Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
Lighting is an extremely important but often overlooked element of interior design. No matter the style or setting, lighting choices can make or break the entire look and feel of a room. However, achieving great lighting in your interior design isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Here we’ll go over the three main types of lighting used in interior design and how you can implement them into your next decorating project.
Ambient lighting, also sometimes referred to as general lighting, is basically what substitutes for natural light in a room. Ambient lighting controls the overall visibility in a space. A lot of ambient lighting comes in through your windows, but you will still need to function comfortably when the sun goes down.
Many designers think of lighting in layers with ambient lighting being the base. Outside of natural light, the most common form of natural light will typically be a wall or ceiling fixture. Other ways to get ambient lighting include chandeliers, lights on ceiling fans, track and recessed lighting. These options spread light evenly throughout the space rather than focusing on one particular area.
Task lighting is the second layer of home lighting. Like the name suggests, task lighting is light specifically used for certain tasks like reading, cooking and finding something in your closet. An excellent and commonly used application of task lighting would be lamps on bedside tables.
Task lighting is a great way to increase the light in a space without filling the entire room. It will allow you to get extra clarity on the task you’re working on without affecting the overall ambient lighting by too much. Some great ways to add task lighting are with table and desk lamps, hanging pendant lights, vanity lights and under-counter lights. These help you to perform specific tasks where the ambient light may not be enough.
Designers sometimes call accent lighting mood lighting. However, depending on the application, it can do much more than influence the overall atmosphere of a space. Accent lighting is used to highlight specific features or objects and draw attention to them. By that same token, you can also use accent lighting to take the focus away from less attractive aspects of a room.
One of the important things about accent lighting when compared to the other two types is that it leaves the most room for creativity. With accent lighting, the entire idea is to add specific focus and flair. For example, you could use wall sconces that direct light upward to highlight architectural elements like vaulted ceilings. You can use directed recessed lighting to shine more light on a favorite piece of artwork or onto a shelf displaying curios. Other examples of accent lighting would be candlelight, niche lighting, lighting inside cabinet doors and directed track or recessed lighting.
Understanding the 3 basic types of lighting in interior design can help you take any indoor space to the next level. By combining these three layers in a space, you’ll create a look and feel all your own while also providing a comfortable and functional atmosphere.
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The process of buying a house may prove to be long and complicated. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take before you pursue a home to streamline the homebuying cycle, and these include:
1. Create a Homebuying Checklist
It helps to start the homebuying process with a homebuying checklist in hand. This checklist will enable you to differentiate between home must-haves and wants, resulting in a fast, efficient homebuying journey.
Think about what you require from a home. For example, if you need a house that is located close to your office in the city, you should include this information in your checklist.
Also, if you want a house that features a built-in swimming pool, you can include this information in your homebuying checklist. But keep in mind that a swimming pool likely is a non-essential item. And if you find a home that is virtually perfect but lacks a swimming pool, it may still be a good idea to pursue this house.
2. Establish a Budget
How much can you afford to spend on a house? This question frequently plagues buyers as they proceed along the homebuying journey. Luckily, you can determine how much money is at your disposal if you develop a budget.
To budget effectively, it helps to meet with local lenders. Banks and credit unions generally offer a wide range of mortgage options and can help you make an informed mortgage decision.
In addition, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to entering the real estate market. Because if you have a mortgage, you can pursue houses that fall within a specific price range and reduce the risk of overspending to acquire your dream house.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it is beneficial to have a homebuying expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do what it takes to help you discover a great house at an affordable price.
A real estate agent understands housing market patterns and trends and can help you plan ahead for a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will teach you about the real estate market and respond to your homebuying queries as well.
Furthermore, a real estate agent acts as a guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and help you finalize a home purchase. By doing so, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to prepare. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can get the support you need to plan ahead for the best- and worst-case homebuying scenarios. That way, you'll be able to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles before they escalate.
Ready to buy a house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to pursuing your dream residence.
Buying a house is more than the number of rooms and how it is staged. It’s a set of complex systems in a specific location. And while it’s not all about location, that’s a perfect place to start your list.
Where to Buy
Areas and neighborhoods trend for a variety of reasons. If you’re new to a city, consider renting for six to twelve months. That way, you can investigate all the neighborhoods to determine which one is right for you. For example, if you plan to have children, the hot market near the city center might not be best for you. Instead, you’ll want a home in a neighborhood with excellent schools, playgrounds, access to nearby shopping and family-friendly entertainment.
When to Buy
Once you know where you want to live, engage your real estate agent in helping determine when the best timing is. If you can afford to wait until fall or winter because prices often drop, then do so. Or, if you need to get in ahead of the “between school sessions” rush, get your offer in just after Super Bowl Sunday or before Spring Break.
What to Buy
This advice must adjust to your needs, of course, but buy what fits into your budget. Overbuying causes problems down the road when a repair completely busts your budget, and you end up with extensive problems. But don’t buy less than you’ll be happy with either. You need a home that meets your needs for years to come.
How to Buy
Lastly, don’t buy sight unseen or home uninspected. Purchasing a home without really looking at it or requiring a complete, professional, certified inspection can set you up for homeownership failure. Your agent can suggest an inspector to you, or you can hire one from a list of professionals. Pay attention to the notes and suggestions on the inspection and require corrections to any major systems. If you do purchase the home without adding that clause, set aside funds to repair or replace the offending appliance, pipes, wiring or structural issue before it becomes a major headache.
Don’t rely on a seller’s agent to handle the deal. Their responsibility is to the seller, and they are obligated to sell the home for the highest price with the fewest changes, upgrades or repairs required. A buyer’s agent, conversely, advocates for you, the buyer. That means they have your best interest in mind in negotiations, offers and the final outcome. If you’re hunting for a home, engage a buyer’s agent and let them do the heavy lifting for you.