If You Need Real Housekeeping Assist

I’ve a confession to make: I saw Dance Moms on Lifetime this weekend. It’s my preferred vice (and also for the record, however, I do not watch Honey Boo Boo Child.) While I was seeing, a promo for a new Lifetime series, Devious Maids, came on.

I checked out an early preview of episode one through On Demand — I mean it stars the queen of exactly what most grandmothers used to call “my stories” (aka soap operas), who is also my own grandmother’s favorite: Susan Lucci, alongside the brilliant Judy Reyes, otherwise called Carla from Scrubs. (And her character’s name is Zoila, that must be a tribute to my favorite TV housekeeper, Zoila Chavez of Flipping Outside). How can I resist?

For those of you that are enticed, the series premieres Sunday, June 23. Sudsy TV customs aside, it made me think about hiring a professional to help round the home.

Do you employ someone to assist you with your housework? Which are your favorite activities to get assistance with? What are you willing to cover, and what budget item would you exchange to have the ability to manage it?

Are you a professional housecleaner? If yes, what are some great guidelines for a successful working relationship?

While I only dream of having cleaning assistance in my finances, my mom has had the lovely Gayle come and assist her out for a couple hours each week for many decades, and I have heard a lot from seeing their great relationship.

Here are a couple of suggestions about how to find some assistance with your housekeeping needs. Please augment these tips.

This poster resembles a Robert Palmer video matches Dexter. I would expect nothing less from Lifetime. But I digress — on to this information portion of the ideabook.

Molly Brandenburg

How to Hire a Cleaning Pro

In case you are feeling overwhelmed by your cleaning jobs and want to employ someone to help, here are some tips.

Get references. Start by assessing around with friends who have housekeepers they could not live without. Also, ask other professionals that you trust to do work around your house if they can recommend anyone.

Create a list of jobs you need help with. Discuss them during the interview to understand how many hours a week they will take. It could take a couple of weeks to determine whether or not the estimate is achievable. Ensure the interviewee allows you to understand which activities he or she is and isn’t keen to perform.

Talk pay. Ask how much money is likely per hour ahead. You might require a trial or two to figure out how much could be achieved in the allotted time.

HAVEN Natural Home Care

Haven Clean House Starter Kit – $84

The Ideal Way to Communicate

Talk supplies.
Request what you are expected to provide or if the expert is going to be providing anything: vacuumcleaner, rags, window cleaner etc..

Make your tastes clear. If you would rather go earth friendly, then make this apparent. Many cities have ecofriendly housecleaning services. If you like things done a certain manner, be specific.

Leave the housekeeper a notice each week. Prioritize what you need done in the time allotted, from most to least important, in case there’s not enough time for each and every endeavor. Before you get to that, begin off the notice with how much you really appreciated the way sparkling clean the home was the former week. In the close of the notice, make sure you ask if the individual has any questions, if there are any problems and if there are any supplies you are running low on.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Know that injuries happen. Would you have favorite plates on display, a breakable heirloom or some priceless coil pot your child made that you would be devastated to lose? While it would be wonderful to have shelves like these dusted for you, maybe you ought to do yourself. Let your housekeeper understand about any keep-away zones.

Parkyn Design

Have a plan for your pets during cleaning period. If vacuum cleaner terrify your furry friend or Fido loves to attempt to escape when anyone opens the door, ensure that your pet is in a room that will not be washed, a crate (if your furry friend is cool with that) or even a fenced yard when your house is being washed. Your housekeeper is helping you clean up your beloved pets’ shedding and paw prints; having the monsters leap on or nip at him or her isn’t a part of the deal.

Roomba 650 Floor Cleaner – $399.99

If the characters on Devious Maids intimidate you, then you don’t have a budget for housekeeping or you would just rather keep your house clean youself, below are some helpful alternatives.
Think about moving high-tech; see Where Is My Robot Housekeeper?Keep jobs from overwhelming you; see Can-Do Cleaning Strategies for Busy PeopleCommunicate with your spouse; see Why We Can Work It Out: Living (and Cleaning) TogetherGet the kiddos involved; seeClean Routine: Housework Plans the Entire Family Can ShareMore: Read the Housekeeping section on for additional approaches.

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Let's Put a Price on Art: Your Guide to Art Costs and Buying

A bit of original artwork can make a room, be treasured for many years and be passed down for generations. Plus it can be unbelievably inexpensive or very pricey. Why do some types cost more? “Artwork has to be among the most difficult items to price,” says Kate Singleton, creator of Arthound. “There is no standard framework as there is for a pair of underwear or a bottle of champagne. Major aspects come into play.”

The artist, gallery, moderate, style and charm of a bit all can affect how much it costs. And if you come upon a one time function you enjoy, it may be worth any price to you.

Interested in using the power of art to power your interior design? Here are three experts’ hints before you shop to think about.

Adrienne DeRosa

Guidelines for Purchasing Art

Buy what you love. Should you feel strongly about a piece of artwork or it really speaks to you, buy it, regardless of trends or expertise.

“Art is worth the additional money once you really enjoy it and feel fairly confident you won’t find anything else you like just as much,” says Singleton.

Do your research. Proceed to galleries and exhibits, and ask a great deal of questions. Individuals in the art industry are enthusiastic about their job, and you’ll be able to find out a great deal about what goes into certain mediums and artists’ work. Looking at a great deal of artwork will help train your eye, also. You will create a style and start to find out what prices more and why. Visit art and design websites to find out what emerging artists do and how artwork is being used in houses.

Take your time. “Give yourself time to come up with your taste in artwork and, once the moment comes, to contemplate whether you really love a bit and want to live with it,” says Singleton.

Think long term. Alex Farkas, gallery manager at UGallery, recommends using the exact same buying fundamentals for other home objects when you’re purchasing artwork. What is practical? What is Well worth the cost? What will you still love in five years? “A year or two back, everything was coated in resin,” says Farkas. “However, do you really need that in your house? Think of what’s popular versus what is classic.”

