Tuesday, July 12, 2016

GOTTA SLEEP! Get your ceiling fan today!

I love summer and I also love to sleep. Based on my hundreds and hundreds of conversations with ceiling fan customers at Madison Lighting I know I’m not alone. As much as we love sleeping on summer nights there is something about it that makes our days not quite as refreshed as they could be. Customers tell me it goes something like this: A cool shower and you pop into bed. The sheets feel cool and crisp. You read for a few minutes and find that soon it’s a bit warm so you lose the covers. You drift off. You wake up and it’s super dark. It’s stuffy in your room, even though you have the AC running. The sheets are wilted.  You try for the cool side of the pillow only to wake up again a bit later…

I fixed this issue a while back at my house with a ceiling fan. It’s an easy, reliable fix if you do it right: figure out the room size with a few measurements, take a few pictures of your furniture and your room, then head for the showroom at Madison Lighting and talk with someone that knows a lot about fans. Many people start with the way a ceiling fan looks. But you might start with the size fan you need for your space.  That’s both the motor size and the blade size. And, while shopping, it becomes apparent which fans will cool you in summer and keep you comfy in winter, saving you a tidy bundle on electricity. Then pull up the pics on your phone or iPad and see which fan speaks to you, so to speak! We have lots of fans in our showroom and a lot more in our warehouse. And there are many more we can order for you if you want something super specific.

Pre-shopping is also a great idea. Visit us at www.MadisonLighting.com and click on the FANS tab. Take a look at the section on motors and another on measuring your space. It sounds pretty dry, but actually its kind of cool (pun intended!) to learn the way a fan works for you for pennies versus your air conditioner. Then come and see us and get the personal service we’re known for. Sometimes you might have to wait because we’re helping others. Or you can make an appointment. It’s worth buying the right ceiling fan from Madison Lighting. It will be quiet, reliable, energy efficient, and beautiful. It’ll have you sleeping comfortably in no time.

Cranky? Get a ceiling fan!

What is the deal with this weather? A couple of days ago it failed to hit 69 degrees in Madison WI and now, whew! Hot. Humid. I think of a ceiling fan as part of our summer survival gear in south central Wisconsin. Right up there with flip-flops and icy cold lemonade.

If your new ceiling fan is sized correctly for the space, hung at the right level, and powerful enough to move the heavy humid air of a Wisconsin summer, you can push the temp up on your thermostat 6 or even 7 degrees and still feel cool and comfy. A well built ceiling fan runs for pennies, while your air conditioner runs for a whole lot more.

Madison Lighting fans are built to run. Like your fridge, our ceiling fans are appliances made to run for years and years. They contain quality parts, they run quietly. The second biggest complaint we hear about big box store fans is they are noisy. With each revolution they wobble and make a noise that becomes so irritating most people just turn ‘em off.  And our ceiling fans come with us, a team of pretty smart folks that will help you pick the right size fan to really cool your space.

Visit us at www.MadisonLighting.com and click on the FANS tab. Learn how to measure your space and compare performance. A bit of knowledge will pay off.  Pre-shop ceiling fans or order them right there online. Or come and see us for some personal service. Because if you do it right, your new ceiling fan will “make mama really happy.” It’s going to be a long, hot summer. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Bathroom Reno for Teenagers

Teenage Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Living in a house with teenage boys? Then your bathroom remodel is all about “the essentials.” You need cabinets that can take it, a shower built for their 6’3” frames and size 12 feet, bins for the (endless) laundry, and light.  Light over the mirror, over the shower, and yes, recessed lighting over the toilet. Sharing space with teenagers is challenging. Skip the obsessively vivid colors, kid-specific shower curtains, miles of plastic bins and opt for lasting style. Here are 2 keys to a great bathroom for teens including bathroom lighting ideas.

Simplicity. Clutter is a problem with teens. Storage built into the vanity keeps the clutter down. Towel bars or hooks near the sink and the shower in a modern shape lend a little architecture. Mirrors over the vanity in the same finish as the fixtures don’t have to be boring. Here’s a tip: many MadisonLighting.com vendors make collections that work together: mirrors and lighting that add style. Keep it clean, simple and handsome in there.

