Decorating lighting fixtures for the Holidays

Legacy Models 069With lush lighting fixtures such as these two from the O’Connor model at Legacy, it’s tempting to make them part of the season by adding a holiday touch. Here are a few suggestions to make these lights reflect the holidays.

Holiday greens: Look for a garland that matches the style of your holiday decorations. You could choose real greens such as the red cedar garland available at Trader Joe’s this time of year, or just pick up some of their two-color holly. Use fishing line or ribbons to attach it under the lights of the chandeliers above.  For the photo below, drape the greens along the cross-beams above the lights.

Legacy Models 073Ribbons: You could tie some lovely red, green, gold or blue ribbons around the shades on the chandelier above to create an understated but festive touch. To contribute a bit more drama, tie a few to the loops under the lights and let them hang down to the table, maybe even puddling on the table itself or stopping just above your centerpiece to connect your lighting to your holiday tablescape. Ribbon loops could run across the crosspieces of the more contemporary light fixture below also.

LED lights. Add lights to your lighting with some of the new battery-powered LED lights in white, colors or even multicolored options. Hide the battery pack within some greenery and let the mini-lights swirl and drape around the structure of each chandelier.

Ornaments: One simple but effective approach would be to choose some favorite ornaments and hang them from the supports of each chandelier. Once again this addition is understated but would pull your lighting into the season. Why not bring the holiday to your home’s lighting, allowing it to shine with the rest of your home.

Lighting that Shows Style as well as Function

Legacy Models 131 (1)One of the special treats awaiting you at Fulton Home’s Legacy community is a wealth of great lighting options. Take the opportunity to get a glimpse of the newest lighting styles as well as smart lighting decisions room-by-room.

This space, the breakfast nook in the Basha model, demonstrates how lighting can transform a space. The dramatic double light fixture over the table catches the eye immediately. Combining the strong lines to the ceiling with the contemporary-meets-traditional line of the glass framing the lights, and you have fixtures that set the tone for the entire room.

These fixtures mirror the contrast between dark and light painted wood in this space. Clean lines and this contrast make the space comfortable yet still on point for design. The smart choice to use two chandeliers provides even lighting across the table while adding balance for the generous breakfast arrangement.

The other lighting in the room – under the molding and cupboards on the built-in cabinetry – allows you to highlight certain accessories while adding another design feature. The additional lighting is particularly effective in highlighting the tile lining the back of the counter.

This space is ideal for holding a brunch buffet, and the lights combined with the backsplash add a splash of style to the space. Dark and metallic serving dishes would make the arrangement feel integrated and inviting as guests helped themselves.

Every model at Legacy showcases the smartest and most intriguing lighting decisions. We look forward to sharing these special design features with you when you visit.

The Basha: High Style Dining

DSC_0022 (1)Some smart design decisions bring style to this dining space, from Fulton Home’s Basha floorplan at Legacy. The wall-mounted column and ceiling-based frame defines the dining and living spaces with a natural hallway that keeps the room open.

Proportion also has a place here. The chandelier has the grandeur to connect the raised ceiling to the table, while its delicate tracings of metal keep it light and graceful rather than too massive. This provides a good balance against the strong beams and more prominent design of the wall sconces. The lights in the hall could fit over a dining table in a smaller space, but here they stand up well to the requirements of the generous room.

The large dining room table is complemented by adding upholstered armchairs to each end. Dark leather works well with the massive mirror on the wall and the beams on the ceiling, while the stripes on the side chairs pull the room’s colors together.

While some people may consider a rug to add definition to the dining space, the other architectural details make that flooring choice optional. And positioned right next to the kitchen as a natural extension of the living room, this dining area is ideal for entertaining.

In the Basha, design and décor blend to create a friendly, welcome environment. We invite you to visit the Basha at Legacy in Gilbert. We think you will enjoy the style and appeal of this Fulton Home.

Dining Area Works

Corsica Model at Ironwood Crossing 015If you’ve experienced dining at a circular table, you know how the space encourages conversation while providing an inviting central area for flowers, a centerpiece, or bowls of good food. The table in this dining room – from the Fulton Homes Corsica model in Ironwood Crossing – also works well in the space. When you have a square shaped dining area a circular table takes advantage of the entire space while still leaving breathing room for wanderers.

This table seats six comfortably and could handle up to eight with just a little squeezing. If you want to try this circle shape, look for a pedestal table that allows you the most flexibility in seating – there are no table legs to interfere with your guests.

The round presentation from the room’s chandelier provides the perfect lighting for the table. Choosing a light fixture with upward-facing shades provides a generous amount of light while avoiding glare. Add a dimmer to allow for darker, more intimate gatherings, possibly with added candlelight.