Sweet William

How to Establish a Budget

Learn everything you’re working with. Have a good idea of how much art prices before you set your budget. Visit local galleries, art fairs, student shows and online galleries to find out what different kinds of art cost normally. Once you set your budget, you can choose how much artwork you need to purchase: one big bit or several smaller pieces? What can you manage in the medium you desire?

Consider repayment programs. If you’ve found “the one” and it is way beyond your set budget, don’t stress. Talk to a gallery staffer (whether it is online or in person) to find out what custom payment programs are available. “Depending on the price of the item and the customer’s budget, we are pleased to work out a custom payment program,” says Farkas.

Get creative with framing. Framing can be the costliest portion of the art-buying process for some. Forget the framer and try hanging it as is instead. Stretched canvases and posters specifically can look great with no frame. “We encourage our musicians to always finish the border of the pieces so the work could be hung unframed,” says Farkas. I have been hanging artwork unframed in my home for many years and have observed a great trend towards this in decorating”

Works Photography Inc..

What Determines the Cost

The performer. A artist’s profession, popularity and scope of job have a big impact on a piece’s price. Examine the artist’s education, past exhibitions and earnings history. Many artists base their prices on what previous pieces have sold for. “Some artists purposefully price their work around the lower end because they need it to market,” says Singleton. “Others will continue to keep their prices higher and await the right buyer to come along.”

Prices tend to be lower when an artist is new out of school, “emerging as a artist and yet [appearing] to have many exhibitions,” states Rebecca Wilson, head of artist relations in Saatchi Online and manager of Saatchi’s London gallery. “As an artist sells more works and has more exhibitions, then their prices will increase.” Where the artwork is sold — straight through the artist, at a little gallery or inside a high-end gallery — affects price too, as the entire price in a gallery will include a commission.

Turn Collaborative

The moderate. The medium of the work plays a huge role in pricing, also. Farkas notes that paper works are the cheapest, and drawings often cost significantly less than paintings. Consider how much time it took to complete, how big the bit is, how much the stuff and framing cost, how much it will cost to ship and what the need is for this particular style — all will affect the price.

Wilson says photography is usually less expensive as a music genre, because photographs come in editions and it is rare to purchase a one-of-a-kind work. That said, photographer Andreas Gursky once sold a picture for $4.3 million. “Once you gain fame and an international reputation, the prices of the photos can increase dramatically,” Wilson says.

Economy Interiors

Originality and style. Sometimes style has an effect on price, especially when the style is in high demand. Farkas notes this will be especially true of expressionist works.

Original artwork is almost always more expensive than prints. Make sure you know what you’re purchasing: Original artwork is the only one of its kind; a limited-edition work is just one of quite a few copies, each signed and numbered; an open-edition print is among any number of copies.

Esther Hershcovich

A Caution About Art as Investment

All three specialists agree that first-time artwork buyers should avoid purchasing for investment reasons. There is a lot to think about, and it brings an entirely new level to the choice process. While something you purchase in the emerging artist may increase in value, there are no guarantees. “it is a mistake to purchase art as a financial investment, unless you’re extremely knowledgeable about the art market,” says Singleton. “Even so, it is a gamble. Most artwork never makes it to the secondary industry.”

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Tidewater Homes

Tidewater homes have been gracing the coast of the American Southeast because the 1800s. Designed for wet, hot spaces and for owners that like to entertain, they’re famous for having at least a expansive porch, sheltered with a broad hip roof. Wood building, broad eaves and waterfront many are also common features. Today many new-construction tidewater homes are built on supports or pilings with top-level main living spaces to assist weather coastal flood. But no matter if a tidewater house was built, it’s certain to welcome sweet-tea intake on its broad front porch.

Alix Bragg Interior Design

Tidewater homes are especially widespread in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, such as this Charleston beauty.

Soorikian Architecture

The roof of a tidewater house can be hipped. A hip roof on a rectangular plan has four faces which all slope down at precisely the exact same pitch.

Allison Ramsey Architects

Tidewater-style homes always have an expansive porch, which often surrounds the entire home and is protected by a broad pitched roof.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Always built from timber, tidewater homes bring the beauty of the outdoors in.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Situated on a bluff in Charleston, this tidewater house is intended for wet, warm ponds.

JacksonBuilt Custom Homes

Originally designed for the harshness of a Southern coastal existence, tidewater homes are usually raised on affirms or pilings, intended to protect them from coastal flood.

Cowan Incorporated

Many tidewater homes have two tales with porches on both levels. The home’s roof extends over the porches without disturbance.

Artistic Design and Construction, Inc

Tidewater homes often have the primary living areas on the topmost floor, meaning these often-used spaces have additional protection from potential coastal water damage.

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Travel Guide: San Francisco for Design Lovers

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Mark Twain may or may not have said this, but the statement often rings true from the City by the Bay. Although it’s mostly bright here, temperamental weather fluctuations may leave you shivering and sweat over the hour. However, as long as you are prepared, San Francisco will treat you nicely.

Whenever it’s a little city — just 7 miles by 7 miles — San Francisco is dense. Its population of over 815,000 means roughly 17,000 people per square mile normally. The bright side is that almost every block overflows with technology, architecture, great food and background.

You’ll want at least three days to get a true San Francisco experience. And pack your walking shoes — the town may be modest, but the steep hills could be brutal. Do not let this prevent you from climbing, however. Whether you’re walking down the curves of Lombard Street or up the slope into Fort Mason, or walking to the top of Twin Peaks, all of your hard work will be rewarded with all epic views of the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here is how to experience San Francisco design like a local, from a local.

