Preparing for warmer days: How to install a ceiling fan

Posted by kbanks & filed under ceiling fans, energy efficiency.

Spring is in full swing – and summer is just around the corner. Get your home ready for the hot months ahead by installing a ceiling fan. Nearly every room can benefit from a ceiling fan – but consider adding a fan in your most commonly used living areas such as a guest bedroom, living room or outdoor room.

Air Pro ceiling fan by Progress Lighting

Incorporating fans into your design scheme greatly reduces energy costs, while providing comfort, style and ambient lighting for almost any room of the home.

What You’ll Need: Your ceiling fan mounting hardware, down-rods or ceiling fan accessories, screwdriver, step ladder, wire strippers, wire connectors, electrical tape, pliers and safety glasses.

Be sure to carefully read all instructions in the manufacturer’s manual before beginning installation.

  • First, turn off the power to the existing light at the main breaker box. Once you confirm there is no electricity flowing through the wires, remove the former ceiling fan or fixture you wish to replace.
  • Next, attach the ceiling fan mounting bracket to the junction box in the ceiling using the supplied mounting screws and lock washers. Pull electric wiring from the junction box through the center hole of the mounting bracket
  • Now it’s time to assemble your fan. Pull wires attached to the fan motor through the down-rod, canopy and other trim. Insert the rod into the motor housing unit and use the connector pin and cotter pin to secure the rod in place. Tighten the setscrews in the side of the down-rod.
  • The next thing you’ll do is connect the wires from the fan to its counterpart in the ceiling. Simply match the wires color-to-color. Secure the matching wires with wire connectors. If your fan has a light, attach both remaining wires to the remaining hot wire in the box using the wire connectors. Secure all wire connectors with a layer of electrical tape.
  • Once wires are set, push the wires back into the junction box. Seat the canopy, covering the box and mounting bracket, and tighten all screws to secure.
  • Now, you’re ready to assemble the fan blades and arms. Fasten the blade brackets to the blades with the screws provided. Attach each blade arm to the main unit with lock washers and blade arm screws.
  • Following the instruction manual for your light kit, install the lights and shades into your ceiling fan.

Now, just turn on the power, flip the switch and enjoy the breeze!

Home Tour: A dreamy coastal retreat

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, remodeling.

We’re ooo-ing and ahh-ing over Stephen Alexander Homes‘ Coastal Virginia Idea House – the epitome of coastal luxury. From the color scheme (defined by a calming neutral and nostalgic sea foam palette), to the decor (complete with rustic elements and dark wood undertones), to the over-the-top amenities (which are luxurious to the core) – the Idea House is residential coastal design at its finest.

Planning a coastal remodel? Stay inspired with a virtual tour – brought to you by Stephen Alexander Homes and Neighborhoods.

Progress Lighting Derby lantern greets guests entering the Coastal Virginia Idea House by Stephen Alexander Homes

A craftsman style lantern from the Progress Lighting Derby collection greets guests upon arrival to the Coastal Virginia Idea House by Stephen Alexander Homes.

Elegant and whimsical elements collide in an entryway defined by Progress Lighting's luxurious Nissé chandelier and the glimpse at the chic sea foam color scheme.

Elegant and whimsical elements collide in the entryway as visitors are welcomed by Progress Lighting's luxurious Nissé chandelier and a glimpse at the subtle yet chic sea foam palette carried throughout the home.

The kitchen is made bright with on-trend clear glass pendants from the Progress Lighting Academy collection. The simple school house shape adds to the kitchen's simple chic appeal.

The kitchen is made bright with on-trend clear glass pendants from the Progress Lighting Academy collection. The simple school house shape adds to the kitchen's simple chic appeal.

To the right of the foyer, the luxurious theme is continued with the stunning Fortune chandelier by Progress Lighting.

To the right of the foyer, the luxury theme is continued with the stunning Fortune chandelier by Progress Lighting.

Just off the kitchen is a table setting united by an elegant shade surrounding Progress Lighting's Nissé chandelier.

Just off the kitchen is a table setting united by an elegant shade surrounding Progress Lighting's Nissé chandelier.

Climb up the stairs and you'll find a master suite fit for a queen. We're loving the dark wood bed frame.

Climb up the stairs and you'll find a master suite fit for a queen. We're loving the dark wood bed frame.

Soaking tub, glass shower, mini-chandelier, marble floors - this master bath just screams spa-like luxury!

Soaking tub, glass shower, mini-chandelier (from the Progress Lighting Fortune collection), marble floors - this master bath embodies spa-like luxury!

