Mary Ann Quinn - Reading, MA Real Estate, Wakefield, MA Real Estate, North Reading, MA Real Estate


One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them. 


Ambient Lighting


Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.


Accent Lighting 


If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use. 


Task Lighting


This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.  


Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.            



Fireplaces can serve as a focal point in a room, provide a source of heat and add to the comfort of your home. They can also help you to save on energy costs. There’s so many different kinds of fireplaces that you can either install or find in a home. If you’re shopping for a home, you may want a home with a built-in fireplace. You don’t necessarily need one to get all of the benefits that a fireplace can provide. There’s different types of fireplaces that are made to suit the many different needs of homeowners. Here, we’ll show you some different kinds of fireplaces along with their pros and cons. 


Wood Fireplaces 


The most commonly thought of fireplace is the wood-burning fireplace. This will be built-in to your home, or you can install them in your home to use as a heat source. You may even install a wood stove in the upstairs part of your home and another in the downstairs in order to keep an even heat throughout the home. In some homes, however, just one wood stove is enough to heat the entire house! 


This type of fireplace requires maintaining from time-to-time including cleaning the chimney. You’ll also need to clean out ash from the inside of the fireplace. The material that’s being burned- wood, needs to be stored somewhere. Rain and inclement weather can cause a problem, as you’ll need to dry the wood some before it can be burned effectively. You’ll need a screen to protect you and your family from the ash and embers that may be blown around form the inside of the fireplace while it’s burning wood. These fireplaces are advantageous for a classic look and feel but can often be a pain to clean.   


Gas Fireplaces 


If your home is fitted with a gas fireplace, you’re lucky because these types of fireplaces are cleaner and provide a more even heat source. Gas fireplaces, true to their name, burn gas instead of wood. A vented gas fireplace will look very similar to that of a wood- burning fireplace. There is a firebox present in the chimney that allows for ventilation with these types of heating sources. You can use a variety of things to give the appearance that you are “burning” them in a gas fireplace. This includes beads that will bring flames up and ceramic logs that appear just like the logs that would be present in a wood-burning fireplace. You can even easily convert a gas burning fireplace to a wood burning one. This is, if you seem miss cleaning up all of the ash that they create!   


Direct Vent Fireplaces


These fireplaces don’t require a chimney. They draw in outside air and feed off a gas line that’s attached through the wall. The flame of these fireplaces is secured behind a piece of glass. The big advantage to these kinds of fireplaces is that they emit a large amount of heat and don’t lose much heat in the process, since there’s no chimney to lose air through.  


Faux Fireplaces

If you choose, there’s a variety of options that you have in getting a fireplace that doesn’t actually create a flame at all. These fireplaces are typically run on electricity and give the same effect of a fireplace but are much easier to install anywhere in your home. Consider these if you really would like a fireplace without the hassle!


Window treatments do more than offer your home curb appeal, inviting light in or casting shade across your floors. Window treatments narrow or broaden your vision of your neighborhood. You have dozens of window treatment types to choose from. Yet, not every type will highlight the best features in your home. Drapes and curtains are traditional window treatments and are available in a rainbow of colors and designs. Solid colors, particularly solid neutral colors like brown, beige, sky blue and white, are good because they complement many furniture styles and accessories like floral arrangements, candle centerpieces, tall greenery and weaved baskets. Blinds – Wood, faux wood, fabric, vinyl and metal are materials that blinds are made with. Additionally, blinds come in horizontal and vertical designs. Mini blinds are more lightweight than traditional blinds. They work well with small windows. Because these blinds are thinner, they are easier to bend or damage. Therefore, it’s recommended that they be installed in rooms that young children and pets don’t frequent. Shutters – Heavier than blinds and shades, shutters, are available in horizontal and vertical designs. It’s possible to install shutters in windows that cover a room corner. You may need to install three horizontal shutters to cover all of the windows. Hang a decorative ceiling light above the center window for an elegant look and feel. Shades – Shades come in Roman, bamboo and roller styles. Different lift or raise options are available with shades. Unlike blinds, shades can expose your entire window when they are lifted, allowing more light inside your home. For example, you can install shades that leave the top foot of your windows exposed. Solar shades can help protect your furniture from over exposure to sun rays, keeping fabric colors vibrant. Cord or cordless – Blinds, shades and shutters come with cords. Should you choose the cord route, make sure that you lock or tie up cords, so that children do not play with them and so that people don’t trip on the cords. You can also select cordless window treatments. Cordless window treatments may be a perfect option for children’s rooms, especially over windows that are near baby cribs. Custom styles – Organic window treatments are environmentally safe. Other custom styles include window treatments that are cut, sewn and designed specifically for one or more rooms of your home. Insulated window treatments – Window treatments with added insulation help to lower utility bills. Examples of these window treatments are double or triple layered shutters. Liners can also be added to drapes and curtains for added insulation. Black window treatments help to keep light out. They can also help to reduce the amount of outside noise that penetrates a room at your house. This option works well if you’re a photographer or an artist who needs to focus and work in a quieter space. Additionally, darker colored drapes and curtains help to keep a house warmer during winter, while lighter drapes can help a house stay cooler when it’s hot outside. Measure your windows before purchasing any window treatments. Use a tape measure or slide ruler to measure the width and height of your windows. Get measurements for the top, base and middle of each of your windows. Measurements will determine the size rods, drapes, curtains or other window treatment types that you need.



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