Ferry Building

Location: 1 Sausalito, San Francisco Ferry Building (Embarcadero)

San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building was initially the primary transportation center for Anybody coming to town from the East Bay or Marin. Nowadays it hosts a bustling marketplace that is open seven days a week. Avoid the packed Saturday farmer’s market and select a weekday instead. Cowgirl Creamery, Blue Bottle Coffee, Hog Island Oysters, Boulette’s Larder and Boccalone Salumeria are a Couple of favorite food booths. Pottery at Heath Ceramics’ vibrant collection is a must-see, too.

More information: Ferry Building

Fort Mason
Location: Marina Boulevard (Marina)

Fort Mason was once a U.S. Army place and the principal port for the Pacific campaign of World War II. Now the complex of military buildings has been remodeled (the first red tiled roofs and white stucco exteriors were preserved) to sponsor concerts, exhibits, festivals along with a wonderful farmer’s market on Sundays.

Explore the park over Fort Mason to get a stellar view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Or rent a bicycle in the primary parking lot and ride along the trail through Crissy Field all the way to the bridge.

More information: Fort Mason Center

Conservatory of Flowers
Location: 100 John F. Kennedy Dr. (Golden Gate Park)
Cost: Adults, $7; ages 12 to 17, seniors and students, $5; ages 5 to 11, $2

Found off one of the primary paths in Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory of Flowers is an unexpected architectural surprise amid the eucalyptus and palm trees. It’s a cherished example of Victorian design, and all its permanent galleries highlights a different tropical plant market. If it’s bright, snag a Popsicle from an external vendor and unwind near the flower beds.

More information: Conservatory of Flowers

Bay Bridge Light Show
Location: Bay Bridge (Embarcadero)

Acclaimed New York LED lighting artist Leo Vilareal lately designed this twinkling light display on the Bay Bridge, which joins San Francisco and Oakland. Vilareal also established the famous light display on the Eiffel Tower at Paris.

The light series commemorates the bridge 75th anniversary and runs each night from dusk until 2 a.m.. The best viewing spot is on the Embarcadero.

More information: The Bay Lights

San Francisco Parklets

as a portion of San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks program, a few road space has been transformed into unique seating areas outside restaurants and cafés. These are affectionately called parklets. A few favorites:

Four Barrel Coffee Parklet

Location: 375 Valencia St. (Mission)

On hot days this parklet bustles with iced-coffee-drinking hipsters whose vibrant “fixie” (fixed-gear) bikes overflood the built-in bicycle rack.

More information: Four Barrel Coffee

Rapha Parklet
Location: 2198 Filbert St. (Marina/Cow Hollow)

Grab an espresso at Rapha or a burger from Roam on neighboring Union Street and kick back to do some serious Marina people viewing. Cleverly built out of a deconstructed Rapha Citroën H-Van, this parklet is open to anyone who happens to walk by.

More information: Rapha

Delfina Parklet
Location: 2406 California St. (Lower Pacific Heights)

Located outside the amazing Delfina Pizzeria at Pacific Heights, this parklet takes a more contemporary approach. A hardy concrete type and low-maintenance plants encircle built-in chairs and individual chairs, all over a few feet of incredibly tasty pizza.

More information: Pizzeria Delfina Pacific Heights


De Young Fine Art Museum
Location: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. (Golden Gate Park)
Cost: Adults, $10; seniors, $7; youth and students, $50; kids 12 and under, free

Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and San Francisco architects Fong & Chan designed the de Young’s new building, which opened in 2005. The architects designed the striking perforated copper facade, which has already obtained a gorgeous patina, to mimic light filtering through a shrub canopy.

If you’re fortunate enough to attend a day without fog, be sure to explore the museum’s public sculpture gardens and scale to the observation tower.

More information: de Young Fine Arts Museum

California Academy of Sciences
Location: 55 Music Concourse Dr. (Golden Gate Park)
Cost: Adults, $29.95; seniors and students, $24.95; kids, $19.95; ages 3 and under, free

Round the Music Concourse in the de Young, the California Academy of Sciences offers interactive exhibits for all ages. The massive LEED construction houses a planetarium, an aquarium (having an albino alligator), a natural history museum, a 3-D theater along with a four-story rainforest. A 2 1/2-acre living roof tops off it.

More information: California Academy of Sciences

Contemporary Jewish Museum
Location: 736 Mission St. (Downtown/SoMa)
Cost: Adults: $12; seniors: $10; students: $10; 18 and under: free

Avoid the overhyped Union Square and venture further downtown instead, to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the museum houses artifacts and art focusing on Jewish history and culture in a new structure.

It was once a historic power substation, and Libeskind joined the first building with new, bold contemporary spaces, such as a blue steel cube-like addition.

More information: Contemporary Jewish Museum

Xanadu Gallery
Location: 140 Maiden Lane (Union Square)

A Trip to the Xanadu Gallery is Essential for anyone who loves architecture. It’s the town’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building, and in addition, it houses a gallery of antiquities and art from Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Located in a quiet place on Maiden Lane — a fun alley of restaurants and stores off Union Square — it is a great way to acquire an up-close and personal look at Wright’s work.

More information: Xanadu Gallery


Tartine Bakery
Location: 600 Guerrero St. (Mission)

There’s a fantastic reason this little bakery has gained this kind of esteem — it has offerings are completely delicious. Elizabeth Prueitt along with her husband, Chad Roberston, have turned making bread into an art. Get there early — you’ll avoid a significant line and may liquefy a morning bun along with a place at one of the communal tables.

More information: Tartine Bakery

Proxy (Two-Block Project at Shipping Containers)
Location: 432 Octavia St. (Hayes Valley)

Using old shipping containers, San Francisco architecture firm Envelope A + D designed this temporary setup in the Hayes Valley area. As of this writing, the containers hold six stores, such as four excellent locally based food and drink stops: Ritual Coffee Roasters, Smitten Ice Cream, Avedano’s Meats and Biergarten (shown here).

