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North Point Joint Final Reveal

Today we wanted to share the final reveal of #NorthPointJoint. This is one of those projects that truly speaks to me… I could see myself moving in if I didn’t love #lugbilllanding so much!   The end product is so bright and fresh. The whole home feels like a peaceful escape from the current world. 

 

Here is a little refresher on what the space looked like the first time we walked in. 

 

Kitchen Before

 

Kitchen Before – 2

 

Dining Room looking towards living room.

 

Guest Bathroom – Before

 

Master Bedroom – Before

 

Master Bathroom – Before

 

As you are about to see, this space had quite the dramatic transformation. 

 

Without further ado, here are the professional photos. *All photos are taken by Andrew Bruah.

 

Kitchen

I love how clean and sleek this kitchen is. The hand blown pendants add the perfect organic touch that keeps the space from feeling too sterile. 

 

Kitchen

Can we talk about that skylight in the center of the kitchen for a second?! Natural light just pours into this space! 

 

Kitchen Sink

We used a simple white tile installed in a double herringbone pattern. I love how this adds interest and a graphic element to the space, but isn’t too loud. The combination of the mixed metals, wood tones and soft gray are perfect!

Desk View 1

This custom home office was the perfect solution to keep the main living space clutter free. Here is a photo of the desk portion in use. I’m in love with the soft metallic wood pattern wallpaper accent wall.

 

Desk view 2

Surprise! When the desk isn’t in use, the custom sliding doors move to reveal beautiful shelving. 

 

Fireplace

The fireplace turned into a beautiful focal point! I love the organic textured tile that goes floor to ceiling. The sleek built-ins to the left finish off an otherwise awkward space and add a ton of utility. 

 

Living Room

I love the asymmetry of the built-ins and the soft drama of the fireplace. Yes, I just made up the phrase “soft drama”.

 

Living Room View 2

It is so important to have a vision when designing an open floor plan. I love how all of the spaces communicate with each other, but at the same time work individually. 

 

Dining Room

This light fixture is one of my all time favorites. The lines are SO GOOD. 

 

Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom is a beautiful combination of brass, black, soft wood tones, marble and blue tile. I love the way all of these finishes come together for a fresh, interesting look. These wall sconces are another one of my all time favorites. 

 

Guest Bathroom View 2

I love the peek at the marble penny round floor!

 

Master Bedroom

This master bedroom is a monochromatic/textural dream! I love how soft and bright this room is.

 

Master Bedroom Mirror

I love the organic shape of this brass mirror. I couldn’t resist a photo.

 

Master Bathroom – Vanity

In the master bathroom- we selected the perfect soft green for the vanity. The rest of the finishes in this bathroom are neutral. I love the warmth and contrast the wood adds to the space.

 

Master Bathroom – Details

These lights are too cute! We used a mixture of brass and polished nickel throughout the bathroom to add some interest and avoid appearing matchy matchy. 

 

Thank you for following along on our journey through #NorthPointJoint… that’s a wrap!

 

Evanston Change of Pace

Evanston was the scene for one of our favorite projects in 2019. She wanted a change of scenery and purchased an extremely dated condo in a peaceful complex that was removed from the hustle of downtown. We loved this project because we had the opportunity to fully reimagine and refresh every corner of this basic condo. The client was so lovely to work with, and her two grown daughters gave a ton of input which is always welcome. They have great style and wanted the finished space to feel peaceful, bright and airy. This condo was a complete fresh start, almost nothing was brought over from her old condo.

 

Due to COVID, we were just now able to take the professional photographs. We wanted to give you a little background on the project while we anxiously await the proofs to hit our inbox!

 

We made a slight floorplan change that created a huge impact. Our client didn’t need the enclosed bonus room off of the main living space, so we decided to blow out the wall. Here is an overview of the floorplan and changes we made.

 

Original Floor Plan

New Floor Plan

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before – Different Angle

 

Dining Room looking towards living room.

 

Guest Bathroom – Before

 

Master Bedroom – Before

 

Master Bathroom – Before

 

New Kitchen – 3D Version

 

Another small change that had a huge impact on the finished space was removing the dreadful popcorn ceilings! We used furring strips and low profile LED lights to integrate recessed lighting into the ceiling and eliminate the track lighting. The existing ceilings were low, but we decided the seamless lighting and clean ceilings were worth giving up 1.5” of height. 

 

Progress Photo – View looking from the living room towards future office built-ins (where walls were removed).

 

Kitchen After Demo

 

Kitchen – Clean Slate

 

Fireplace after new firebox installation and build-out

 

Fireplace after drywall

Our client needed an occasional work space, but didn’t want to dedicate a whole room to it. Her daughters’ request was to find a way to hide the clutter and not let the workspace take over the room. We designed custom built-ins that allowed for a comfortable/bright/functional workspace that could easily be closed off when not in use. There are large sliding doors that can cover the workspace and reveal the decorative bookshelves!

