Free Webinar: 3 Tips to Maximize Your Exposure on Houzz

Posted by kbanks & filed under Social Media, special events.

Interior designers, homebuilders and other industry professionals are all using Houzz, the world’s leading platform for home renovation and design, to market their business.

If you are unfamiliar with Houzz – or if you want to learn more on using it to market your business – we invite you to join us for a FREE webinar presented by the Progress Lighting and Houzz teams on Tuesday, March 3, at 2 p.m. EST. Register here.

During this webinar, you’ll learn how to effectively showcase your work in front of the 25 million users on Houzz, including:

  • How to build an online presence, as well as best practices for engaging with a vibrant online community of homeowners, design enthusiasts and home industry professionals.
  • How online activities generate new business.
  • How to categorize photos to tell your brand’s story in the world’s largest residential design database.

We hope you will register and join us for this free, informative event that can help you connect with your customers.

Trend Talk: In the Kitchen

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

We’re back with Trend Talk Tuesdays, and today we’re taking a closer look at trends influencing the heart of your home: the kitchen. Get the skinny on the looks, finishes and designs that will make up this year’s most on-trend kitchens.

One-level workstations: Say good-bye to your high-low islands with a bar and counter at separate heights. A reason for this trend is the increasing popularity of the double island.

Image courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group

Image courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group

Double sinks: With multiple islands, we are also noticing a trend towards double sinks. Typically, the second sink is used for meal preparation, located in the secondary island.

Statement light fixtures: Large, eye-catching light fixtures, especially above the entertainment island, are also popular for kitchens this year.

Image courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group, featuring Progress Lighting Caress Pendants. Photography by StudioKW.

Image courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group, featuring Progress Lighting Caress Pendants. Photography by StudioKW.

White appliances: White is becoming more popular than stainless steel when it comes to kitchen appliances. The Whirlpool White Ice collection is an example of this.

Oversized island seating: Formal dining areas are being replaced with extended island seating for the whole family.

What elements are you planning for your kitchen remodel or new home?

Insight and images, courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group.

Back to Basics: Creating a lighting plan for your home

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, lighting designs, renovations.

Lighting greatly affects the mood, aesthetics and functionality of your living spaces. Your lighting layout should never be an afterthought or haphazard decision. This is true whether you are remodeling your current home or building a new one. Lighting design is all about creating a plan. Consider these steps when developing the perfect home lighting plan:

1. Supply light where you need it. Consider the purpose of the room and place lights in areas that you will be using regularly.

2. Light your space in the right quantity and the right quality. The height of the ceilings, size of the room and tasks performed all affect the amount of lumens needed in a particular room.

3. Confirm that the lighting design meets the needs of the client. If this is not your own home, be sure to consider the age and special needs of the home’s inhabitants.

4. Select lights that define the form of the space. Your lighting should help further the design and style of your space, not hinder it. Lighting can serve as a beautiful focal point or aesthetic piece in residential applications.

5. Identify what each area will be used for, and how lighting will affect those activities.

Trend Talk: Invigorating colors

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

We’re excited to launch “Trend Talk Tuesdays” in which we bring you the latest and greatest in home design trends. We recently had the privilege to sit down with design experts at Masterpiece Design Group and learn a little more about the trending wants and needs of today’s homeowner.

Today, we’re talking colors. And not just any colors, but fresh lively accent hues that bring bright, chromatic splashes of color to your home. According to Masterpiece Design Group, it’s not just one shade that’s taking over the residential landscape – it’s all about unsaturated, accent undertones that infuse personality and vibrance into your design.

Project completed by Masterpiece Design Group featuring our Trinity pendants. Photography by StudioKW.

Turquoise: Blue is a continued trend for 2015 – but specifically a “retro-cool” turquoise hue is in high demand. This color is hard to miss – and contributes to a versatile, uplifting and restorative home atmosphere.

Orange: Known as a happy color with retro sensibility, orange has made a resurgence in popularity. Shades of orange draw inspiration from natural elements such as spices (saffron, curry and paprika) and fruits (blood orange and tangerine).

Radiant Orchid: Now here’s a color that you’ve heard a lot about. Named Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, it’s no wonder homeowners are craving this captivating color to deck their walls, pillows and curtains. According to Pantone, Radiant Orchid “encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

Have you tried to incorporate any of these invigorating colors into your home design scheme?

Incandescent sources in residential design: Yay or Nay?

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, LEDs, Shopping for lighting, energy efficiency, remodeling, renovations.

Although LED and more energy efficient sources are on the rise, incandescents are still commonly used in home lighting applications. If you’re planning a remodel or a lighting upgrade, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of going with incandescent lamps. Here’s a few to start the conversation.