The built-ins offer another lovely feature in this space. Notice how the upper cabinets frame the window with glass doors that reflect all of the light in this room. The countertop provides the perfect spot to serve a buffet, and you could use the cabinets to store serving dishes as well as table linens. The electric outlet right at countertop level supports heated dishes or after-dinner coffee.

Positioning right next to the kitchen makes it easy to make and serve everything from a quick family lunch to a gorgeous dinner party. The two windows add light to daytime gatherings and ambience in the evening. How would this dining space work for you and your family? Visit our Corsica model to see it in person.

Design Center: Lighting

Lighting at the Fulton Design Center

Lighting at the Fulton Design Center

Most people pay particular attention to the light over their dining room table. Yes, that’s important, but you don’t want to ignore the power of lighting in every room.

With our hot summers, ceiling fans have a place throughout the house. From a cooling breeze over the family room sofa to a breath of fresh air in the kitchen dining area, fans reduce energy bills over the summer by allowing you to feel comfortable at a higher ambient temperature. Bedrooms also benefit from ceiling fans making the nights feel cooler than they really are.

Some lighting options at the Fulton Design Center

Some lighting options at the Fulton Design Center

Above your kitchen island, pendant lights provide both additional task lighting and an opportunity to showcase your style. The Fulton Design Center provides an inviting collection of styles and colors, including traditional looks that complement your dining chandelier. The photo on the right demonstrates how your chandelier can reflect your island pendants. This approach – having the pendant light mirror the dining chandelier but turned upside down – suits the function of each light while maintaining style consistency.

Perhaps you prefer a delightful contemporary glass shade? Fulton offers those at the Design Center in an inviting range of colors and shapes. Whether you would enjoy a vivid pop of red over your island or soft clear amber – these choices and more can be yours. Check the top photo toward the right for a few of your options.

While you’re exploring your kitchen’s lighting, remember to add ceiling spotlights to provide additional ambient light as well as under-counter task lighting to ease meal preparation.

Lighting has an important and often underrated impact on the look and feel of your home. Enjoy the many options available to you at the Fulton Design Center- helping to create a home that is totally yours and completely lovely.

Pinterest on Furniture

21363428_SIf you walk into a furniture store and immediately want to curl up on the nearest sofa and forget about shopping, you can start the process on your computer instead.

Do you know what you want in a sofa? A chair? A coffee table or bookcase? If you’re not sure, take a cruise to Pinterest and see all sorts of options in a room setting. Many furniture manufacturers have taken to Pinterest, so you can shop there. Or start simpler with a search for the type of room you’re looking to furnish.

Start with your own Pinterest account. Create a board that defines what you’re looking for – say a dining table and chairs. Then do a search for photos of your almost-unlimited options.

Pinterest allows you to envision the exact look you want, down to the paint color and accessories, just by seeing what other people have done. Be specific. If you want a traditional oval dining table, look for that. Or if you’re not sure, just browse the rooms in general and pin the ones that you’re drawn to. There’s a good chance that you’ll start seeing a trend.

Many designers also pin the rooms they’ve created, so you have the advantage of looking at what the professionals do. You can start by pinning everything you like and narrow down your choices later. Once you’ve developed a collection of pins you like, sit down and look at the board you’ve created. Do one or two pins stand out? What draws you to them? Think about color, furniture style and material, shapes and textures. With notes on your favorites, or pins in your Smartphone, you can shop with a much better idea of what you want.

Pinterest is a natural replacement for those folders of favorite rooms many of us keep with us while shopping for our home decor. Take this approach instead. It’s free, easy and much less cluttered than all those magazines and photos. Give it a try.

Say Hello to Spring with Projects

20849225_SIf you’re looking for a way to give your home a blast of spring color and mood, consider visiting Pinterest for some ideas. Our Fulton Homes Pinterest site has a board “Everything Spring.” with bunches of fun spring photos, design ideas and projects for you to bring the season into your home.

Let’s take a look at a simple and fun way to add an unexpected touch of spring to any room in your home. The photo to the left shows a flurry of paper butterflies in bright yellow. You can cut and set these up in an afternoon, and have a fun wall that says spring in no time.

For paper, visit your local scrapbooking store and investigate your choices. Or you can hit an office supply or paper store. This yellow is available in the Astrobright line of papers in standard paper weight or card stock if you want a sturdier display. You can also find a vivid pink or bright light green in this line of paper.

It looks like these butterflies were cut with a die-cut paper machine – available at hobby stores. The perfect size and shape of these butterflies makes that clear. But there’s no reason not to simply cut your own. A little variety in the look of the butterflies would add charm to the presentation. You could also add flowers and leaves in other colors. Double-sided masking tape or masking tape loops will hold the butterflies to the wall without any permanent damage. You might want to include any children in your life on the project – or just keep it to yourself and have the kids wake up to discover that spring arrived while they were sleeping.

Dining Room with Drama

From Fulton Homes Daylight Model

From Fulton Homes Daylight Model

What makes this dining space special? A sense of drama captures the eye and invites you to have a seat and a meal. Let’s take a look at why.

