What to Consider When Lighting Your Home

A designer offers a few illuminating insights on this key design element

By: Gillian Lazanik via Houzz

Lighting is one of the most overlooked yet important elements of interior design. What’s the point in creating beautiful spaces if there’s not enough light to see them? Lighting is also essential for creating the mood and ambiance of a space. Come up with your lighting plan during the conceptual design phase so your contractor knows ahead of time where to run electrical wiring. Once the drywall goes up, changing wiring is much harder, so don’t leave this consideration until the end. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to lighting your home.

Dining room lighting. Dining Room.jpgEveryone loves to create ambiance over the dining room table. But there are practically as many light fixtures to choose from as there are snowflakes.

When it comes to your dining area, make sure to choose a light fixture that’s the right size for your table. If you can’t find something large enough, consider clustering multiple lights together. I like to ensure that the fixture is at least one-third the size of the table. And make sure you mount it approximately 30 to 38 inches above the eating surface. Also be sure to install a dimmable switch so you can set the mood.

Undercabinet lighting. A simple valance on the underside of your cabinets will not properly hide the cord for lighting. Plan ahead and have your mill-worker build a false bottom to conceal the wires. Another option is to speak with a cabinetmaker about routing a channel to recess LED strip lighting.

Lighting 2.2Track lighting. Track lighting is a great way to illuminate multiple areas with wiring for only one electrical box. There are tons of great-looking track lights available these days, but if you’re not a fan, try recessing the track into the ceiling. It creates a cool architectural detail while keeping the functionality.

Toe-kick lighting
. Don’t think that adding lights to your toe-kicks is a frivolous, aesthetics-only decision. Strip lighting at the underside of base cabinets is a great way to create a nightlight that looks fabulous.


Sconce lighting
. Bathroom sconces are great for illuminating your face in the mirror. They’ll work best if you can mount them close to the height of your face, but if you don’t have the space, a sconce above the mirror will work nicely too.

Lighting 2.3Pot lighting. I like to use pot lights, often referred to as recessed lighting, in certain spaces of a house, but I don’t think they should act as substitutes for indirect lighting, such as floor and table lamps. Pot lights work best in areas where tasks occur, like the kitchen or laundry room. You can use far fewer pot lights in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms.

Bedside lighting. When choosing lights for your bedside tables, make sure you think about how you’ll be using them. Are they strictly decorative or will they be more functional? If you’re using them as task lights, make sure they can swivel for ease of reading in bed.

Stair lighting. This is one of my favorite ways to add lighting to a space. Stair lighting can take any renovation to the next level. They’re not overly expensive and they’re highly functional.

Custom lighting. If you’re having a hard time finding the perfect lighting, you may want to contact a local lighting manufacturer or designer. Like art, lighting is personal and subjective. You might benefit from working with someone to design your perfect fixture.

Looking to build or remodel a home within a 50 mile radius of our Goshen, Indiana location? Call us at 574-862-2142.

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Remodeled bathroom by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. Goshen, IN

2017 Top Ten Bathroom Trends

More Homeowners Turning to Contemporary-Styled Bathrooms, According to NKBA Research

Members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association specify contemporary color schemes and freestanding tubs among top bathroom trends of 2017

KITCHEN & BATH INDUSTRY SHOW, ORLANDO (January 10, 2017) — As with kitchens, Contemporary and Transitional-styled bathrooms have overtaken Traditional in design preference, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report completed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Based on this annual member survey, the NKBA expects to see the following top 10 overall bathroom trends this year:Bath addition by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