More information: Proxy

Pizzeria Delfina
Location: 3611 18th St. (Mission)

Although the Pacific Heights place has the parklet, I favor the Mission place of Pizzeria Delfina for its trendy layout. Old-school hexagon tile floors and chalkboard menus comparison with yellowish Eames chairs along with also a funky wall mural — a nod to the restaurant’s old-meets-new approach to food. Hit up neighboring Bi-Rite Creamery following to get a spoonful of honey-lavender ice cream.

More information: Pizzeria Delfina, Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite Market
Locations: 3639 18th St. and 550 Divisadero St. (Mission)

If you’re in the mood for picnicking at Dolores Park, there is no better place for meals compared to Bi-Rite Market. The fresh fruits and vegetables, prepared foods and made-to-order sandwiches are a few of the best in town.

More information: Bi-Rite Market

The Mill
Location: 736 Divisadero (NoPa)

A joint venture between Josey Baker Bread and Four Barrel Coffee, the Mill is a warm and modern coffee store that is great for refueling after a visit to neighboring Alamo Square.

A Four Barrel latte with almond milk is my own personal favorite; it pairs perfectly with a massive hunk of cinnamon-sugar toast from Josey Baker Bread.

More information: The Mill

SoMa StrEAT Food Park
Location: 428 11th St. (SoMa)

For cheap eats it is hard to beat San Francisco’s food truck spectacle. However, it’s also sort of a pain trying to find out where the top ones are parked. SoMa StrEAT Food Park has helped solve the problem by hosting some of the city’s most popular sellers on a regular basis. Check the schedule to find out who’ll be there, then park yourself on a few of the numerous outdoor tables to get some yummy, affordable grub. Curry Up Today and Roli Roti are favorites. Try your hands at the Joey the Cat Skeeball trailer, too.

More information: SoMa StrEAT Food Park

Location: 620 Jones St. (Downtown/Tenderloin)

The contemporary rooftop deck at Jones, a downtown pub and cafe, is a surprising contrast to the more conventional neighbors. Massive movable planters, lots of patio heaters and a stunning design by Nottoscale combine at a swanky setup that is easily accessible from most downtown hotels.

More information: Jones

Must-Visit Shops


Location: 2300 Fillmore St. (Lower Pacific Heights)

The section of Fillmore between Bush and Jackson streets is a great place for researching, snacking and shopping. Grab a coffee at Jane or a sandwich at Bun Mee and visit Nest, a unique, adorable place that instantly feels like home. It’s ideal for finding gifts for friends, and there is an awesome collection of accessories and bedding. Check out the dish, silverware and glass collections, too; lots of things are hand painted and absolutely gorgeous.

More information: Nest

Location: 541 Valencia St. (Mission)

Next door to its clothing store, Therapy’s furniture shop is full of fantastic finds. While the small knickknacks are fun to poke, I love the furniture collection. The majority of the pieces are very reasonably priced and can be customized in various fabrics and colours.

More information: Therapy

Public Bikes
Location: 599 Valencia St. (Mission)

Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach, started this San Francisco bike company to create simple, everyday bikes. Beautiful and simple to ride, these European-inspired bikes come in a lot of colors and size combinations. Even when you’re not in the market for a bicycle, it is well worth checking out the shop.

More information: Public Bikes

Location: 1400 Green St. (Russian Hill)

Tucked into a corner place off Polk Street in Russian Hill, FL!PP (Stylish Living in Petite Places) is a hidden jewel on the north side of town. Even though the furniture selection is impeccable, check out the Fuchsia Garden in the back. Bonsai, succulents and garden decor come to life in this magical area.

More information: FL!PP

Perish Trust
Location: 728 Divisadero St. (NoPa)

Exploring the Perish Trust is an experience everyone should experience. Hosting a curated selection of antiques, art and tchotchkes, the shop feels like an conservative library that has been untouched for decades.

More information: The Perish Trust

Flora Grubb
Location: 1634 Jerrold Ave. (Bayview)

Landscape designer Flora Grubb (yep, that is her real name) has created an oasis dedicated to selling plants and garden materials to urban dwellers. Meandering through the shop’s gardens and unique installations is a wonderful way to spend a hot afternoon.

More information: Flora Grubb


Phoenix Hotel

Location: 601 Eddy St. (Tenderloin)
Cost: $139 to $169 per night

For over 20 decades, the Phoenix has been called San Francisco’s stone Rolex roll resort — and for good reason. Visiting musicians and bands often crash at this swanky place.

A funky mix of retro and contemporary design defines the resort. It’s situated in San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin place, so in the event that you have kids, it may not be for you. But if you’re searching for experience, the resort’s fantastic design should not be missed. Even in the event that you don’t end up staying here, it is well worth making a pit stop to have a drink at the hotel bar, Chambers Eat + Drink.

More information: Phoenix Hotel

Westin St. Francis
Location: 335 Powell St. (Union Square)
Cost: See website for rates

The first St. Francis resort opened in 1904, just two years before the town’s Great Earthquake and Fire destroyed much of the city and most of the resort. The interior was fully remodeled, along with the Westin opened again in late 1907. Now most of the resort keeps its original glamour. Taking a ride in the glass elevator and making a stop at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room on the 21st floor will give you a taste of classic, old-school San Francisco.

More information: Westin St. Francis

Clift Hotel
Location: 495 Geary (Downtown)
Cost: $249 to $669 per night

As soon as you pull up to the front entrance, it is clear the Clift is not an average resort. It was designed by Philippe Starck, and the lobby is outfitted with an incredible collection of iconic and authentic furniture, as well as a 35-foot bronze chimney and fireplace sculpture by Gerard Garouste. The downstairs pub, the Redwood Room, is comfy and lavish, with a distinctive interior of redwood paneling believed to have come from a single tree.

More information: Clift Hotel

What design-friendly destinations are in your own do-list this past year?