Color: The walls have a rich tone that is darker than expected, creating a sense of intimacy. The leather-colored flooring echoes that warmth.

The artwork and tablescape complement each other – with rich red and dark olive green combined with a sunny gold. Brown links it all together, with the furniture, chandelier and art all showing a brown base color.

Comfort: The chairs are built for comfort with backs that slope and cushioned seats. If you want a lively dining experience with people lingering over their meals, be sure to select dining chairs that will be comfortable for several hours. Don’t be seduced into uncomfortable chairs by a certain look or style.

The lighting also makes the space feel inviting. Having the shades facing up makes the room bright enough without any glare. The slight amber tone also warms the space, helping to relax the environment.

Style: Everything in this room is consistent in flavor. The feel is sophisticated Mediterranean, building the expectation of a meal that starts with bruschetta and ends with a bowl of fruit, with pasta and maybe fish in the middle. Imagine the hostess removing the flower arrangement from the center of the table, replacing it with a large bowl of tossed salad and a basket of bread still warm from the oven.

Cloth napkins with napkin rings, the dark red chargers under the white plates – food always looks better on a white plate – and the simple ceramic apples at each dish promise a meal to remember. This room is set up in anticipation of a lovely meal with congenial company, and it invites you to sit down and enjoy it all.

Organizing your New Home – Recruiting Others

12057397_SYou may have included your family when visiting your Fulton Home during construction, and they may have helped pack and unpack their own rooms, but now that you’ve moved into your new home, how about recruiting them to help you organize it?

You know that they contribute to the disorganization, so your spouse and children can be a terrific resource when figuring out how to create organizational systems that will last.

Start with one space in your home, such as the front or garage entryway. Do these spaces end up as catchalls for shoes, books, purses, keys and other things? If you chose the Fulton Drop Center built-in for your home, bring your family together to assign spaces, drawers and shelves to some of this clutter. You may even want to label some of it.

Could a drawer be assigned to each child to hold homework as well as notes to or from the teacher, and your spouse’s car keys? Would a bench with slots for shoes under it in the hallway help?

The kitchen is another space that begs for group organization. Setting up a breakfast center with various cereals, an area for making lunches with bags and containers, and placing a selection of afternoon snacks in a specific spot might help contain potential messes. Add in a few rules such as everyone bringing their dishes to the sink, rinsing them off and putting them in the dishwasher and you are on your way to a kitchen that keeps itself under control with only minor reminders from you.

Once you move on to coordinating homework, laundry and any other regular organizational challenges, you’re on your way to a more organized home. One final suggestion: provide regular prizes or little treats as a reward for maintaining the organizational system – for you as well as your family.

Fulton Homes Design Online – Lighting Up Your Life

LED Under Cabinet 5 Light PkgAre you drawn to traditional lights with softly-curved glass shades like the ones in the photo? Maybe you want pendant lights over your island, and in oil-rubbed bronze. But wait, this light fixture was just made for the pool table you’re planning for the family room!

This room shows a generous amount of lighting, which is particularly appreciated in the kitchen. Notice the can lights in the ceiling, set to shine light against your cabinet doors, making them sparkle, as well as providing general task lighting for snooping in the fridge for a snack or checking your oven to see if a casserole is finished.

For closer work this kitchen features the Maxim LED CounterMax with five LED lights set under the counter. With its sleek profile and direct pre-wiring, the LED fixtures emit a crisp white light which illuminates without shadows. Long-lasting LED bulbs keep cabinets cool and safe and the bulb life is rated at 50,000 hours. LED lighting is also the most energy efficient choice.

contour lighting collection by MaximWhat about the rest of the house? Light fixtures throughout will stay consistent in design because Fulton provides a full package of lights in your selected style. Would you prefer a contemporary look? How about this piece from the Contour Collection by Maxim on the left?

larissa inverted pendantOr you might like this Larissa Inverted three-light Pendant by Kichler shown on the right.

Craving a full size dramatic chandelier? Take a look at this choice, also part of the Larissa Collection. This fixture is ideal to take advantage of a vaulted ceiling over a dramatic entrance or in a formal dining space.larissa lighting package

Let’s move back to the kitchen for a minute. Would you like some pendant lights over your island? They are getting more and more popular. Take a look at the choices below. On the left, you have the mini-pendant that goes with the Larissa Collection we saw above. The one on the right is a contemporary choice, the Elk Lighting Vesta Pendant in Tobacco. It comes in red, blue and white also.

elk lighting vista pendant in tobaccolarissa collection mini pendantThese photos show just a few of the choices available. Maybe it’s time to visit Fulton Homes Design Online to start narrowing down your choices – not an easy feat. But remember, your Fulton Design Center Designer is ready to help you make the right decisions for your home.