Landscape Lighting for Small Houses

We try to stay on top of our landscape lighting game around here. We read architecture blogs and Hollywood Real Estate magazines (only on occasion, don’t judge.) Sometimes we are super inspired and other times we sit around the office nodding in agreement as someone says “we could do better.”

In our extensive research, we’ve noticed that so much of what is showcased in the landscape lighting revolves around gigantic, brand new homes. And while we can appreciate the beauty, it’s definitely time for a reality check here. Most of the population is not living in a mansion. Most of the population isn’t even living in a brand new home.

Yet, Google landscape lighting and that’s all you’ll find.

It’s particularly disheartening, because reality is that landscape lighting is MOST beneficial to the average person.

Here’s our logic: when you buy a big, brand new home, you—and everyone else— expect it to come with all the bells, whistles & lights. With smaller, older homes, we simply don’t expect that, so the wow factor tenfold AND the investment to light up your outdoor space is significantly less. There is so much winning going on here.

(1) A little bit of light makes a big impact

When you have less house to light, a little goes a long way. Dramatic improvements to not just the look of your home, but also usability of your outdoor spaces are more within your budget than you imagine.

We’ve seen tiny houses with landscape lighting and it’s perfection.

(2) Sets you apart.

Most people don’t make the investment to light of their “average” home— so when you do, people notice. We invest so much time and energy turning houses into homes. Lighting up the outside of our home is lovely—and practical—way to take some extra pride in what you’ve created both inside and out.

(3) Adds value

When your neighbors notice that your home looks a little swankier than the rest of the homes on the street, they are likely to step up their game and finally get around to those upgrades they’ve been wanting to make. We have yet to scientifically prove this, but we’re willing to be that your investment in landscape lighting will have a domino effect and the average home value in your neighborhood will be up in no time.


Outdoor Rooms with Landscape Lighting

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — the time of year when we can use our beautiful outdoor spaces to relax or host or friends or really do anything we want.

But what if your outdoor space isn’t beautiful?

What if your outdoor space isn’t much of a space at all?

Landscape lighting doesn’t solve all of the world’s problems. But it does solve THIS one.

We often talk about the practical nature of landscape lighting— safety & usability. We constantly talk about how much prettier life is when it’s well & decoratively lit.

And today we want to talk about what it looks like to have all of the above.

One of our favorite ways to use light outdoors is as a barrier, to create the illusion of a room. Here in Florida we’ve got these open Florida rooms that allow us to “contain” our outdoor events. But it’s much more enchanting when the barriers are lights rather than walls.

Here’s how we work our magic:

  • Outdoor lights around the edges of a patio, deck or porch create  the illusion of walls
  • Lights in the trees—think market lights or chandeliers— like magical overhead lighting.
  • Accent lights to provide enough light for safety & usability.

You can imagine that this isn’t exactly the kind of project you just show up at Home Depot, buy a bunch of lights and go to town on. To create the illusion of walls where there are none and to suspend overhead lighting magically from the skies, takes some planning from the pros.

Want to talk about it? Contact us.

 


5 Landscape Lighting Ideas for Summer

Summer is coming and you’re looking for landscape lighting ideas.

(If you weren’t looking for landscape lighting ideas before, you are now!)

Whether you’re adding lighting to your landscape for the first time or you’re ready for a revamp, it’s the perfect time of year—because it’s the time of year when you actually want to be outside to enjoy it.

Create Dimension with Layers of Outdoor Lights

When it comes to lighting your outdoor space in a way that makes your guests (and maybe even your spouse) say wow, you’ve got to bring fun and function together. Lighting like wall sconces are functional—they give you enough light that your guests won’t walk into the pool—or each other. Fixtures in the ground or lights strung over head are where a landscape lighting professional can help you bring the fun.

Accent your garden decor

You’ve likely spent a lot of time and money decorating & gardening, pulling weeds & painting to create a sacred outdoor space. Whether it’s lawn gnomes or lavender that you’ve poured your heart & soul into, when evening falls you’ll want an accent light to continue to enjoy it.

Make things More Interesting

Color & texture are integral parts of interior design that are often neglected when designing an outdoor space.

Little known fact: lighting is an easy and interesting way to integrate color & texture.

Colored lights are not just for special events—and if you place those colorful lights near exotic plants, you highlight texture while adding color.

Done and done.

Highlight your water features

Water features—America’s favorite way to relax and drown out the noise from the overpass the city just built over your home. (Err, we really hope the city didn’t just build an overpass over your home. But, if they did, you can always add a water feature.)

In all seriousness, if you can hear it, but you can’t see it, it just doesn’t have the same appeal.

If there’s an unlit water feature in your backyard, or if you’re thinking adding one, you won’t regret being able to bask in its serenity, even at night.

Compliment Exterior Lighting

Lighting the exterior of your home is a given. In fact, it probably came pre-lit for you, because no one wants to use a flashlight to get in their front door.

However, it’s important to note that there’s a huge difference between lighting the exterior of your home and landscape lighting.

When just the exterior of a home is lit and the landscape isn’t, it creates a stark contrast that can be bleak—and even creepy.

Landscape lighting works to compliment the exterior lighting of your home, making it more inviting for all those summer garden party guests you’ll be hosting this year.