 

Office built-in progress photo

 

The bathrooms are small, but we maximized the space and utilized bright/soft finishes to complete the look. The transformation in the bathrooms was dramatic!

 

Master Bathroom after demo

 

Master Bathroom – progress photo

Master Bathroom – progress photo

 

Guest Bathroom – progress photo

 

Fireplace and new flooring sneak peek

 

View From Kitchen looking towards dining room

 

We can’t wait to share the completed space with you. It is so bright and layered with different monochromatic tones and textures. Stay posted to see the reveal!

 

Floor Plan Upgrades at #LugbillLanding

Today I wanted to walk you through the first level layout at #LugbillLanding, where construction is progressing beautifully.

 

I knew the home had the perfect floorplan for our family based off of the listing photos. I love how the space is open, with just the right amount of division. There were a couple of tricky areas that weren’t functional in their current form so I ended up breaking a couple rules.  I don’t regret it, though!  Before we get into my rule-breaking, here are the things I needed to solve for:

 

  1. Convert the sunroom into usable space
  2. Find space for a half bathroom on the first floor- I can’t be bothered going up or down a flight of stairs when nature calls
  3. Remove the wall between the dining room/kitchen- even with it being partially open, this wall was non-negotiable (despite Justin’s hesitations)
  4. Integrate more kitchen storage – it had a great footprint, but not a ton of storage 
  5. Make the ceiling height change work between the sunroom and kitchen (more on this later!)

 

With these things in mind, here are the “Design Crimes” I committed:

 

  1. I covered up a window. Not everything is about aesthetics.  Good design ensures optimal functionality.  To that light, because there were so many windows in the sunroom, the kitchen couldn’t be extended. The space is WAY more functional with that window gone, and there is still plenty of light!

 

  1. I put a toilet right off the kitchen. This was the only spot for a toilet, which is very typical for Chicago homes. This wasn’t the first offence on the premises.  There were old plumbing stubs already in the pantry space, so someone else committed the same crime at some point.

 

Location of Powder Bath

Powder Room off the kitchen.

 

Wall that must go!

The Wall That Had To Go!

 

During Demo

During demo…..Looking better already!

 

Progress photo of the Kitchen

Progress off the new kitchen with the wall gone.

 

View from Kitchen

View from inside the kitchen looking towards the foyer.

 

For those of you that are floor plan junkies- here is the layout of the first floor: 

 

Lugbill Landing’s Original Floor Plan

 

Lugbill Landing’s New Floor Plan

 

To wrap this up, remember if you are working on your own renovation there is always a balance between the aesthetics and the function.  In addition, you should always be thinking about how the changes you’re entertaining will impact resale value. Not every decision should be made based on this, as you have to consider the enjoyment and use you’ll get out of it.  However, it is an important variable to consider.  Last, take it from an interior designer that does residential remodels for a living:  The right thing for your home doesn’t necessarily need to follow the rules.

Replacing Tired Hardwood Floors (#LugbillLanding on IG)

Over the years, I’ve had a hand in replacing countless creaky, tired, dated floors with updated, fresh varieties.  Personally, I’ve owned three homes, and one of the first things to be updated has always been the floors.  New flooring has an uncanny ability to breathe life into a home and really transform a space.

 

Most recently, the original red oak wood floors at #LugbillLanding were not only dark, but they were t.i.r.e.d. The 100+ year-old home had floors with spots that were basically worn to the subfloor. In other spots, you would step on them and almost fall through the floor joists.  OK – maybe that’s a bit dramatic :).   Following tradition, I knew when we signed the papers to close on the house, replacing them was at the top of my priority list.

 

Stepping back 6 years to our family’s previous condo, on day one, we ripped out the basic, generic factory-grade engineered wood flooring, added a plywood subfloor and installed ¾” thick red oak flooring.  The dark ebony stain that we went with was absolutely perfect for the condo.  This time around though, the space called for something different – something lighter. 

 

Old Condo Floors

Red Oak flooring with ebony stain

 

Pro Tip: The Red oak wood species is a great choice if you are looking for a medium to darker tone stain. It is a durable hardwood and stains beautifully.  However, when you try to stain red oak floors lighter, the pink tones are really prominent.

 

New Floors

New floors being installed in the boys’ room.

 

When installing new flooring, I always encourage people to ensure their flooring contractor includes a minimum of 3 onsite stain samples in their bid. Although it may not seem like it, the same exact floor stain can look completely different based on the lighting and batch of wood. For LD projects, these on-site samples are a must.

