Shower Tip: Add a Grab Bar!

Let’s talk bathroom safety: shower grab bars!!

Perhaps you’ve stayed in an ADA compliant hotel room and have seen grab bars in showers or near tubs. Maybe you understand how these would benefit others for their needs. Or maybe you’ve enjoyed the convenience of them for your own use at that time. But have you considered adding one to your own personal bathroom?

It used to be that there were very few designs of grab bars on the market. Most had the same clinical look. Many homeowners/designers associated grab bars with this look. So, unless they were required, the aesthetics of the shower took priority over the added safety benefit. Manufacturers heard this complaint. Now, they are available in varying sizes, finishes, and even appearance, while still maintaining ADA compliance.

Photo Credit: Moen

In almost every bathroom project I’ve worked on, my clients agreed with adding a grab bar into the design. And if a client didn’t, I would still ask the contractor to put blocking in the wall so a grab bar could be easily added at a later point. Something that every client agreed was a good idea!

Here’s one bath/shower I just completed where the client agreed a grab bar was a smart addition. This grab bar we had installed matches the shower and bathroom design perfectly. It doesn’t take away from the design at all! In fact, it brings the rest of the fixtures all together and adds another element to this wall, separating the two niches beautifully.



Lighting Basics

Lighting is pretty important in our every day life. And while we consciously know when to turn it off or turn it on, there’s even more to consider than just what fixture to put where.

lighting edison bulb
Edison bulb pendant
What are the 4 Types of Lighting?

Ideally, every room should layer natural and electric light. There are 4 types of lighting: ambient, accent, task, and daylight.

natural and electric lighting elements creating a cohesive space
bedroom showcasing natural and electric light

Ambient is your overall, wash of light. It helps to light an entire space, often with an equal level. Think of giving your space a nice comfortable and even glow. Ambient lighting is your recessed light fixtures.

Accent is exactly like it sounds; it highlights spots in the space or accentuates certain areas. An example could be recessed fixtures that are directional and highlight a specific item (art, wall details, focal point in a room, etc). Use this sparingly to give impact where you want the eye to go.

Task is another one that is exactly as it sounds: designed for a specific task. Desk fixtures, pendants in a kitchen, lighting in a classroom. All of these tasks require higher levels of lighting for it to be accomplished. They aren’t used at all times, but necessary when it is time to do the specific task.

Daylight can be both a positive and a negative in a space. Positive because it’s free and we respond well to it for our natural body needs, etc. Negative because of glare, heat impact, not being to able to predict it, etc. How a room is positioned in a home can also play a factor.

Electric vs natural light and color

Electric light and natural light can affect how color is seen in a space, which can contribute to how you feel in a space and if you even feel comfortable. The type of light bulbs (called lamps) used can affect color, light output, even physical effects to the body. There are a number of factors involved in regards to the various types (incandescent, LED, fluorescent to name a few) of electric light bulbs/lamping available including light output amount, color temperature (color of the light on a scale of warmer or cooler light — think of flames in a fire), life of lamp/bulb, etc.

Lamping (light bulbs) are now sold with information on their boxes that many purchasers don’t realize is even there. Each box will tell you the color temperature in Kelvin degrees. The kelvin temperature range is from 2700K to 6500K. The higher the number, the hotter and bluer the light. The lower the number, the cooler and warmer/more yellow the light. My experience has shown that the ideal color temperature is 3000-3500K. It is a crisper, whiter light and color reads truer in this range.

glass pendants with edison bulb; highlighting natural lighting elements
glass globe pendant with the edison bulb
Lighting evaluation

So, how do you know if your light situation is ideal or needs improvement? Evaluate it using these techniques and questions:

• How do you feel about the quality of lighting during the day? What about during the evening? How do you feel about the quality of light at night?

• What are the sources of light in the space?

• Are your sources of light giving you the layered lighting levels to provide ambient (overall), accent (highlight), task (enough light to accomplish a task), and daylight? If yes, great, move to next question! If no, what’s missing? What could be added?

lighting EVALUATION: color

• Do the colors you have in your space read the same in natural daylight as in electric light? If yes, great, move to the next question! If no, does the color appear muddier? Does the light itself appear to have a yellow or blue tone to it? If it is muddy, chances are the color temperature is the issue. Ideally, you should have light that reads more white than yellow or blue. This helps colors in your space to read true to their actual color. Try to ensure your lamps/bulbs are in the 3000-3500K range. Lamping (light bulbs) are now sold with information on their boxes that many purchasers don’t realize is even there.

lighting evaluation: troubleshoot

• Do you hear buzzing or see flickering in your lamps/bulbs? Does it take time for your light to warm up/get to the full output? If yes, you’re probably using fluorescents or compact fluorescents. And, over time, these fixtures start to decrease the light output. I personally do not like these and would suggest you consider switching to LED versions instead.