How would you like to wake up to this vanity set-up every morning? Featuring Progress Lighting Fortune sconces.

How would you like to wake up to this vanity set-up every morning? Featuring Progress Lighting Fortune sconces.

This spacious laundry room almost makes doing chores appealing!

This spacious laundry room almost makes doing chores appealing!

For a full sense of the flow of the home – watch this video.

Simple Ways to Make Your Guests Feel at Home

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design.

Spring in in full bloom which means some favorite family holidays (Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day) are just around the corner. As you prepare to host guests and family members in your home in the coming weeks, enjoy some tips from our friends over at Modernize.com on how to make your overnight visitors feel comfortable and at ease while staying in your home.

Image courtesy of Kolter Homes featuring Progress Lighting AirPro fan

Image courtesy of Kolter Homes featuring Progress Lighting AirPro fan

– Guest post contributed by Kristin Hillery, from Modernize.com –

Hospitality is one thing that never goes out of style. We’ve all had that awkward feeling at one time or another: You go over to someone’s home, step inside, and you just feel uncomfortable. I love having people over, and whether my guests are just hanging out for a few hours or they’re staying for a few days, I’ve found a few things that really help make them feel welcome.

Greet them — and then direct them somewhere

Wanting to be polite, a lot of guests may be afraid to just walk right into your home, kick off their shoes, and plop down on your sofa. And the funny thing about that is, it’s probably not only what you want them to do, but what they want to do as well. Help them out by greeting them warmly at the door, then offering them some directions like, “Come on in and put your shoes on the mat if you’d like to take them off, otherwise feel free to leave them on! Let’s go sit in the living room and catch up.” By doing this, you’ll avoid having your guests do that awkward freeze thing right when they walk in. Once they take a seat, ask if they’d like something to drink.

Finish setting up before your guests arrive

You can bet that if your guests have to watch you clean your kitchen counter or finish making up their bed, they’re going to feel completely uncomfortable. Take enough time before they arrive to ensure everything’s ready.

Set out extras

Provide necessities like a set of towels for each guest, but go above and beyond by leaving out some extras they may need. An easy way to do this is to have a basket and fill it with things like disposable razors, floss, and travel-size bottles of toothpaste, lotion, and shampoo. Don’t forget to leave at least two extra rolls of toilet paper in an obvious place, too.

Get rid of clutter

Walking into a home that’s overflowing with stuff can make a guest feel like you weren’t ready to have someone over. Make sure everything, from kids’ toys to laundry, is in its place.

Anticipate needs

Put yourself in the shoes of your guests: If you were away, what would make you feel more at home? Ask if the temperature’s comfortable, set out some snacks, offer up your washer and dryer if your guests have been traveling for a few days. Don’t forget to include a powerstrip in their room so they can charge their phones and laptops.

For more home ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

5 bold, beautiful and unexpected ways to light with pendants

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, remodeling.

Pendants are a style of lighting that everyone can agree on – mainly because there is such a wide selection of colors, materials and sizes to choose from. There’s truly a fit for every design taste. When it comes to placing pendants, we’ve noticed that designers are thinking outside the box (or outside the kitchen island) and coming up with new and creative ways to use pendant lighting. Here are some out of the ordinary applications for pendants that may spark creativity in your own home.

Group pendants above a breakfast nook

Create a beautiful spectacle above a kitchen nook by grouping pendants at varying heights. The display of our Academy pendants exudes a contemporary feel with their whimsical school-house profile and on-trend clear glass make-up.

Academy pendants in Toll Brothers breakfast nook

Academy pendants in Toll Brothers breakfast nook

Display oversized pendants above a dining table

Oversized pendants can be used to line a dining table for a modern approach to entertaining. Our Haven pendants provide beneficial task lighting and a beautiful display – no matter where you are sitting.

Haven pendants light up this Toll Brothers dining room.

Haven pendants light up this Toll Brothers dining room

Exchange your recessed lights for bold pendants

Looking for some general lighting applications with a little more pizzazz? Say good-bye to your recessed cans and hello to a stunning alternative in pendants. Look for large pendants with a high lumen output and a clean lined design for this type of application.

Eclipse pendants. Photo courtesy of Toll Brothers.

Toll Brothers living area featuring Eclipse pendants

Light up your living area with a statement pendant

Since large-scale lighting is high on the wish list of today’s designers and homeowners, using a statement pendant in place of your traditional chandelier is a natural transition. Create a space where family and friends will love to linger with our Ashbury pendant, shown below.

Ashbury pendant. Image courtesy of Toll Brothers.