 

Here’s a peak at the 3 combinations I was trying to decide between:

 

3 Stain Colors

From Left to Right: Bona Birch 100%, Bona Birch/Sand Dune 50/50 mix, Bona Sand Dune 100% — the sample board on top was my original inspiration for color

 

3 Color Stains

Another view of stain colors

 

My favorite stain was the Bona Birch – no question. It was so beautiful, bright and fresh!  Contrary to what you’d expect (and most people have to fight against),  it isn’t always the best choice to go with their favorite stain.   Despite it being the most logical thing to do on the surface, there are almost always other variables to consider.  Here, my hesitation to go with my favorite stemmed from the notion that we plan (I know, I know, plans change) on staying in this home forever, and while you can refinish floors, it is a big investment, alongside it being an incredibly messy proposition.  The thought of trying to live through that messy, dusty upgrade with a family in tow seemed pretty overwhelming. As a result, my gut was telling me to go with a more timeless option.

 

I studied the samples, putting down the other finish selections and walking around the room to get a sense of the different ways the light interacted with the stains… which is a somewhat daunting experience while the whole flooring crew stares at you,  waiting for a decision so they can get on with their lives.

 

In the end, I went with a 50/50 mix of birch and sand dune. It felt like the perfect combination of fresh and bright, while still being warm. This color has great staying power and will go with a variety of colors as the fads cycle through over the life of the home.  Even though birch was my favorite color in the moment, I LOVE the birch/sand dune mix. It is so beautiful with the other finishes I have planned throughout the home. 

 

Final Stain Choice

 

Final Stain Choice

The final stain choice

 

Post-stain, I am so, so happy with the decision.  The contractor paper we had down to protect the floors while the remodel was in full swing,  just came up last week, and I absolutely adore the color.  I love how they turned out.

 

More updates to come.  Stay tuned!

 

A Closer Look into Erica’s Own Gut Rehab (#LugbillLanding on IG)

For those of you following our #lugbilllanding remodel on instagram, I wanted to provide you with a little backstory. 

 

I have built my career and life around creating beautiful spaces through remodeling. I’ve loved a good construction project since buying a fixer upper and rehabbing it as a college student. 

 

I’m addicted to the process and love watching my vision come to life. One of my favorite parts of this process (and my job) is seeing peoples’ faces when they start to see the vision that I have had in my head materialize. It is so very rewarding.

 

Since moving to Chicago 12 years ago, Justin and I have lived at North Beach Lofts – an amazing condo building with around 45 units, a few blocks away from Lake Michigan.  After 5 years of renting, we purchased an amazing space that had the perfect bones for what we wanted.  The day after purchasing, we had the place, minus the kitchen, completely gutted.  Over time, we slowly made it into the perfect condo and have lived there for about 6 years.

 

Two years ago we had our first son, Tucker.  Our second son, Remi, joined us 8 months ago, which led to us being a bit cramped in the 2 bed/2 bath space.  While we adored where we lived, it simply did not have enough space for the bountiful toys that friends and family sent our way.  So, with a sad heart, we decided to start passively looking for a new place.

 

We had been stalking a greystone around the corner from our current condo for over a year (close proximity to our condo was non-negotiable).  We fell in love, which was no small feat given a must have list that included:

 

  • Be located within a few blocks of Lake Michigan and our current condo
  • 3-4 bedrooms
  • Indoor/outdoor flow
  • A decent yard
  • An open floor plan (or the potential for one)
  • The potential for an amazing master suite
  • A pleasing exterior facade
  • The right price point
  • Ample ceiling height
  • Great natural light

 

After seeing the greystone once, we put in a full ask offer that was verbally accepted. We were ecstatic until the owner got cold feet and ended up holding onto the property (and putting it on the market a few more times only to remove it).   Naturally, I was so, so disappointed, as I wasted no time in sketching out my floor plan and designing this property from top to bottom in my head.  

 

Fast forwarding, we were in the thralls of parenthood which led us to enrolling our two year old in swim classes, where we met an amazing realtor who later became our friend.   He casually sent us listings, but nothing ever compared to the greystone we were attached to. 

 

That changed when he sent Justin an off-market listing at the end of 2019.  I’ll never forget Justin sending me a link to #lugbilllanding over gchat.   I think my exact response was “Let’s get in that property, I want to buy it!”. The rest is history!   

 

I’ve put countless hours into every detail of the home, and am so very excited to continue showing it to you over the coming weeks.  Be sure to follow @lugbilldesigns and/or follow #lugbilllanding on Instagram or Facebook to stay up to date.

 

I hope you fall in love with this property and the construction journey as much as we have!

 

Checking out the new house.

2 Year old Design Assistant hard at work.

One final photo in the condo.

