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Make Your Home Look More Expensive with Upgraded Lighting

by Sherry Bennett

Upgraded Lighting Will Make Your Home Look More Expensive

One of the first things any homeowner should do after purchasing a home is to evaluate the lighting fixtures.  Builder grade fixtures, in most cases, provide nothing in the way of style. Yet, it is surprising how many people just move in and continue to live with the generic fixtures.  Upgraded lighting will make your home look more expensive.

Replacing a light fixture is certainly not a complicated project.  It is as easy as disconnecting the wires from the old fixture and connecting those wires to the new fixture.  Just be sure to go out to your electrical breaker box and turn off the power to the room you will be working in.

Some people simply turn off the light switch.  However, I have complete respect for anything electrical.
I prefer to go out to the breaker box and turn off the power at the source.

 

MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK MORE EXPENSIVE – UPGRADE LIGHTING:

A good place to begin is by upgrading some of the less appealing light fixtures.  Let’s start with those hideous bathroom vanity light bars.  Builders put these in homes only because they are very inexpensive and this helps to keep their costs down.

Make Your Home Look More Expensive
Most people replace these ugly things as soon as possible.  However, I have been in many homes which are 10 to 20 years old, where none of the homeowners during that time have ever bothered to replace these cheap, junky fixtures.

For a hundred dollars or so you can get upgraded, and much more attractive bathroom light fixtures. Replacing the mundane fixtures with more personalized lighting will make your home look more expensive.

 

WHAT SIZE LIGHT FIXTURE DO YOU NEED?

The length of the fixture will depend on the size of your bathroom. If it is a small bathroom you don’t want a fixture with too many bulbs. The more bulbs in the fixture, the hotter the bathroom will be.  Furthermore, a large fixture will look completely out of place above a smaller size vanity.

Measure the width of the vanity and the mirror above. Your light fixture should be about 75% of that width. Normally, a 3-light fixture is just about right for the average-sized bathroom.  If you have a large bathroom, you may want to get a larger fixture or possibly even two fixtures. In a small powder room, you may be able to get away with a 2-light fixture. Normally, people will not be applying makeup in the powder room, therefore, you won’t need as much light.

 

MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK MORE EXPENSIVE WITH QUALITY LIGHTING:

A quality chandelier will add value to your home.  This kind of lighting will make your home look more expensive as well.

We always get a lot of questions pertaining to dining room chandeliers.  How wide should my chandelier be?  How tall should my chandelier be?  What is the proper height at which my chandelier should be hung?

As far as the width; a good rule of thumb is that your chandelier should be 12 to 14 inches less than the width of your table.  This means if your dining room table is 44″ wide, your chandelier should be 30″ to 32″ wide.

Sometimes it may be difficult to find just exactly what you are looking for in the right size.  If need be, you can always go a couple of inches more or less.  Just be careful not to go too big or too small.  If your chandelier is too big, it will appear to be overpowering the table.  If it is too small it won’t look right in the room nor will it complement your table.

 

HANGING YOUR CHANDELIER PROPERLY:

Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Your chandelier should be centered over the table, with the bottom of the chandelier at approximately 30″ above the top of the table.  You can adjust this up a couple of inches higher depending on personal preference.

If your dining room ceiling is higher than 8 feet, you should look for a chandelier that is taller than it is wide. 
In this case, you would also hang the chandelier a couple of inches higher.

However, you don’t want to have it way up in the rafters. This will not provide the desired lighting or ambiance for your dining room.

Installing a dimmer switch in the dining room is a must in my opinion.  This allows you to set the mood for your various dining experiences.

There are many different types of light bulbs on the market; incandescent, compact fluorescent, halogen, etc.  When purchasing a dimmer switch, make sure to look for one that will be compatible with the type of bulbs required for the fixture with which the dimmer will be used.

 

MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK MORE EXPENSIVE WITH MEDALLIONS:

Ceiling medallions come in all different sizes and materials.  This is one of those cases where you either love them or you hate them.  I have seen many beautiful ceiling medallions which were very attractive.  I have also seen many more which literally detracted from the home, rather than enhance it in any way.

Some people prefer a ceiling medallion that blends in with the ceiling, adding some interest with just a bit of texture.  Other people prefer a medallion that complements the finish of the chandelier.  Either way, if you decide to go with a ceiling medallion, choose something that is not too overwhelming or ostentatious.

Keep in mind, you are trying to add tasteful upgrades which will make your home look more expensive.  You certainly don’t want to do anything so over-the-top that it may appear gaudy or tacky. 

Get some ideas from this large selection of ceiling medallions.

 

MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK MORE EXPENSIVE WITH UPDATED SWITCHES:

As long as you are working on electrical upgrades, this would be a good time to replace any of the older toggle-style light switches with the more updated rocker switches.  You can buy these in boxes of 10 at Home Depot.  Changing them out couldn’t be easier.  This helps tremendously in updating the look of your home and making it appear more expensive.

Make Your Home Look More Expensive with Upgraded Lighting
Make Your Home Look More Expensive with Upgraded Lighting

If you have a light that turns on and off with two different switches, be sure to get the appropriate switch. These type of switches are normally at the top and bottom of a stairway, or at opposite ends of a long hallway.  

For a light that turns on and off using only one switch, you will need a single-pole switch.  For a light that turns on and off from two locations, you will need a 3-way switch.  If you are shopping at Home Depot or Lowe’s, request someone who can answer your electrical questions.

Purchase a package of wall plates as well to go with your new rocker switches.  Keeping all the wall plates the same throughout your home provides a much neater and more unified look. 

Please don’t be a decorating dufus and put different creative wall plates in every room of the house.  This just draws attention to the hodgepodge of wall plates and makes people wonder “OMG, what was she thinking”?

People’s attention should be focused on your best decorating details, not on your decorating faux pas.  If you have a baby and you want to put a “cutsie” wall plate in the baby’s room that’s fine.   One custom wall plate per home is plenty.

NOTE:  Box up your old switches, wall plates, and fixtures and donate them to Habitat for Humanity.  Many rental property owners shop at a Habitat ReStore when they have things at their rentals which need replacing.  The money taken in from the ReStore sales is for a good cause, and your donations are tax deductible 🙂

 

ADDING USB WALL OUTLETS:

Another thing that helps to update your home is by adding USB outlets.  Nowadays, everyone has iPads, iPhones, and various other devices which need periodic recharging.  You might want to consider replacing one of the least used outlets in your kitchen with a USB outlet.

Make sure the USB outlet has a minimum of 2 amps per USB port.  Any less than that and your devices will take much longer to charge.  In some cases, certain high-demand devices don’t charge correctly or don’t charge at all, with low-amp chargers.  If the packaging doesn’t list the amps per port, simply divide the total amps by the number of USB ports.

The charging stations which allow everyone to charge their devices simultaneously are very convenient and keep all the devices, cords, etc. contained in one place.

Multi-Device Charging Station

Multiple Device Charging Station with 6 USB Fast Ports

Great specialty gift idea for those who have multiple devices that need charging on a regular basis.

Six 2.4 amp ports charge cell phones and tablets up to 80% faster.  Recognizes devices to deliver the amps needed.

 

UNDER CABINET LIGHTING MAKES YOUR HOME LOOK MORE EXPENSIVE:

There are all kinds of options for under cabinet lighting.  You can do it yourself very inexpensively, or spend a bit more and have someone professionally install it for you.  Under-cabinet lighting will go along way toward making your home look more expensive.  If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on this one project, simply search Amazon for “under cabinet lights”.

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