Tag Archives: Task Lighting

LAYERING | A Well-Lit Kitchen

When making plans for that new kitchen, it’s important to think about how you’ll be using the space and where specific light sources will be needed.  A well though out lighting plan has many layers to it.  Let’s explore those layers to help you create a cohesive and functional kitchen.

A M B I E N T | Lights for Navigating

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

Recessed cans, chandeliers, wall sconces, flush mount fixtures, even natural light – ambient lighting is your foundation, a general “blanket” of light for your kitchen.  It helps you navigate your space (without running into things), and it’s really the first step to your lighting plan, serving as the base for all other layers.

T A S K | Lights for Doing

Hartford Kitchen Remodel

Task lighting may arguably be the most important layer.  It helps you complete specific jobs, like meal prep and cooking, in the kitchen.  Under cabinet lights over the countertop, pendants above the island, lights at the range – it’s important to see what you’re doing especially when working with sharp knives and other potentially dangerous tools.

A C C E N T | Lights for Feeling

Herringbone Tile Layout

Accent lighting sets the tone for your kitchen, creating a warm and inviting space.  It’s often known as the decorative layer.  It can also be considered task lighting, but it demands a bit more attention – in-cabinet lights to display dishes or collectibles, beautiful pendants, and other fixtures to highlight a unique aspect of the space.  They round off the room to make it feel complete, and with so many options, it’s a great opportunity to really show off your personality.

M O O D | Lights for Changing

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

Throughout the day, your lighting needs change.  During the day, natural light is often sufficient, but as the day progresses you’ll need help from your fixtures to illuminate the space for cooking and cleaning.  Entertaining?  You’ll want to set the mood.  That’s where dimmers come into play.  Dimmers can be incorporated into all layers of lighting, so you can adjust the light for your specific needs.  For instance, they’re a great option at night or in the early morning when you’re not quite ready for bright lights.

Now that you’re familiar with the various layers of light, it’s important to note that you don’t have to use separate fixtures for each layer.  There’s often a lot of overlap.

Happy light planning!

Lighten the Load

Check out these ideas for a functional laundry space.

Laundry.  It’s a never-ending process – sorting, washing, drying, ironing, folding.  How can you make this tedious chore more enjoyable (or at least more manageable)?  It starts with a functional laundry room design.  Whether your laundry room is near the bedrooms, shares space with your mudroom, or isn’t a room at all, there are many ideas to make laundry time more efficient.  We’ve thought of some here!

Laundry Countertops at Varying HeightsStorage

Custom cabinets, shelves, and closet space help homeowners manage clutter.  It’s essential to have space to store detergents and cleaning supplies.  You can also keep other items out of sight with custom options, such as a built-in ironing board (we’ve put these in master bedroom closets, too) or pull-out hampers.

Counter Space

Consider having countertops at varying heights to help with different jobs – a higher surface for folding, a standard 36-inch height for the sink area.  If your space is limited, a countertop built over a front-loading washer and dryer is a great opportunity to maximize space.

CubbiesLaundry Room Cubbies

Incorporate cubbies, with a designated bin for each family member, into the laundry room design.  This makes it easy to sort clothes and even easier for the kids to put them away.

Laundry Room SinkUtility Sink

A sink is a useful laundry room feature, helping you perform laundry and other household tasks.  Use it to wash hands, soak soiled clothing, rinse paint brushes, prepare plants, and beyond.

Task Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting helps illuminate the countertop for specific tasks, such as sewing, folding, and attending to tough stains.

Hanging RodLaundry Room Hanging Rod

You’ll need a place to air-dry those delicates, so add a bar or rack for hanging clothes.  This may help cut down on ironing time, too.

Water-Resistant Materials

Stone or tile floors are durable, easy-to-clean, and water-resistant, all important characteristics for unexpected dirt or leaks.

Homey Details

If you’re going to spend an extended amount of time in the laundry room, make it comfortable.  Dress it up with a stylish light fixture.  Put a television in the space to help pass the time.  Incorporate a window into the design, so you can enjoy the landscape and flood the room with natural light.

Host a Soiree at Home

Create a space conducive to entertaining with these party essentials.

Many of our homeowners explain to us that they’re looking to create spaces that accommodate their love of entertaining, so we’ve compiled a brief list of design elements we thought were important for successful events.

LibationsWauwatosa Wet Bar

A beverage center, or wet bar, is the perfect addition to your entertaining space. Whether you use it as an extra prep area or a cocktail-mixing station, you can customize it to your style and needs. Include an extra sink. Outfit your wet bar with a beverage refrigerator. Add wine and stemware storage. The options are endless!

Room to Move

It’s fun to focus on the small details, but you should also consider the room’s layout. An open concept is helpful for hosting family and friends. When the various entertaining spaces, indoor and outdoor, are open and connected to one another, you’re still able to engage guests while cooking or mixing drinks. People can also move about freely.

(Kitchen) Island Fun

Hartland Kitchen IslandPeople tend to congregate in the kitchen, so an island is often essential if you plan to entertain. It can provide more workspace, so multiple chefs can concoct culinary masterpieces at one time. It’s a place to lean against, sit by, or set your drink on, and it allows the cook to socialize with guests while he or she works. It can also serve as your party’s buffet!

Mood Lighting

Pay attention to the lighting in your kitchen (and other entertaining spaces). Include task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, for food preparation. Pendants over the island and recessed lighting provide task and ambient lighting. It’s also a “bright idea” to put your fixtures on dimmers to create a softer glow when guests arrive.

A Place (or two) to Sit

Seating – by the island, at a table, as a built-in, or in an adjacent room – is important to consider. Although people will walk around mingling, most will eventually like to take a load off of their feet and relax. Each type of seating has pros and cons (i.e. a banquette can maximize space), so we suggest having multiple options if they make sense for the room.


Music can set the mood for your gathering. Many systems let you listen to tunes throughout your home and outdoors, allowing you to change the volume in each space or control the entire system with the touch of a screen anywhere. You even have the option to listen to different songs in different rooms – jazz in the kitchen and rock in the lower level – or the same song in every room.

StorageAmple Kitchen Storage in Hartland

If you entertain regularly, you’ve probably started quite the collection of platters, linens, glasses, vases, and beyond. Make sure you have a place for everything. Consider cabinetry that extends to the ceiling, drawers in the island, a butler’s pantry, drawer and cabinet organizers, such as Rev-A-Shelf systems, and other organizational options.