4 Questions to Ask Your Interior Designer

When you first decide that your home is in need of a total makeover, you often have a vision in mind for what you want it to look like. The trick is to find an interior designer that can help make that vision come true. But just like any other project, seeing your makeover through from beginning to end will take a lot of communication. To make sure you and your interior designer are on the same page, consider the following four questions.

 

What Can You Do With My Budget?

Before you get started, it’s important to know what your interior designer can do with your budget. This helps give context to the scope of your project. Of course, if at any point during the process you’d like to raise your budget, you’re more than welcome to do that too. Sometimes, a slow design process works better for clients, as it can help to see what additions you might want to make to a room as the project is unraveling. In the meantime, you can grow your budget by using helpful apps that let you save without thinking. Doing so will give you the flexibility to provide your designer with much more creative freedom.

 

How Long Would a Project Like This Take?

As the question implies, this will depend on what you’re looking to do and how quickly you’re looking to go about it. Do you just want to add a few finishing touches? Then the process shouldn’t take a few months. Do you want to completely overhaul a room (or several)? Then this process will require more time. Asking your designer this question will give you an idea of what timeframe you can expect and help make sure you’re not rushing any design decisions. 

 

What Style Do You Specialize In?

If you’ve decided to contact an interior designer, then chances are you went online and liked what you saw. If you haven’t looked yet, check out a portfolio of past work and see if it aligns with your vision of what you’d like to do. If you have some ideas of your own, or if you saw something online or in a magazine that caught your fancy, let your designer know what your vision is and see how they can help you achieve it.

 

Do You Have Any Testimonials?

Pictures are one thing, but actually hearing from past clients is a great way to learn about their experience with the designer and what you can expect during your own. Lots of good reviews are a good sign, but you might also want to consider the review itself, what type of remodel they had done, and who they worked with. You can typically find testimonials on your interior designer’s website, but you might even find reviews on social media channels to be useful as well!

7 Sustainable Textiles to Complete Your Home

You’ve picked out a few favorite green home decor brands and switched out some light fixtures with skylights as part of your move towards sustainable living. You may have even started investing in energy-efficient appliances that bear the EPA’s Energy Star label. However, you might still have non-biodegradable synthetics lying around your house in the form of your sheets, curtains, and upholstery! 

Fortunately, there are now several materials that you can choose from to complete your sustainable home. Check out these 7 sustainable textiles and see which ones you’d like to start using!

 

7 Sustainable Textiles for Your Home

 

1. Linen 

This sustainable textile comes from the stem of the flax plant, which grows on rough terrain that’s unsuitable for food production. Curtains made of linen can allow light into a room. Meanwhile, linen bed sheets tend to become softer and more absorbent after repeated washes. You’ll only really need to clean this low-maintenance textile when it starts to smell dusty.

Look for linen in natural colors ranging from ivory to tan to gray. Pure white linen has gone through intense bleaching–not very sustainable!

2. Cotton

Cotton in general is durable, breathable, highly versatile, and biodegradable. Soft and breathable bed sheets. However, traditionally grown cotton uses up huge amounts of water and pesticides. 

Shop for GOTS cotton, or organic cotton that has been grown with sustainability in mind. You’ll want to check the label for true organic cotton content, too.

3. Wool

If you’d like luxurious upholstery in your living room, you can give wool a try! This sustainable textile is wrinkle-resistant and durable, as well as naturally good at holding dyes in vibrant colors. 

Perhaps the only downside of wool is that it’s an animal product. However, it’s possible to buy ethical wool that adheres to standards for fair treatment of animals. Wool can also replace synthetics and polyester fleeces, which shed microfibers that harm the environment even if the materials themselves are vegan.

4. Hemp

Did you know that humans have been cultivating hemp for over 10,000 years? This time-tested textile comes from the stem of the cannabis plant yet contains negligible amounts of THC (the compound behind marijuana’s psychological effects). As a crop, hemp is naturally resistant to pests and fungus attacks, requires little water, and uses up a relatively small amount of land. It even helps purify soil! Once harvested, pure hemp is similar in texture to linen. 

When shopping for hemp tablecloths or sheets, it pays to research a bit about hemp brands you have in mind. Some companies use chemicals for faster processes and higher yield, greenwashing themselves to seem eco-friendly. Also opt for hemp that has been colored with natural dyes to truly minimize environmental impact.

5. Lyocell and Modal

Both of these textiles come from wood pulp. The production of lyocell and modal does not use harmful solvents. It’s often even closed-loop, with 99% of its chemicals being captured and reused. Just be sure to take a look at where the materials come from! One brand you can try out is Tencel, which gets its lyocell and modal from natural forests and sustainable plantations.

6. Piñatex

Ever heard of leather made from pineapple leaves instead of animal hide? Natural and biodegradable, Piñatex reduces waste from pineapple production and even helps farmers earn more. 

