Monthly Archives: September 2013

3 Trending Fixtures for 2014

Fixtures are the accents to your home that make it fashionable. Unlike remodeling or new construction, you can swap out fixtures with ease, making them the diamond jewelry of your home. Here are three fixture styles trending in 2014.

Porcelain Fixtures
If you want to commit to some work that’s a bit more than just swapping out some knobs, but a bit less than completely remodeling your bathroom, new sinks, toilets, and showers can add some style to any home. The trend is towards hiding plumbing fixtures in the walls and selecting more angular, square fixtures. This isn’t to say that they’re severe; the edges are rounded both for safety and to soften the lines just enough to make it different without making it look too industrial.

As far as colors go, believe it or not white is still very, very popular, but keep an eye out for fixtures that use primary blue accents. Blues in general are becoming more popular, especially shades that lack any hint of greens to them, and will add a hint of color and pop. Look for lighter blue to give your bathroom a vibrancy beyond just dazzling white.

Remember, even a subtle change can make a big difference in your home décor. By tweaking your fixtures and making careful choices about what to buy and how to match, you can give your home a stylish spin unlike anything your friends have ever seen, and a unique look any Miami homeowner will be proud of.


A Scarabeo sink will cost you, but it’s worth it.

For a high-end fixture from Scarabeo or Tecla, expect to pay between $500 and $800 for a single faucet fixture, and up to $2,000 for a double faucet.


Kohler will be slightly less expensive

If you’re looking to save, though, you can get similar styles from Kohler for between $150 and $200.

Lighting

In lighting fixtures, the name of the game is glass. Glass blowing has become more and more common and fixture manufacturers are experimenting with different designs and colors when it comes to glass. Especially trendy right now are “pendant” designs, where the fixture hangs straight down from the ceiling from the cord or the cord is contained in a flexible covering. It’s much more attractive that standard hanging fixtures, which simply twine the cord around the chain used to hang it from the ceiling, and it’s also more modern.

Generally you should use pendant fixtures in numbers, such as arranging four over a kitchen counter or hanging several in a pattern over your dinner table. Best of all, the limited materials used means that they’re offered in more styles and metals than standard fixtures; you can match your faucet and your lighting fixtures more much easily and better demonstrate your sense of décor.


Lighting prices will depend heavily on the fixture.

Proper lighting installation will require an electrician, and it’ll also require a good budget; a custom lighting fixture can run you $2,500 or far more depending on the artist you hire and the size of the fixture.


Pendant lighting adds style while staying discreet.

This pendant is a good example of high quality at a low price; you can pay as little as $35 per fixture for a simpler light and still get a stunning effect.

Faucets and Knobs

Chrome is, of course, the classic for fixtures of all sorts; we’ve all seen plenty of chrome faucets in homes from the beautiful to the pedestrian. But it’s annoying to clean, and more to the point, it’s not particularly unique. Increasingly popular are more matte fixtures, in colors such as antique brass or brushed nickel. A nice, oil-rubbed metal will give you both the stunning sheen you look for in a fixture, while also giving your bathroom a different touch.

As a bonus, it’s easier to clean and less likely to be mistaken for a cheaper fixture. Even chrome and steel fixtures from major designers are mistaken for knock-offs constantly.


Grohe is high quality, but it’ll cost you.

Faucets you can generally install yourself, which is a good thing because fixtures from a high-end company such as Grohe can cost $900 or far more depending on the extras you choose.


Brushed and oil-rubbed textures give your fixtures subtle style.

Even low-budget fixtures can be attention-getting; this Kohler faucet, complete with handles, runs just $300.

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Five Things Every Home Theater Needs


Even visible speakers can be incorporated into your home decor.

Home theaters are becoming more popular as home theater technology gets better and better. Things like 3D televisions, 7.1 sound systems, and crisp video playback…a well-built home theater can be like having a private screening room. That said, though, there are things you need and things you don’t for your home theater, and what they are might surprise you.

Location, Location, Location
The first and most important step is deciding where everything will go. For example, placing your television behind a window will both block the sun in a room and draw undue attention to it, making it hard to watch and distracting. Putting it on a wall opposite the windows may make it difficult to watch during the day. Before buying and installing, do some measuring and thinking; properly placing an integrating your home theater into your home will mean fewer arguments and a happier home.

A Well-Built Amplifier With the Proper Wattage
The foundation of every home theater system is the amplifier. To understand why, you need to understand how speakers work. Essentially, all speakers really do is push air at certain frequencies that the electricity flowing in tells them to push at; but, the more air you want to push, and the more energetic the frequencies, the harder it is to push. An amplifier gives your speakers just the right amount of power; overpowering might trash the speakers, and underpowering can result in distortion. Pair your amp with your speakers carefully, and your theater will sound that much better.

Hiding Places
It’s very rare that you want your home theater to dominate the room, but if you put a gigantic television and thumping sound system into your living room, it’ll draw attention even if you don’t turn it on. It doesn’t help that many systems are designed to look cool, not blend into your home décor. Look into touches like home automation that tucks screens and speakers away, or building a cabinet into the wall that lets you keep your living room as a multipurpose space.


This might be a bit of overkill.

Proper Speaker Placement
Getting perfect sound requires placing your speakers properly. There’s a specific place in each room where the speakers and the acoustics align to create a perfect listening spot. It may not always be ideal to create this, but where possible, you should try to do so. Beyond that, think about how the space will be used; will you and your friends be watching and discussing TV shows and sports games? Will you be sitting in appreciative silence watching a movie? Place your speakers for the best effect to get the most out of your system.

Hidden Cables
Unfortunately, making all home theater technology wireless is a work in progress; there aren’t really any solutions at the moment that rival their wired cousins. That means you’ll need to choose wires and cables carefully, and also look for solutions to hide them. One popular method of organizing and tucking cables away is to thread them through the walls; that way, you have fully wired speakers, but also flawless home décor. If that’s not an option, look for cables that can be painted over, or consider covering them with electrical cord covers; there are quite a few available at your local hardware store.

Whichever methods you choose, remember that you can have a home theater in your home without it dominating, and a well-designed theater makes a home that much better. Happy shopping!

Photo credits: Viet Hoang,

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