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Apartment Lighting

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The concealed ceiling lighting as you come into the apartment.  As you can see, it's pretty harsh.

1 The concealed ceiling lighting as you come into the apartment. As you can see, it's pretty harsh.

I'm thinking about maybe installing some sconces here in place of the overhead lighting.  I also want to install dimmers on all the wall switches to really control the light levels in every room.

2 I'm thinking about maybe installing some sconces here in place of the overhead lighting. I also want to install dimmers on all the wall switches to really control the light levels in every room.

A close up view of the concealed ceiling lighting in the entry hall.  The living room also has this style of lighting.  I think it will really distract from the nighttime views.

3 A close up view of the concealed ceiling lighting in the entry hall. The living room also has this style of lighting. I think it will really distract from the nighttime views.

The living room is equipped with floor outlets for lamps although I'm not sure I want lamps in the living room because you will see their reflections in the windows at night.

4 The living room is equipped with floor outlets for lamps although I'm not sure I want lamps in the living room because you will see their reflections in the windows at night.

The wall switch in the dining room has both motorized shade and light controls for the dining room and living room. Lutron (www.lutron.com) makes a great selection of dimmer switches.  I know I will definitely be adding some here.

5 The wall switch in the dining room has both motorized shade and light controls for the dining room and living room. Lutron (www.lutron.com) makes a great selection of dimmer switches. I know I will definitely be adding some here.

This is the current lighting situation in my dining room.  I love the industrial look but this may be too literal.

6 This is the current lighting situation in my dining room. I love the industrial look but this may be too literal.

The kitchen has under cabinet lighting as well as some recessed lighting overhead.

7 The kitchen has under cabinet lighting as well as some recessed lighting overhead.

I do like how it illuminates the work areas nicely.

8 I do like how it illuminates the work areas nicely.

My cooktop.  It's easy to see what's cooking.

9 My cooktop. It's easy to see what's cooking.

Although right now, it's mostly take out.

10 Although right now, it's mostly take out.

The powder room has built in lighting behind the medicine cabinet mirror.

11 The powder room has built in lighting behind the medicine cabinet mirror.

The front door has a strip of lighting in the glass panel next to it.  I like the effect it gives and often use it as night light.

12 The front door has a strip of lighting in the glass panel next to it. I like the effect it gives and often use it as night light.

The hallway leading to the master bedroom.  It contains two walk in closets, the master bathroom and a reach in closet.

13 The hallway leading to the master bedroom. It contains two walk in closets, the master bathroom and a reach in closet.

Again, the same lighting situation as the entry hall and living room areas.

14 Again, the same lighting situation as the entry hall and living room areas.

The closet lighting is so minimal.  I'm sure once it's filled with clothes, it would be difficult to see in here.

15 The closet lighting is so minimal. I'm sure once it's filled with clothes, it would be difficult to see in here.

The lighting in the reach in closet.  Not really what I had in mind.

16 The lighting in the reach in closet. Not really what I had in mind.

The master bathroom lighting.  Built in lighting behind the mirror and also recessed overhead lighting.

17 The master bathroom lighting. Built in lighting behind the mirror and also recessed overhead lighting.

I actually like the lighting in the bathrooms.

18 I actually like the lighting in the bathrooms.

It's nice to just turn these on and leave the overhead lighting off, especially on trips to the bathroom during the night.  A lot less squinting.

19 It's nice to just turn these on and leave the overhead lighting off, especially on trips to the bathroom during the night. A lot less squinting.

An accent light in my bathtub.  Do you hear a fog horn in the distance?

20 An accent light in my bathtub. Do you hear a fog horn in the distance?

Bob Tobin, my contractor, talks me down from an intense discussion on lighting.

21 Bob Tobin, my contractor, talks me down from an intense discussion on lighting.

The bedroom has no installed lighting at the moment.  I really want to have sconces in here though for reading when I move my bed.

22 The bedroom has no installed lighting at the moment. I really want to have sconces in here though for reading when I move my bed.

Since my post a few weeks ago on bedside lighting, I have been considering the existing lighting in my own apartment. Although the apartment has walls of windows and gets amazing light throughout the day, I need to start thinking about the types of lighting I want to have in each room. I don't want the lighting or fixtures to become intrusive or distract from the views in any way, especially at night. Right now the existing lighting is pretty minimal, as you will see in the photos. I set up a meeting with my contractor, Bob Tobin of BC Interiors , to talk about some of my options. Together, I'm sure we will  come up with some great lighting solutions for my apartment.

