4 ideas that will light up your kitchen island

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

Kitchen islands are a top trend among homebuyers. Islands provide a natural place for guests to gather, while facilitating a natural flow in kitchen areas. With islands being a “must-have” for today’s homeowners, this brings up the issue – how do you properly light this area? We were pleased to hear our friends at Modernize had some home design wisdom to share. We hope you will enjoy their guest post on kitchen island lighting ideas. Which is your favorite?

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We like to think of the lights over a kitchen island as if they’re the fabulous jewelry that make an outfit come alive. An otherwise lovely kitchen can be taken to the next level of style with the right lighting. It’s important to remember that lighting must be as functional as it is gorgeous to get the most out of your kitchen space. We’ve gathered four of our favorite ideas to serve as inspiration for your kitchen island lighting search:

1. We love lantern style lighting, such as Progress Lighting’s Crestwood lantern, because of the amount of light it provides while also maintaining the open feel of a room — plus, it’s unique.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Crestwood lantern

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Crestwood lantern

2. Pendants provide direct lighting to the kitchen island. With this option, you may need other types of lighting (such as under cabinet lights) to ensure there is enough light throughout the kitchen area. This is a wonderful option if you plan to use your island for tasks such as preparing meals or doing homework.

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Brookside pendants

Image featuring Progress Lighting's Brookside pendants

3. A classic lighting fixture, such as an ornate chandelier, will bring you back to an older time period. This style offers a gorgeous way to light your kitchen island if you’re going for a more traditional look.

4. Recessed fixtures light up your entire kitchen, not just the island, which is great for achieving even lighting throughout the space. Use recessed for ambient lighting, and pair with decorative fixtures to show off your personality.

Glass Pendants by Progress Lighting

Glass Pendants by Progress Lighting

This post was contributed by Jane Blanchard – a blogger, home design geek, graphic designer and writer for Modernize.

Home trend report: Color! | Q+A with Kolter Homes Interior Designer Alissa Bennett

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

Keeping up with the latest home trends can help you make selections that will enhance the perceived value of your home. Today on the blog, our special guest and Kolter Homes Interior Designer Alissa Bennett shares her insight on the top home color trends (and how she keeps up with design trends herself!).

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST TRENDS YOU ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW?

COLOR – and lots of it!  There are two factors that have always affected design, specifically color trends: (1) the economy, and (2) fashion.  As the economy improves it’s likely we will see the use of very rich and vibrant hues.  According to leading designers, we will see a strong influx of red in various shades as well as maintain a presence of cobalt blue, lapis, robin’s egg, navy and indigo.  Pantone® has also released their Fall 2014 Color Report representing the most prominent hues for this season.  Although it refers to fashion, the home building industry will see these colors translate into products which will strongly influence interior finishes and furnishings for the home.  Sangria, aurora red, radiant orchid, royal blue, and bright cobalt are just a few of the colors Pantone® is predicting.

HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH DESIGN TRENDS?  DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BLOG(S), INDUSTRY EVENT(S), SHOWS, MAGAZINES THAT YOU TURN TO?

As a Florida-licensed interior designer, it’s my obligation to stay ahead of the curve in terms of trends and products.  I’m a professional, providing consultation regarding each home’s aesthetics and function. But, most importantly, I ensure that the selections accommodate the health, safety and welfare of the homebuyer.

How do I stay informed?  In addition to attending Continuing Education Courses, I attend trade-only markets/shows such as Coverings and International High Point Furniture Market in High Point, N.C.  These events allow me to see new and innovative designs and products showcased all over the country and internationally.  I also utilize websites and publications from ASID.org (American Society of Interior Designers) and enjoy the guilty pleasures of reading Veranda, Home & Garden, Garden Design and House Beautiful – I can’t resist a beautiful magazine cover!

Alissa Bennett, a Florida-licensed interior designer, is a Kolter Homes Design Consultant.  Alissa has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.

How to create a successful lighting design | Q+A with Kolter Homes Interior Designer Alissa Bennett

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

Whether purchasing a new home or renovating your existing one, lighting is a crucial part of the design process. Lighting not only impacts the functionality of a space, but also helps further the overall style and personality of your home. It’s important when selecting your fixtures that you carefully examine both your functional and fashionable desires for the room.

Archie in Kolter Homes

Kolter Homes | Featuring Progress Lighting Archie pendants

We love hearing fresh perspectives and the latest tips, tricks and trends in home lighting from our partners and experts in design. Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with interior designer and Kolter Homes Design Consultant Alissa Bennett. Kolter Homes strives to offer each customer special attention throughout the entire home-building experience. Much of this is accomplished through the Kolter Homes Design Gallery, which offers customers personalized and professional service structured to appeal to each buyer’s unique tastes and desires.

Read on to learn how Alissa uses her expertise to counsel and help buys build their dream home.

