Start: Make the Purchase
If you don’t already own a set of bookshelves, you’ll obviously need to purchase one (or two, if desired). Before you rush out to make the purchase, you must measure out the space in which you intend to put these furniture pieces. Measure the space and take note of wall plugs, windows and vents, as you won’t want to block these with your bookcases.
Gather Your Home Accessories
Bookshelves aren’t just for books, but if that’s what you’d prefer to display on your furniture, then go for it. You can also consider a mixture of books and other home accessories, such as vases, floral arrangements, pottery, sculptures, oval mirrors and so forth.
Use balance to arrange these items in a way that is visually pleasing. To do this, you’ll want to place items of similar size and shape near one another or flank them on either side of the furniture to help draw attention to the space. Fill the spaces in with smaller items, such as little trinkets, to complete the space.
Finding the Right Home Accessories
If you don’t currently have any home accessories to use, or you simply don’t like the ones you’ve currently got, you’ll need to purchase some new ones. When purchasing new accessories, consider going with a theme or grouping items together by section or by shelf. Theme ideas could include the beach or a nautical theme, astronomy, travel or even fashion.
Stand Back, Arrange, Re-arrange and Repeat
Don’t be afraid to step back and examine your home accessories on the bookshelf. You may even want to walk out of the room and go about your day, come back and see if your eye is naturally drawn to your new furniture focal point. If not, you may need to arrange, re-arrange, step back again and repeat the process until you find that your eyes are drawn to your new focal point.
Using furniture is a great way to create an artificial focal point in a space that lacks a natural focal point. However, it make take a few days to get the arrangement just right. Whatever you do, just be sure that when you enter the room, your eyes fall naturally to your artificial focal point. Images 1 | 2 | 3| 4 | 5
You can put virtually anything in a bookcase. Why not add some beautiful charger plates to it?
At it’s peak, mid-century modern decor had an almost futuristic look to it. That appearance still holds true today thanks to the fluid curves and clean line designs that remain modern still to this day. These same design concepts can be applied to the light fixtures of the time, many of which are still being reproduced today. Here are a few tips and tricks for selecting different mid-century modern light fixtures for your home.
What is Defined as Mid-Century Modern?
The time frame for mid-century modern design occurred beginning in the late 1930s and through to the mid 1960s. Though the time period was several decades ago, the names associated with many of the more famous designs are still well-known, with many still being considered household names today.
What Should I Be Looking For?
If you’ve got some knowledge on the style, you’re likely looking for a specific light fixture by a specific designer. Keep in mind that originals in good condition tend to cost more than newly manufactured reproductions of those same light fixtures today.
Of course, not all of the mid-century modern designs out there feature ‘name brand’ designer names. In these instances, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a few key shapes and specific lines. Mid-century modern light fixtures typically feature clean lines. They can feature curves, but they are strictly no-frills with detailing.
Shapes of mid-century modern light fixtures are typically organic. This translates into soft, flowing curves. Ovular or circular shapes are ideal, especially for ceiling lights. Other shapes that are indicative of the style include hourglass, triangular cones, pillars, tubes, saucer shapes, teardrops and so forth. These are more common in wall sconces (hourglass, tubes or pillars) and pendant lights (triangular cones, saucers, tubes) so keep this in mind when seeking out this style.
The colors of these light fixtures tend to be few and far between. In other words, any fixture that has more than two or three colors is not likely to be deemed ‘mid-century modern.’ Stick to simple color palettes with three or fewer colors. In terms of finishes, brushed metals are common, as are brilliant white shades, pleating and under the right circumstances, high polished finishes.
Of course, this does not mean that mid-century modern light fixtures are lacking in color entirely. It is not uncommon for these fixtures to feature brilliant hues: cobalt blue, lime green, orange, mustard yellow, poppy red, vibrant white and so forth. These are often combined with various metal hues including brass or silver finishes such as nickel or chrome.
Mid-century modern light fixtures can add a great deal of ‘fun’ to any room. In a dining room, an unexpected large-scale saucer-shaped pendant light can be a great conversation starter. In a bedroom, hourglass wall sconces can add a romantic ambience, while pillar wall sconces in the living room can add some much needed extra lighting. Though the style is distinct, it is also very clean in terms of visual appearance, making it an easy style to incorporate into different interior design schemes. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
I hope you enjoyed our post on Mid-century modern light fixtures! For more futuristic looks, check out our selection at Arcadian Lighting!
No matter how a home is decorated, it is important to have proper lighting. This means using different light fixtures that allow you to create a well-lit setting. While this in itself is a tremendous job, you must also tackle the task of finding the right light fixtures to begin with. With home lighting, there are a number of trends out there, but perhaps none are as hot as the recent emergence of industrial styled light fixtures.
