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WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans


Creating a beautiful layered light plan is really an art form.  When done correctly, lighting will evoke a certain mood in a space. Think of your favorite local restaurant or spa and how you feel when you visit.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create spaces like that in your own home?  It can be done with a layered lighting plan.

Layered light plans include multiple sources and types of lighting to maximize functionality and enhance ambiance. It simply isn’t possible to achieve both of these with one light source in a room. There are four main types of lighting that must be considered to build your plan: natural, ambient, task, and accent.

Natural light

All lighting plans begin by looking at the natural light in a space.  This creates your canvas, so to speak.  You want to understand how the natural light affects the room during the day so you can direct it appropriately and compliment it with other light sources during the day.  

Ambient light

Ambient light has the important job of setting the mood by providing the main source of overall lighting. Its main function is to deliver enough light to safely maneuver in the room.  The color and intensity of this light is important as it sets the tone and creates the base from which the rest of the lighting plan will be built. Ceiling mounted lights such as chandeliers, recessed lights, wall sconces and table or floor lamps are common sources of ambient light.

Task Lighting

Just as it sounds, task lighting serves the specific purpose of providing light do perform specific tasks. This could include reading, food preparation or shaving for example. Pendant lights, vanity lighting and under cabinet lighting are all great sources of task lighting as they offer very targeted illumination.

Accent lighting

Last, but certainly not least is accent lighting. The purpose of this layer is to highlight specific objects or features within a room to create focal points or provide direction. Track lighting, interior cabinet lighting, or wall-mounted fixtures are good sources for accent lighting.

One of the services We provide for homeowners is lighting plans.  Our lighting plans incorporate beauty and function and create the appropriate mood or feeling for a space.  Please call 203-405-2126  for more information or to find a Decor&You near you.


Posted 251 weeks ago

Trends in Lighting Your Space

Trends in Lighting Your Space

July 13, 2016


Karen Powell

Trends in lighting change. When you assess a space to update it, changing the lighting fixtures can have a huge impact but is often overlooked.

In today’s kitchens for example, we’ve gotten away from the old fluorescent rectangles and are trending toward pendants that hang down over an island or work area. Under-the-counter lighting is another option.

Another lighting trend is to put a chandelier in a bathroom, particularly in a master bath. This adds a touch of elegance and whimsy and makes the bathroom a little more intriguing.

Occasionally there’s use for colored lighting but mainly for ambience. Use an uplight behind a plant, change the color according to the seasons, or bring attention to a particular color. You can also add room color with candles.

In most cases, individuals use a combination of two or three types of lighting. This creates the most flexibility for the use of the space, and dimmer switches allow the level of light to be easily adjusted.

Design tip: The type of bulbs you use matter and have an impact. The trend is toward bulbs that have longer life and also provide a truer, whiter light. Even in fluorescents, there are bulbs that replicate daylight. They are a little more expensive, but use them wherever possible because they give a more natural light, which is more invigorating, causes less stress on the eyes, and makes people look better.

Stay tuned in our next post where we discuss lightening from four different perspectives.

To learn more about the critical design elements, pick up a copy of “The Styleprint Design System” available for purchase here. Also, be sure to explore our site, for additional free resources.

Posted 252 weeks ago

Sizing Up Your Space

Let’s say you’ve decided on a direction for a décor project. What now? It’s time to get to the hands-on part. Measure, take photographs, lay out your furnishings on graph paper on a scale of one-quarter inch for every foot, use an app such as Google Sketchup, or go to the Better Homes and Gardens website:

Keep functionality as your number-one focus here. Do three of these layouts, and evaluate the success of each:

  • Is anything missing?
  • Does it all fit?
  • How about the color scheme?
  • Is that coming together so that you can visualize it and feel good about it?

Be open to putting something in your plan that you may not have originally thought of. As you work this through, new ideas and thoughts will pop into your mind. Write them down for later consideration. Don’t dismiss them immediately.

Having choices is important, as it helps to ensure that your final selections are what you want. Even if you do not think an arrangement is something you will like, that’s okay. Think it through anyway so that you can look at it and say, “No, I really don’t like that.”

Sometimes, in completing this exercise, you will find that a layout you were considering doesn’t work. There may not be enough room to fit all the furnishings with enough clearance to easily walk around.

Humans are very much creatures of comfort, ease, and convenience. We tend to slide over things or not do some things if they seem inconvenient. So make your space as comfortable and convenient as possible!

Be sure to explore our site as well for additional resources that can help you with this exercise and learn more about our comprehensive design book, “The Styleprint Design System.”

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Posted 253 weeks ago

Where Do I Even Start? Start With the End in Mind

If decorating is a struggle for you, you’re not alone. Many people get overwhelmed and feel unsure of themselves – but, it all becomes easier and more manageable when you follow a system.