Ashbury in Kolter Homes

Kolter Homes | Featuring Progress lighting Ashbury collection

WHAT CONSIDERATIONS DO YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN HELPING HOMEOWNERS MAKE SELECTIONS?

Upon welcoming buyers to the Kolter Homes Design Gallery, I spend time getting to know them in terms of lifestyle as well as establishing a budget for selections and learning of any special accommodations required.  It’s extremely important to assess the buyers’ needs and wants, desired color palette, and gain an understanding of how they will use their home before starting the actual selection process.

HOW IMPORTANT IS LIGHTING TO DESIGNING?

Residential lighting is extremely important and often overlooked when it comes to design.  Effective residential lighting addresses task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting.  During a homebuyer’s design gallery appointment we determine how each space will be used so that the proper task lighting and ambient lighting is selected and installed during the construction process.  Once they have moved into their new home, additional ambient lighting, accent and decorative lighting may be added by the homebuyer in the form of table lamps, floor lamps, candle light, etc.

Clayton in Kolter Homes

Kolter Homes | Featuring Progress Lighting Clayton collection

HOW OFTEN IS LIGHTING A FOCAL POINT OF A ROOM?

Many may not think of lighting as a focal point; however, successful design is derived from basic elements and principles of design that can be achieved with the use of light.  Color, texture and harmony through the use of repetition, balance, hierarchy and emphasis are a few examples where lighting plays a key role in creating focal points. For example, placing the proper light source near a wall where a texture is present creates a “wall wash” allowing the texture to be emphasized in the room.

WHAT CHALLENGES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN SELECTING LIGHTING FOR A PROJECT/REMODEL/NEW DESIGN?

Let’s put a positive spin on “challenges,” shall we?  It’s been my experience that although we may run into challenges, those challenges often evoke the most raw and sometime superior creative solutions.  With that said, we always have to consider budget and time frame.  In the case of remodels we also must consider existing conditions and electrical capacity.  As I mentioned before, lighting is a critical component.  It requires the correct type, scale and aesthetic and it can make or break the interior of a home.

Stay tuned as we hear from Alissa on the latest lighting trends – later this week!

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Alissa Bennett, a Florida-licensed interior designer, is a Kolter Homes Design Consultant.  Alissa has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.

How to enhance safety and security with exterior lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Outdoor Living, renovations.

Daylight savings has come and gone, and as we near the shortest day of the year, the lack of sunlight increases the need for a thoughtful exterior lighting plan that keeps your family and guests safe. While the spring and summer seasons call for outdoor fixtures that enhance the atmosphere for outdoor entertaining, it’s important to not forgo the role that outdoor lighting plays in securing your home.

In determining the best outdoor lighting plan for your landscape, consider the following guidelines for outdoor safety:

  • Create a plan or diagram, determine spacing and configuration and count the number of fixtures needed to adequately light all areas of your home’s exterior.
  • Determine your fixture type for each area. Select from step lights, spread lights, accent lights and decorative fixtures.
  • Consider your personal aesthetic style before settling on the design of your fixtures.
  • Don’t forget to install lighting along paths and driveways. This can enhance the overall theme of your outdoor space while preventing accidents after dark.

Remember, a well-lit yard can be an excellent crime prevention method, and fixtures designed specifically for security, like motion sensors, can add extra protection and convenience.

Glam up your home for the holidays

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting Trends, holiday lighting, lighting designs, special events.

‘Tis the season of friends, family and entertaining! If you’re planning on bringing guests into your home – whether for an entire week of family fun or a one-night celebration – now’s the time to get your home in the holiday spirit. Stylish, decorative chandeliers offer a beautiful way to glam up your favorite spaces, welcome visitors and truly celebrate the season.

From contemporary-casual to elegantly luxurious, chandeliers are home additions that can completely transform a space. Traditionally found in the dining room, chandeliers are now popular pieces for kitchens, bar areas, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Add shades – small change with big impact.

Take your chandelier from casual to elegant by simply crowning the fixture with a few small shades or one large shade, as seen with our Nissé chandelier.

Jazz up your formal dining setting with a traditional fixture with a contemporary twist.

Today’s most popular chandelier designs merge classic design with contemporary elements. The Noir collection offers the best of both worlds. Play into the popular trend to install fixtures adorned with glitz, glimmer and glean.

Add a touch of luxury to your bathroom design.

Don’t shy away from fixtures that make a statement in your home’s bathrooms. Mini chandeliers are a great solution for bathroom settings, offering just the right amount of sparkle to create a spa-like atmosphere.

Keep it contemporary in the guest bedroom.

Wow your overnight guests by adding a statement chandelier in your guest bedroom. Our Equinox chandelier combines its characteristic oval shape and exposed bulbs for an on-trend look.

Create a contrasting look in the kitchen.