Upholstery made of rich piñatex is currently on the rise. Currently, there are already sofas and car seats covered in piñatex!

7. Silk

This prized textile comes from the cocoon of the silkmoth. Conventional silk is infamous among animal lovers because of how it kills the pupae inside the cocoon during production. However, there is now eco-friendly Ahimsa silk which spares the pupae and only harvests cocoons after the pupa has left.

Sustainable and eco-friendly silk does not use harsh dyes, resulting in a softer texture. Try covering your pillows with cases made of sustainable silk and see how quickly you fall asleep after climbing into bed!

 

Comfort, style, and eco-friendliness can definitely go hand in hand. Remember this list, and you can complete your home with indulgent and sustainable textiles. 

Visit our blog for more tips on living sustainably and with style

Air Plant Care: Help Your Tillandsia Survive

 

Just bought some air plants for your home? Good choice. Also known as tillandsia, these spiky, ball-shaped plants are both charming and incredibly low-maintenance because they can survive without soil! They’re also a lovely addition to any home because of their natural ability to clear air toxins. However, your air plants have to survive in the first place if you want to reap this benefit. For one, air plants actually need more than just air!

Here’s a guide to air plant care, covering everything from lighting to watering to unusual changes in color. Be sure to take note of all the tips for happy air plants in this article!

 

Tillandsia 101: Your Guide to Air Plant Care

 

These quirky plants can sit pretty in open glass balls or seashells. But as hardy as they are, it’s still possible to end up with withered air plants if you don’t know how to care for them. 

How Much Light Does My Air Plant Need?

Air plants basically need to sit in bright, indirect light. Prime locations include windows that face either south or east, the sun shines through most of the day. North-facing windows are also great if they provide unobstructed sunlight. 

On the other hand, western-facing windows can fry your plant because afternoon sunlight can be surprisingly hot.

Lighting Tips for a Happy Air Plant

  • A sunny bathroom is another great place to put an air plant. It naturally takes care of both lighting and watering for you, thanks to sunlight and the humidity from your shower.
  • Generally, a more humid space can help your plant tolerate more light. So if you’re placing your air plant in an especially sunny spot, you’ll need to care for it by misting it more!
  • Want to bring your air plant into your office or basement? Be sure to keep it within 3 feet of a full spectrum (fluorescent) light source so that it can still photosynthesize. Special bulbs like Gro-Lux or Vita-Lite are also suitable here. Also note that your plants will need 12+ hours of light daily.

How Should I Water My Air Plant?

Watering an air plant can admittedly be tricky. Some plant owners even find themselves doing trial-and-error for this aspect of air plant care. But amazingly, your air plant’s leaves can give you hints on the best watering routine!

  • Fuzzy leaves are a sign that your air plant is of the xeric type. These plants can collect and hold a lot of water, as well as tolerate more sun. You’ll only need to water them once or twice a week.
  • Smooth and glossy leaves indicate that your air plant is mesic. That means it’s comfortable with the moisture and shade of a cloud forest. You’ll need to water it a bit more frequently.

After figuring out what kind of air plant you have, you can choose a watering method that works for you and your plants. There are 3 ways to water your air plant, which you can mix and match according to your preferences:

  • Misting – great for plants inside globes or other interesting displays. This method lets you interact a lot with your beloved air plants, too! Depending on the type of air plant you have, you’ll be misting it 3-7 times a week. Try to wet the entire plant.
  • Dunking – ideal for plants that are either freestanding or attached to wood. You can also use this with air plants with dense or curly leaves if you’re having a hard time misting them well. Either briefly dip the whole plant into water or place it under a running faucet. Mesic air plants need to be dunked 2-4 times weekly while xeric plants just need to be dunked once a week.
  • Soaking – best for dry plants that need to be revived after a period of neglect. Submerge the plant in water for 1 to 3 hours. You can do this once a week until the plant is okay again.

Shake out the excess water afterwards and let the plant sit in a well-ventilated place. This ensures that the center of the plant will dry well, preventing rot. 

More Tips for Watering Your Air Plant

  • Water your plants in the morning. This lets your air plants breathe during the evening and dry well in less time.
  • Use room temperature tap water or rainwater on your plants. Do not use softened water, which can hurt your plants with its salt content.
  • Water more frequently if your plant is subject to hot weather, desert climates, air conditioning, or the atmosphere near a heater or fireplace. Water less frequently if you live in cool, cloudy weather.
  • Once a month, you can add a pinch of fertilizer to your water to round out your watering regimen. Use water-soluble fertilizer specified for orchids or tillandsias. Then, either mist or dunk your air plant (soaking it can lead to fertilizer burn). This monthly treat for your air plant can help it blossom and produce pups later on!
  • Thinking of “planting” your tillandsia? Don’t put it in soil or in moss that tends to hold moisture, otherwise it may rot.

