Accent Lighting - Depending on the size of the bathroom accent lighting can add a little drama to a bathroom by creating visual interest. As part of the decorating scheme, accent lighting can be used to spotlight particular objects that are especially attractive or interesting in the bathroom
Color - Think about the importance of color in your bathroom interior, then use proper lighting to bring out that dramatic color.
Dimming Systems - Today's dimming systems enable you to do several things: lower light levels to conserve energy and increase bulb life, vary the mood of a room, and alter the intensity of the light to suit the activity. In the bathroom a dimmer might be used to create a cozy night light out of an otherwise bright lighting system.
General Lighting - General lighting provides an area with overall illumination. Also known as ambient lighting, general lighting radiates a comfortable level of brightness, enabling one to see and walk about safely. In the bathroom this general lighting probably should be provided by incandescent or halogen lighting.
Indirect Lighting - Coves, soffits and other concealed locations can also be used to provide very pleasant, very effective indirect lighting using T5 or T8 fluorescent strip fixtures. If fluorescent lighting is used in the bathroom, if at all, it should have a very low color temperature (3000K) and a very high color rendering index (85 or even higher).
Layers of Light - There are three basic types of lighting that work together to light a bathroom: general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. A good lighting plan combines all three types to light an area, according to function and style.
Low-Voltage Halogen Lighting - Low-voltage halogen lighting offers a very white, crisp kind of light source that has excellent color rendering capabilities and often makes materials like cut glass or polished tile "sparkle".
Task Lighting - In the bathroom, especially around mirrors, task lighting is critical. Task lighting can assist in performing specific tasks such applying makeup, shaving, dressing a wound, or performing a manicure. It is recommended that special neodymium light bulbs be used in these applications since they provide excellent light that very closely simulates sunlight.
Vanity Lighting - Recessed down-lights should NOT be used to light your face while standing at a mirror because the light coming from these fixtures can cause too many shadows on your face. Instead, light fixtures that are attached to the wall either above or beside the mirror should be used. That way, shadows on your face can be minimized. Recessed downlights can be used in other parts of the bathroom for general lighting but NOT for task lighting at the vanity.
Wall Grazing - Wall grazing provides dramatic illumination that reveals the texture of special materials, such as the brick, stone, or tile. Wall grazing is uneven, brighter and scalloped at the top of the wall. For the most exciting effects, use PAR lamps in small aperture down-lights. Locate the downlights no more than 12 inches from the wall and the same distance apart. Wall grazing also lights polished surfaces, such as marble without distracting reflections in the surface.
Wall Washing - Wall washers are special down-lights that direct light up to the top of the wall. They eliminate the shadows, sometimes called "scallops", which are characteristic of simple down-lights. Do not space wall washers more than 36 inches apart. For the smoothest effect, space wall washers 24 inches from the wall and 24 inches apart. Avoid locating wall washers near doors where they can glare into the eyes of people entering the room. Be aware of flickering light or an electrical device that works sometimes and other times does not. This could be the indication of a loose connection somewhere. This is different from dimming and brightening of lights. That is frequently caused by a problem from the power company wiring but could also be in the house main panel.
Fashion for less. We all have the desire to be fashionable, and in style, however, it does not have to cost a small fortune, look at how...
Fashion is a concept that we are all interested in to some extent. Anyone who watches television, or buys magazines that show people wearing clothing supports fashion. Celebrities are the biggest fashion billboards in media. Commercials and cataloogues no longer depict what is 'in' style, but rather, whatever celebrities are wearing is what we want to be wearing. We have all seen our favorite celebrities dressed in designer clothing and have said one of two things: (a) What ever possessed him/her to wear that? Or (b) Wow, I love that outfit, I wonder where I can get it? The latter of the two is usually followed by "If I could only afford that!" There are many trends that women are looking to follow this season, and it is very possible to spend hundreds of dollars on one outfit, and thousands on a new wardrobe to keep up with these short-lived trends. That outfit that you love, or the the style that you crave can be obtainable for a fraction of the cost.
One of the biggest trends this season is colour. Some of the hottest colours this season are reds and purples. You do not want to go out and spend a fortune on an entire wardrobe full of colours that will be outdated in three months. Instead, buy some key pieces in the season's hottest colours. Buy a shirt in purple or red to wear with a dark pant suit or skirt suit. You could also go for a skirt in one of the hot new colours. Your best bet is to stick with a few key articles though, rather then spending too much on an easily outdated wardrobe.
