Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Creating a Warm Welcome

How to choose the right size exterior lighting for your home
By Sherri Peach - LAMPS PLUS product buyer

Even more important than the style and finish of your new outdoor lighting fixtures is choosing the proper size and proportion of the units. In fact, the biggest mistake consumers make when installing new outdoor lighting is purchasing fixtures that are too small. Keeping in mind a few simple tips when selecting your fixtures will greatly enhance the final look and visual appeal of your lighting.
When choosing lighting for a door or entryway, a simple rule-of-thumb to keep in mind is that the height of your lantern or outdoor fixture should be based on the height of the door or opening.
If a single side lantern is used, the piece should be approximately one third the height of the door. If two lights are used on either side of a door, the pieces used can be slightly smaller, say one quarter the height of the entryway.

These fixtures are too small in proportion to the entrance size.

Fixtures should measure approx.1/4 the height of the doorway.

The fixtures should be mounted so that they are slightly above eye-level. On a typical door this measures out to approximately 66 inches above the threshold of the door. Depending on the outlet box location, different arm styles can be selected to position the filament at the correct height.
Don’t undersize your fixtures. Lanterns will appear to be about half the size from 50 feet away. This is an especially important rule to remember when buying post or fence mounted lighting. For maximum curb appeal, visualize the front of your home as guests or neighbors will see it from the street. If in doubt, always go larger.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Design Tip- 07

Ceiling Fans and Energy Efficiency

Ceiling fans don't actually lower the temperature of a room like an air conditioner. But by spinning the air, they do make the room feel cooler.

Best of all, ceiling fans use only about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb. Studies show that by setting ceiling fans to spin in a counter-clockwise pattern, you can save as much as 40% off summer cooling bills -- without sweltering. Simply set the thermostat a few degrees higher and flip on the fan.

In the winter, ceiling fans move warm air back to the center of the room, pushing it down from the ceiling.

It can be 10-15 degrees hotter with tall ceilings than on the floor.

Studies also reveal that ceiling fans can help homeowners save as much as 10% on their heating bills. Switch the direction of the blades to spin clockwise and turn on the fan.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fengshui Tip for the day

Fengshui and Lampshades
Lamp shades made from fabric or paper soften the light and create a more yin (quiet) atmosphere. Metallic or reflective shades will create a harder more yang (active) atmosphere. Use soft shades in bed or bath areas, harder shades in areas where you work or need to be more active.

Trendy Wallpaper

Distinguished by its open fretwork, Oracle Wallpaper from the studio of Lori Weitzner makes a striking statement when laid over a painted surface to let the color beneath show through the apertures. The product is handmade from the pulp of South American tree bark and has a hand-gilded finish protected by a sealer topcoat. The paper can also serve as a light-filtering room divider when hung from the ceiling or placed between sheets of glass.


Cool Boom

China's current building boom is doing more than sucking up the world's supply of steel, it's creating a stage for some of today's boldest architecture and engineering.

Central Chinese Television CCTV, Beijing
OMA/Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas. Under construction, scheduled for completion in 2008

The design of the new Central Chinese Television (CCTV) headquarters defies the popular conception of a skyscraper -- and it broke Beijing's building codes and required approval by a special review panel. The standard systems for engineering gravity and lateral loads in buildings didn't apply to the CCTV building, which is formed by two leaning towers, each bent 90 degrees at the top and bottom to form a continuous loop.

The engineer's solution is to create a structural "tube" of diagonal supports. The irregular pattern of this "diagrid" system reflects the distribution of forces across the tube's surface. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren and engineered by Ove Arup, the new CCTV tower rethinks what a skyscraper can be.