Why is My Air Plant Changing Colors?

You may wake up one day and notice that your air plant has begun to take on a different color. It can be worrying at first, because a change of color can easily indicate watering issues. But depending on the color itself, your plant might not be as sick as you thought. Here are a few common colors that air plants can take on:

  • White or Gray. Xeric air plants are naturally whitish or grayish thanks to a coat of trichomes, or little leaf hairs which help your plant retain water. However, if your air plant is supposed to be naturally green, graying can be an early sign of underwatering. This is because its trichomes are becoming more pronounced now that your plant needs water.
  • Yellow. If your air plant’s leaves are yellowing, chances are the plant has been overwatered. Let the air plant dry thoroughly to help it recover. 
  • Brown. This either indicates underwatering or overwatering based on the appearance of the plant’s leaves.
    • Brown and curled: Underwatered
    • Brown and soggy: Overwatered
  • Black. Unfortunately, a black base is a sure indicator of air plant rot.
  • Red, Pink, Violet. If your air plant is taking on these interesting colors, you’ve done a great job! These happy colors indicate a maturing air plant. You may soon see a few vibrant flowers and even little pups or baby plants growing on the sides.

Wait, Air Plants Produce Pups?

That’s right, a mature air plant will produce little pups sooner or later! These baby plants start out tiny but eventually grow into mother plants as well. 

If your air plant is putting out pups, you can safely pull them off the mother plant if they’re ⅓-½ its size. They should come off easily, without too much force. Otherwise it may still be to early for the pups to be removed! It’s also perfectly fine to let the pup mature while still attached to its mother plant, creating an adorable clump.

Keep this guide on hand, and you’ll get the hang of air plant care in no time. You might even end up with a whole bunch of air plants if you’re able to take good care of the pups as well! Enjoy having greener living spaces with the help of these hardy but beautiful plants.

Looking for more indoor plants that you can easily take care of? Take a look at these 18 low maintenance plants and trees for your home.

For more news and trends on interior design, visit our blog regularly.

Finding the Right Wall Sconces: Your Complete Buying Guide

Have you just given your home a makeover with the help of a renowned interior designer? You might be looking for a finishing touch that provides light at the same time. A set of lovely wall sconces may be just what you need!

In essence, a wall sconce consists of a light source affixed to a wall. However, there is a huge variety of wall sconces to match your desired aesthetic. If you want to find the sconces that can complete your home, you’ll need a guide to help you weigh your options.

Here’s an infographic that will surely come in handy. This complete buying guide lists down your options for types, designs, power sources, and lighting configurations for wall sconces. You can have a clearer idea of what kind of wall sconce you’ll be looking for!

 

Finding the Right Wall Sconces

Your Complete Buying Guide for Wall Sconces

From Hard-Wired to Solar: 5 Power Sources for Your Wall Sconces

Where do you plan to place your sconces? Your answer will directly affect your choice of power source. This also works in reverse–the power source can affect the location of your sconces. Read up about the available power sources to prevent any inconvenience down the line!

1. Hard-Wired

These sconces are connected to your home’s internal electrical wiring. They can simply be turned on and off with a light switch. 

Since their wires are hidden inside the wall, hard-wired sconces have a clean look to them. However, this also limits where you can place them.

2. Plug-In

As their name implies, plug-in sconces are powered through outlets instead of being connected directly to internal wiring. This gives them a wider range of possible locations, although you still need to place them near power outlets. They may also look slightly less clean because of their visible wires.

3. Battery Operated

Because they run on batteries, these sconces can be placed virtually anywhere! All you have to do is replace the batteries every now and then. 

Battery operated sconces tend to be cheaper than their hard-wired and plug-in counterparts.

4. Candle

Sconces which use real candles can be placed wherever you want. You just need to switch out the candles whenever they run low. In return, you’ll get a welcoming ambiance for your home.

Some homeowners opt for battery-operated candles, which don’t have to be replaced as much.

5. Solar-Powered

Some outdoor sconces are solar-powered. Aside from adding flexibility to your sconces’ placement, solar power also serves as a renewable source of energy.

 

Up or Down? 3 Essential Lighting Configurations of Wall Sconces

Wall sconces will direct light in a given direction to achieve a certain effect. Because of this, they can be grouped into three different lighting configurations.

    1. Up-Light

  • Directs light upwards
  • Can help make a small room look more spacious
  • Suitable for entryways, living rooms, and hallways

    2. Down-Light

  • Directs light downwards
  • Adds coziness and warmth to expansive spaces
  • Great for bedrooms and large living rooms

    3. All-Around Light

  • Directs light both upwards and downwards
  • Creates a feeling of balance
  • Generally provides more light

 

8 Basic Types of Wall Sconces for Your Home

There are so many ways that home décor brands can interpret “a light affixed to a wall.” This has resulted in different types of sconces, which build off the basic concept for a variety of interesting structures!

