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home>>family>>home & decor 2>>don't let the sun set...

Don't Let the Sun Set on Your Beautiful Home


(ARA) - The decor inside your home can say a lot about your taste. When guests enter, your choice of furnishings indicates whether you are traditional, stylish, trendy, or contemporary.

Too often, however, a home's exterior fails to make the same great impression as the interior. When dusk falls, interesting features can be lost in the shadows if they aren't properly highlighted. Because 95 percent of house shoppers won't even consider a house that lacks curb appeal, a great first impression is essential. Fortunately, an updated range of outdoor lighting options are now available to help homeowners emphasize investments they've made in their home facades, decks, and landscapes, as well as demonstrate their tastes in home d�or.

"When you purchase a key piece of furniture for a room in your home, you'll often choose accompanying accessories," says Bob Doernberg, senior product manager for Kichler Lighting. "You should use that same principle when decorating outdoors. When you invest in beautiful outdoor features, you should ensure they add function while enhancing your home's appearance, both day and night, to reflect your personal tastes."

As more homeowners aim to create outdoor areas with elements of indoor d�or -- such as big, comfy couches, complete outdoor kitchens, and fireplaces -- they're spending more time outside, regardless of the climate. Fortunately, options in outdoor lighting have evolved to illuminate these modern outdoor living rooms. Kichler Lighting offers some innovative tips for lighting al fresco.

* Install sconces approved for both indoor and outdoor use to create a complete look.

Indoors, sconces shed the perfect light to frame large rooms and doorways. Now, homeowners can take the same look outdoors with Exterionce. This new concept offers the same stylish elements as sconces designed for indoor use, and can enhance the appearance of decks, porches, and entranceways. With enclosed, waterproof glass shades, all products are U.L. listed for wet locations, and come in a range of shapes and sizes.

"Because Exterionce can be used indoors as well as out, it's easy to continue a look that begins in the living room out onto the deck or patio," says Doernberg. "One model can even hold a small potted plant or sculpture, creating a unique touch."

* Outdoor lamps add adaptable atmosphere and ambience To create an environment with flexibility, outdoor portable lamps are the perfect option. Westwood Collections by Kichler has introduced a line of nature-inspired outdoor table and floor lamps. Each whimsical piece features tree branches, a bird, or rustic textures. Use them to add soft ambience to an outdoor living area. Since they're also U.L. listed for wet locations, there's no need to bring them indoors when it pours.

"The modern outdoor living area can have the same comfortable atmosphere as your living room," says Jan Shaffer, director of Kichler's Westwood Collections. "With the soft lighting of outdoor portables, guests will feel right at home."

* Add serenity to a hectic home with outdoor elements

Yet another trend in home d�or isn't just taking the indoors out -- it's bringing the outdoors in. Many homeowners have found that an indoor water garden allows them to sustain exotic plants and add calm to the chaos of today's frantic household.

To accessorize any water feature, indoors or out, Kichler offers the Mythical Fish Light and Fountain. This stylish piece serves as a garden sculpture that can be mounted both in water and on land, nestled among your favorite flowers. Providing a subtle light, it can also act as a functional fountain when vinyl tubing and pump are added. It's versatile while adding a touch of Zen to water features.

* Let landscape lighting add that extra touch

To brighten up an overall outdoor look, and highlight a home's best features, homeowners can create an effective low-voltage landscape lighting system. "Begin by deciding which landscape features you'd like to illuminate," says Jack Miller, general manager of landscape lighting for Kichler. "Ask yourself, Am I lighting this area for safe access, or to call attention to an architectural feature?' Then, you'll be able to easily choose the style and function of the fixtures you need."

Kichler Landscape Lighting offers design techniques that let a home glow with curb appeal:

* Path and spread lighting provides safety to landscape paths and entrances with decorative touches. Kichler's new whimsical butterfly fixture swivels to direct light onto either a path or a nearby wall, and offers an attractive conversation piece in daylight.

* Spotlighting allows homeowners to illuminate a beautiful entranceway, tree or statue by installing a light above the object.

* Grazing refers to lighting placed to highlight textured surfaces, such as stucco walls or tree bark.

* Silhouetting provides a sleek shadow, created by installing a light directly behind and below an object.

* Uplighting, the opposite of spotlighting, highlights an appealing landscape feature by mounting a light on the ground below and angling it upwards. Cross Lighting uses two or more lights from below to create a more dramatic effect.

While offering a number of fixtures to implement these techniques, Kichler also has several families of outdoor lighting available that help homeowners coordinate path lighting, outdoor wall lanterns, post fixtures and deck lights. Available in designs such as mission, traditional and contemporary, and durable finishes like Cast Brass for coastal environments, there's a look for every lifestyle.

For more information on outdoor lighting options for your home, find a Kichler dealer near you at www.kichler.com or call (800) 659-9000.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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