  1. Contemporary and Transitional-styled bathrooms have overtaken Traditional style preferences.  Shaker style is gaining on Traditional, while Mid-Century Modern is emerging. Asian Fusion is a niche design, but design professionals who recommend it plan to do more of it in bathrooms.
  2. Whites, off/whites and gray are by far the most popular bathroom color schemes. Blue is emerging, with younger design professionals leaning more towards violets and purples. Stainless steel is niche and emerging.
  3. Linen storage cabinets and wood vanities are the most commonly used bathroom storage solutions. Floating vanities and open shelving are popular and increasing in popularity. Toilet topper cabinets are declining in demand.Bath storage in bath remodeled by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN
  4. Ceramic tile flooring is most popular, but high-quality vinyl appears to be emerging.
  5. Undermount bathroom sinks are most desirable, with requests for vessel sinks continuing to wane, as well as pedestal sinks. Trough sinks are emerging.Kohler undermount sink in bath remodeled by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN
  6. More than half of NKBA members surveyed said they eliminated a tub or whirlpool in a bathroom remodel over the course of the past year. Yet half also specified a freestanding tub during that same period, and 60 percent expect to specify more of them in 2017. While tub/shower surrounds are maintained and updated when they already exist in a home, they are not being added to new bathrooms or completely remodeled bathrooms.
  7. White fixtures are trending up, while bone/bisque colored fixtures are trending down. Brushed brass and gold are emerging faucet finishes; designer faucet colors, while still a niche, are emerging.Bathroom in custom lake home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN
  8. The most popular amenities for the bathroom are in the arena of safety and comfort: e.g., comfort heights, shower seats, lighting in showers and no-threshold showers. Emerging amenities are smart toilets, smart toilet seats, music in the shower, easy maintenance features, and radiant floor heating.
  9. Water-saving toilets and faucets are becoming more mainstream.
  10. Distributed video and audio and wiring pathways for future integration are still niche in the bathroom, but emerging.Control 4 System in Lake Home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

According to respondents to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey, Contemporary and Transitional styles have overtaken Traditional in bathroom design preference. NKBA members reported that Shaker style is gaining on Traditional, while Mid-Century Modern is emerging.

Emphasizing the decline in traditional styling, one respondent went as far as to say that his clients are selecting “bold options for their bathroom. Homeowners are beginning to choose more of what they want, rather than what others are doing.”White onyx Stone Forest vessel sink in bathroom remodeled by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

In terms of in-demand bathroom colors, whites, off/whites and grays continue to dominate designs recommended by NKBA members. Blues are emerging, with younger design professionals leaning more towards violets and purples.

“We’re beginning to see more sleek designs over the more furniture look in the past,” added one survey respondent. “Everything is very bright and airy in terms of color trends.”

As for bathroom storage, conventional linen storage cabinets and wood vanities remain popular, with more contemporary options such as floating vanities and open shelving growing in use.

Also prevalent in many bathroom designs is the addition of power outlets located directly in drawers or vanity cabinets to unobtrusively power blow dryers, curling irons, shavers, electric toothbrushes and more.

Whirlpools tubs are also fading in status. More than half of NKBA members responding said they eliminated a tub or whirlpool in a bathroom remodel over the course of the past year.

Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO, anticipates continuing to see fewer tubs and whirlpools in the next year.  However, while whirlpool tubs are in decline, nearly half of survey respondents said that they specified a freestanding or soaking tub in the last year, and 60 percent expect to specify more of them in 2017.

Survey respondents also reported that the arena of safety and comfort comprises the most popular category of bathroom amenities, including: comfort height toilets/countertops, shower seats, lighting in showers and no-threshold showers.Shower seat in custom built luxury home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

“ADA-compliant features in master baths are not really new, but they are now trending so people can stay in their home as they age,” commented one respondent.

ABOUT THE SURVEY:

The 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey was fielded online to NKBA  members during August 2016 and generated 562 responses that represent multiple industry segments from across North America. Findings represent the number of respondents who said they specified these colors, materials, product types and design for their kitchen and bath clients during 2016. It does not represent the market size for these categories. For a report detailing market size by product category, please refer to the NKBA Size of Industry Study, available at NKBA.org/research.

About the National Kitchen & Bath Association

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS), as part of Design and Construction Week ® (DCW). With nearly 14,000 member companies representing tens of thousands of members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA envisions a world where everyone enjoys safe, beautiful and functional kitchen and bath spaces. The mission of the NKBA is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through the creations of certifications, marketplaces and networks. For more information, visit NKBA.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Bathrooms shown are in homes built or remodeled by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.
Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written consent.