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Creative Lighting Options That Will Brighten Any Room

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Your mood is greatly affected by light, whether you realize it or not. It's why some people get the winter blues. Is your home like the dark side of the moon? If so, try these five creative lighting options to help brighten any room and your mood.

1. Recessed lighting 

Recessed lights are a perfect way to brighten up a dark hallway or den. Usually found in the ceilings of modern-day kitchens, recessed lights, when spaced correctly and evenly, emanate what feels like natural light. They come in a variety of colors, but white lights are best for brightening up a room.

2. Spotlights

Spotlights are small lights fitted into the ceiling and are similar to recessed lights except that they are meant to highlight or "spotlight" a particular part of a room. Say you are happy with your overhead lights in your living room or kitchen but you want to spotlight the area over the sink or above a nice painting in your den. Using spotlights is a great way to highlight a focal point.

3. Table lamps

It sounds simple, but table lamps not only brighten a room but allow you to control how much light you get. Different colored lamp shades will enable you to create an ambiance depending on whether you want soft lights to relax under or a bright room in which to host company. Use three-way bulbs at different wattages so you can adjust the mood. Turn on just a few lamps—or turn them all on to give the room energy and vibrancy.

4. Faux windows

It's not very expensive to cut out a hole in the wall and install a new window in a windowless room. However, if you don't want to go that route, try faux windows. Faux windows use LED backlighting to create the sense of natural light in a home. You have likely seen these windows in a bar or restaurant, and they usually come tinted or colored.

5. Solar tubing

Finally, solar tubing takes natural light from outside and funnels it into your house through your walls. These are perfect for rooms that don't get any light—like basements. You can get the same effect on a top floor by installing a skylight. The best thing about these lighting options is that they are energy-efficient, and many new models can actually store energy from the sun for reuse.

In tandem with your new lighting options, consider painting your walls light colors and adding neutral-colored furniture. This will boost the impact of your new lighting fixtures. Start brightening your room today!

Relaxing Backyard Ideas

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Relaxing Backyard Ideas


If you are like many Americans, your backyard is your oasis from the world. This is the spot you choose to spend your time off with your family and friends. It is a place where you will do a lot of your living. Unfortunately, many Americans also find their backyards to be places that aren’t comfortable and relaxing. Often by the lack of knowledge or even lack of creativity, we create formal spaces that really aren’t quite suitable for relaxing.

If you are one of the many Americans seeking relaxing backyard ideas for your home and garden there are a few ideas below that may help you accomplish your goal. The first thing you must do however is identifying what things you find relaxing. Just as many things in life, relaxation is not one size fits all.

Bird Paradise

The first suggestion is to create an area in which birds will come to rest. Many people find that bird watching is not only entertaining and enjoyable but also very relaxing as a hobby. You can do many things with your landscaping that will attract birds and other wildlife to your backyard. Some of those things include adding bird feeders that are kept well stocked to your backyard, landscaping with plants, bushes, trees, and shrubs that are attractive to birds, and providing a nice bird bath from which birds can drink and play. These types of backyards are very relaxing to bird lovers and can be enjoyed all seasons if you have a sunroom overlooking your backyard. Be sure to have a hammock where you can lie back and relax while waiting for those rare birds to make an appearance.

Natural Oasis

Mother Nature is a wise designer. If you take some of her greatest creations and features and have them in use on some scale in your back yard you should find a very organic and relaxing atmosphere from which to escape your day. I prefer using materials that are natural, particularly when landscaping or designing an outdoor living space. I find nature in and of itself to be quite relaxing. That doesn’t mean that I do not find a cedar hot tub relaxing I most certainly do (I also find the cedar to be a great fit for my backyard), it simply means that using materials that are natural for a good portion of the features is a great way to blend them all together. Wood fences, stone tables or birdbaths, slate fountains, and wood furniture are also great backyard additions.

There are many other fantastic and relaxing backyard ideas all around you. Just look around and see what you think will create the atmosphere you are hoping to achieve and remember that some people find a basketball goal as relaxing as you may find a nice quiet place to read in the shade. By this, I mean that there is no absolute right or wrong way to go about creating your relaxing backyard space. There is only the discovery or what is or is not right for you.

For those hot Texas, Summer Month call us at Pools by Design so we can give you a free estimate from your Woodlands Pool Builder

Enjoy your summer -713-598-2739 Cell  713-515-7847 Cell







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