More Floor Cleaning Tips

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Homekeeping4DJ99.pdf - Adobe Reader

Wood Floors are valued for their beauty and durability, but that doesn't mean they're exempt from everyday care. In fact, they are subject more hard wear than any other surface in your household. If you tuned into my weekly radio segment last Thursday, you heard me going over the basics of sweeping and mopping.  I touched on it a bit in last week's blog, but my radio show was so well received, that I thought it would be a wonderful idea to share some more tips. I got most of them from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, but I've also picked up some tricks of the trade from the professionals at BC Interiors, who always leave my apartment looking spotless. How do you keep your wood floors in top shape? Here are my rules:

Sweeping

The Basics:

  • Avoid kicking up dust by holding broom at an angle, bristles flat on the floor
  • Start in one corner and sweep outward without lifting the broom from the floor
  • Work toward center of the room, sweep away from body, push dirt into a pile

How often to Sweep:

  • No set schedule, like other household tasks
  • Sweep as needed – it is a great quick-fix for small messes and spills

Mopping

The sturdier the mop, the better!

Types of Mops:

  • All-in-one (like a Swiffer)
  • Sponge mop
  • Rag or string mop
  • Dust Mop aka dry mop (Swiffer also makes a version)

Mopping tools

  • plastic bucket (easier on floors than metal; choose one that fits your mop head)
  • rubber gloves (to protect your hands from dirty water & mop heads)
  • light duty scrubbing pad (useful for removing scuff marks the mop can’t budge)

How often to Mop:

  • Weekly: High-traffic areas such as the kitchen, baths, hallways, and entranceways
  • Bi-weekly/Monthly: Infrequently used rooms, such as formal living areas or guest rooms
  • An all-in-one mop is an easy way to touch up floors in between “moppings.” It will allow you to clean small messes w/o going thru the trouble of dragging out a bucket.

Check out William Sonoma's Wet/Dry Floor Cleaning Collection - it is a great value for a complete set of mops:

wetdryfloorcleaningcollection

image, www.williamsonoma.com

Floor Molding Options

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This is the

1 This is the "floating wall" effect that is throughout the apartment. As you can see, it's far from perfect. I think it's best to just cover it up.

Another view.  It's pretty bad.

2 Another view. It's pretty bad.

Here is the inspiration image that my friend William from MR Architecture + Décor showed me for the gallery reveal style floor molding.

3 Here is the inspiration image that my friend William from MR Architecture + Décor showed me for the gallery reveal style floor molding.

This is another image from William from World of Interiors, December 1997, photographed by Ivan Terestchenko.  See how the base molding matches the floor finish.

4 This is another image from William from World of Interiors, December 1997, photographed by Ivan Terestchenko. See how the base molding matches the floor finish.

This is a straight on view of the 3/4

5 This is a straight on view of the 3/4" Wenge sample that Craig made for me. I really like fact that it just blends into the floor.

Close up view of  the 3/4

6 Close up view of the 3/4" Wenge sample.

The 3/4

7 The 3/4" Wenge sample shot overhead.

Here is the 3/4

8 Here is the 3/4" primed sample. If I choose this one, it will be painted the same color as the wall.

The 3/4

9 The 3/4" primed sample close up.

The 3/4

10 The 3/4" primed sample next to the 3/4" Wenge sample. Each one would give a totally different look to the apartment.

The 1/2

11 The 1/2" primed from above. A little less substantial than the 3/4" sample. I worry that it wouldn't provide enough protection for the wall when vacuuming. I'm pretty crazy with a the vacuum.

The 1/2

12 The 1/2" primed sample close up.

I placed the 3/4

13 I placed the 3/4" primed sample and the 1/2" primed sample at a corner for comparison. I'm really leaning towards the 3/4" size.

Another corner view.

14 Another corner view.

An overhead view of the 1/2

15 An overhead view of the 1/2" primed sample next to the 3/4" primed sample. It's just a 1/4" difference but it really changes the look.

The 3/4

16 The 3/4" and 1/2" Wenge samples on a corner.

The 3/4

17 The 3/4" and 1/2" Wenge samples from overhead.

The 1/2

18 The 1/2" primed and Wenge samples side by side.

Now that my floor is done and looks fantastic, it's time to think about base molding. While the apartment's floating walls create a more modern aesthetic, the edges have not been wearing well and dirt has been getting trapped in the gap. It's a problem and I want to eliminate it. I called my friend, William Clukies, who works at the firm MR Architecture + Décor here in New York.  Check out their website, www.mrarch.com  to see some of their work. I asked his advice as I have always admired his clean, modern look.  He suggested trying a detail that they have used before at the firm that approximates a “gallery reveal”. It's simply a ¾” by ¾” square toe bead. He said they usually try to match the toe bead to the floor finish so it is made from the same wood as the floor.  In my case, Wenge. However, a paint grade wood could also be used to create different look.  William also recommended having a few pieces of the molding mocked up first to see if I liked the proportions.  I contacted Craig, my flooring expert at Haywood-Berk, and asked him to make up some samples of molding in a few different sizes, both paint-able and in the same finish as the floor.  I decided to try the 3/4" x 3/4" size as well as a 1/2" x 3/4" size.  Now, I just have to decide which one works best.