Utility. Buy bathroom linens that are consistent with the rest of the family laundry. Those Badger red towels seem like a fun pop of color now. But when you are teaching your college bound kid how to do the laundry it takes just one errant red hand towel to foul up a load of whites. Ditto the shower curtain.  …. Been there.

Less is more. They are teenagers, there will be hair products; in fact the vanity may be covered with them. A tray on the vanity to collect that clutter is helpful. Think tile or luxury vinyl tile on the floor that’s easy to mop and wipe down.

Let there be light over the sink and beside the sink. There is nothing like light especially as they start to care about how they look (see hair products, above). Sealed, recessed lighting in the shower is fantastic.  A well-lit bathroom is a pleasure to use. Plan for it, as you check off your bathroom reno list, with a lighting designer at Madison Lighting. It’s all part of the service here.


Outdoor Lighting

I want more light outside. That long winter was dark, icy, cold. I worried about family and guests arriving for one of our Sunday night family suppers, our driveway is too dark. And the sidewalk that circles the house from the driveway to the door isn’t lit for navigating slippery sidewalks. For that matter, how welcoming is our front door?

My job as a Certified Lighting Specialist at Madison Lighting can actually work against me at times like this. So many choices!

There is the incredible mid-century modern house that we did a lighting plan for with its softly lit terrace at the front door. The key here is low LED lighting from more than one source. Carriage lights on either side of the front door are simply not enough. Should we add moonlighting? Maybe!

And there is the warm and welcoming Waunakee WI home. The garage carriage fixtures light the driveway without looking like an airport runway- soft light that is just enough to be comforting.

I love the effect of the path lights at the Middleton Hills home featured on our homepage right now. Nestled into the plants they lit the walk, but also sent little shadows of texture and nature into play.

Each home here has its distinct style, but they share an important trait: the right light outdoors. Living in Wisconsin we’re used to the cold winters, warm jackets and Uggs, we don’t leave home without our mittens and 4-wheel drive. We embrace it all with wonderful dinners and the laughter of family and friends. So my first task this year is to make sure that every evening is a welcoming one at our house.


Kitchen Lighting Ideas for the All-White Kitchen

We’re following the trends and the all-white kitchen dominates. A white kitchen can be warm and inviting with great lighting techniques that bring each kitchen’s soul to light. As certified lighting specialists, our crew at MadisonLighting.com are trained to work with builders and designers to provide the right light for every task.

Looking for kitchen lighting ideas? If you DIY, you know it’s easy to make a mistake with lighting and end up with shadows and dim spaces instead of well-lit comforting places. Here are a few ideas for getting the right light in your new white kitchen.

The ambient light in a white kitchen is provided by a combo of natural lighting and ceiling fixtures. The more upper cabinets you have the more you need lighting in the form of ceiling pendants, recessed lighting, and even track or multisystem lighting. Fewer upper cabinets means more windows and improved natural light, at least during the day. Getting enough light on your workspace may mean lights on the backsplash that literally spill light toward you across the counter.

The best white kitchens we’ve seen incorporate more than one shade of white and the addition of natural wood, tile, and stone. Bring something unexpected to the kitchen: vintage from any decade. One white kitchen we worked on featured painted cabinets on the outside walls and a gorgeous wood island in the center. It was big and rustic, made of well-loved wood. Unique pendant lights in a deep hand-rubbed bronze lit the surface and pinged off the lighter bronze drawer pulls.

And yet another kitchen with its white cabinets and white granite countertops (like marble without the upkeep) has vintage in its DNA. The cabinet’s 1920’s style brought to mind an old butler’s pantry with unfitted cupboards and deeply paneled doors. The kitchen simply had to have old glass and polished chrome lighting.

A single feature wall of old brick or dry-stacked stone is so Fixer Upper’s Joanna Barnes. This wall becomes the soul of the room as backdrop to a table and chairs, spectacular artwork, or open shelving. Add lighting to these walls, to interesting effect. Sometimes we use light that washes the wall softly so it picks up the shadows and highlights.

The all-white kitchen. After several seasons this trend is still white hot. That’s a sign that this one is here to stay.