Seattle home layout: Browse Seattle-area design photos

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The Lowdown on High-Efficiency LED Lighting

When LEDs (light-emitting diodes) came in the market, people were slow to utilize them in home, because the lights tended to provide off a bluish-white hue. Today that has changed. Advancements in technology mean that LEDs may create that warm, yellow light several homeowners prefer in their living spaces.

Although the upfront price ($40 to $80) is much greater than for traditional bulbs, the yield on investment includes lower power bills, longer-lasting bulbs and better-quality light. LEDs may last up to 25,000 hours and use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.

However, the very best part is their flexibility. LEDs cover the selection of light, from warm and soft to crisp and cool, and come in various design choices which enable you to play with neat lighting schemes. LED tape, panels, pucks, ropes, cans and bulbs work wonders with uplighting, downlighting, accent lighting and much more.

Here is a rundown of the fundamental LED choices you may use to illuminate your living area.

Inspired LED

LED Tape (Adaptive Strip) Lighting

LED tape illuminates this kitchen in 2 colour temperatures. Above the cabinets an LED tape described as “normal bright” casts a white shine, while warmer white tape shines under the cabinets.

LED cassette is a flexible circuit board with attached LED chips which may be trimmed to size. The chips are dots of light spaced roughly every 5/8 inch; they are in various degrees of brightness. The strips have a self-adhesive backing, making them easy to install almost anywhere.

Inspired LED

Undercabinet and Accent Flexible LED Strips – $10

Ultrabright flexible strips are perfect for under cabinets, in offices and at additional areas requiring a great amount of light. Superbright is your middle selection of brightness and functions great in areas which need some light but not overly much. Traditional bright is perfect for accent lighting, such as for above cabinets, inside cabinets, in coves and around toe kicks, and for lighting art and much more.

WAC Lighting

White-light LED tape placed beneath the counter and cupboard inside this kitchen creates a glowing silhouette.

When considering tape for bathroom and kitchen applications, it is a good idea to go with tape that is coated. It is more durable where processors are vulnerable to heat, moisture and food spills. Noncoated cassette works best in areas such as inside closets where the chips aren’t subjected to harmful elements.

The cost of a decent-quality LED cassette is roughly $8 to $10 per foot plus the price of a motorist to power it, which begins at $150.

Tape lighting under this vanity provides the vanity the look that it is floating in space. Tape is excellent for illuminating small spaces such as coves, niches and under countertops. It has a higher lumen output (brightness) compared to LED rope lighting.

Tape lighting illuminates the top edge of each of the stairs. It’s perfect for lighting stairways at nighttime; someone can take the stairs without having to turn on all the overhead lighting.

186 Lighting Design Group – Gregg Mackell

LED Strip (or Panel) Lights

Strips backlight this mirror above and beneath, making a gentle but dramatic look. Because of an additional covering, strip lighting are moisture resistant, which makes them a great selection for lighting a bathroom vanity.

Lite Line Illuminations, Inc..

Mia Strip Light- Made in the USA

Strips have several LED chips built into a metal enclosure covered by an acrylic shield. They tend to be brighter than LED tape, because they have more chips. This LED strip creates over 360 lumens per foot, has a selection of multiple colour temperatures and can be dimmable.

LED strips come in 10-, 20- and 40-inch lengths and range in price from $99 to $200, based on duration and quality.

Urban Colony

Lights that are strips provide a soft glow to this ceiling cove crowning the room. Strips can do double duty as accent and overhead lighting because of the high lumen output.

SKG Renovations

LED Puck Lights

beneath this kitchen cupboard, six energy-saving LED recessed puck lights light the counter work area while emphasizing the quartzite backsplash. LED puck lights are a wonderful replacement for xenon puck lighting fixtures, which give off heat.

Karen LeBlanc Design TV Host & Writer/Blogger

Puck lights operate under cabinets, interior closets and in niches. The discs come as corded or plug components, sold individually or in kits at a broad range of costs, from about $10 to $80.

186 Lighting Design Group – Gregg Mackell

Puck lights beneath these bookshelves make pools of dark and light for drama and activity lighting. Pucks have a tendency to create areas of brightness and darkness, whereas LED strips and tape offer an even distribution of light.

WAC Lighting

Color-Changing LEDs

Color-changing LED tape inside this ceiling cove casts different hues around the outside of this space. The lighting alterations from white to warm amber, much like the sun does as it moves from day to evening.

Timers And Lighting Controls – $35

Color-changing tape functions using a remote control to alter the colors. You can program color-changing tape (also referred to as ribbon) to stay a certain colour, fade out and in, flash or perhaps sync with music.

Southam Design Inc

Color-changing strip lighting inside this kitchen casts a gentle glow behind the custom glass backsplash. The lighting shifts between different colors through the night and day.

The average price for a decent-quality LED color-changing system is $500 for 17 feet using a controller and driver.

Color-changing strips follow the outline of this vanity mirror. This lighting can go anywhere in the home where you wish to get creative and play with light and color.

Watch a home that goes all-out with vibrant LEDs

Pepe Calderin Design- Modern Interior Design

LED Rope Lights

Rope light illuminates this family area’s tray ceiling.


Neo Neon Blue Rope Light – $23.49

Rope is a round plastic or rubber tubing that houses LED chips to 1 inch in diameter. Rope isn’t as bright as strips or tape, and will give off a bluer light.

WAC Lighting

Rope lighting works well for outside uses, because it is encased in a durable plastic tubing. It’s perfect for patios, railings, walkways, stairs and landscape trimming.

Karen LeBlanc Design TV Host & Writer/Blogger

LED Downlights

Recessed headphones can be found as self-contained modules with an LED light built into the housing or a simple LED recessed can lightbulb. An LED recessed can module has its own engine to eliminate heat, so it lasts longer and produces better-quality light than straightforward LED bulbs.

A high performance LED module costs about $80, and a market module is roughly $45.