Industrial and Steampunk
The truth is, ‘industrial’ light fixtures are fixtures that can also be deemed as ‘steampunk.’ In fact, the creator may have even made the various fixtures with a steampunk theme in mind but retailers and marketers will deem the piece ‘industrial.’
Therefore, when seeking out industrial styled pieces, be sure to include ‘steampunk’ light fixtures in your search. You will find a wider array of styles, custom pieces and unique fixtures to suit your budget, your space and your overall decor scheme.
What Types of Industrial Light Fixtures Are Available?
Any light fixture you can think of, likely comes in some type of industrial styling. This includes lights for every room. You can easily find ceiling fixtures, pendant lights, chandeliers and lamps available in an industrial style. There are also bathroom lights, ceiling fans, hanging lanterns, different kitchen lights, outdoor lighting fixtures, track lights, wall sconces and more.
What Types of Materials Should I Be Looking For?
Generally speaking, industrial fixtures should be comprised of glass and metal finishes. However, this can also describe a number of other styles of light fixtures including modern, contemporary and even traditional.
When looking at fixtures, pay attention not only to the materials, but also to the overall style and how those materials are used. Look for hues such as oil rubbed bronze or a high polish chrome, rather than opting for brushed finishes. However, keep in mind that you can incorporate different styles together. For example, if you have a contemporary styled kitchen, then incorporating brushed nickel industrial style pendant light or other light fixtures can be just the right touch of industrial-chic in an otherwise contemporary space.
In short, it’s all about finding the right industrial fixture for your space, rather than finding the industrial fixture that displays an ‘exact style.’ Other great materials for the industrial style include polished copper or brass finishes, light fixtures that feature Fresnel lenses, bare bulbs (as in, no shades,) or reclaimed materials such as electrical insulators (which are a popular favorite among steampunk light fixtures,) old Mason jars, or traffic light pieces.
Industrial fixtures are all about incorporating an unexpected look into a home. When you enter a space, you’re typically bombarded by a traditional foyer light or a chandelier, or some another somewhat-expected light fixture. With industrial fixtures, you can still adequately like your space while maintaining a sense of unexpected style. Plus, the industrial style is typically clean and modern, allowing it to seamlessly blend into a number of different home decor styles from contemporary to traditional, modern to shabby chic and everything in between. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
The right wall art can take your home decor from boring and predictable to flashy and glamorous with little effort on your part. However, choosing home accessories such as wall art, that really make a room pop, can be a bit difficult. Many people are overly focused on blending their home accessories and decor, often ending up with a space they can tolerate but don’t truly love.
You can choose wall art that matches your existing color palette while still finding wall art that pops. For example, if you’ve done shades of gray in your living room, a large, dramatic black and white photograph can be the perfect pop your space needs. Don’t be afraid to work within your color palette. Of course, you can also choose another set of colors entirely for your wall art, which can really help it pop out, especially against neutral backgrounds.
Bright colors always pop, period. Trendy colors this year include jewel tones, which can really make a splash. Look for wall art that features hues such as emerald green, sapphire blue or even citrine yellow. Remember, jewel tones are rich, saturated hues but they can also be more muted in tone. Any color you’ve seen on a gemstone qualifies as a jewel tone.
Graphic prints are sure to pop in a number of home decor styles. Even simple patterns, such as black and white zig zags, can really pack a punch. Of course, bold, vibrant colors can also stand on their own in graphic prints. Other patterns could include chevrons, damask or floral prints. When choosing floral prints, try to stick to two to three colors and no more, as too many colors can create a look that is too busy and thus, does not pop as well as it should.
Wall art isn’t all about paintings, photographs or wall decals, it can be the texture itself. You can choose textured wall decor as well. This could include textured wallpaper, grasscloth and even upholstery. Adding texture through fabric covered walls is a great way to make a space pop, plus chances are, you won’t see it in your neighbor’s window.
Of course, you don’t have to cover the entire wall in textured fabric. You can cover canvases using the fabric of your choice and hang them in the same fashion that you would hang any other type of wall art.
Lastly, consider letting your canvas wall art go au natural. You don’t have to frame everything and sometimes, the lack of a frame can help make the artwork stand out more against the walls. You can even use easels to display your wall art rather than hanging it on the wall, which is great for a more eclectic or even an industrial look, depending on both the art and the easel.
Though it may be desirable to find the right wall art that truly ‘pops,’ the number one rule of choosing wall decor is that it should be visually pleasing to you first. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Start decorating your walls with our large selection of wall art!