Leather is another big fashion statement this season, however, the cost of leather, along with the upkeep and wear is not very practical for just one or possible two seasons. If you want something that is leather, invest in a good leather car coat. It is a piece that will never go out of style, unless it is in an outragous colour. The less expensive, and more fun version of leather is pleather, a vinyl and synthetic blend of fabrics. It is a quarter of the cost of leather, it has a great shine to it, and the fabric allows the skin to breathe a little easier than with leather. Most pleather garments are easy to clean, which in the long run, saves you money in the dry cleaning department. Pleather pants are a great fashion staple, without the huge expense of their leather counterparts. These pants can be paired up with virtually anything for a casual look, but look the best matched up with a great tank for an evening look that will wow everyone.
Accessories in animal prints or hides are also hot this season, for both fall and winter. Crocodile and snake prints for shoes and boots are a must this year. Like most of the trends that we are following however, they will not last. Payless Shoe Source is a great place to pick up those fun shoes or boots for a very little amount of money. They have a wide selection of trendy shoes, and an even wider variety of colours and prices. Purses in animal hides such as pony or crocodile are also making a loud statement this season, and can be purchased very inexpensively. For actual jewellry, I tend to recommend that you buy timeless classics that you will not have to replace year after year. A few small pieces that are inexpensive and fun is a lot easier to part with when something else is hip.
If you are interested in buying 'retro' clothing, consignment and thrift stores are the best place to purchase gently worn treasures. You would be surprised what you can find in these stores. Some examples of my newest purchases... a patchwork leather purse that retails for over $100, I picked up for only $7.50. I also got a pair of platform wedge heels that retail for up around $60 for only $3.00. You do have to look closely, but you would be surprised with what you can find. If it is brand names or designer clothing that you are looking for, try outlet stores, or wait until the designer has a sale. Outlet stores generally sell clothing for 40-60% off the normal retail prices, and designer sales tend to happen at the end of the season. If you see in magazines or feel like the item will be a hit again the following season, then purchase it. Some good designer items to get on sale are coats, like a pea coat, this will never go out of style, black dresses, and dress pants in dark colours. All of these items remain timeless classics year, after year.
It is very possible as you can see to buy that favorite celebrities clothing without spending an entire paycheck on one item. Next timt that you see a star wearing something that you want, write down a list or cut out the picture and take it along with you, and copy it, but at a fraction of the cost. Happy shopping, and remember, it doesn't take thousands to look like a million bucks!!!
Things to Do to Get Your House Ready for Warmer Weather
Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a chore. Here are some easy tips for cleaning your home.
When spring is in the air and the cold days of winter have finally passed, it's time to get your home ready for spring. When the urge to throw open the windows and let the warmer air in hits, be sure that those windows are clean, as well as the rest of your home. Following are some spring cleaning projects to do around your house.
Wash windows and mirrors. Wash away the grime from the winter from your windows. Mix together a one part each white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use to scrub the windows. For a streak-free shine, dry windows with newspapers. This process works great on mirrors as well.
Wash curtains and blinds. Take down curtains and launder or dry clean them, and dust or vacuum blinds.
Sweep and mop floors, vacuum rugs and carpet, and deep clean carpet. Rent a carpet shampoo machine at your local home improvement big box or grocery store and give your carpet and rugs a good deep cleaning. Vacuum thoroughly, including baseboards, air vents and upholstered furniture such as the sofa or chairs.
Thoroughly wash linens. Remove the sheets, mattress pads, comforter covers, dust ruffles, pillow shams and pillowcase covers from beds and launder. Also wash any slip covers, blankets or throw rugs. Add a cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle for an extra burst of freshness. Also be sure to rotate mattresses.
Dust. It is amazing how much dust can accumulate in even the cleanest of homes. Dust your home thoroughly, including lamps and light bulbs, ceiling fans, moldings, behind and underneath furniture, and shelves.
De-clutter. Sort through stacks of mail, magazines, toys or other things that have built up on surfaces or in the corners, deciding what to pitch, shred, recycle, or give away. Try to only touch each item once before finding a permanent home for it.
Polish furniture. Restore your wood furniture's luster with a good polish, using a product that is safe for the wood's finish.
Clean the cupboards. Go through every cabinet in the kitchen and pantry, removing every item before cleaning the inside of the cupboard and putting it back. Consider each item as well: have you used it in the past six months or is it just collecting dust? Pitch or donate what you aren't using.
Clean out the fridge. Take everything out from the refrigerator and inspect it. Has the expiration date passed? Is it dripping, leaking or otherwise unsanitary or unsavory? Toss out old leftovers and expired food, and reorganize the refrigerator so that commonly used items are easy to access. Also give the refrigerator shelves and inside drawers a good scrub to remove debris and spills or stains.
Sanitize. Wipe down door knobs or handles, telephones, cabinet door handles and drawer pulls, refrigerator doors, light switches, and other high contact surfaces with disinfecting wipes.
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