Image courtesy of Toll Brothers featuring our Ashbury pendant

Spice up your sitting area with elongated pendants

Pendants with a thinner profile are often used for hallway and foyer applications. However, a display of elongated pendants grouped together can help fill your vertical space in a large room in a new and beautiful way.

Inspire pendants in Toll Brothers sitting area

Inspire pendants in Toll Brothers sitting area

Are you bold enough to try out new pendant displays? Which are your favorite applications?

The Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning your light fixtures

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Lighting Maintenance.

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the days are lengthening – ah, yes it’s that time of year! Spring is finally settling in. And as we all wake up from our winter haze, we may also be awakening to the need for some routine maintenance around the house. That’s right – it’s time for spring cleaning.

As you create your “honey-do” list, don’t forget your light fixtures. Read on for some lighting 101, practical Do’s and Don’ts for maintaining a beautiful fixture and extending the life of your favorite home accents.

Nissé chandelier in Toll Brothers bedroom

Image courtesy of Toll Brothers featuring Progress Lighting Nissé chandelier finished in Polished Chrome

For Polished Metal Fixtures…

DO:

  1. Clean your fixture regularly with a soft cloth using plain water or a mild detergent soap
  2. Use a non abrasive paste or liquid wax to provide extra protection (Turtle Wax or other non abrasive car wax)
  3. Make sure any cleaning or polishing cloth is free of abrasive material

DON’T

  1. Don’t use abrasive materials or cleaners, or any products with ammonia or alcohol
  2. Don’t use any glass or general purpose cleaners, as most chemicals will damage the lacquer coating (i.e. Pledge, Windex, Endust, to name a few)
  3. Don’t use a rough textured cloth
Image courtesy of Stephen Alexander Homes

Image courtesy of Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting Fiorentino chandelier in a hand-painted Forged Bronze finish

For painted fixtures…

DO:

  1. Clean your fixture regularly with a dry soft cloth
  2. If necessary, use plain water or mild detergent soap

DON’T

  1. Don’t use any abrasive materials or cleaners, such as products containing ammonia or alcohol
  2. Don’t clean your fixture with a rough textured cloth

For fluorescent fixtures…

DO:

  1. Remove lens and fluorescent bulbs from the fixture
  2. Clean your fixture, including bulbs, lens and any reflective surface with a soft dry cloth. If necessary, use a cloth slightly dampened with plain water or mild dish washing detergent
  3. Replace the bulbs and lens

DON’T

  1. Don’t use any abrasive materials or cleaner
  2. Don’t use products containing ammonia or alcohol
  3. Don’t use a rough textured cloth to clean any component of your fixture

What other items are on your spring cleaning list? Do you plan to freshen up your light fixtures with some routine maintenance?

5 questions to ask for the best home lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, remodeling.

Are you feeling dissatisfied with your current home decor? Is the wall decor or color scheme you originally chose not what you thought it would be? Before you change out the furniture, paint your walls or upgrade your floors, it’s important to make sure your lighting plan is one that complements your home’s current set-up and style. Without the right lighting – focal points, architectural details, unique textures and even colors can be lost, overlooked or nullified. Lighting has the ability to make or break the entire look and feel of your home – and the potential to transform your space from blah to beautiful.

Properly assess your current lighting plan by asking yourself these 5 questions.

Question 1: Am I lighting in layers?

Clayton linear chandelier above kitchen island. Toll Brothers.

Layered lighting helps you provide light where you need it (through task and accent lighting), while accounting for the general illumination of your space. A layered lighting approach considers using direct light for areas for completing everyday activities (such as the way pendant or under cabinet lighting provides functional lighting to kitchen countertops) – as well as general light sources (such as recessed lights, chandeliers or a close-to-ceiling fixture) to create ambiance.

Question 2: Do my fixture styles further the design of my home?

Outdated lighting fixtures certainly affect the perceived value and beauty of your home. The right lighting not only furthers the design of your home, but can also be taken a step further to where it even serves as a beautiful focal point. Statement fixtures can transform a room into a welcoming and well-designed environment. Installing fixtures that are in-style and correlate with your current design and color scheme is a cost-effective way to revive your favorite rooms.

Question 3: Am I using lighting in unexpected places?

Positioning fixtures in new and unexpected ways can breathe life into your home environment. Have you ever thought of adding a dazzling chandelier to your bathroom? Or, positioning statement pendants around your living room?

Question 4: Have I installed dimmers?

A quick dimmer installation can have a profound impact on your home – especially in areas intended for entertaining or relaxing. Consider installing dimmers in “zones” so you can control different areas of the same room to cater to activities in those spaces.