LIFX Lightbulb

LED Smart Bulbs

the most recent LED merchandise available on the market is referred to as the smart bulb, because you can control it from the smartphone, tablet or Wi-Fi network. With programs and products such as the Philips Hue Lightbulb and many others in the works it is possible to alter the colour and brightness of the bulb and set different illumination effects. Since LEDs are available in all colors of the spectrum and therefore are highly customizable, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Smart Bulbs for Better Lighting
12 Ways to Light Your Kitchen With LEDs

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8 Ways to Make an Extra-Full Nest Work Thankfully

When it’s elderly parents moving in with their children, grown children moving back in with parents, or siblings moving in together, multigenerational and extended family living arrangements have made a comeback. Living with family could be a blessing to all parties, helping conserve cash, giving small ones longer time with grandparents and bringing families closer together. Obviously, it is not without its challenges — that is where this ideabook comes in.

Below are hints for taking advantage of living with family. Please share your experiences in the Remarks.

Vin Nevertheless Architecture

1. Have a sit-down chat early on. Before you break out the moving boxes, then take a while to sit down together and discuss how you want to handle the fundamentals. Bills, grocery shopping, showers, noise and pets are a few of the topics you may choose to pay for, but include anything else you want — it is a lot easier to talk about these things until they become an issue.

Jeni Lee

2. Produce a plan for tackling conflicts. It can be valuable to decide beforehand how you want to handle conflicts — perhaps schedule a monthly home meeting when anyone can bring up issues.

Cardea Building Co..

3. Make space. In-law studios and units are perfect when parents are moving, but not everybody has this choice. If you’re all sharing the exact same home, provide a few extras (such as an in-room coffee bar) that will offer your new housemates more freedom.

Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects

4. Carve out personal space for children. Moving into Grandma and Grandpa’s home can be a fun experience for kids. But even the tiniest family members can benefit from a bit of personal space to call their very own. Encourage kids to hang up their own artwork, unpack preferred toys and customize their space.

For siblings who have been accustomed to having their very own rooms, suddenly having to share could be a jolt. Try hanging drapes to section off bunk beds, and establish a small desk or reading nook for each kid.

Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture

5. Figure out ways to maintain patterns. Routines are especially important to young children, so do your best to maintain the very same schedules and patterns you had prior to the change in your living situation.

Emily Campbell

6. Label and organize. Whether you’re suddenly sharing space together with your little brother, sister, mother or father-in-law, it will not hurt to amp up the tagging and business. Concentrate on a few key areas (kitchen, bath, linen cupboard) and you might find yourself answering fewer “Where is that … ?” questions.

Kaia Calhoun

7. Bond over a DIY project. Call on everybody to pitch in and work on a home project together. Gather a family photo wall, create some DIY artwork, paint a vintage piece of furniture or plant a tree in the backyard. Get creative and have fun with it!

Frederick + Frederick Architects

8. Create a date for household time. Even if you lead busy lives, create a point of keeping a normal date for household time. Pick something that everybody can get excited about — a big Saturday-morning pancake breakfast, a backyard barbecue or film night, as an example.

Louise Lakier

Tell us : Can you or have you ever lived with extended family? Do you intend to one day? Share your tales and tips in the Comments!

Next: More Living Space — Making Room for Family

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Eclectic Repurposing Fits First-Time Homeowners in Utah

Described as a “type of mutt,” this 1911 home in Salt Lake City has been an perfect match for first-time homeowners and stepbrothers Ian Wade and David Kamp. The group benefited from upgrades done by a former homeowner, who had gutted and remodeled the home after it had been neglected for a long time. Two add-ons raised the living space: a rear room, and also the stepbrothers have since transformed into a lounge area using a DIY bar, plus another floor, which they turned into a guest room.

The inviting, open layout proved to be a major draw for both, who share passions for creating artwork, entertaining and cooking meaningful dishes for family members. Wade, 24, says he’s “filled the shoes of a philosophy student, bartender and athlete”; he is now co-owner of fashion boutique Fresh. Kamp, 25, describes himself as a “decorative scholar and explorer,” and works as an independent designer and a server at a neighborhood pub. During their combined wallpapers, a hybrid minimalist-meets-rustic design has blossomed.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Stepbrothers Ian Wade and David Kamp, and their bichon-terrier combination, Earl
Location: Sugar House neigborhood of Salt Lake City
Size: 2,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 3 baths

Lucy Call

Wade and Kamp had been purchasing furniture for three months before they got the keys to their own residence. “We’d all these components which were theoretically going to work together, but we could not really tell, since they were set aside at distinct antique shops and furniture stores,” Wade says.

The stepbrothers maintained all the furniture pieces neutral, so when they’d finally all sit under precisely the same roof, they’d be cohesive and work nicely with the existing tan walls. “Each element would appear in spurts. We got the dining room set up, then the couch showed up, and each of the pieces came together real quick,” he says.

Wade remembers the very first day alone at the home: “After the hustle of moving in and getting things sorted in their proper place, I spent a Saturday night unwinding from this process with a few beers, and it sunk in that this was my property.”

Lucy Call

A sizable reclaimed wood table matches the dining room space, in which Wade, in white, and Kamp love dinner and coffee with friends (not shown). The table is from the early 1900s and was initially used at a farmhouse and then by a traveling salesman.

Dining set: Urban Vintage; pendant light: Elemente

Lucy Call

Wade enjoys pieces that achieve a lasting impact through thoughtful layout, such as this early-20th-century coffee table from Urban Vintage and midcentury green chair from Elemente. “My decorating style is one which adheres to usefulness,” he says. “I really don’t like clutter, and I don’t like things to be there without a real purpose.”

Couch: Lofgrens

Lucy Call

“I’d call my design a rustic fusion of midcentury and turn of the century,” says Kamp. This blend of styles is observed in his pairing a century-old coffee table which initially was an old hay bale cart using a midcentury-style tufted couch. The corner painting, by painter and friend Morgan Richard Murphy, is creatively hung with binder clips.