1. Armed Sconce

In an armed sconce, the light is attached to an arm which extends from a plate on the wall. Some of these sconces are fixed, while others are foldable and adjustable. Armed sconces are great for offices, bedrooms, and reading nooks.

2. Spotlight Sconce

This specific type of armed sconce directs its light to highlight an object or area. Spotlight sconces often have down-light configurations. There are further subtypes of spotlight sconces, including:

    • Picture Lights. With a long, slender light source, this sconce is specifically used to illuminate artwork on display in your home. 
    • Sign Lights. These armed sconces light up wider areas, like signs or murals. 

3. Flush Mount Sconce

This sconce is directly mounted flush with the wall, seemingly washing it with light. Flush mount sconces have a compact, low-profile look to them. They are ideal for accent lighting.

4. Half-Moon Sconce

This specific kind of flush mount sconce features a light source surrounded by a half-bowl. Look hard enough and you’ll find half-moon sconces that are as minimalist or as ornate as you wish.

5. Wallchiere

A blend of the “wall lamp” and “torchiere,” the wallchiere is tall and slender with unique decorative elements. They direct light upward like torchieres while conserving floor spaces. Wallchieres are a prime choice for opulent displays.

6. Recessed Sconce

These sconces seem to radiate light from within the wall! All recessed sconces are hard-wired, which means homeowners may need to be creative about their placement.

7. Corner Wall Sconces

Corner wall sconces are designed to fit into the corners of a room. Aside from that, they can cross over with any of the previous types.

8. Candle Sconce

These sconces can either be wall-mounted candle holders or electric/battery-powered light sources that look like candle holders. The bulbs of imitation candles may take more time to replace, but they’re still relatively easy to find at hardware stores near you.

Candle sconces have been around for centuries, way before gas lamps and electric lighting were invented. 

TIP: The location of your wall sconces should also influence the type of sconce you choose. For example, a spotlight sconce may cast undesirable shadows if installed beside a vanity mirror. Flush mount or recessed sconces are more suitable in this case.

 

5 Types of Outdoor Wall Sconces to Light Up Your Yard

Think your porch, garden, or backyard could use some decorative lighting as well? It’s a good thing there are wall sconces designed specifically for the outdoors! Here are 5 common types for you to choose from.

1. Lantern-Style Sconce

Welcome your visitors with a pair of these sconces mounted beside your front door! You’ll usually find them in traditional or rustic designs.

2. Barn Light Sconce

These are a bit more casual than lantern-style sconces. You can find green, white, and even bright red barn light sconces for a pop of color.

3. Floodlight-Style Sconce

Thanks to their broad and focused beams, floodlights are great for providing ample outdoor lighting. In addition, many of them use long-lasting, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

4. Bulkhead Sconce

The durable geometric design of bulkhead sconces builds more on function than form. However, these lights can still add some nautical charm to your home!

5. Motion Sensor Sconce

These sconces only light up when they sense someone nearby, which can help you save on energy. They’re often built in floodlight-style designs for ample lighting. Motion sensor sconces can also offer security by alerting you to movement in a particular area of your property. 

 

5 Different Kinds of Wall Sconce Designs for Any Aesthetic

If you look hard enough, you can find wall sconces that perfectly match the look and feel of your home. It still helps to know the general design that you’re looking for, however! Here are the 5 common designs you’ll encounter while browsing or window shopping for wall sconces.

    1. Contemporary

  • Showcases a sleek, contemporary look
  • Mostly flush mounted or armed, though you can definitely find other types of sconces with a contemporary design as well
  • Usually features silver tones and may even be made of stainless steel

    2. Traditional

  • More ornate and formal with more ornamental details
  • Can add a touch of luxury to your home
  • Great for houses that have a traditional or antique feel

    3. Transitional

  • Sits comfortably between contemporary and traditional
  • Combines minimalist details with contemporary shapes
  • Can match almost any other type of décor

    4. Cottage Style

  • Features homey design elements
  • Often come in light neutral or pastel hues
  • Great for homes with a warm country look

    5. Rustic

  • Dark colors and animal motifs
  • Perfect for a log cabin aesthetic
  • Can add character to any home

The right wall sconces are a surefire way to provide perfect lighting and extra flair. Bookmark this buying guide, and you can have an easier time finding the best wall sconces for your home!

Think you’ll find this buying guide helpful? Visit our blog for even more useful tips on interior design.