Before you can have a home filled with rooms that wow you, you must focus on what you want. How is each piece of the puzzle going to fit into the whole? Once you understand your goals for your home and each room, it’s easier to address the challenges in front of you.

As Steven Covey writes in “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” the way to begin is to start with the end in mind, habit number two. Think about what you want the outcome to be, as opposed to purchasing odd items of decor such as a piece of furniture, an accessory, or a rug, and seeing what happens from there.

When you start without knowing where you want to go, things go downhill fast. What works time after time is to start with where you want to end up and work backward from there. The counterintuitive part here is that you may start with one piece of furniture or art or a color that you love and build around it. There is a difference between consciously selecting something that you love and using it as the inspiration for the rest of the room and aimlessly selecting something because it strikes you at the moment.

Looking at the process from the perspective of the desired result helps you to focus and think about the look, feel, and function of the room. You must be happy with all three of those criteria in order to declare the project a success in the end.

For assistance with this thought process, go to, download Worksheet #1 (“Focus Step”), and listen to the podcast that walks you through the thinking involved in filling the worksheet out.  Call our Connecticut Decor&You today for more info at 203-405-2123

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Posted 253 weeks ago

Wow DÉCOR - Artwork for Your Floor

When you’re decorating a room, an important element of the design is your artwork. Now, when you think of artwork you are most likely thinking of framed art, photographs, or sculptures that are displayed on your walls or on a table.  Would you be surprised if we told you that artwork can actually be displayed on your floor…in the form of a gorgeous area rug!

If you’ve shopped for a rug for your home recently or even flipped through a decorating magazine lately, you’ve probably noticed that area rugs can really become the focal point of a room. Many times, that is the function of art that is hung on the wall, but we believe you can also create that visual interest on your floor.

The true function of an area rug is to define a space, protect your floor, and create a finished look for a room.  Aesthetically, it can compliment your other furnishings or become the design point from which everything else takes its cue.  When selecting a rug for your home, consider the following tips.

1.      Select the right size and shape. When we work with homeowners to select area rugs we look at all the furnishings that will be in the room and let that serve as a guide.  A rug that is too large will look just as awkward as one that is too small.

2.      Invest in the best area rug you can afford. We always tell our clients that a quality rug can cost as much as a new sofa, and sometimes more. In fact, an area rug can outlast many of your other furnishings and become something you hold on to for decades.

3.      Consider patterns wisely.  Choose a pattern with a different scale than the others that exist in the room.  For example, a large scale patterned rug will compliment window treatments with a small pattern.

4.      Don’t be afraid of color! As mentioned earlier, you can create a focal point with your area rug.  Bold, beautiful colors will help you do that.

5.      You may need to order a custom size.  In most cases, the area rugs we order for  clients are made-to-order.

Need help selecting an area rug or other floor covering? Don’t hesitate to call us at 203-405-2126 to find a Decor&You location near you.  Together, we will find something that you will really love!


Posted 254 weeks ago

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

We’ve all been there…standing in the paint store, staring at thousands of tiny little sample cards. How can anyone make a decision with all of these choices? If you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone.  Some homeowners end up leaving their walls white for years because they’re afraid of making the wrong choice. We are here to demystify paint color selection process.

1.      Look at your existing décor and finishes in your home. Consider what items will definitely be staying in the room and use those as a guide. Also, look at your flooring and cabinets and countertops for kitchens and bathrooms.  If you are starting from scratch, look for inspirational photos of rooms that appeal to you.

2.      What type of mood do you want to set? Soft and cool tones will create a sense of calm while bold and bright hues will bring energy or drama to a space.

3.      Test the color. Paint large poster boards and hang them on the wall. Be sure to pay attention to the finish you’ve selected. Live with them for a few days so you can see how the light changes the color during the day and night hours.

4.      Consider the colors in adjacent rooms.  This doesn’t mean that everything needs to be the same paint shade, but there should be a comfortable flow between the rooms in your home.

5.      Begin in a small space.  A bathroom is a good place to experiment with color choice; there’s less of a time and financial commitment.

Still find it overwhelming? We can help. Color consultations are one of our popular services we provide. We can help you with just one room or your entire home.  Call us today at 203-405-2126 to find a Decor&You location near you and to schedule a consult today.

Posted 254 weeks ago

Give Different Design Possibilities a Chance

It is necessary to take two concurrent paths to create and complete the room, home, or office that will make you want to say, “Wow! I love my space. It’s everything that I need and want!”

The first path is the logistics sequence. This is where you identify the result you want and consider the options for achieving it.