• Do you have a dimmer switch, but it doesn’t seem to work with your fixture? This is something you should get checked out by an electrician. It could be a faulty switch, it could be a disconnect between the type of dimmer installed, or even something more complex.

• How about natural daylight? Does the sun shine into the space and disrupt the viewing of a screen? Or is it making the room hot when full sun is hitting that portion of the home? Consider window treatments: shades, black out curtains, window films, etc. to help control the temporary effects to the space.

Still not sure about your space or feel like you need more assistance? Contact me to set up a lighting consultation and let’s get that lighting working for you and your space!!



Meet the Hounds in My Life!

Why Homeward Hound interiors?

As I’m sure many of you are wondering, how and why did I end up naming my interior design firm, Homeward Hound Interiors?

The answer is relatively easy…my love for dogs, especially my dogs, sparked the need for a name for my firm that would incorporate my furbabies.

In Memoriam…

Before I introduce the 3 pups in my life right now, I want to take a moment to spotlight and remember my sweet angel girl, Pebbles. She was taken from us way too soon last August. Pebbles was in my life for many career and personal struggles. She was the first dog that was truly mine, not just a family dog. She helped me get through so much and I thank her for the years she gave me. Though, I still miss her every day.

The oldest of my herd is Maggie (aka Mags, Old Lady). She’s 18 years old and still going strong. She loves to sleep, but lives for breakfast and dinner. Such a sweet girl! We adopted when she was 13, but it seems like we’ve had her forever!!

Next, we have Maggie 2, aka Maggie, who is 10 years old. She came to us in 2016 having lived with several other families, 3 in 6 years. Needless to say, she has indeed found her forever home with us!! She’s 75 pounds of lap dog. And, we call her an honorary beagle, because she truly believes she’s one of them 🤣

And our baby is Blue, almost 5 years old, but indeed is the baby! He originally came from Florida, but seems to enjoy all 4 seasons here in Virginia. He loves to hunt in our back yard, and the neighbors know him well because of it 😂

If you follow me here on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook, you’ll get to see more of the herd…and often 😉



All NEW Homeward Hound Interiors!!

Hello and welcome to the NEW Homeward Hound Interiors!!! This website and blog has been about 6 months in the making. I’m thrilled to be launching officially today!

Homeward Hound Interiors was just the start of an idea last year. It came about after taking a year plus off for mental health struggles, and to rediscover who I was and what I wanted out of life. But the overall journey didn’t really start last year.

The Beginning…

In 2010, when I graduated college, I was asked where I wanted to be 5 years. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure at that point in my life, having just spent from age 13 until then working toward my design degree and starting my design career. And even though I tend to prefer longer term goals, thinking 5 years out was huge to me at that time in my life. I remember saying that I’d love to own my own design business after 5 years, but I didn’t really feel that timeline then, and as I look back, I see why.

Fast forward to 2015, I had accomplished so much already in my career at that 5 year mark. But, I knew I wasn’t ready to do my own thing right then. I was still learning so much day to day! After 2015, my mental health started to go downhill, and my health became my priority and focus. I still had planted that seed in 2010 and I could feel the roots getting stronger.  The idea was blooming, but it just wasn’t time yet.

Last year, I felt the design bug bite. I started to crave design projects again. Almost overnight, I finally felt like my calling was found again. I wanted to make that idea blossom completely.

INTRODUCING the All New Homeward Hound Interiors

When 2018 began, I was feeling a little lost.  But, after starting to meet with a group mastermind, I knew I was on the right journey. I had just slipped off the correct path for a bit. With their help, I’ve been working on taking my business to the next level. This site and blog is just one of those steps to get me back on the right track.

I look forward to sharing a variety of topics with you here.  The NEW Homeward Hound Interiors is all about creating sophisticated and pet-friendly spaces for my clients. Other key features will include the dog mom life, growth of my business, continuing to discover myself, and much more!! Thank you for joining my journey and helping to make the forest of my dreams grow!! The NEW Homeward Hound Interiors welcomes you.

Want to stay in touch? Follow me on social media: Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Looking to start a new project? Contact me for a FREE virtual coffee chat!