12 Zero-Waste Essentials for Your Modern Kitchen

 

While it’s important to take steps to avoid food wastage, food is far from the only waste your kitchen can produce. Look back on every time you crumpled up some cling wrap, tossed a wad of paper napkins into the trash, or threw out a plastic bag. Now, try to imagine how much waste that has built up to after a full year. Not a small amount, is it?

Fortunately, it’s not too late to make the necessary changes if you really want to achieve a zero-waste kitchen. Just take note of the 12 zero-waste essentials listed below!

 

12 Essentials to Complete Your Zero-Waste Kitchen

 

1. Cloth Napkins

Did you know that the average American uses up 2,200 paper napkins a year? Cloth napkins might seem more expensive at first, but they’ll help you cut costs in the long run. You just have to wash them when they get soiled, and they’re good to go. Aim for cloth napkins that don’t come in plastic packaging!

TIP: Go for dark-colored napkins and patterns. The colors and prints draw attention away from the stains that your napkins will eventually accumulate.

2. Dish Brushes

Disposable commercial sponges come in plastic packaging, accumulate bacteria, and gradually become discolored and smelly. Instead of buying sponge after sponge, switch to bristled brushes to scrub your dishes clean.

It helps to find wooden brushes that you can compost once they’re past their usable life span. Some brushes, like this one from the Package Free Shop, have replaceable and compostable heads.

3. Glass Spray Bottles

DIY cleaning solutions will be right at home inside a glass spray bottle. Some zero-waste homeowners keep two bottles around, one for homemade cleaner and the other for tap water.

4. Mason Jars

They’re functional, they’re portable, and they’re a charming sight on modern kitchen shelves. No wonder mason jars are so popular among zero-waste homeowners. Some people fill them with juices and smoothies while others use them for soups and oatmeal on the go.

Looking for some variety or a bit of European charm? Weck jars are Europe’s answer to the mason jar, and they’re just as stylish and practical.

5. Stainless Steel Funnels

Funnels make it much easier to transfer food from bulk containers to jars or small tubs without any messes. After all, a zero-waste lifestyle ought to be a zero-spill lifestyle as well. As a bonus, stainless steel funnels won’t crack or break like their plastic counterparts.

6. Beeswax Wrap

Did you know that traditional cling wrap can leach Bisphenol-A and other toxic chemicals onto your food? Reusable beeswax wrap is far safer and better for the environment. Just remember to wash it with biodegradable soap in cold water so that the wax doesn’t melt off.

Some brands such as Bee’s Wrap offer different sizes for all your zero-waste kitchen wrapping needs. It even supplies specialty beeswax wraps for bread and cheese!

7. Organic Cotton Coffee Filters

Say goodbye to plastic-wrapped disposable coffee filters! Reusable filters made of organic cotton are surprisingly easy to wash, and they’re perfectly compostable.

To start you off, a pack of CoffeeSocks can replace 500 disposable filters. There are varieties for hot brew and cold brew, as well as commercial-sized filters for shops!

8. Reusable Cloth Bags

Cloth bags are as versatile as they are varied. Use them to store food in pantries, pack for picnics, or opt out of plastic bags when doing groceries. They also come in a wide range of eye-catching prints and designs.

9. Eco-Friendly Sandwich Bags

There will come a time when you need to throw together a sandwich and eat it on the go. If you used to stock your kitchen with plastic sandwich bags, switch them out for pouches made of quick-drying cloth or silicon. These can be washed and reused, even if you’ve gotten mayonnaise all over the inside!

You can also opt for disposable bags made of unwaxed paper, which can be recycled or composted. Lunchskins’ paper sandwich bags stand out for being sealable and featuring simple but colorful designs.

10. Bandanas and Rags

Bandanas and rags are a great zero-waste swap for traditional paper towels. Use them to dry your hands, wipe up messes, or wrap up food without having to deal with a disposable wad of soiled paper afterwards.

11. Sustainable Kitchenware

Buying zero-waste kitchenware made from wood or bamboo can be more than a stylistic choice. These materials are far better for the environment than plastic, especially when the source material is harvested responsibly. You might also be surprised at how flexible wood and bamboo can be. Bambu’s selection of kitchen essentials ranges from spatulas to tongs to cutting boards and condiment cups.

12. Reusable Coffee Cups

You want to take your morning coffee with you, but you don’t want it to leak onto the inside of your bag. Reusable coffee cups are the answer you’re looking for. The best ones combine style, durability, insulation, and resistance to leaks.

The benefits of reusable coffee cups extend beyond the kitchen, too! As an eco-friendly plus, some coffee shops offer discounts to customers who have their drinks poured into their reusable cups.

A sustainable set of zero-waste essentials is the perfect finishing touch for a modern kitchen. Remember these 12 essentials, and you’ll be on your way to a kitchen that is both stylish and sustainable.

Visit our blog regularly for more posts about zero-waste kitchens and sustainable living.

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