Quick Tips
Helpful Tips for the Home

Bathroom Lighting

When lighting a bathroom the first and most important focus should be on the vanity lighting. Ideally a vertical fixture should be hung on either side of the mirror. This allows for light to be evenly distributed across one's face. The fixtures should be mounted approximately 5.5 feet above the floor (eye level), and 36-40 inches apart. This helps to eliminate shadows under the eyes and chin.


Lighting Your Space

Creating proper room illumination starts by combining the three different types of light sources; ambient, task and accent or decorative lighting. To distribute the light evenly, place the fixtures so they form a triangular shape throughout the space. For example, if your room already has a ceiling fixture that is considered general illumination or ambient lighting. Next layer the room with side lamps or a floor lamp positioned around the primary and secondary seating areas for task lighting. Then follow up with accent lighting to feature artwork, tall plants or other focal points in the room.

Creative Alternatives to Basic Lighting:

  • Elevate a lamp on large hardbound books for added interest and height
  • Use up-lights behind trees, plants, or open shelving
  • Use candles in a grouping where there is no electrical alternative or to dress up a non-functioning fireplace
  • In a low-light situation, use a mirror to reflect every bit of available light

Right Sizing Your Chandelier

When choosing a new chandelier, numbers play an important role. Use the numbers here to help you decide what is right for your room.

  • If the room is smaller than 10' by 10', a 17" to 20' diameter chandelier would be the right size
  • If the room is about 12' x 12', a 26" or 27" chandelier would look right
  • If the room is about 14' x 14', choose a 24" to 36" chandelier
  • A chandelier should hang about 30" from the surface of the table to insure no bumped heads and good illumination
  • A chandelier should be about 12" narrower than the width of the table over which it hangs
  • Total wattage of all bulbs should be 200 to 400 to provide sufficient light

Simple Floor Cleaning Tips

Ceramic and Porcelain - Combine 1 gal warm water, 1 Tbs Borax, and 2 Tbs clear ammonia into a bucket. Use a rag or micro-fiber mop to clean.

Note: Never use a sponge mop to clean ceramic-tile floors. It will pull the dirt right into the grout tracks. A micro-fiber mop picks up dirt a sponge mop leaves behind.

Hardwood - Take 1 qt of boiling water and let two tea bags steep in it for a few minutes. Pour the tea mixture into a bucket, then take a soft cloth and wring it out in the tea. The cloth merely needs to be damp, not soaked. Wash the floor and be ready to be amazed by the sheen.

Note: The tannic acid in tea creates a beautiful shine for hardwood floors.

Vinyl - Combine 1 gal warm water and 1 Tbs. Borax in a bucket and wash the floor with a mop or cloth.

Laminate - Pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into a 32 oz spray bottle filled with water. Then, dampen a terry mop or a Swiffer with water and mop, spraying the floor as you go along. Always avoid standing fluids so you don't saturate the floor.

Natural Stone - Wet mop regularly with very hot water, and change the rinse water frequently. If the floor is particularly dirty, a neutral stone cleaner or a mild dish detergent (one that's not oil-based) can be used.

Note: Penetrating sealers may also be applied to natural stone floors to help prevent permanent staining.

Carpet - Vacuum carpet regularly, and don't use liquid carpet shampoos to clean them. Use dry carpet cleaners instead. Never rub a stain, just blot. Rubbing breaks down the fibers and spreads the stain. Remove most food stains with shaving cream. Spray on and resist the temptation to rub it in. Let it set for 15 minutes. Rinse with a vinegar and water solution.