Home Updates that Pay Off

Let lighting take center stage in your home’s design.

(StatePoint) Whether you’re remodeling for a fresh take on an old style or contemplating a new build, there are choices you can make that will definitely pay off, say experts.

To add value to your project, consider these recommended tips from Stephen Quick of Stephen Alexander Homes, builder of the 2018 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House.

Once an afterthought, lighting takes center stage in a home’s design. “Consider your lighting needs at the start of the project. Wait too long and it can become expensive to move or add lights,” advises Quick.

When planning lighting basics, think of the design as a whole: choose your decorative lighting fixtures at the same time you choose recessed. A large fixture throws a lot of light, so keep adjacent recessed lights to a minimum.

Dimming capabilities are a must, and Quick recommends using “smart” dimmers like Hubbell’s iDevice to customize the dimming range. The control offered by these dimmers means you can use larger statement lighting pieces with many bulbs to create amazing, but not overwhelming, spaces.

Quick tends to use lighting with a classic foundation, but loves to play with the eclectic. Adding a bold piece that is “whimsical” in an unexpected area offers a surprising focal point, he says.

“We’ve relied on Progress Lighting for twenty years,” says Quick. “Especially in the past few years, as they’ve taken giant leaps in design.”

Stephen Alexander Homes incorporate “lifestyle focus” open floor plans as their signature look. Now, they are pioneering a new trend in home culinary spaces. Pantries are re-imagined to not only be practical, but a spot to display the homeowner’s hobbies and interests. Think useful collectibles like olive oils, wine or beer. Lighting this room properly is a must, as the light needs to be functional, yet have an added element of drama to showcase the hobby.

Beyond mere dollars and cents, make style choices based on the manufacturer rather than the component. As a builder, Quick starts with a “basket” of necessary elements, but it’s how they are applied that ultimately makes the design special.

Consider engaging an interior designer. Even with a smaller remodel budget, hiring an expert who knows which brands give you the most bang for your buck is worth their fee. You’re more likely to end up with the look you want at a price that is worth the investment.

Paint is one of the biggest design tools at your disposal. “A new coat of paint sets the tone for everything. Choosing the perfect colors can be hard, but paint companies are on target with the latest trends within the color spectrum, adding colors that hit the mark to give your spaces a fresh look,” says Quick.

And if you don’t like the color once it’s on the walls? “Don’t be afraid to change it. Paint is not expensive. It’s more expensive to keep a look you don't like.”

For design ideas, visit progresslighting.com/styles.

When making home updates, think of those projects that will pay off the most.

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