Question 5: Is my lighting focused?

Accent lights can also add visual interest to your space – a spotlight on a unique wall texture or sculpture can further add to the overall design of your room.

All images courtesy of Toll Brothers, Progress Lighting partner and builder of luxury home communities in spectacular locations nationwide.

Lighting by Room: A Virtual Tour from Beazer Homes

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Kitchen Lighting, Lighting, Lighting Trends.

There are numerous design elements to absorb when touring a model home. Light fixtures contribute to both the style and function of a new home.

Our friends at Beazer Homes have offered to take us on a virtual tour of their Camden Plan in the Alpharetta, GA 321 Vaughan community. Get an enlightening behind-the-scenes look at Beazer’s model for some helpful lighting tips, design ideas and stunning fixtures.

The Feeling of a Grand Entrance

For vertically oriented spaces, like this three-story 2,643 square foot townhome, a wide open entry hall is not always physically feasible.  However, the stylish Crestwood three-light hall and foyer fixture in Antique Bronze establishes the elegant feel of the space and draws the visitor’s eye up as they walk into the coffered ceiling living room.

Design Tip: Using an entry fixture that echoes elements of your exterior lights helps ensure a seamless transition from outdoors to inside.  At this model home the traditional style of the textured black coach lights (P5863-31) used on the front porch blend nicely with the bronze foyer fixture.

Artful Dining

From the living area, the natural flow of foot traffic leads visitors into the home’s dining room.  Because the space is open to the main living area and the townhome’s kitchen, the Beazer designers elected an elegant and playful chandelier, Equinox hanging fixture (P3889-20), in Antique Bronze that pairs nicely with the rustic hues of the hardwood floors, stair treads, and banister leading to the second floor bed and bathrooms.

Light Cooking

Through the cased opening in the dining room visitors are beckoned by the flood of natural light coming through the bank of double hung windows on the back of the home.  Once in the space, the gleaming set of Fresnel Brushed Nickel pendants (P5188-09) hanging over the large kitchen island catch your eye.  Though the color scheme of the space is neutral, your eyes are anything but bored with the layered lighting design and whimsical textile patterns in the area rug and drapery.
Fresnel pendants in Beazer Homes Camden plan
Design Tip: Pendants don’t just look pretty they also offer task lighting to make food prep and washing dishes easier and safer for this home’s residents.  Make sure there is ample light in the space where you’ll be cutting and chopping foods in your kitchen.

Bathed in Cool Colors

The Camden plan’s master bathroom design is consistent with the sleek metallic finishes and fixtures throughout the rest of the home.  Large frosted glass windows filter pure white light that reflects off of the room’s tub, shower and white cabinets.  For the times when natural light isn’t available, the room’s recessed can lights and Trinity three light fixtures in Polished Chrome (P3192) above both sinks provide the perfect ambiance.

While every homeowner’s lighting needs vary, a thoughtful lighting design speaks to the home’s architectural style while improving livability within the space.  You can tour more Beazer homes by finding a Beazer community or searching through their online galleries. You can also connect with Beazer on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more new home inspiration.

Your pictures, our fixtures: 6 inspiring, gram-worthy interiors

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting Trends, Social Media.

We love how Instagram has transformed into a platform full of design inspiration. In honor of surpassing 500 followers on the platform this month, we scoured Instagram for our favorite images featuring our lighting – and we think you’ll be inspired by what we found.

Do you use Instagram to learn residential trends, home design tips or project ideas? Don’t forget to check us out at www.instagram.com/progressltg or @progressltg. And if you tag your gram-worthy spaces with #progresslighting – your may just end up on our next round up of “your pictures, our fixtures.”

We're swooning over this bar area included in Toll Brothers' "Best of Toll" feature this week, featuring our glass pendants

We're swooning over this bar area included in Toll Brothers' "Best of Toll" feature this week, showcasing our glass pendants. Instagram account to follow: @TollBrothers

Porch.com is all about helping you reach your home improvement goals, and their Instagram page is a great place to start. What a bright and beautiful kitchen (featuring our Equinox pendant). Follow @PorchDotCom!

Porch.com is all about helping you reach your home improvement goals, and their Instagram page is a great place to start. What a bright and beautiful kitchen (featuring our Equinox pendant). Follow @PorchDotCom!

Dining setting from @paradecraze featuring Progress Lighting Santiago chandelier

If you're looking to stay up to date on the latest residential design trends, follow @paradecraze for a constant stream of inspired interiors. Loving this dining setting featuring our Santiago chandelier.