Lucy Call

Kamp and Wade decided to not hang drapes or blinds on any of those double-pane windows, therefore they’d have to rely on organic light than artificial.

Kamp wishes to finally replace the carpet with wood.

Lucy Call

The stepbrothers discovered this old ladder out an antiques store, and Kamp had the idea to use it as a shelf to balance out the low profile of another living room furnishings. They simply closed the ladder closed and leaned it against the walls, creating shelves on each rung for book display.

“Aesthetics are the largest driving factor in my life, from my home down to my smallest trinkets. I enjoy the world I build to represent me as honestly as possible,” Kamp says.

Lucy Call

Kamp and Wade maintained the kitchen easy, as it is a high-traffic region which will get dirty quickly. However, it soon became Wade’s preferred place. “We’ve got a record player and coffee there. Having the ability to put on an LP and also make good coffee are just two things which give me so much satisfaction,” he says.

Lucy Call

Kamp’s bedroom is full of items that reveal his personality and resourcefulness. The big typographical painting was awarded to him from the artist, Morgan Richard Murphy; it reminds Kamp of if he lived in Portland and went to school together with Murphy, when they were both start to develop their creative talents.

Lucy Call

Kamp cleverly repurposed an older photography enlarger for a shelf.

Lucy Call

Wade repurposed old crates as shelves in his bedroom, to exhibit some of his cherished things at a boutique-like way.

Lucy Call

Wade bought the crates via Craigslist from a set designer. He believes that a bedroom should be a place for sleeping and getting ready for the afternoon, so the shelves were designed with practicality in mind. The bottom shelf shows things that he generally puts in his pockets. The next one holds watches and similar products.

Lucy Call

The back add-on to the first home is where Wade and Kamp like to amuse with their residence pub. The windows look out to the yard, where both plan to put in a garden.

Lucy Call

One of Wade and Kamp’s first projects for their home was the bar, made from repurposed old crates and salvaged transport tractors. The crates function as shelves and are styled with mason jars and bottles.

Lucy Call

This Kamp takes a turn throwing darts at a board set up in the bar space. Both leaning scoreboards have been a DIY project made with scrap pieces of plywood and chalkboard spray paint.

Lucy Call

The stepbrothers found the home through a group of youthful Realtors and designers known as the City Home Collective. Both were attracted to the diverse and growing Sugarhouse neighborhood, filled with new eateries and a healthy mix of young professionals, first-time homeowners and small families. Kamp says, “I love the capacity of my town. It’s young and cheap, and is full of beautiful old buildings and houses waiting for the right owners.”

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It Takes a Village: Two Homes

While most people wish to construct a home that’s under a single roof, there are instances when building the home as a series of connected or freestanding pavilions is desired. Perhaps the home serves multiple generations or have to accommodate an ever-changing mixture of family members. Or maybe the home develops over time, to ensure a home expansion is a new pavilion instead of simply an addition.

Here are just two houses which were made to resemble small villages instead of being monolithic structures. While both have their roots set deeply in their various locales, coastal Maine and Piedmont, Virginia, equally take a decidedly modern approach to family living, with the best of both traditional and the modern, the individual and the family.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

The first home is in coastal Maine and looks like, on strategy, a small Maine fishing village. From the waterside the home looks like a fishing village so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see locals pull up in a boat to roam around, procuring a new lobster in the process.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

From the roadside the home clearly shows off its Maine heritage, with traditional gable roofs, wood shake siding and roofing, and soft grays and browns which are, in spirit if not in actuality, the end result of that weathering that can happen only in Maine.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

Each freestanding pavilion is a simple, gable-shaped structure which has small windows and a taut skin to withstand the bitter-cold Maine winters.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

And while each arrangement is separate from its neighbors, there’s an urbanity for their arrangement, just like one finds at the best of Maine’s small towns. A consistent substance and color palette in addition to a consistency in form and detail be certain that the whole “village” is just one.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

The interiors are where the saying of modernity takes hold. Open floor plans, tall ceilings and massive expanses of glass to look at the water out of are where this home separates itself from the traditional.

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Traveling down the Eastern Seaboard a couple hundred kilometers is where we encounter the second home that’s been created as a small community. But in this case, a rural Virginia home, the layout was inspired by local farming estates.

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

It’s a closely dressed group of pavilions that seem like they might have been assembled over time. The main building mass is unmistakable, with its big chimney and notable central position, and the structures are organized in a hierarchical order that’s unmistakable.

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

While the arrangement and types of the structures are, like the house’s Maine cousin, steeped in convention, there is no mistaking that this house belongs to our century. The materials, crisp detailing and simplicity of this are completely modern.

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

And that modernity is accepted indoors, where an open plan which enables a casual 21st-century lifestyle is to be found.

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Light-filled volumes of distance replace the traditional ceiling.

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Red and Black Pop in a Penthouse

As they say: It pays to wait. For interior stylist Angelo De Bock, his individual, yearlong search led him to an enviable penthouse in Cologne, Germany, blessed with a rooftop terrace and a view of the famous Cologne Cathedral. Located in the Belgian section of the inner city — known for its art shops, trendy restaurants and proximity to the old city — De Bock’s penthouse is spread across the top two floors of some grand A-frame, five-story construction. But with all the benefits of snagging the top floor came columns and eaves’ struggle. De Bock tackled both layout challenges with semi displayed international finds, a concentrated color scheme and tactical paint remedies.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Angelo De Bock
Location: Inner city of Cologne, Germany
Size: 145 square meters (1,560 square feet) plus a 50-square-meter (538-square-foot) roof terrace; 1 bedroom, 2 baths, home office


Thanks to expansive windows, the living area is flooded with light, at the top level. The pristine white walls complement the floor and furniture, but De Bock says, “I am thinking of painting the central pillar a darker color to make it less current.”