Fresnel by Progress Lighting

Fresnel pendants are available in both incandescent and LED options.

Pros:

  • Low initial cost (note: high on the maintenance side)
  • High color rendering index (CRI – or your ability to render colors accurately)
  • Instant on
  • No ballast
  • Available in a multitude of sizes, shapes, bases and wattages
  • Easy dimming capabilities
  • Wattage interchangeability

Cons:

  • Very low efficacy (lumens per watt)
  • High infrared outlet (heat production)
  • Short life (frequent bulb changes)
  • Voltage sensitivity
  • Environmental impact

Have you considered the switch to more efficient sources?

6 simple ways to transform your bathroom into a spa retreat (without breaking your budget)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Bathroom Lighting, remodeling, renovations.

Turning your bathroom into a spa oasis doesn’t have to put a strain on your wallet. With just a few simple tips from the pros, you can transform your bathroom into a luxurious haven.

1. Soft, cozy accents: If you’re looking for indulgent additions, bringing in a soft rug and fluffy towels is the perfect place to start. Neutral colors paired with velvety soft materials bring the spa-like environment right to your home.

2. Set the mood with dimmers: Installing dimmers on your bathroom lights is an easy way to control the mood. Bright bathroom lighting can be harsh and obtrusive (especially when flipped on in the early morning).

3. Outfit your bath with sweet and savory smells: There’s nothing quite like the sweet smell of a lavender-mint candle paired with a heaping bubble bath. If you’re looking for a place of a retreat, candles should be your favorite accessory.

4. Upgrade your shower head: A simple switch of your shower head – such as incorporating a rainfall design – can make a world of difference. This shower head is both cost-effective and highly-rated.

5. Add art and wall decor: The bathroom is a room that often gets left out when it comes to beautiful wall decor. Don’t forget to use your wall space with artfully arranged decor.

6. Install a decorative fixture: Like wall art, people often overlook the need for decorative lighting in a bathroom setting, when in reality, this is the perfect way to add luxury to your space. A small chandelier or bold pendant is a beautiful way to refresh your design.

5 easy weekend kitchen projects

Posted by kbanks & filed under Kitchen Lighting, remodeling, renovations.

Kitchens have evolved from an area of pure function to a primary room for entertaining. The trend towards open floor plans has further played into the kitchen serving as the heart of the home. The good news? There are easy ways that you can beautify this popular room without breaking your budget. We took some hints from a kitchen designed by our friends at Stephen Alexander Homes to bring you easy, DIY kitchen upgrades you can complete in a weekend.

Image courtesy of Stephen Alexander Homes

1. Chalkboard wall decor: What better place for chalkboard wall art than in the kitchen? Write notes of encouragement, favorite recipes, important reminders, events for the week – for all to see! Simply grab a can of chalkboard paint and hit the thrift store for an old frame – and this easy kitchen craft can add a fun and fresh feel to your home.

2. Refresh your lighting: Pendant lights are fixtures that are high in both style and function. Not only do they provide great task illumination, but the broad range of designs, sizes and colors allow you to choose a fixture that fits your space and your personality. Pictured above are our Madison pendants, a timeless collection.

3. Above-cabinet additions: Use your kitchen’s vertical space by placing greenery or trinkets above your cabinets. These additions draw your eye up, adding visual intrigue in an efficient way, and making your kitchen seem larger.

4. Bring out the cookbooks: Pull out your favorite recipe books hidden in a cabinet and display them on your counters, stacked side by side or on a book mount. The book jackets can add graphic flair to countertops – plus easy access to your favorite recipes!

5. Add pops of colors: Go bold and splash a bright color onto your bar stools or island chairs. A coat of paint can enliven the room and bring a fresh look to the space.

What are your favorite budget-friendly kitchen upgrades?

5 bathroom designs we love

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

A recent study conducted by the home design site Houzz reported that homeowners are undertaking remodeling projects with the intent to stay in their home for the long term. The number one motivator for renovations? To improve the look and feel of the space. Additionally, bathrooms came out as the highest priority (by room) on homeowner’s remodeling agendas.

Here are a few bathroom looks we are loving right now – which is your favorite? Are you planning a bathroom remodel in the next year?

Calm, cool and collected

Bathroom featuring Progress Lighting's new Elina collection

Why we love it: The textured wall treatment pairs beautifully with the smooth, opal glass of our new Elina vanity fixture. Cool hues and colors found in nature are a top bathroom pick for 2015, as they contribute to an environment ideal for relaxation.