If you're privy to coastal decorating, you'll fall in love with the Coastal Virginia Idea House by Stephen Alexander Homes. I mean, just look at this kitchen island?!

If you're privy to coastal decorating, you'll fall in love with the Coastal Virginia Idea House by Stephen Alexander Homes. I mean, just look at this kitchen island?! Instagram account to follow: @StephenAlexanderHomes

Studio Thomas gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the design process from start to finish. Here's one of the "finished" grams - a stunning kitchen displaying our Bay Court pendants!

Studio Thomas gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the design process from start to finish. Here's one of the "finished" grams - a stunning kitchen displaying our Bay Court pendants! Instagram account to follow: @studiothomas

Lux.Home.Decor may be new to the Instagram scene, but the level of home inspiration is anything but amateur. Loving this grand living room adorned with our Ashbury chandelier. Instagram account to follow: @lux.home.decor

Lux.Home.Decor may be new to the Instagram scene, but the level of home inspiration is anything but amateur. Loving this grand living room adorned with our Ashbury chandelier. Instagram account to follow: @lux.home.decor

3 new ways to use tape lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, Lighting, remodeling.

Tape and strip lights bring design flexibility, efficiency and beauty to your home lighting plan. Designed with LED sources, strip lights offer optimum efficiency to meet your green design goals. Read on to learn 3 new ways you can incorporate the versatile tape light to enhance your home’s functionality and beauty.

Use LED tape lighting:

1. To illuminate counter workspaces: The cuttable strip also allows you to position lights to perfectly fit your space. Create smooth, seamless illumination above counter areas to help you complete everyday tasks such as reading recipes, chopping ingredients or doing homework.

Image courtesy of Southern Studio Interior Design

Image courtesy of Southern Studio Interior Design

2. To enhance safety in home walking areas: LED strip lights can also be placed under cabinets, just a few inches above the floor to better illuminate paths. This is a great application for aging-in-place design because as we age, it gets more difficult to distinguish walkways and obstacles due to changes in vision.

3. To add drama with cove lighting: Complete with 3M adhesive backing and mounting clips, tape light installation is easier than ever – making it an ideal application for those hard to reach spaces. Easily customizable to fit unique spaces, tape lights work well to provide dramatic cove lighting to enhance the interior architectural beauty of your home.

Quick and Easy Bedroom Makeovers

Posted by kbanks & filed under Bedroom Lighting, Interior Design, Lighting, remodeling.

Dreaming of a gorgeous bedroom? We know how you feel. All too often, living rooms and kitchens take priority when it comes to decorating, and bedrooms can wind up in a perpetual state of blah. Check out these simple ideas for giving your sleep space an upgrade in no time at all.

Paint

A dark color on the walls can bring a bold look to your master bedroom

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Ashbury chandelier

Don’t be afraid to go bold and paint your bedroom a darker color. A survey conducted by Travelodge found that people who sleep in blue rooms tend to get the best night’s sleep, so there’s an idea. If you don’t want to commit to a whole room, just paint an accent wall.

Set up great lighting

Image courtesy of Miller and Smith Homes. Photography by Jim Kirby Photography featuring Progress Lighting Ashbury chandelier.

Image courtesy of Miller and Smith Homes. Photography by Jim Kirby Photography.

If feeling relaxed and refreshed is the priority for your bedroom, consider a layered lighting design. As a rule of thumb, you should have a minimum of three sources of light, which can be as easy as having a lamp on either side of your bed, in addition to a beautiful ceiling light fixture that furthers the design of your space. Consider installing a dimmer switch to control the mood of your room.

Hang curtains

Hang curtains with space above the windows to make your bedroom appear larger.

Image featuring Progress Lighting Brookside wall sconces.

Don’t underestimate the impact of curtains. They can add texture, color, and warmth to a bedroom, often bringing the whole room together. Try hanging them higher (5 to 7 inches) and wider than the window to make the window appear larger and take the eye higher – maker the room feel bigger.

Upgrade your linens

High-quality linens are an instant upgrade. After all, life’s too short to sleep on scratchy sheets. Splurge on high thread count sheets — you’ll be glad you did the next morning.

Deck the walls

Deck the walls with favorite works of art and photos to enliven your master bedroom.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Equinox pendant.

Wake up each morning to art and decorations that’ll make you happy. If you’re the type who likes to switch it up every so often, or if you’re afraid of putting too many nail holes in the wall, install picture ledges.

Article contributed by Kristin Hillery. Kristin writes for Modernize.com, a website with a mission to connect contractors of all specialties to homeowners looking for home improvement services