Contrast more casual looks (such as our industrial-inspired Fresnel pendants) with an elegant chandelier (like Nissé). We love the way this Toll Brothers home contrasts masculine and feminine fixtures for a beautiful, complementary design.

How do you plan to get your home guest-ready for the holidays?

The buzz on home design trends from the KBTribe

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

We left yesterday’s Twitter #KBTribeChat inspired by the knowledge and wisdom of some of the industry’s top professionals. We were pleased to participate in a vibrant discussion on the latest home design trends. From color schemes to generational tendencies, learn the latest buzz in kitchen and bath trends straight from the experts themselves!

The Buzz on floor plans: The open plan kitchen is here to stay!

“As long as people are still gathering together, the open plan kitchen is here to stay. #kbtribechat” – @GEMonogram

“Open plan is always right for foodies and fab family entertaining! My clients def want open plans #kbtribechat” – @ToniSabStyle

“You definitely don’t want to seclude the kitchen. It’s all about accessibility & ease of entertaining #kbtribechat” – @CambriaQuartz

“Today’s open plan living demands more ~ kitchen required to fulfill desires for all who use the space! #kbtribechat” – @TheWoodKey

The Buzz on color trends: Black, White and Gray

“Black cabinets may be elegant, but they aren’t practical. White is still top. #kbtribechat” – @ChervinKitchen

“Gray is a popular cabinet color! We find it used more often than black.” – @cabinetmakers

“On our end we see lots of great new blue combinations, Indigo and warm grey or with a splash of bright colors #kbtribechat” – @Modenus

“Black is the new black but I think gunmetal is on the horizon. RT @KBtribechat: #kbtribechat Q2) Is black the new white for trophy kitchens?” – @DesignMilk

The Buzz on generational tendencies: Millennials

“Our younger generation clients are very specific and knowledgeable about their tech wants and needs. #kbtribechat” – @GEInteriors

“There is definitely a difference between how generations shop. Younger generations go online. #kbtribechat” – @TecHomeBuilder

“New gens seem to have very personalized styles and are willing to take risks with design. #kbtribechat” – @HomeAdvisor

“At the end of the day most ppl want the same thing – a design that tells their own story. #kbtribechat” – @BinnsDesign

Our take on it all?

“As a rule of thumb, ‘Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.’ #kbtribechat” – @ProgressLTG

We hope you’ll join in the conversation with the KBTribe, Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. EST!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Bathroom Lighting

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

A thoughtful, expertly designed lighting plan can provide years of beauty and functionality in your bathroom setting. Bathroom lighting helps set the mood for a relaxing space to unwind, while also allowing you to complete everyday grooming tasks efficiently. Consider these “do’s and don’ts” in your new home or your next bathroom renovation.


DO Light in layers

As with any room of the home, be sure to consider task, ambient and accent lighting – but this is especially important in the bathroom. As the room where you start and end your day and complete everyday tasks, lighting is an extremely important design element. A single fixture isn’t enough – complete your design with recessed fixtures, wall sconces and vanity lighting.

DON’T Shy away from fashionable pieces

The bathroom isn’t just about function – a fashionable fixture such as a bold chandelier makes for a stunning centerpiece. Don’t shy away from fixtures that make a statement.

DO Add lighting in your shower

The desire for a layered lighting design in the bathroom has lead to a need for lighting in the shower. Wet-located, recessed fixtures – especially those that contribute to an energy efficient approach – are ideal. Progress Lighting’s P8022 series is an LED fixture classified for wet locations and designed for recessed and flush mount applications. The sleek and simple profile mirrors the bathroom design trend to incorporate simplistic, but functional, elements into the bathroom.

DON’T Choose fixtures with exposed bulbs

While this is a popular design trend, save this style for your kitchen, entryways and bedrooms. For the bathroom, you want to diffuse light through opaque lamp shades for smooth, even illumination.

DO Consider energy efficient lighting solutions

With new government regulations and increased awareness of the value of green design in home building, energy efficient lighting options are mainstream. Fixtures that beautifully conceal CFL lamps, incorporate GU24 lamp and base sockets, or feature LED sources are trending lighting solutions for the bathroom.

Easy ways to re-think your living space to create more style, more function

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

Get inspired with tips from our friends at Kolter Homes on how to make the most of your living space! From the way you decorate your room to selecting multi-functional pieces, Kolter helps you re-think the decorating process and settle on solutions that are sure to inspire.

Re-thinking Vertical Space

Often times we get caught up in the physical, floor space. However, the untapped area left is vertical space. Drawing the eye up allowing the room to feel more expansive while showcasing your impeccable style, are just some reasons why vertical space is important to utilize.

  • Choose elements that create drama and depth. Mirrors and glass frames create reflections allowing other areas of your room to be highlighted and visible.
  • Hang curtains from the ceiling to allow for maximum light to enter.
  • Place decorative vases, plants, or pictures on top of tall cabinets and bookshelves to create an impression of expansiveness while showing off distinctive decorative pieces.