The second path is good design according to accepted industry standards – this is where you drill down into the design elements, guided by your personal preferences. In our book, “The Styleprint Design System” we guide you through the specifics of these design elements.

As a part of this process we recommend that individuals create three unique plans—three possibilities—for consideration. It’s always nice to say no to something because it validates the things you say yes to, resulting in less buyer’s remorse or thinking, “I should have…” For this to really work though, don’t just select the same old things that you always gravitate toward. Have at least one plan that is out of character for you.

This is a great exercise to stretch your thinking a bit, and sometimes you will find something that is more enticing than you expected when it is paired with other things you are more comfortable with. Remember you do not have to choose it. You’re just giving yourself options as this point.

To learn more about the critical design elements, pick up a copy of “The Styleprint Design System” available for purchase here. Also, be sure to explore our site for additional free resources or give us a call at our Connecticut Decor&You Group at 203-405-2123

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Posted 256 weeks ago

How to Be Completely Satisfied with Your Design Project

One of the greatest concerns people have when undergoing a redecorating project is whether at the end of it they will be happy with the result given the time and resources they’ve invested. It’s your home, and you want it to look, feel, and function based on your personal preferences, not someone else’s. And you don’t want the result to miss the mark.

To avoid being disappointed with the end result, you must take the time to ask yourself questions about your preferences and focus for the room, and you must think about your room in detail. If you are not clear on what you want, your result will be mediocre at best. How could it be any different? It takes time to carefully plan for what you want and to think things through.

When you’ve prepared and done the necessary planning, you will have nothing to worry about. In our book, “The Styleprint Design System” we provide the steps for a successful décor project, by helping you:

  1. Think about your space and imagine what you would like it to be
  1. Analyze your space (what works vs. what doesn’t) from three perspectives:
  • its intended function
  • its physical characteristics
  • your personal preferences
  1. Evaluate principles of good design:
  • light
  • color
  • arrangement within the walls
  • the details
  1. Evaluate options with respect to:
  • investment
  • complexity
  1. Be aware of fear factors and their impact on the project:
  • creating a plan
  • implementing the plan

Be sure to explore our site as well for additional resources and information on our book, “The Styleprint Design System” or give us a call at our Connecticut Decor&You Group at 203-405-2123

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Posted 256 weeks ago

Redecorating Your Home – Where Do You Begin?

You have to limit your choices at some point, or you won’t ever do anything. All you have to do is pick a spot and begin.

It’s simply a matter of selecting a direction. And just because we’re going in one particular direction doesn’t mean there won’t be many choices within that direction. So first, pick a place, and get started creating your space for enjoyment, something that you’re happy with.

When people ask what room to begin decorating in, I usually ask them, “ Where do you spend most of your time?”

First, determine your starting point. Is it a room that you want to decorate, or is it a category that you want to approach first? For example, if you decided to replace the windows in your home, you will want to review your window coverings, or if you are replacing flooring in more than one room, you will want to address that first.

Anywhere you decide to start, the critical thing to remember is that each choice is not totally independent, just the opposite. Each choice will have an effect on all other choices—new choices must be blended into the mix of past choices and will also affect the direction of future selections.

To learn more about what to do once you’ve chosen a starting place, pick up a copy of “ The Styleprint Design System” available for purchase here. Also, be sure to explore our site for additional free resources. For addition information call the Connecticut Decor&You Group at 203-405-2123

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Posted 258 weeks ago

Does a Redecorating Project Make Sense Right Now?

When it comes to decorating, most people get overwhelmed before they even get started. They run wildly from room to room with a dozen paint chips in their hands and wind up getting nowhere but frustrated. Or worse: they go out and start shopping. Paint, couches, and carpets roll in, and then they realize it’s still not looking good…only to quickly find out that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes to complete a project.

Typically, every seven to twelve years, it happens all over again. That’s when people tend to have a change in their lives or get tired of their surroundings. When you buy a new home, you redecorate.

If you have a child, you’re bound to redecorate. You finish the basement … time to decorate. The kids grow up and want a bedroom makeover … you redecorate again. And when the kids go off to college or get married, it’s a good time to take a look around and redo some things. Then, at some point, you think about downsizing because the house is a lot to keep up.

With our Home 2.0 worksheet, you can identify whether tackling a decor project makes sense right now. This one-page document is designed to help you think about your space to determine your level of discomfort with that space and identify, in broad terms, just what it is that’s bugging you so that you can set goals for improvement.

Download our free eBook here and see whether you’re ready to begin a décor project. Be sure to explore our site as well for additional resources and information on our book, “The Styleprint Design System.” For additional question call the Connecticut Decor&You Group at 203-405-2123

Posted 258 weeks ago