Bathroom design tip: The amount of light in your bathroom should  influence your decision on color. While dark wall or accessory colors can be fabulous, you want to make sure the bathroom gets enough natural light, or displays a layered lighting approach.

Clean, crisp and crafty

Stephen Alexander Homes bathroom featuring Progress Lighting's North Park collection.

Why we love it: This bright bathroom design offers a crisp, contemporary style with a craftsman flair. The square shape of our North Park vanity fixtures allude to an earlier time, but it’s updated style gives this bathroom a fresh appeal.

Bathroom design tip: Fixtures with milky-white diffused shades are your best bets for smooth, even illumination at the mirror.

Contemporary meets traditional

Bathroom design as seen on "For Your Home With Vicki Payne" featuring Progress Lighting Academy sconces

Why we love it: The bright, contemporary design of our Academy pendants beautifully complements the warm, traditional wood tones in the cabinets. The wall art further plays into this juxtaposition bringing classic elements to the space.

Bathroom design tip: Bathrooms receive considerable wear and tear and it’s important to choose cabinet materials and finishes that can withstand heat, water and excessive moisture.

Playing with pendants

Toll Brothers' bathroom design featuring Progress Lighting glass pendants.

Why we love it: Bring a contemporary feel to your bathroom design by swapping out your typical vanity fixtures with some pendants with personality. This Toll Brothers bathroom uses a neutral color scheme to calm down the space, but the pendants add a twist!

Bathroom design tip: Pendants can be a great alternative for high ceilings, as they bring the light down to just the right height for completing everyday tasks.

Luxuriously spacious

Bathroom project completed by Mary DeWalt Design featuring Progress Lighting's Nissé chandelier.

Why we love it: Today, bathrooms are all about creating a space to unwind and relax. Give this everyday area a luxurious appeal by adding a chandelier.

Bathroom design tip: Consult an electrician in your area before installing a fixture about the tub to ensure it complies with building codes.

Trend Alert: Multigenerational housing on the rise

Posted by kbanks & filed under remodeling, renovations.

Multigenerational hosing is a trend we’ve seen emerge in a big way over the last couple years. According to Zillow, in 2015, you can “expect to see increasing new construction of homes that support this arrangement, and more real estate agents calling out multigenerational marketing as a particular focus of their business.”

The Washington Post put out an interesting article last year that cited a record 57 million Americans, or 18.1 percent of the U.S. population, living in households with two or more generations (2012).

Have you considered extending your living quarters to accommodate family members?

Standard Pacific Homes offers floor plans that include extra living spaces for multigenerational accommodations. Image featuring our Ashbury pendants.

LED fixtures vs. LED lamps: Which is better?

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, Lighting, energy efficiency.

As lighting technology evolves and energy efficiency becomes increasingly important for builders and consumers alike, LED lighting is taking center stage. With advancements in color consistency, light output and cost effectiveness, there’s no doubt that LED is a major player in the design world – for both residential and commercial markets.

It’s important for consumers and professionals to be properly educated on the LED “lingo” and the variety of LED options available today. With more people considering renovations that incorporate LEDs, the following question often arises:

“Why would a customer choose an integrated LED fixture instead of
a medium base fixture with an LED lamp?”


Progress Lighting’s Director of Decorative Product Development David Peek takes this question head on. Read on to learn the benefits of integrated LED solutions compared to fixtures used with LED bulbs.

  1. Energy Star Ratings: If a customer or job specification requires an Energy Star-rated luminaire, the technology must be integrated into the fixture.
  2. Better Performance: The performance and life of an integrated LED fixture has been validated for the luminaire. In a standard fixture with an LED lamp, the stated life and performance of the LED lamp is not optimized for the luminaire.
  3. Lamp Restrictions: Most LED lamps have manufacturer restrictions and/or warnings against use in enclosed fixtures or use with dimmers. All of Progress Lighting’s LED fixtures are designed for use with standard dimmers.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: With integrated LED fixtures, lighting distribution has been optimized for directional applications (such as wall or ceiling) providing a more aesthetically pleasing solution.
  5. Cost Effectiveness: Many LED fixtures do not have a net price increase when compared with a CFL fixture of the same design. Plus, the LED fixture provides better life and CRI (correlated color temperature).
  6. Energy and Maintenance Savings: In regards to operation and maintenance costs, an integrated LED luminaire delivers energy savings (lower energy costs) and eliminates maintenance costs (no lamp to replace).
  7. Eliminates Bulb Theft: In public or outdoor spaces, integrated LED solutions negate the problem of bulb theft.

To learn more about LED solutions, visit www.progresslighting.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Houzz.