Re-thinking Furniture

The new trend in furniture isn’t oversized and stuffy; it’s making every piece count.  By finding items that have more than one use, you can embrace change with a stylish flair.

  • Get a table that works as both a desk and dining room table. An extra seat, small table, and secret hiding place can be found in a storage ottoman.
  • Let your creativity flow. For example, using two small round tables instead of one big coffee table creates a unique, modern feel.
  • If you have a den or guest suite in your house, finding a daybed or deep sofa that can double as a guest bed allows for more freedom and functionality.

Re-thinking Zones

Work, sleep, eat, entertain, and relax – these are all activities we do in our home. Without realizing it, our routine is set in stone with no invigorating change in sight. Simply establishing separate zones for each of those daily activities can revive and refresh us and our living space by creating a new look and feel.

  • Subtle wall and floor decorations, multiple seating areas, or a perfectly placed chair can all evoke separate “rooms” within one room.

For more great decorating and design tips, check out the Kolter Homes blog.

Transform your home office into an area you love

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

In a lifetime, the average American will spend more than 90,000 hours at work (or in today’s day and age, in their home office). With all of that time in the workplace, why not turn your office space into an area you love? As with any room, lighting can completely transform the look and feel of the environment. For offices, it’s especially important to consider sources with proper task lighting.

Spruce up your office area with these ideas on how to adequately light your space – without sacrificing style.

A linear chandelier, such as Indulge – shown above, distributes light over an expanded space making these fixtures a great fit for larger work areas.

Pendants are fun additions that can be used for any room of the home – and the office is certainly no exception. Consider a larger pendant design that gives off ample light to position over a desk, as seen with our Glass Pendant above.

Glam up your desk area with a trendy chandelier, such as our Equinox chandelier. Chandeliers can provide an unexpected decorative element.

As with any room of the home, consider a layered lighting approach that accounts for ambient, accent and task lighting. Don’t forget to pair your decorative fixtures with other sources, such as recessed lights.

Track lighting can offer a nice source of task lighting – plus a modern flair with endless options. Browse our Illuma-Flex track lighting to spark your creativity.

How do you light your home office?

Source: Viral Nova, Here’s How Much Time You Spend In Your Lifetime Doing Normal Activities.

Trend Alert: Industrial Chic

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

One of the most popular trends in interior design today is what many call “industrial chic”. We asked our friends at National Builder Supply to share their expertise on how this trend is playing out in today’s most up-to-date interiors – especially as it relates to lighting. Here’s what they had to say!

Both designers and homeowners are mixing fixtures and finishes that were previously found in warehouses and on film sets with softer patterns and fabrics.  Typically, lighting and hardware provide the industrial while furniture, wall paint, and accessories bring the chic.

Investing in industrial fixtures is a safe bet as their classic designs are always in style, no matter what is trending in home décor. Progress Lighting manufactures many industrial-style light fixtures. Read below to learn about some of the most popular industrial-style fixtures on the market.

Progress Lighting Brookside Wall-Mounted Lanterns

The Brookside outdoor wall-mounted lanterns are reminiscent of lighting found over barn doors and mount along ocean docks. Today’s homeowners use these lanterns above their front and back doors, along the side of their sheds and pool houses, and beside their garages (as the photo above demonstrates). Choose from Copper, Gilded Iron, or Antique Nickel.

Progress Lighting Brookside Pendant Lights

Much like the outdoor wall-mounted lanterns from the Brookside collection, these pendant lights were inspired by vintage barn lights. Both the full-size pendants and the mini-pendants would look fantastic over a kitchen island or a dining room table. Or get creative and hang two mini-pendants on either side of a bathroom vanity mirror to add industrial-style throughout the home.

Progress Lighting Fresnel Pendant Lights

Inspired by the heavy-duty fixtures used to light Hollywood movie sets, the pendant lights of the Fresnel collection add weight to a room. Available in Brushed Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze, you can match your pendant lights to your kitchen appliances and hardware. Hang above your kitchen island or office desk.

Progress Lighting One-Light Pendants

Simple, sweet, and industrial chic! That’s how we describe the classic one-light pendant fixtures. Similar to those lights commonly seen in offices and barns in the 1940s and 1950s, these classic lights will never go out of style. Available in several finishes including White, Venetian bronze, and Dark Green, one-light pendants look fantastic over the kitchen table.

Do you use industrial chic designs in your home?

About the Author:

Rachael Nichol is the social media manager and blogger for National Builder Supply, an online wholesaler of plumbing and lighting. She enjoys sharing the latest design trends and products with homeowners and housing professionals on the National Builder Supply blog. When she’s not blogging or on social media, Rachael can be found renovating her 1920s Atlanta condo.