Kitchen Lighting For All Activities
There’s a lot of technology associated with great kitchen lighting. For now, we’ll leave that aside and address the reasons why a well-lit kitchen has all of these characteristics:
- General illumination
- Task lighting
- Accent lights
It’s also known as ambient light, and includes daylight from windows, doors, and skylights. But when it’s overcast, or dark, we have to use artificial light for these purposes. So many people — even professional designers — fall into the trap of making “Swiss cheese” out of ceilings with too many recessed fixtures. General kitchen lighting often provides a safe pathway, starting at doors. It can include indirect ceiling or soffit lighting, using new LED strip light technology. (more…)
Accessible Bathrooms Should Whisper “I’m Here To Help You In Every Way Possible”
The major purpose for creating accessible bathrooms is to help people perform daily health and personal-care needs without minimizing their personal value. What’s the important feature in a great accessible bathroom? Humanity! There are required features, of course, but they don’t have to be a reminder that the person who needs them is in-valid. Quality of life, and personal esteem are too often the lowest-priority features. Other terms used synonomously are barrier-free design, aging-in-place design, and lifetime livability.
Here are features that accessible bathrooms should have:
- 32″ wide, minimum. There are offset hinges to make the net opening of 32″ wide doorways more accessible.
- Pocket doors are good, but have limitations regarding location, and pulls may be hard to grip.
- 36″ wide doorways are better.
- Easy-to-grip lever handles.
- Wheelchairs and walkers:
- 5′ turning radius (without a lot of “back and forth” maneuvering).
- Same level on both sides of a doorway.
- Slip-resistant hard surface that will allow wheelchairs and walkers to glide effortlessly.
- No area rugs. (more…)
Other Guidelines, Other Choices for Your Kitchen
“Rules are not necessarily sacred. Principles are.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
“Form Follows Function.” (Louis Sullivan)
Function – Safety – Appearance
Information About The Kitchen Triangle
Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first architects to use the work triangle in his kitchens? During a tour of the Gordon House (the only FLW-designed home in Oregon), I overheard the docent talking with visitors about many of Mr. Wright’s innovations in home design that we still use today, and had to add that tidbit of trivial information. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) describes a work triangle in their guidelines:
“The distances between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, cleanup/prep sink and refrigeration storage) form a work triangle. The sum of the three traveled distances should total no more than 26 feet with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet.”
The guidelines also state: “No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.”
Great Bathroom Design Balances Comfort, Safety, and Visual Appeal
Your bathroom can be any style that blends with your home and makes you feel good. Great bathroom design incorporates comfort and safety principles before anything is selected, during the planning stage. Here are four bathroom design ideas for lighting, showers, tubs, and floors that will guarantee your comfort and safety, so you can really enjoy your new or remodeled bathroom:
Avoid Devastating Winter Home Fires
Fall and winter are the most popular times of the year for special home decorating, and entertaining. Each year, fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in property damage. Here are ways you can ensure a safe and happy holiday:
Is the tree too close to the fireplace?
- Buy a freshly-cut tree
- Green needles, hard to pull back from the branches and almost impossible to break (TIP: If needles fall off when you bounce the tree on the ground, don’t buy it!)
- The trunk should feel sticky
A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is Necessary
To Have a Healthy Environment, and a Healthy You!
A bathroom or laundry room exhaust fan helps you maintain clean air, an important part of an environment that helps to keep you and your family healthy. Stale, moist air, and contaminated air caused by personal-care and bathroom cleaning products is hazardous (see the blog about how to clean bathroom grout). Experts in the remodeling and building industry have been warning homeowners about the effects of mold, mildew, and trapped pollutants that contribute to the sick building syndrome.
Questions To Help You Find The Right Fan
1. How powerful does the exhaust fan have to be to achieve eight air exchanges an hour? 2. How quiet do you want the fan to be? 3. Is a straightforward fan okay, or do you want more features for a higher investment?
> Overhead lighting
> Motion sensor
> Humidity sensor
To select the right bathroom exhaust fan, you need to know how powerful it must be, and how quiet you want it to be, what features you need, and how much you can invest. The final decision in this process, if the installation of a new exhaust fan is a stand-alone project, is your choice to install the fan yourself or hire a contractor to install it.