Outdoor Lighting Sets the Mood

A patio garden or small backyard garden at night with pathway lights
A patio garden or small backyard garden at night with pathway lights

Right now is the perfect time to be wining and dining in your Florida backyard. Seriously, go step outside. It’s just cool enough that the mosquitos haven’t come out to play, but not so cool that you can’t rock the flip flops.

But—for most of us—there’s just one very dark problem.

Literally, it’s dark out there.

The reason we love sitting out on Park Avenue is, of course, because of the fab food and fine wine. But there’s a little something else that really sets the mood for dining al fresco—the lights.

When it comes to restaurants, weddings and special events, mood lighting is a must. You wouldn’t spend Friday night in Hannibal Square if it were pitch black out there…or if there were spotlights, instead of mood lights.

That’s the same reason you’re probably not spending Friday nights in your backyard either.

All of this to say that, mood lighting isn’t just for restaurants and weddings. Lighting your landscape, creates a mood for your outdoor space.

Let me count the ways.

It builds excitement…

Lighting the pathway to your outdoor space is lovely for safety, of course. But, more importantly (or at the very least more fun), it creates a little build up. First time visitors get to go on a little adventure as they follow the pathway to your outdoor space. And even if you’ve followed the path hundreds of times before, it’s comforting to know that you’re on your way to your own little sacred space.

It softens the space …

Outdoor living spaces are meant to be resilient—to hold up against the elements. And while you can find absolutely stunning furniture for your outdoor space, it can often be rather masculine. In the quest for balancing yin and yang, landscape lighting can be a soft, feminine addition that immediately makes the space more inviting.

It’s festive…

Lighting an outdoor space sends a message that you want people to come together there.  Whether it’s girls’ night on the patio, a sweet sixteen birthday party or just family dinner, people coming together is festive—it just is!

When we think about bringing people together, be it intimate or a grandiose, we’re always thinking about the food and the the table settings—the adult beverages…and even the mosquitos. And certainly all of those factors set the mood, but all people see when they enter your outdoor space, is everything the light touches.

Just sayin’…

 


Curb Appeal, Home Value & Landscape Lighting

The Central Florida real estate marketing is booming right now—especially in Winter Park & College Park.

I’m no real estate pro, but I do know that curb appeal is directly correlated to value.

You know what else curb appeal is directly related to?

Landscape Lighting.

Let’s do a little numberless math here.

Curb Appeal = Value

Curb Appeal = Landscape Lighting

Which means…

Value = Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting is an easy, non-invasive way to uplevel your curb appeal and the value of your home. You don’t even have to be selling your home to enjoy the effects.

Now the question is where do you start?

We’ve got a enough information on landscape lighting to overwhelm you for years.  (That’s why they call us the landscape lighting experts!)

We’re not going to do that, though.

Instead we’ll ask you a very simple question. What is your goal with your landscape lighting?

Is it for pretty?

There’s this stigma associated with wanting things just because they are pretty and we’re going to go ahead and debunk that right now.

Beautiful things are meant to be enjoyed. More beauty in this world, means more enjoyment for everyone.

You pull into your driveway a few times a day, you should be pulling up to a home that makes your heart happier.

Is it for functionality?

As in, you have a beautiful outdoor kitchen that you can’t use at night because it’s dark?

Turning your outdoor spaces into an extension of your home is so easy with landscape lighting. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is replacing that patio furniture, now that people can actually see it.

Is it for safety?

You want to host outdoor rendezvous, but you know Grandma won’t see those steps and it’s a liability waiting to happen.

Safety first!

You can’t always put a price on peace of mind, but in this scenario, you can.

Go ahead and ruminate on WHY you’re looking for lighting and stay tuned for more info on increasing curb appeal, home value and SAFETY.


Landscape Lighting: It’s Time

landscape lighting

Wikipedia has something to about landscape lighting…

Landscape lighting or garden lighting refers to the use of outdoor illumination of private gardens and public landscapes; for the enhancement and purposes of safety, nighttime aesthetics, accessibility, security, recreation and sports, and social and event uses. (source)

We’re going to politely disagree.

The notion that landscape lighting is only for private gardens and public landscapes is a lie.

Consider the amount of time, energy and money that goes into planting, and trimming and edging.

I’m willing to bet you take your landscaping seriously, it’s the exterior decor of your home —and there are thousands upon thousands of homeowner’s associations that also take your landscape lighting very seriously. (That’s why we pay them the big bucks, right?)

As a homeowner and lighting nerd, I am painfully aware that all of my fellow home-owning friends, colleagues and clients have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars having trees removed and replaced with flowering shrubs only to never enjoy them.

You leave your house before the sun rises and come home after it sets.

You never get to enjoy the landscape, because the only time you’re in it, you’re pulling weeds…or pushing a lawnmower.

The struggle is real.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

It may be time for landscape lighting if…

(1) You want to spend more time outside, but it’s too dark.

(2) Your house guests drive past your house every time.

(3) You have to use a flashlight to get from your driveway to your front door.

(4) You have a beautiful yard that you never see unless you’re working it.

(5) You want to have the best looking house in the neighborhood. (No shame in that!)

In all seriousness, landscape lighting isn’t just for public parks & gardens. It’s a beautiful way to enhance the appearance of your home and the utility of your outdoor space.

There’s lots more on landscape lighting coming your way, stay tuned.