The massive jewel chandelier near the seating area is by Dutch designer Jurgen Bey. Wrapped in a contemporary reflective lampshade, the lighting fixture is a marriage of styles.

While working at Maison & Objets in Paris this year, De Bock brought home this cosmetic red bird to miss his dining and kitchen room.


A strong wooden dining table De Bock purchased because of his previous home is combined with a custom-built tufted high-back seat by Job Interieur.


The large windows lining the walls frame rooftop views of the inner city.


A black and red cosmetic clock bridges the two floors and De Bock’s color idea. A corner reading nook offers smart storage space and perspectives of the rooftop terrace.


While the upper floor is swathed in neutral and also understated colors, the lower floor is dressed up in black and red. This is the home office. De Bock painted the bull against a checkered background as an ode to his love of its own culture and Spain.

Paint: Picture Gallery Red No. 42, Farrow & Ball (wall); Railings No. 31, Farrow & Ball (column)


Shades of black and red and also a whimsical checkered pattern are replicated throughout the room.


De Bock enjoys collecting art pieces throughout his trips abroad. A Pinocchio doll from the Czech Republic is exhibited in a transparent presentation box under his desk.

Glass instance: Polspotten


Another among De Bock’s original paintings is set against a sharp white background. Neighborhood he painted a rectangular place red to create a digital bookcase with three mounted shelves to display his artwork and style books.


The spacious master bedroom also keeps with the color palette.

Over the tufted headboard is an icon of a house soul. According to Eastern European tradition, a home spirit is thought to protect the home, looking after certain important members or the entire household. This mythical creature is a significant source of inspiration for the function as an interior designer and decorator of De Bock.

A plush bench and a collection of Moroccan cushions give more luxury and relaxation.

Bed: Scapa Home


Opposite the bed, a large drum table, vintage traveling purses, Moroccan ottomans and a glass box displaying antique books and a world highlight the homeowner’s eclectic tastes.

Side table: Brass Drum Lamp Table, Timothy Oulton


A mask on the cupboard handle winks at the global style of the room.

Paint: Dauphin Brown and Picture Gallery Red No. 42, both by Farrow & Ball; cabinet: Flamant


Into a bedroom turned . He reversed the color scheme, with black as an anchor and red as an accent.


He painted black squares and rectangles to creatively frame paintings and family pictures. A daybed out of Ikea doubles as a seat and guest bed.


Entering the apartment out of the building’s elevator, people are satisfied with closet mirrors that reflect a trailer of their air and reveal part of their home office, the stairs to the upper living area floor and the hallway resulting in the bathrooms and dressing area.

Paint: Vert de Terre, Farrow & Ball


All rooms on the lower floor are fitted with adjustable spotlights. These strong light beams create an additional visual dimension and may be readjusted for mood lighting.

Ceiling lights: Delta


From the upper level, glass doors lead to a large rooftop terrace ready for its first sign of spring.


This photograph, taken by De Bock, shows his terrace in the summer.


This is the terrace around Christmas.


The olive tree branches on the terrace leave room to get a peek at Cologne Cathedral, with its impressive darkened Gothic tower, in the distance.


De Bock awakens in his reading nook. “When arriving home from a day in the city, my home feels comfortable, safe and luxury,” he says. “Since I’ve lived here, it’s been endless enjoyment.”

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Your turn: Show us your Residence

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Basement of the Week: Garden Beauty Inspires a Space

Following three decades of living in their new home, this Georgia family had an upgrade: The toddlers had grown into lively kiddos, and they all wanted for more room for family fun and fun.

They contacted builder John Willis Homes to revive the house, and he brought in Jeff Thomas to plan the space and design the inside. The natural beauty of the home’s yard instantly inspired Thomas to create a design which connected with the outside, literally and stylistically.

Basement at a Glance
Who lives here: A few with a 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son
Location: Atlanta
Size: About 2,000 square feet

John Willis Homes

The center of the new fantasy basement is a cozy living room and fully equipped bar; the room now opens out to the lawn. New steel beams added structural support, which makes the wide-open space potential.

“The first time I saw the home, I was struck by how amazing their backyard was,” Thomas says. “It really inspired me to present them with a resort-style design for the space that brought the outdoors in and mixed the spaces.”

John Willis Homes

The basement living room outside is extended by A terrace. Thomas thought carefully about how to link the two spaces with substances too. He used the same rock that’s on the outside of the home through the basement, on the bar, around a fireplace and also in a wall of built-ins.

Folding glass doorways: NanaWall

John Willis Homes

Pool table: Treviso in Espresso, Brunswick Billiards

John Willis Homes

The room is filled with fun activities for adults and kids; Thomas planned room for a shuffleboard game and a pool table.

John Willis Homes

A massive wine cellar was a big-ticket thing on the couple’s wish list. The room retains 1,000 bottles in an assortment of racks which break up the room with horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines.

Glass doors offer you a view of the wine cellar from the primary living area. Thomas chose black walnut timber accents and rock to match the landscape and complement the substances in the remaining portion of the basement. “The terrace floor has been used in the wine cellar to place the continuity of their exterior and interior finishes,” Thomas says.

John Willis Homes

“We added an additional natural finish of wood on the walls,” he states. “We then used crisp, clean paint finishes and furnishings for comparison.”

The media room is a cozy, enclosed space, improved by ceiling runner beams. The family loves many movie nights in front of the projection display.

John Willis Homes

Georgia’s mild climate allows the family to enjoy the new outdoor space nearly year-round. Thus far they’ve used their new basement and terrace to sponsor birthday and game-day parties, al fresco dinners, backyard cocktail parties and wine tastings — not to mention enjoying it for everyday movie viewing and relaxing in the backyard.

Have a fantastic basement redo? We’d really like to see a picture!

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